1970-1977: Page 3
Elvis makes television and entertainment history with his “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii - Via Satellite” special. The show is performed at the Honolulu International Center Arena on January 14, 1973, broadcast live at 12:30 a.m.
Hawaiian time, and beamed via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Phillipines, South Vietnam and other countries. It is seen on a delayed basis in around 30 European countries. A tape of the show is seen in America on April 4 on NBC. The live broadcast in January attracts 37.8% of the viewers in Japan, 91.8% in the Philippines, 70% in Hong Kong, and 70-80% of the viewers in Korea. The April showing in America attracts 51% of the television viewing audience and is seen in more American households than man’s first walk on the moon. In all, it will be seen in about 40 countries by one billion to 1.5 billion people. Elvis commissions an American Eagle design for his jumpsuit for this show, his patriotic message to his worldwide audience. Never has one performer held the world’s attention in such a way. Elvis is in top form physically and vocally. This is probably the pinnacle of his superstardom, one of the all-time great moments of his career.
Audience tickets for the January 12 pre-broadcast rehearsal show and January 14 concert carry no price. Each audience member is asked to pay whatever he or she can. The performances and concert merchandise sales are a benefit raising $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. Kui Lee was a Hawaiian composer who had died of cancer while still in his thirties.
On stage with Elvis is an orchestra and his current show cast: Joe Guercio (conductor); J.D. Sumner & the Stamps (vocals); The Sweet Inspirations (vocals); Kathy Westmoreland (soprano vocals); Charlie Hodge (guitar/vocals/on-stage assistance); James Burton (lead guitar); John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar); Jerry Scheff (bass guitar); Glen D. Hardin (piano); and Ronnie Tutt (drums).
The soundtrack album is soon released and goes to #1 on the Billboard pop album chart, and stays on the chart at various positions for 52 weeks.
In the special, Elvis' recording of the theme song from his 1965 movie “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” plays over the opening credits with scenes of his helicopter arrival at the airport and his walking among the fans who are there to greet him. The concert opens with Elvis' band playing his traditional introduction for his seventies concerts, the “Theme from 2001.” He sings “See, See Rider,” “Burning Love,” “Something,” “You Gave Me a Mountain,” “Steamroller Blues,” “My Way,” “Love Me,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “It’s Over,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Hound Dog,” “What Now, My Love,” “Fever,” “Welcome to My World,” “Suspicious Minds,” “I’ll Remember You” (a Kui Lee composition Elvis sings after announcing the sum raised for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.), “Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “An American Trilogy,” “Big Hunk o’ Love,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The show is one hour, including commercials. After the show, Elvis and his bandmates come back out on stage in the empty arena and videotape performances of the songs “Blue Hawaii,” “Ku-u-i-po” and “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” which he had first done for his 1961 hit movie “Blue Hawaii,” plus “Early Morning Rain” and “No More.” All but the song “No More” will be inserted into the American broadcast with Elvis seen on a montage screen with footage of Hawaiian scenery.
January 26 - February 23, 1973
Elvis plays an engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton.
January 28, 1973
“Elvis on Tour” co-wins a Golden Globe Award with “Walls of Fire” as best feature documentary of 1972.
In Las Vegas, Elvis presents boxer Muhammad Ali with a specially made robe for Ali’s upcoming title fight with Joe Bugner. Ali gave Elvis autographed boxing gloves.
March 1, 1973
Elvis and Colonel Parker sell Elvis’ music rights to date to RCA and Elvis enters into a new seven-year recording contract with RCA. Elvis and Colonel Parker also sign a new management contract as well, becoming 50 – 50 partners.
April 4, 1973
The Aloha special is seen on American television for the first time and garners 57% of the viewing audience.
April 19, 1973
Elvis’ paternal grandfather Jessie Presley dies of a heart attack in Louisville.
Late April 1973
Elvis goes on an eight-city concert tour.
May 4 - 16, 1973
Elvis plays an engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
The Aloha from Hawaii concert album hits #1 on the Billboard pop album chart. It is his first #1 album since the “Roustabout” soundtrack album in 1965. It will also be his last #1 album on the pop chart.
June 20 - July 3, 1973
Elvis goes out on concert tour.
Elvis records a few songs at the Stax Recording Studio in Memphis for the album "Raised on Rock.” This was his first time to record in Memphis since 1969.
August 6 - September 3, 1973
Elvis goes back to the Vegas Hilton for another engagement.