ELVIS 1976

Year 1976.  "The denial of the Truth"

Sometimes the heart does not let us see beyond reason because it controls in many cases our actions, the ability to see beyond that which we should have... reason, but above all thought. When distrust makes its appearance and the fear of loneliness pursues us, insecurity appears to distress the soul, to blind our eyes to the truth and dependence. If nothing can stop us anymore because we do not want to look at ourselves in a mirror and accept reality, if we no longer accept the advice of true friendship, affection, to continue to whip our body with vague illusions, moments of emptiness... to hide behind a mask without accepting our truth. Nothing can change our future, because surely we have already sealed with our steps that uncertain destiny. It is still the time, it is still the place, you can still stop lying to yourself and fight to change the future.1976, A new year begins in the life of Elvis Presley, a new opportunity to change his life and leave behind the confusion, boredom and move forward. Elvis always loved life, spirituality, laughter, all this was his defense against insecurity and tiredness, he wanted to enjoy and share with others, but he was making a mistake. His health and dependency were becoming more powerful in his life to try to defeat him, because Elvis did not want to change, he just let himself go....
This is going to be a defining year in Elvis' life and a somewhat complicated year for him to follow his path.

Sessions February 1976

The new year 1976 begins with new economic expectations forced by the situation of the moment in the life of Elvis Presley. First of all his obligation to record new songs, with RCA with which he has to comply to avoid a lawsuit. Elvis is not very eager to record but he has to do it and he refuses to do it in the already known studios, so Felton Jarvis tells him that if he will not record, they will go to Graceland with their RCA Truck. Elvis agrees to set up a studio in the Jungle Room, reluctantly and reluctantly, but finally he is delighted to be able to record at home and decides from then on not to record anywhere else. His financial situation also forces him to book year-round tours, although Elvis is aware that he has severe colon/intestinal disease, adrenal disease, fatigue/insufficiency, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, painful arthritis, glaucoma in both eyes. In addition to being warned of serious consequences by doctors, he is going to agree to tour in order to financially offset all the expenses he had taken on the previous year. Especially his airplane "Lisa Marie", which is the culprit of most of this commitment due to the enormous budget and gasoline required for its maintenance.

Two programs dedicated to the beginning of the year and the recordings of February 1976Remember, we are living History!
"Following the Path of the King...".

January 1976. Vacation with Elvis.

The year begins with a snow vacation in Vail, Colorado west of Dever. Elvis and Linda Thompson travel there with a group of 17 people for a few days of vacation. With them, his father Vernon, his half-brothers Ricky, Billy, David Stanley, with Red and Sonny West, Joe Esposito, Jerry Schilling, Al Strada and Dr. Nick and their son, Dean, who by then was working as one of Elvis' personal assistants. Those who were married brought their wives, because it was a family vacation with friends. Also with them went their friends, the anti-narcotics policemen he had known since 1971. A few days to try to recover the optimism, the joy of past times, everyone had seen the changes in Elvis's temperament and hoped that a few days of relaxation would change him again. Days to enjoy the snow and the great landscapes, although Elvis went from good mood to anger, his changes were already complex because no one knew what to expect from him and his whims were unpredictable. Although with his friends the police had a good friendship at the time, because they were anti-narcotics and explained everything they did in their raids, even on occasion they took him to witness these captures so Elvis began to have a great obsession with drug traffickers

But on these days they all tried to have fun, they rode snowmobiles everywhere. One of these days Elvis decided to ride the snowmobile up the mountain and everyone followed him to the top, when they got to the top they were impressed by the lights, at dusk, the views. When suddenly a shout from someone nearby appeared and said, "Get off the snowmobiles, you are in a restricted area!". Everyone turned off the snowmobiles and looked at each other through their ski masks. But they didn't dismount, then some men jumped out of their vehicles and ran towards them, they had security badges on their jackets. They were very angry, when one of them shouted, "What the hell do you think you're doing up here? You could cause an avalanche!". Elvis stepped forward, still wearing his balaclava and said trying to calm him down in his voice full of southern charm, "You don't have to get mad, sir.""Damn it, you could get yourself killed up here!" the guard shouted and was still being very gruff when he added, "You're all under arrest!"
Elvis took off his balaclava from his head and as if he did magic or had a valid card for everything, he showed his wonderful smile.The guard surprised to be in front of such a famous character said: "My God, it's you! Hey, Elvis, nice to meet you". You! How are you, man?".Then the anger disappeared and would turn to sympathy by offering his hand to greet him, in a few seconds they had escaped arrest.  Although they did get a logical warning. Elvis was able to get away with anything, good or bad, his magnetism was so great that everyone who came across him surrendered to his personal charm.  All ended well and they even received an escort back to their lodging.

There were good times and bad times, because Elvis would decide that they all had to do something very important, he met with Red and Sonny West in their rooms and they called Jerry Schilling at three o'clock in the morning. Jerry and Myrna were asleep and when he got the call from Elvis he said, "Elvis, can't this wait until morning?" Elvis got angry, "Listen, Jerry, when I say" jump ", you jump". They ignored and got to their rooms, Elvis told Red that if Jerry wouldn't let him through he had to knock him down. Red tried to calm him down, but Elvis as always carried his gun. Jerry was so disappointed by his friend's attitude that he told him : "Listen, Elvis, you can take your job, because I quit, There are some things more important than money, like friendship".  Although Elvis apologized the next day, it was too late because Jerry left immediately. He returned to California and got a job in the film industry. Jerry always hoped that Elvis would change, but that change never came and he was very hurt at being the object of his whims. Elvis wasn't realizing all that he was losing with his attitude.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Publication January 1976

RCA releases a new volume of "A Legendary Performer", for Elvis Presley fans. RCA wanted to take advantage of the catalog purchased from Elvis in order to make a profit, as there was no new discography of his to release. Producer Joan Deary oversaw the release of this LP, which included several previously released tracks but in their alternate version and also some previously unreleased songs and interview excerpts. It combines legendary masters with rarities and a souvenir booklet aimed at the collector. The album would reach number 46 on the Billboard charts and sell almost a million copies.  It is currently listed by the RIAA, as double platinum.It is clear that Elvis Fans wanted new material or in any case something they had not heard before and this series of albums would be a coup for RCA, who was profiting from Elvis' work, without having to give him any account.

