1958-1965: Page 4
April 10, 1963
“It Happened at the World's Fair” opens nationally and does relatively well at the box office, though its plot is the most frivolous of any Elvis film so far. The soundtrack album hits #4.
Elvis begins recording and filming for “Viva Las Vegas,” co-starring Ann-Margret. It will be his 15th movie to be released, as “Kissin’ Cousins,” which he is to shoot next, will actually be released before “Viva Las Vegas.”
Elvis records and shoots for his next motion picture, “Kissin’ Cousins.” He also receives his 2nd degree black belt on October 17, 1963, and carries the card in his wallet until his death.
Late November 1963
Elvis finishes filming “Kissin’ Cousins” on November 14. He is devastated when President Kennedy is assassinated on November 22.
November 27, 1963
“Fun in Acapulco” opens nationally and quickly goes to number five at the box office. The soundtrack goes to the top five on the pop chart.
Elvis purchases the Potomac, former presidential yacht of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000 on January 30. He intends to donate it to the March of Dimes for use as a national shrine (FDR suffered from polio, the main disease fought by the March of Dimes). Costs of maintaining the yacht would be prohibitive, so the March of Dimes declines the gift. Elvis attempts to give it to the 7th Coast Guard District Auxiliary in Miami, which also doesn’t work out. Finally, on February 13, he presents the yacht as a gift to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for them to use to raise funds as they see fit. The ceremony takes place in Long Beach, California, on February 14, with actor and hospital founder, Danny Thomas, accepting.
During this saga of trying to donate the yacht, the Beatles make their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and Sullivan reads on the air a congratulatory telegram from Elvis and the Colonel. American music and pop culture will soon change dramatically with the "British invasion," much as it had after Elvis hit it big in the fifties.
February 26-May 14, 1964
Elvis begins filming for his 16th motion picture, “Roustabout,” co-starring Hollywood legend Barbara Stanwyck.
March 6, 1964
“Kissin’ Cousins” opens nationally. One of the poorest quality films of his career, it still quickly hits #11 at the box office, then quickly falls. The album hits #6.
April 30, 1964
Elvis meets Larry Geller and starts his spiritual studying in earnest.
June 9 - August 3, 1964
Elvis records music for his 17th film, “Girl Happy,” which co-stars Shelley Fabares and former Miss America, Mary Ann Mobley.
June 17, 1964
“Viva Las Vegas” opens nationally and goes to #14 at the box office. It’s one of the better Elvis movies of this period and the songs are better as well. By the end of the year, it is #11, outranking The Beatles “A Hard Day's Night” and becoming Elvis' highest grossing film ever.
September 21, 1964
Elvis becomes an official “Special Deputy Sheriff” for Shelby County.
October 6, 1964
Elvis begins shooting his 18th motion picture, “Tickle Me.” The soundtrack has no new recordings. Instead, previously released non-movie recordings are used, apparently to keep production costs to a minimum. Filming continues until November 24, 1964.
“Roustabout” opens nationally and hits #8 at the box office. The soundtrack, which represents some of the best Elvis movie music in a while, goes to #1 on the Billboard pop album chart. Elvis is rank as the sixth-biggest-money-making star of 1964. The single "Blue Christmas/Wooden Heart" reach #1 on the Christmas Chart.
Col. Parker renegotiates future movie contracts with both United Artists and MGM. The deals, with salary and % of profits, finally reaches his goal for Elvis of $1,000,000 a movie.
January 8, 1965
Elvis celebrates his 30th birthday.
March 9, 1965
Elvis records the soundtrack and does the filming for his 19th motion picture, “Harum Scarum,” which co-stars Mary Ann Mobley.
April 7, 1965
“Girl Happy” opens and is the 25th top-grossing film of the year. The soundtrack hits #8, while the single “Crying in the Chapel” hits #3.
April 19, 1965
“Harum Scarum” is released.
“Girl Happy” opens nationally and does relatively good business. The soundtrack album goes top 10.
Elvis records music and does filming for “Frankie and Johnny,” co-starring Donna Douglas. On May 9, 1965 Col. Parker has arranged for a special Mother’s Day radio show to be broadcast on radio stations across the country.
May 19, 1965
Elvis’ gold Cadillac will go on tour to promote the film “Tickle Me.” The song, “Such An Easy Question,” reaches #11 on the charts.