1958-1965: Page 3
March 25, 1961
Elvis arrives in Hawaii for a press conference, then an evening concert at Bloch Arena at Pearl Harbor. He is there to perform a benefit to help fund the building of the USS Arizona Memorial. Hundreds of fans mob the airport as he arrives. His show raises around $62,000 for the memorial. The event also helps bring publicity, public awareness and support to the project. The fund-raising efforts, for the most part, had been difficult up to this point. The rest of the needed funds are soon raised and the memorial is completed a year later. Elvis receives numerous official honors in appreciation for this benefit. This turns out to be Elvis’ last live, non-movie performance until his 1968 television special.
Late March/Mid-April 1961
Elvis remains in Hawaii to do location filming for his eighth motion picture, “Blue Hawaii,” having already done soundtrack recording. Later, there is additional filming to be done back in Hollywood for this film. With this second and longer visit, Hawaii would become one of Elvis’ lifelong favorite places to vacation.
June 22, 1961
“Wild in the Country,” co-starring Hope Lange, Millie Perkins and Tuesday Weld, opens nationally to mixed reviews. Like “Flaming Star,” it is a melodrama with limited singing by Elvis. Also in June, the album “Something For Everybody” is shipped. It hits the charts in July, staying for 25 weeks and spending three of those weeks at #1.
July - August, 1961
Elvis records and films for his ninth motion picture, “Follow That Dream.” Filming includes some location shooting in Florida.
Elvis spends the month vacationing in Las Vegas.
The soundtrack album for “Blue Hawaii” enters the Billboard chart for a year-and-a-half run, staying at #1 for 20 weeks, second only to "GI Blues" as the biggest album of Elvis’ career on the Billboard charts. It also yields a #2 single destined to become an Elvis classic, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
Non-movie-related recordings and hit records have continued through this period, with “Good Luck Charm” hitting #1 in 1962, his last number one pop hit until “Suspicious Minds” in 1969.
Elvis records and films for his 10th motion picture, “Kid Galahad,” completing it on December 20, 1961.
November 22, 1961
“Blue Hawaii” opens nationally to warm reviews. The film hits #18 on the box office charts for 1961 and #14 for 1962. It becomes the top-grossing film of Elvis’ career thus far. Its characteristics of a non-cerebral plot, lavish scenery, lots of songs by Elvis, and lots of pretty girls, become the basis for the “Presley formula” movies of the sixties.
Other than his time spent in the Army, this is the only Christmas Elvis will spend away from Graceland. He will spend from December 22 to January 29 in Las Vegas.
Elvis has a new RCA contract that runs until 1966. He also celebrates his 27th birthday.
March 12, 1962
Elvis Purchases a 1962 Dodge House Car complete with air conditioning, a double bed, two bunks and a kitchen. He plans to have George Barris customize it and to use it to drive back and forth to California.
May 23, 1962
“Follow That Dream” opens nationally and gets to #5 on the box office charts. It is warmly reviewed and does fairly well in sales.
March 26 - June 11, 1962
Elvis records and films in Hollywood, and does location filming in Hawaii, for his 11th motion picture, “Girls! Girls! Girls!”
June 17 - July 1, 1962
Priscilla, now 17 years old, visits Elvis from Germany. It will be the first time they see each other since Elvis left Germany over two years before. They spend the time in Las Vegas.
August 28, 1962
Elvis records and films for his 12th motion picture, “It Happened at the World’s Fair.” Shooting is done in Hollywood and on location at the World’s Fair in Seattle.
August 29, 1962
“Kid Galahad” opens nationally and does relatively well with a brief stay in the top 10 on the box office chart.
In Mexico, riot behavior in a theater showing “GI Blues” prompts the Mexican government to ban Elvis movies. Torn seats, broken windows and other damage is reported.
November 21, 1962
“Girls! Girls! Girls!” opens and lands at on the #6 Variety chart and #31 for the year. Soundtrack album goes to #3 and the single "Return to Sender" hits #2. For 1962, Elvis’ movies at the box office are “Blue Hawaii” at #14, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” at #31 and “Kid Galahad” at #37.
December 19, 1962 - January 11, 1963
Priscilla visits Elvis for the holidays in Memphis.
January 21 - March 22, 1963
Elvis records and films for his 13th film, “Fun in Acapulco.” Priscilla moves to Memphis in early March 1963 while Elvis is in Hollywood filming. She graduates from high school on May 29, 1963, five days after turning 18 years old.