"The Economic Reasons"
ELVIS PRESLEY January 1976

RCA Publication. January 1976.
One of the big mistakes that Elvis Presley had in his life would be the sale to his RCA label, of the catalog of all his songs up to March 1973. All his artistic life, his songs from his youth when he recorded at Sun Records with Sam Phillips , until after the show broadcast on TV in Hawaii in 1973.
The main reason would be economic, since he was getting divorced and had many obligations to fulfill. Then Colonel Parker did not advise well either and both suffered the consequences, since from then on RCA received all the benefits that were obtained from record sales prior to 1973 and from any publication that was made with these songs.
A new sample of this would be the compilation of several songs in the new publication of January 1976 with the new LP: "A LEGENDARY PERFORMER VOL 2".
It is true that the main problem at the time is that there was no new material recorded by Elvis, his lack of interest and the non-insistence of the Colonel would lead to an absurd commercial vacuum. Something essential in every artist was being lost and that would also have an impact on his economy, his new albums, a new audience, an update of his image compared to his beginnings.
It is a bit contradictory in a person like Elvis who was always looking for challenges and new proposals, that his fatigue and instability were so great compared to his desire to want to do something different. But this would unfortunately continue, since the money came in easily and without much effort through the concerts. Once again, the economy was a reason that forced us to maintain an erroneous or at least detrimental Path with respect to his health and natural gains, such as his record sales.
Although a publication of his usual songs could benefit his image, however, it brought him closer to the past than to the present, but the responsibility for this really always belonged to Elvis himself..


"The Unforeseeable: Elvis Presley."

In this new year 1976, Elvis would show his dissatisfaction in general regarding the recordings and also with his personal life. He was again with emotional ups and downs and the obligation he had with RCA to fulfill his contract, had him annoyed because he had no desire to record anything.
But he really would have to, because if he defaulted by refusing to make any more records, he would be sued and he finally had to agree.
But he didn't want to go to Hollywood to record, he didn't want to go to Nashville to record, he didn't want to record in the Memphis studios either, so Felton Jarvis came up with a great idea. If Elvis didn't want to go to any studio, the studio would go to Elvis, that is to say, they would move all the necessary means so that he could record in his own house, in Graceland.
The most important thing is that Elvis felt an enormous boredom, as he said to Felton Jarvis: "I'm tired of being Elvis", as if he was referring to someone else, deep down he must surely have been like that. The life of an artist is very complex, the image in front of the public and even in front of his acquaintances. He could only be himself with his friends and family, having to carry his own image was already too heavy for him. He also confessed to Voice member Sherrill Nielsen that he was bored.

Elvis was being honest with his friends about his situation, but no one knew how to help him.  The job, his music, his audience...  they were always the solution, but the main problem was that he was not finding any challenges anymore and when they came up there was always someone to screw him over.

But Elvis had to deliver, so RCA had once promised to build him a studio and this was finally going to happen. They actually brought the recording truck to his Graceland home, decided that the most suitable room for the recordings would be behind the kitchen, in the Jungle Room, where the new studio was set up. They even brought in Nashville engineer Brian Christian two weeks in advance in order to properly set up the conditions of the place so that everything could be set up correctly for the sessions. It was necessary for each musician to have a certain degree of isolation and communication with the headphones. The walls of the room also needed to be covered with heavy blankets to dampen the acoustics. Curiously, the engineer was surprised at the electrical conditions available at
Graceland had seven hundred amps available for electrical needs, as Elvis' home had seven hundred amps available for use and also a backup generator outside.
Normally in a normal house there would normally have been two hundred amps, but besides all this, the room perfectly covered the conditions to rebuild the studio since the installation was too small. They had to use the two sets of speakers that Elvis had in his bedroom to reproduce a perfect sound. It seems that RCA could not have the right equipment, but finally they were able to adapt everything to be able to carry out the sessions.

The best thing about the new studio was that Elvis was so excited to see the improvised studio in his own home that he wanted to keep it just as it was when he finished recording. Elvis said that from now on he would only record at his Graceland home again.
Felton Jarvis, their producer, had planned to be able to make twenty new masters during these sessions, they had enough material for them to make two new albums. A six-night recording budget of $74,378 had been submitted. Everything was calculated and nothing could go wrong, but no one had taken into account the unforeseeable: Elvis Presley.
"Following the King's Path..."

Recording Sessions 2 to 8 February 1976
The Jungle Room, Graceland. Memphis

The recording sessions were finally going to begin on February 2, after a delay of five days, which would be unforeseen for Felton Jarvis, since everything had been scheduled to have enough time for both the musicians and Elvis to perform. Presley.
This delay would be caused by a trip that Elvis had to make, returning to Denver. At the end of January, Jerry Kennedy's brother committed suicide and wanted to attend the funeral of his police officer friend. To attend, Elvis dressed in a custom-made Denver Police Captain's uniform.

On February 2, everything was ready for the sessions, when Elvis again tried to cancel the recording. Felton Jarvis was all nervous because he had already called the entire touring band from Los Angeles, also several studio musicians from Nashville such as David Briggs piano, Bobby Emmons electric piano, Norbert Putnam bass and J.D. was also called. Sumner and the Stamps who were also there with Kathy Westmoreland and Myrna Smith. Everyone was waiting for Elvis to come down to sing, but he sent a note saying that he was sick, but in reality he had called Red West, Sonny and Dave Hebler, to organize a raid instead of recording. According to him, he told them the sessions would be his cover to catch the drug traffickers, but fortunately they convinced him that it was not the best time and Elis agreed to go down to the Jungle Room studio.

