Tag Archives: concerts

Who Is This Guy?

Look at this picture for a moment and try to guess who it is.  Maybe a young Leonard Nimoy?  Maybe a bad guy in a movie you saw recently?

The answer may surprise you.  It’s Elvis.  Or, at least it’s supposed to be, but it doesn’t look much like him, does it?  Here’s what’s confusing:

This an original ticket for “ELVIS –  Aloha From Hawaii,” the concert broadcast around the world on January 14, 1973   The ticket was the latest addition to the Image Gallery on the official Elvis Insiders’ website, so it we assum it’s the real deal.  The guy on the left is definitely Elvis.  But, the guy on the right sure doesn’t look like him.

It may be difficult to see, but under the pink ELVIS, it does say “Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite.”  At the bottom left, it says the concert was a benefit for the KUI LEE Cancer Fund.  Above that, it says the concert was at the Honolulu International Convention Center.

There’s one other interesting thing about the ticket.  Look at the time of the concert – 1:00 A.M.  At first, I assumed that was so the show would be seen during primetime for folks back in the mainland.  But then I did some research.  The sixty-minute live concert, broadcast by satellite on December 14, went only to countries in the Pacific: Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, South Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and a few other small nations in the Far East.  The next day, the concert was rebroadcast to twenty-eight countries in Europe.

However, Americans did not see the show until almost two months later on April 4, 1973 on NBC.  The telecast was expanded to ninety minutes with additional footage of Elvis’ arrival in Honolulu added for the opening sequence.  Also, Elvis had recorded four extra songs after the audience had left the Convention Center.  These were edited into the program in a format that would later be called a music video.

 

This is the schedule for the production of “Aloha from Hawaii.”  There are some technical terms and abbreviations on it, but you can pretty much figure out what’s going on.  Elvis had dinner at 8:30 and went to make-up and wardrobe at 11:30.  There was a warm-up act and audience shots until 12:30 A.M. when Elvis came on stage and performed for an hour.

 

And this is what he performed.  The website where I found it doesn’t say if it written by Elvis, but he usually worked out concert playlists himself.

So, “ELVIS – Aloha from Hawaii” was a really big event in Elvis’ history.  It was watched by more than one billion people.  It represented a big break-through in satellite broadcast technology.  It was produced on a budget of $2.5 million.

 

Editor’s note:  Thanks to alert reader David, the ticket mystery has been solved.  He states in the comment below:

“I believe the other photo on the Aloha From Hawaii ticket is Kui Lee, the songwriter who died of cancer and who wrote, I’ll Remember You, and who the concert is dedicated to and the proceeds were to go to the cancer fund in his memory.”

And this is from Wikipedia:

Kuiokalani Lee (July 31, 1932 – December 3, 1966) was a singer-songwriter, and the 1960s golden boy artist of Hawaii. Lee achieved international fame when Don Ho began performing and recording Lee’s compositions, with Ho promoting Lee as the songwriter for a new generation of Hawaiian music.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Scotty Moore Returns to Live Performances After 24 Year Absence

When Scotty Moore returned to Nashville after appearing in the ‘68 Comeback Special, he never dreamed it was the last time he would perform on stage for 24 years.

Elvis and Scotty Moore in the famous “Pit Session” of the the ’68 Comeback Special

 

In fact, Elvis had talked about wanting to do a tour in Europe.  Now that he was essentially finished with movies, Elvis was energized to perform live again, and Scotty was excited about getting back on stage with him.  Scotty went home to Nashville and waited for a call from Elvis to say the European tour was on.

Of course, Col. Parker put a quick end to such an idea.  He was an illegal alien from Holland and knew he couldn’t get a US passport, so he could never accompany Elvis to Europe.  And, Parker was not about to allow Elvis to tour over there without the constant presence of his manager.  So the tour idea died.

Scotty went on with his life as a studio sound engineer, work that kept him associated with the music business, without ever performing.  Years later he owned a cassette duplicating company, and followed that by opening a printing shop that made the label inserts for the tapes.

Scotty’s guitars sat essentially untouched for years.  He actually thought of himself as a ‘former guitar player,’ and was comfortable with it.  He did, however, maintain contact with many dozens of folks in the music business – including Carl Perkins.

Perkins underwent cancer surgery in 1991, but in early 1992 it was in remission.  He felt strong enough to record a new album, and wanted to do it in the old Sun Studios in Memphis.  So, Perkins called Scotty and asked him to join the project.  Scotty resisted, repeatedly saying, “I can’t do this.”  However, Perkins persisted, and soon he, Scotty, DJ Fontana and a group of their studio musician friends completed the recording session that resulted in 706 ReUnion.

Cover of CD Re-release, Not Original Album

 

Two years earlier, Carl Perkins had been the headliner at the first “Good Rockin’ Tonight” concert, presented during Elvis Week by Darwin Lamm, editor and publisher of Elvis International magazine.  Perkins was unable to sing at the second annual concert in 1991 because of his cancer surgery, but he was back as headliner again for “Good Rockin’ Tonight 3” in 1992.

Again, Carl Perkins worked on Scotty to join him – this time, on stage playing the guitar. Scotty agreed, and became part of the most exciting line-up in the history of Elvis Week concerts.  Not only did the fans get to see Elvis’ first guitar player, they also got to see his last one, James Burton.

James Burton and Scotty Moore Rehearsing

 

The Sun Rhythm Section, featuring Sunny Burgess and DJ Fontana opened the show and wowed the audience with an excellent Rockabilly set.  Also on the bill were the Jordanaires who backed Elvis on too many records to count and Ronnie McDowell who sang the songs on several Elvis movies and TV biographies.

From left – James Burton, DJ Fontana, Scotty Moore. Behind Carl perkins on stool — Jardanaires, Ronnie McDowell (in black, white belt), and others.

 

Scotty’s long-time friend, Gail Pollock, summarized the show, “It was electric.”  Especially, when Carl Perkins and Scotty Moore were on stage together.

 

After that, Scotty was hooked.  A week after the concert in Memphis, he went to England to perform with the Jordanaires.  He had been away from performing for 24 years, but at age 61, Scotty Moore was back.  Thousands of fans have seen him at concerts in the years since, and Scotty Moore has brought tears of happiness to more than a few of them.

 

Many thanks to James Roy, webmaster for www.scottymoore.net, and to Gail Pollock for their help in supplying the photographs and historical reference material for this article.

 

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.