Elvis at the International is the Timeline Winner for April
April 01, 2010
The winning Elvis timeline milestone for April that Elvis fans voted as their number one favorite Elvis moment is #45 - Elvis opens a four-week, 57 show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. For this timeline event, we will take a look at Elvis' triumphant return to performing in Las Vegas.
Less than three weeks after Elvis rocked the United States with his Singer TV special, Colonel Parker agreed to a deal in which Elvis would perform at Kirk Kerkorian's Las Vegas International Hotel, which had not yet been built.
Elvis had regained his stage confidence with the Singer special and was ready to take on more live performances. Elvis personally built the band for the engagement, starting with guitarist James Burton as his cornerstone. Burton then brought in pianist Larry Muhoberac, drummer Ronnie Tutt and bassist Jerry Scheff to form the band.
Celebrities filled the seats on July 31 for the opening show and Elvis impressed the crowd so much that, afterwards, Colonel Parker and International president Alex Shoofey drew up an impromptu contract in the hotel coffee shop, raising Elvis' salary to $125,000 a week and guaranteeing two engagements a year for the next five years.
Experience what it would have been like to get a peek into Elvis' dressing room at the International Hotel with Elvis Backstage 1969. Read Elvis’ personal telegrams, play a few chords on his guitar, look through the clothing on his clothes rack, flip through the Colonel’s scrapbook, see what was on television, and lots more. This virtual experience features rare Elvis memorabilia, photos, artifacts, video and audio clips and much more. Also, be sure to click on the 'Elvis in Person' poster on the back door for a brand new addition to the site.
Click here to go backstage.
This video is a recreation of what a promotional video might have looked like for the International Hotel in 1969. It was created as part of the opening of the 2009 Elvis Week Event, Elvis 1969: A Celebration Concert. The images used in the video were provided by Paul and Jean Gansky, who actually attended the opening night show at the International Hotel.
See a full gallery of photos of Elvis at the International Hotel here.
Five new photos of Elvis performing at the International Hotel have been added to the Elvis Mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch users. Download the free app to enjoy weekly Elvis photo updates, periodic video updates, the latest news on all things Elvis, the Graceland LiveCam, podcasts and more.
Each week in April, Elvis Insiders will have access to a new, rare Las Vegas-related artifact from the Graceland archives in the members only exclusive image gallery on ElvisInsiders.com.
Click here to get a copy of Elvis: Vegas '69, a 200-page hardback book by Ken Sharp that commemorates the 40th anniversary of Elvis' historic return to live performance at the International Hotel.
Visiting Las Vegas soon? Be sure to stop by the brand new Aria Resort and see the new Viva ELVIS™ show by Cirque du Soleil®.
Be sure to visit Elvis.com/timeline and vote for your favorite Timeline event, which will be featured in May.
Facts about Elvis at the International:
- To promote the upcoming engagement at the International Hotel, Colonel Parker arranged a photo opportunity on February 26 at the hotel's construction site where Elvis signed his "contract." The actuall contract would not be signed until April 15.
- In addition to bringing on James Burton and the rest of the band, Elvis personally contacts the Imperials, a male gospel quartet, and the Sweet Inspirations, a female quartet who sang "Sweet Inspiration" with Aretha Franklin in 1967, to add them to the cast of the show.
- Rehearsals began at the RCA studio in Sunset Boulevard, the same studio where Elvis began recording the soundtrack for G.I. Blues in 1960.
- The International Hotel engagement was the first time in which Elvis presented a full-hour live set.
- Towards the end of August, International Hotel Vice President Alex Shoofey awards Elvis with an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii for nine, to express his gratitude for the engagement's success.
- The total attendance of the record-breaking show was 101,500, with gross receipts of $1,522,635.
Other Current Events in 1969:
- Richard Nixon was inaugurated 37th President of the United States of America.
- Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to walk on the moon.
- Woodstock, a four-day music festival, took place in upstate New York. Performers included: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, among others.
- The Grammy award for record of the year went to Simon and Garfunkel for "Mrs. Robinson."
- Oliver!, produced by John Woolf, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
- Judith Anne Ford (Illinois) won the Miss America Pageant.
About the Elvis Timeline:
In celebration of Elvis' 75th birthday, fans are enjoying the 75 Years of Elvis Virtual Timeline. The timeline features lots of photos, video, editorial, music and more and allows fans to walk-thru Elvis’ greatest accomplishments in both his personal life and his career – spanning from January 8, 1935 to January 8, 2010.
As part of the timeline, fans are invited each month to vote for their favorite Elvis milestone in his career, with the top winner being announced each month. By the end of 2010, fans will have selected their top 12 favorite milestones in Elvis' career.
Don't forget to visit Elvis.com/timeline
as voting is going on right now for May's top milestone moment.