Elvis showed up dressed in his Denver Police suit to the session, to the great surprise of everyone. His mind seemed to be somewhere else, but he decided to finally sing and record, so that day he recorded 3 songs

2 February 1976
"Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall" by Larry Gatlin
          "She She Thinks I Still Care" by Dickey Lee and S. Duffy
                    "The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker and R. A. Webster

"Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall"

"Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall" by Larry Gatlin,  is a song about crying, although it plays with words to make it catchy, which makes it lose power. A score that requires a low register that Elvis tries to interpret, but has to be supported by the reinforcement of the Choir, which covers this with his voices. During this first recording it is clear that the microphone is not entirely correct and it also creates a lot of reverberation and echo in the voices, this would have to be corrected in the mixes. It is clear that RCA was not offering quality material, despite supposedly carrying everything necessary to do these sessions.

"Bitter they fall..." It was a country ballad and its composer Larry Gatlin liked it. He tried to give it a title and a beginning that would attract attention:
  "I told him to leave me alone and that's what he did."
He recorded his own version of the song "Better They Are Hander They Fall" when he released his first album, The Pilgrim. This record Linda Thompson told Linda that she and Elvis used to sit and listen to his first album all the time. He found Elvis' version of "Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall" incredible.
Larry sent him an Egyptian bracelet through Felton Jarvis and Elvis wore it on stage. Larry went to see him perform when Elvis introduced him to the public as a young songwriter with a great song and dedicated it to him. It is clear that as a composer for Larry, it would be an honor for Elvis Presley to record two of his songs.
https://youtu.be/sfCfyVJAn5U take 1

Larry Wayne Gatlin born May 2, 1948. Country music singer and songwriter. He also for being part of the Gatlin Brothers in the late '70s.
He has had a total of 33 Top 40 singles, alone or with his brothers. "Broken Lady", "All the Gold in California", "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)", "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby" and "Talkin' to the Moon."
An admirer of Elvis since he was young, he considered him great and attractive. He began writing some Gospel songs when he was told that Roger Wiles had left the Imperials, Elvis's backing group. He auditioned for baritone and was admitted to sing with Jimmy Dean, but could not perform with Elvis, because they were no longer with him.
While he continued composing in Nashville, when Kris Kristofferson chose his song "Help me" for his disco. Later he met Felton Jarvis and JD Sumner who told him that Elvis wanted to record that song.
For him it was a wonderful thing to go from Kris to Elvis, it would be very important and this second song too.

Elvis had recorded Larry Gatlin's "Help Me" at Stax in 1973 and was very interested in the second album Gatlin recorded. For this
He had reason to choose a song of his and this song transmitted feelings full of regret, which logically was something that affected him at this time.
Again the theme of separation and the feeling that it leaves when the other person is no longer there. His voice sounds mature but a little tired, he is too surrounded by voices that almost cover him in the final version. Elvis' version, too slow and too embellished, is difficult to enjoy and it is strange that Elvis allowed himself to be covered by the rest of the voices. Something he often did on stage, but he shouldn't do it on a record, since the audience wants to hear his real voice.

Elvis recorded this Larry Gatlin song at Graceland on February 2, 1976. It first appeared on the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee." It was later released on "Always On My Mind", the CD reissues of "Moody Blue". Alternative versions were also released on the FTD albums "The Jungle Room Sessions", "Made in Memphis", etc.
"Following the Way of the King...".

"She She Thinks I Still Care"

"She She Thinks I Still Care" by Dickey Lee and S. Duffy
A country song written by Dickey Lee and Steve Duffy. The song was recorded by several artists, including George Jones, Connie Francis, Anne Murray, Elvis Presley and Patty Loveless.
The second song recorded on February 2 would be sung with more confidence and more strength by Elvis Presley. He is safer even though they say that in these sessions he was quite dispersed. There is an important change in his voice, due to his maturation and also due to his physical change, health, etc. His voice was thicker and it was sometimes noted that the respiratory problems he had had could affect his vocal technique. In the phrasing he did not make sense to cut the vocal line of the phrases, this could be due to lack of support and air.

The song was published as the B-side of the single "Moody Blue", a single released in November 1976. The single sold around 300,000 copies and reached number 31 on the Billboard charts, and number 1 on the Country charts.
Elvis knew his songwriter, Dickey Lee of Memphis and from his days at Sun Records, the song had originally been a hit for George Jones in 1962. Elvis recorded his version on February 2, 1976 at Graceland.
The song was later released on "Our Memories of Elvis" (without overdubs), "Guitar Man" (with remixed instrumentation) and on the anthology album "The Country Side of Elvis". An alternate take on the album "Walk A Mile In My Shoes". Other alternative variants are included in "Today, Tomorrow and Forever", in the FTD "The Jungle Room Sessions", "Made In Memphis" and "Too Much Monkey Business" remixed version.
"She Thinks I Still Care" offered more of the same, The musicians attempted to add more rhythm and new vocal parts, but ultimately returned to the slow country feel of the original.

Dickey Lee, an American pop country singer and songwriter, born in 1936. Curiously, he was signed as an artist to Sun Records. After Elvis' success, two or three albums on the label: "Good Lovin", "Dreamy Nights" and "Memories Never Grow Old". He then recorded for RCA for about ten years and began to be known
Many artists have recorded his songs such as Reba McEntire, George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Marty Robbins, Merle Haggard, Tracy Bird, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, etc. He had a great admiration for Elvis and met him on one occasion, performing in a Memphis club with Wink Martindale. After the show a guy came up and said, "Hey, Elvis wants to meet you." He didn't believe him but he said "Yeah, sure." But it was true, Elvis was there and he said, "I really like your record. I like what you're doing." Also Elvis invited him to Graceland and would be very kind to him, they sang, played, etc.
He became known for his songs in the 1960s, such as "Patches", "Laurie", etc. He also has a number of hit songs on the country charts in the 1970s, including "Rocky" and "9,999,999 Tears", and has written or co-written songs recorded by other singers such as "She Thinks I Still Care".
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015. Lee is listed as a co-writer and singer on singer-songwriter Michael Saxell's 2005 album Wonky Windmill "Two Men " In 1987, Dickey Lee became a life member of the prestigious Nashville.
Dickey wrote the song "She She Thinks I Still Care" in the '60s. The song was about a girl he knew through friends, named Beverly. He fell in love with her and she wasn't in love with him. The song has been recorded by many artists, but George Jones made it number 1. Also Anne Murray and years later Elvis, with his single "Moody Blue". It was already a country classic and there was not much to do to modernize it, Elvis took several takes and the second was the most lively of all.
It was recorded in a moderate time and with a powerful voice, but the master was slowed down and modified.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"A song out of place"
"The Last Farewell"

"The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker and R. A. Webster
This would be the third song recorded on February 2, 1976, it was a version of the song recorded by Roger Whittaker. It was a somewhat peculiar choice, because it is reminiscent of the type of songs that he recorded in some movie. It would not be a very heartfelt recording nor would it be commercial, at least for Elvis Presley.
The lyrics describe a sailor who leaves his beloved on a ship bound for England, in a melancholic way. The instrumentation seems like a fairy tale, it is not up to par with the rest of the songs, in which at least they tried to make songs of the moment. The ending of this song was loaded with strings and woodwinds, but it didn't seem like a suitable song for Elvis.
A ballad song sung in a peaceful and simple way, again many voices. It was clear that Elvis no longer wanted to do without his accompanying vocals. Actually, the type of songs he was recording on February 2, 1976 were not very commercial. The treatment was not very correct and this song in particular was too simple, it could have been improved without so much accompaniment.

The song composed in 1971 by the British folk singer Roger Whittaker and Ron A. Webster, became known by its author Whittaker on his Radio show and reached number 1 on the Billboard. Although it was not the best song for Elvis, it was for its author who sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Roger Henry Brough Whittaker (born 22 March 1936) is a British singer-songwriter and musician. His music is an eclectic mix of folk music and popular songs, as well as radio hits. His baritone voice was known as well as his ability to play the guitar and to whistle.
Songs such as "Durham Town (The Leavin')", "I Don't Believe in If Anymore", known to American audiences for their 1970 hit "New World in the Morning" and their 1975 hit "The Last Farewell" .
https://youtu.be/gXdrV6Zv2-U. Take 2

Fortunately three songs were recorded, but the chosen material did not bode well for anything interesting, something better could have really been chosen.
"Following the Way of the King..."

3 February:
"Solitaire"  Neil Sedaka y Phil Cody

4 February:
"Moody Blue"  Mark James
"I’ll Never Fall In Love Again"  Lonnie Donegan y Jimmy Currie

"A Very Intimate Song"

February 3, 1976, in this session they stayed up all night in order to perfect this song which would be the only song recorded that day.
"Solitaire" by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody

A beautiful song that Elvis sings with intense emotion in a very heartfelt way with lyrics that would possibly make you think. A wonderful score that comes to life in Elvis' voice, very interesting and fortunately where you can hear his voice, his presence and his strength, much more carefully than the first day. You can tell that he liked this song in which he totally turned to.
It is a ballad with lyrics that Elvis surely interpreted as something very personal, he uses the solitaire card game as if it were a metaphor of a man who lost his love because of his indifference, while life goes on around him. Possibly he felt involved with the lyrics and sang them in a very intimate way.

Neil Sedaka born in 1939, great singer tenor voice and composer. He had skills as a pianist and a superb ear. He was hired as a performer by RCA and this would be followed by many hits, such as "Oh!,Carol", Stupid Cupid", "Calendar girl", "Happy Birhday sweet sixteen", etc. on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and multiple awards such as a Grammy, two Ivor Novello, etc.
Elvis met Neil Sedaka when he invited his wife and him to the Hilton in Las Vegas, before he recorded this song. They went backstage to see him and Elvis was very nice to both of them, He gave his wife a scarf. In the dressing room there was a piano and they sang and played together.
Elvis told her that when he was in the army in Germany, he would go to the jukebox and play his songs, he told her that he admired him for his tenor voice.
When Neil Sedaka wrote the song "Solitaire," he was inspired by his classical training in Chopin, romanticism. He played it to his collaborator Phil Cody who cried when he heard it and contributed some of the lyrics. Both Sedaka and Cody considered the composition to be a spiritual experience.

This song was recorded by many artists besides Elvis, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, the Carpenters and Sheryl Crow. For him, it was very exciting that Elvis did it too. But Sedaka said that the tempo Elvis used in his version was not to his taste, although the feeling and emotion he conveyed by performing it was. Another thing that bothered him would be the freedom to start a melody without waiting for the right tempo, but logically each composer is a world apart. In any case, he was proud that Elvis Presley recorded his song and gave it all its meaning in his singing.
Actually the version on which Elvis would be based would be Sedaka's own, although the Carpenters' version became very well known.

Elvis recorded this grandiloquent ballad in a recording session at Graceland on February 3, 1976, for later release on "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee." In 1972, it had been the title track on Neil Sedaka's album, although it didn't reach hit status until Andy Williams released it a year later and it reached #4.
Elvis' version of the song was released as the B-side of the posthumous "Are You Sincere" single in 1979.
It would later be included on commemorative albums "Our Memories of Elvis", "Always On My Mind" and on the 2000 re-release "Moody Blue". Also alternate versions on "Jungle Room Sessions", "Made in Memphis", etc.
A lonely and very intimate Song for Elvis , who sings this tune in a very close way.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The Song of the Moment"
"Moody Blue"

"Moody Blue" by Mark James
On February 4, 1976, Elvis would record again at his Graceland home in the Jungle Room, this time the score was upbeat and finally everyone was able to collaborate on recording a commercial song with a good performance. With a current beat and catchy lyrics, everyone thought it could be a big hit.
A lively, country-flavored song that Mark James had written was finally a hit that would pay off at the end of November 1976 when it was released as a single. With the song "She Thinks I Still Care" on the B-side. James had released his original version in 1974, without great success. Elvis' version reached number 1 on the country chart and number 31 on the overall chart, where it remained for 13 weeks.
The song would provide the title track for Elvis' last album of new material in 1977, "Moody Blue". It was subsequently released on the LPs "This Is Elvis", "Elvis' Gold Records Vol. 5", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "Platinum: A Life in Music", "Elvis 2nd to None", "Hitstory", "The Essential Elvis Presley", etc.
Alternate takes were included on the 2000 FTD, "The Jungle Room Sessions"; other alternates on the FTD "Made in Memphis". Rare live versions are on the FTD release "Unchained Melody".
On February 20, 1977 he tried to sing it in concert, but Elvis confessed that he didn't remember the lyrics so he couldn't perform it in its entirety.
The only time Elvis performed this song live in its entirety was on February 21, 1977, at a concert in Charlotte, North Carolina. He had to do it with the lyrics in hand and with his eyes almost closed. These two versions were released in 2007 on the Follow That Dream label. Also the complete song was first included on a bootleg label Fort Baxter in 1995.

Francis Rodney Zambon was the real name of Mark James. He was born in Houston, Texas in 1940.
American composer and creator of several hit songs for artists such as B.J. Thomas, Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley. Among his most famous compositions are "Always on my mind" and "Suspicious Minds."
In 1967 Mark began working as a writer and to produce his career was Chips Moman. Producer/editor and engineer in Memphis, also co-owner of American Studios. He was a childhood friend of B.J. Thomas with whom he would later collaborate professionally.
In '68 he recorded his own song "Suspicious Minds". It was released as a single by Sceptre Records. Sceptre had Dionne Warwick, B. J. Thomas and a gospel label. They loved the song and thought it was a hit. They released the single but it didn't happen, subsequently it was offered to Elvis.
When he first heard Elvis' recording of "Suspicious Minds," he loved it. Elvis got into the song and made it his own.
"Suspicious Minds" was number one in 27 countries. It is Elvis Presley's number one song of all time.
That song and album revitalized Elvis as an artist and brought him new respect.
"Moody Blue" was not written for Elvis. He was just trying to write a great song. The song is about a woman you're trying to get to know and she changes every day. "Sometimes it's hard to be a gambler betting on a number that changes every time. When you think you're going to win, think she's giving up, a stranger is all you'll find."
"She's a complicated lady, so color my baby moody blue."
Mark had recorded "Moody Blue" when Felton called him and said, "Mark, Elvis loves 'Moody Blue.' Are you making a record out of this?" And he said yes, so they waited to record it.
Again Elvis would get a number thanks to a Mark James score. The song fit Elvis and it would have been wonderful if they had collaborated more times, because they both understood each other musically.
Graceland was a house, not a recording studio but they did a good production with the song.
"Moody Blue" was a number one record on the country charts while Elvis was still alive.
Felton called him before Elvis died and said, "Mark, Elvis has seven of your songs that he's going to include on his next album". He wanted to record "Disco Rider", "Who's Loving You", "Dream On Me", etc, but unfortunately it never came to be.
For Mark James, Elvis was a free spirit and an artist second to none.

In 1983 Mark James won the Grammy Award for his song "Always on My Mind" which was covered by Willie Nelson and the Grammy for Best Country Song. In the UK, Pet Shop Boys released a hit cover of the song in 1987 that reached #1 on the UK charts and #4 on the US charts. In October 2015, James was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Elvis made magic with Mark James' scores, they both liked the same type of music and this was evident in their songs. Mark would have been a good choice to be his personal songwriter, but it was virtually impossible to bring this to reality in time.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"The difficulties of the moment".
February 4, 1976

Lonnie Donegan and Jimmy Currie's "I'll Never Fall In Love Again".
On February 4, 1976 Elvis was still in high spirits to record this song that would truly be a vocal challenge. It is true that Elvis Presley had a powerful voice and a way of interpreting without rival, but sometimes he wanted to get involved in scores that were not in tessitura or that his technique could not overcome. The truth is that at this time he was not risking much, because physically his health was not helping his profession. The breathing problem could make that in many cases the voice failed due to lack of support, of air. The problem is that his voice sounds forced and with that lack of support, he sounds tired or that he can't go on.
This song really shouldn't pose any difficulty for him, but Elvis, however, couldn't compete. It wasn't a question of strength, his voice was better, but there was trouble to perfect and although he seemed to be trying his best, it was clear that he couldn't lean firmly on the notes or convey his clean voice delivering all his feeling. It is very likely that had he sung a slightly lighter version his voice would have sounded transparent and solid as always, but unfortunately producer Felton Jarvis said nothing to him and Elvis gave up.

" I'll Never Fall in Love Again " is a song written by Lonnie Donegan and Jimmy Currie, and first released by Donegan as a single in 1962.
The song's verses are melodically based on the traditional "Wanderin", even recycling the phrase "It looks like". But the added Italian-style chorus makes the song sound very different and new.
Lonnie Donegan , was a British skiffle singer, songwriter and musician , known as the " King of Skiffle ", who influenced British pop and rock musicians of the 1960s.
Donegan had 31 hit singles in the top 30 in the UK , 24 were successive hits and three were number one. He was the first British male singer with two Top 10 hits in the United States. Donegan received an Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and in 2000 he was named MBE . Donegan was a pivotal figure in the British Invasion due to his influence in the US in the late 1950s.

A magnificent song that Elvis wanted to interpret pouring his heart out, unfortunately he could not perform it with absolute fidelity due to some vocal problem.
The most commercially successful recording of the song was by Tom Jones in 1967. After its first release, Jones' recording reached number 2 on the UK singles chart, but was less successful in the United States, where it reached number 49 on the Hot 100. In any case it was a success for him to sell a million copies in 1969.
The song sung by Elvis was included on the 1976 album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee", later on the CD reissue "Moody Blue". There is a pre-recorded version on "Our Memories of Elvis" and several bootlegs. An alternate version is on the FTD CD "The Jungle Room Sessions".
This song should have been recorded at another time when Elvis was in good health, it would have given a different result because he had to deal with the difficulties of the moment.
"Following the King's Path..."

Sessions February 5, 1976
"For The Heart" by Dennis Linde
"Hurt" by J.Crane and A.Jacobs
"Danny Boy" by Frederic Weatherly

"The Magic of Rhythm"
"Fort the Heart"

"For The Heart" by Dennis Linde
A song sung very powerfully by Elvis. This song is much more commercial, a magnificent performance that makes this song one of the best he recorded in these sessions. A Rock Rockabily style song in which Elvis seemed to relax and enjoy this score in an easy way. The musicians also enjoyed the melody and played in a vibrant manner. This was a song with more rhythm and energy and it brought everyone out of their lethargy, it was the type of song that Elvis would have to look for to make everything turn out differently, because it was clear that it worked. James Burton also did a good job with Jerry Scheff bass
Its original title was "Had a Dream (For the Heart)" but Elvis left it in "For The Heart", it would also be included in the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee" in 1976. Elvis Presley's version, It was released as a single with "Hurt" on the B side, together with the album it reached number 28 on the Billboard and sold around 250,000 copies. It would be recorded a year earlier by Teresa Brewer

A Dennis Linde song that Elvis recorded at Graceland on February 5, 1976, released as the B-side of "Hurt" a month later. Linde added his own bass line to the song on a later overdub. Elvis' version appeared on "From Elvis Presley, Boulevard, Memphis." Has since speed on the compilations "Our Memories Of Elvis" Vol. 2, "Elvis' Golden Records" vol. 5, "Walk a mile in My Shows", "Artist off The Century", on "Moody Blue" CD, etc.
Alternate takes on "Platinum: A Life In Music", "Today Tomorrow & Forever", "The Jungle Room Sessions" and "Made in Memphis".

Dennis Linde March 18, 1943 - December 22, 2006, He was a composer, singer-songwriter, played acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Known for his Country music. Based in Nashville, he has recorded more than 250 of his songs. He would be best known for writing Elvis Presley's 1972 hit, "Burning Love."
In 1994, Linde won BMI's "Best Writer Award" and received four awards for BMI's most performed titles that year. He got 14 BMI "Million-Air" songs. In 2001, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Linde wrote top 5 US country hits "Long Long Texas Road", "The Love She Found in Me", "Walkin' a Broken Heart", "Then It's Love", "I'm Gonna Get You" , etc.
"I Got A Feeling In My Body", also composed by Linde and recorded by Elvis at Stax Studios in 1973, arose from his interest in Gospel music.
He was thinking about a big black gospel choir with a lead singer. Elvis achieved much more than his demo because he was singing the background parts and with a great chorus. With "Burning Love" Elvis once again gave the surprise of success, despite it being a song that he was not enthusiastic about and that it was difficult for him to remember even when he sang it in Concert, but the public was enthusiastic about it.

"For the Heart" is the only other upbeat song Elvis recorded in these February 1976 sessions, with "Moody Blue." Written by Dennis Linde, who contributed two other songs that would be hits for Elvis: "Burning' Love", "I Got A Feeling In My Body". This, however, had already been published in the voice of Teressa Brewer in 1975. The more rock version of Elvis, differentiating the country style from the previous one, this would be a success in his interpretation. In the session he began to sing in a slower way and little by little he became animated and gained more strength to bring the final version to life.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The personal challenge"

"Hurt" by J.Crane and A.Jacobs
Elvis had known this song for years when his idol Roy Hamilton recorded it in 1954. It was an R&B hit for him. He probably chose it because he was looking for a shocking song. Elvis searched within himself and his intense interpretation would result in this song that the public would like so much.
Composed by Jimmie Crane and Al Jacobs. "Hurt" was initially performed by Roy Hamilton, whose version was #8 on the R&B Best Seller chart with a total of seven weeks on the charts. But the version became very popular voiced by Timi Yuro, which peaked at number four on the Billboard pop chart in 1961.
It was that type of score that could be sung in a risky way or not, Elvis would choose the first option and taking into account his physical condition, his lack of breath that sometimes emerged in some fragments, he did not care in the least and was encouraged to leave a mark with your version.

The song was released as a single in March 1976, along with "For the Heart" on the B side. The album initially failed to sell more than 250,000 copies, peaking at number 28. It was included on the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee and a live version on "Elvis in Concert", the album and broadcast documentary.
An alternate version of the song was included on "Platinum: A Life In Music". Alternate Graceland versions included on "Today, Tomorrow and Forever", on FTD's "The Jungle Room Sessions", "Always On My Mind", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", on the CD releases of "Moody Blue" and the 2007 edition "The Essential Elvis Presley", etc.
Elvis included this song in his repertoire and sang it often, from March 1975 until his last performances. Recordings of the live versions are included on the FTD releases "Tucson '76", "New Year's Eve" and "Unchained Melody".
During the recording session in one take, Elvis, who could not get hold of the score, began to curse and this was recorded in a pirated version published in 1996 "Elvis Among Friends"
https://youtu.be/BPy-Memj0vE Timi Yuro

Jimmie Crane born 1910–1998; Like Loreto Domenic Fraieli, he was an American composer and businessman from Providence, Rhode Island. He is known for composing songs performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, Liberace, Doris Day and Elvis Presley. In 1982 he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, in 1987 he was awarded for his Most Performed Country Songs by ASCAP.
Composer Al Jacobs was also inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.
Compositions: "Ev'ry Day of My Life", "Hurt", "I Need You Now", "If I Give My Heart to You", "This Is My Country", etc.

A very risky song vocally, with a heartbreaking beginning that I would obviously have to control a lot to sing live. The version that Elvis sings has nothing to do with that of his idol Roy Hamilton, but with that of Timi Yuro.
Elvis needed a challenge like that, for himself, as an artist, with lyrics of abandon and a melody that was demanding and required that absolute dedication to be able to interpret it correctly.
Elvis initially asked for the tessitura to be raised in an act of bragging, but it was too much for him, unfortunately he couldn't hit the high note until he gave up and said he couldn't do it. Elvis said "I've got too much shit in me, man," it was his way of saying that he couldn't handle the challenge. But he didn't let it, he would simply lower the tessitura again to adapt it to his voice. He was resigned but accepted the challenge again, facing reality. He always admired the Tenor's voice, the treble and it is true that he had a tessitura that could please his taste of singing treble, but logically if his health allowed him to rest well on the diaphragm to be able to have enough air to give that clean note without it sounding to a scream. He worked very hard even though at some point he couldn't do it, but finally he did it.
Elvis had a great voice and he could sing this song perfectly as long as he didn't have breathing problems. Since he requires great technique and dosage in the voice, so as not to cut the vocal line. This is clear in the takes he took for this song. There was too much vocal effort and he couldn't handle the phrasing, but he was finally able to perfect the song. Elvis really wouldn't have to prove anything to anyone, because he had done it before, but for some reason he needed to prove to himself that he was still the best.
Although it was a commercial song, it did not give the expected result when it was published in March 1976, but it would be successful in public.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"A Popular Song"
"Danny Boy

"Danny Boy" by Frederic Weatherly
This is the title of one of the most representative songs of Irish culture. The reality is that it is an old tune known as "Londonderry Air." It refers to the county in Northern Ireland in 1855, it is considered almost as if it were an anthem
Elvis recorded it at Graceland on February 5, 1976 for release on the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee." It was later released on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", the CD Reissue of "Moody Blue" and "Elvis Inspirational". An earlier recording exists, which was made at his home when he was in Germany in 1959, released on the 1984 album "A Golden Celebration" and the FTD "In A Private Moment". Elvis had been heard singing since at least 1958, on the set while filming King Creole (his character's name was Danny). Alternate takes of the recording session were also included on "Platinum: A Life In Music" and the FTD "The Jungle Room Sessions", bootleg records, etc.
There is an instrumental version on FTD's NBC TV Special-related album "Burbank '68". The FTD live release "Tucson '76" features Elvis performing the song, although most of the time at Elvis Concerts the song was sung live by Sherill Nielsen in a medley with "Walk With Me".

Frederic Weatherly Song,
Frederick Weatherly 1848 -1929 was one of the best known names in Britain at the time of his death. As a child he was encouraged to develop his love for writing verses and playing the piano. He began publishing verses and songs when he was still a student at Oxford. He published more than 1500 songs, he also translated opera librettos. They referred to him then as the great old man of the song.

An endearing song in the voice of Elvis, which recalls in his interpretation the longing for times gone by. With this score he feels comfortable and it shows. Very simple musically and easy to sing. The plot refers to a father who calls his son to his bedside before dying. Although another interpretation says of a man who went to war, leaving behind a love that longs for his return.
It was a sad song but very well performed by Elvis. Although he again insisted on singing in a higher key, but when he couldn't do it well, he had to give up and ask to be transported again so he could perform it. Elvis seemed to be proving himself, but he didn't really need any of this, because the song was perfect in its own key.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The Voice of Tiredness"
Sessions  6 February 1976

"Never Again" by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Chesnut
On February 6, 1976, Elvis recorded two songs composed by Jerry Chesnut, "Never Again" and "Love Coming Down." Jerry would record a total of five songs with "Woman without Love", "It's Midnight", "T-R-O-UB-L-E". He liked the type of music he composed and whenever there was a session he asked Lamar Fike if Jerry had a song for him.
A song that is loaded with Elvis's voice. That is to say, it doesn't sound natural like his voice, but rather thicker or a little forced, it is possible that he wasn't well that day.
This song is again about heartbreak, Elvis chooses themes of breakups or longing in these sessions, except for a couple of songs the rest were like that.
It is true that in a low state of mind like Elvis was, it was more normal and logical for him to choose these types of songs, because he could feel that his past mistakes would have to do with these lyrics.
But commercially it was not what would work at this time. Elvis really had a joking and happy temperament, but his inner self let it come out with the music and in this he could not pretend, because it was really what he would be feeling.
"Never again" in this song you can notice the heavy voice, too thick and somewhat tired. In these recordings Elvis chose to sing some slower songs that did not embellish his voice.
and unfortunately, his producer, and no one dared to say anything.

Jerry Donald Chesnut (May 7, 1931 – December 15, 2018) was a country music songwriter. His hits include "Good Year for the Roses" recorded by Alan Jackson, George Jones and Elvis Costello and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" recorded by Elvis Presley in 1975 and Travis Tritt in 1992.
In 1968, his song "Another Place, Another Time," recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis, was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1972, Chesnut was named Billboard Songwriter of the Year, and in 1992 he was named to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

After Lamar Fike suggested it, Elvis was considering recording Chesnut's song "The Wonders You Perform" at a recording session at Stax in 1973, which ultimately did not happen; the song had previously been a hit for Tammy Wynette. Chesnut also wrote for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones and Faron Young.

When they met, Jerry thought Elvis was a simple, wonderful, and not at all supernatural guy. Someone who didn't want to impress anyone, a very nice person.

Billy Edd Wheeler was a composer, performer, writer and visual artist. His songs include Johnny Cash and June Carter's Grammy Award-winning "Jackson", "The Reverend Mr. Black", "Desert Pete", "Ann", "High Flyin' Bird", "The Coming of the Roads", "It's Midnight", "Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back", "Coal Tattoo", "Winter Sky" and "Coward of the County", which inspired a 1981 television movie of the same name and have been performed by more from 160 artists, including Judy Collins, Jefferson Airplane, Bobby Darin, The Kingston Trio, Neil Young, Kenny Rogers, Hazel Dickens, Elvis Presley, etc.

A ballad by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Chesnut that Elvis selected to record at his Graceland session on February 6, 1976. The song appears on the Elvis Presley album Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee. Later appearances are on "Our Memories of Elvis" Vol. 1 (without overdubs) and the 2000 re-release of "Moody Blue". Also on the FTD release "The Jungle Room Sessions", etc.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"Love falls"
Sessions 6 February 1976.

"Love Coming Down" by Jerry Chesnut
On February 6, 1976, Elvis would record two Jerry Chesnut songs. The song "Love Coming Down" corresponded to the style of songs that Elvis was recording in these sessions.
It is another sad song, but not so slow, which favors his voice a little, because on this day of recording, February 6, 1976, Elvis seemed tired during the recordings. Although it sounds stronger than Chesnut's other song "Never Again". At this time Elvis had more attraction for sad songs, anecdotes or laments about love, his past experience was very marked in him. Evidently, although a lot of time had passed, Elvis retained all his past experiences with pain, with longing, but he also recognized everything he had done good and bad.
The lyrics talk about a man who realizes that his love is about to abandon him and how he regrets being too caught up in the hustle and bustle of life to see that love was going bad. Obviously, Elvis saw in these lyrics part of his life and gave everything he had to give. The end result is a good interpretation that he can make of this score in any case.

Elvis recorded this song on February 6, 1976 at Graceland, in the Jungle Room.
It was included on his album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee." Later "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and on the 2000 reissue of the album "Moody Blue". Also the alternate takes on the FTD "The Jungle Room Sessions", "Made in Memphis", etc.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain"
Sessions February 7, 1976

"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" by Fred Rose.This would be the only song recorded on February 7, 1976, it is another classic country song. A song widely covered by Country singers.
The first version was by Roy Acuff, by Hank Williams, Willie Nelson... he would record it in 1975. Elvis' version does not make any innovation, it is more or less similar, for some reason Elvis was lacking in ideas, animation, although He put his whole heart into the performance as usual. Later Felton Jarvis arranged it as if it were any Elvis song from this time. Actually, as a producer, he did everything possible to make Elvis' music sound in the same style and it is true that in a time of such great musical changes, such as the 70s, it was never experienced as Elvis would surely have wanted. Possibly because This would lose the desire to record and do anything new.

Performed at a temperate rhythm in the purest country style, certainly in a middle register that, as is usually the case with this type of score, does not give any complications. Elvis sings it without any problem and accompanied by his faithful choir with which he plays vocal games.
It's a good song performed by Elvis, but it could have been even more. Much more benefit could have been obtained in general from all the recordings from February 1976. They had planned to make 20 songs, but they were able to record enough songs to make their next LP. But Elvis wanted to record the song "America the beautiful", but after a failed attempt to record it he got in a bad mood and didn't want to do more.

"Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" is a song written by composer Fred Rose.
The lyrics told the story of a fugitive preacher who flees from the law after killing his wife.
In 1975 Willie Nelson won a Grammy Award, for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, it was the first Grammy of the twelve he would win.
Elvis really liked this song because he often sang it at his house, with friends and family, he accompanied himself on the piano.
The song was recorded on February 7, 1976 in the Jungle Room at Graceland. It is the last song that Elvis would sing in his life, at dawn on the piano in the Racquetball room at Graceland, on August 16, 1977.

Knowles Fred Rose, August 24, 1898 / December 1, 1954). American composer, producer and executive who was well known and inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985. Also for being a music publishing executive for the Grand Radio Society Ole Opry, creating the city's first record company in collaboration with Roy Acuff.
Rose was also Hank Williams' record producer throughout his entire artistic career, from 1947 to 1953.
He was a writer of countless country songs for which he was known. As an artist he also used a pseudonym, Floyd Jenkins, in some of his scores.

It was released on the album "From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis Tennessee." Those present say that Elvis took and played bass on the song. It would later be included on "The Country Side Of Elvis", CD versions of "Moody Blue" and the 2006 release "Elvis Country". Alternate versions are on "The Jungle Room Sessions", released on the FTD label, etc. .

Elvis was very upset because on the last day the musicians had to be changed due to their contractual obligations, since the recordings began a few days later. David Briggs had to replace Glen D Hardin and Billy Sanford replaced James Burton, also Norbert Putnam replaced Jerry Sheff.

As it was the bicentennial, Elvis was very interested in recording the song "America, The Beautiful", he was already singing it in the Concerts and wanted to leave it on record. But it seemed cloudy, as if his mind was blocked. For this reason he couldn't make himself understood with the musicians, his speech even became confusing so Elvis started cursing the song and that's when they ended the attempt.
During the recording of "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain", Elvis was very irritated and possibly tired, because after performing the first take, he reproached the musicians, David Briggs: "Will you give the guitarist a break on the instrumental? ". Bill Sanford, who had played his part perfectly on the first take, botched the intro on the next, so Elvis was still angry and told him, "David, cover it up." .
The session would end at 7 in the morning with a lot of discouragement waiting for Elvis to appear on the 8th to record, but this never happened.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The First Tour of the Year".
March 17 to 22, 1976. 8 shows. Tour 16

Before the tour Elvis went to visit a parapsychologist and try hypnosis. After he was hypnotized he woke up refreshed, but also seemed anxious to leave. He didn't mention another appointment so it appeared he wasn't coming back even though Elvis told the hypnotist, "Thank you, doctor. I think I've got it. Maybe I can do it on my own now. But I don't know if it will be enough to replace my medications." This was proof that Elvis wanted to get off his drugs and change, at least he tried to do something. It seemed that everyone's and the doctors' advice was paying off.

Later Elvis went back on the road, touring again, this time it was six-day tours. It is believed that the reason was because he couldn't take it anymore.
After eight months Elvis started again his 16th tour, scheduled from March 17 to 22, 1976.
He would visit the cities of Johnson City, Charlotte, Cincinnati and St Louis, where he would perform a total of 8 shows.
Since the last performance in Pontiac there was plenty of time to make changes, change repertoire and rehearse more songs, but unfortunately for himself and his accompanists, Elvis did not make any changes.
It was clear that there was no intention to modify the repertoire or at least add more songs than he had recently recorded, but he would repeat songs he had sung the most, but there were really no new ones.
The only song that could represent that risk on stage was "Hurt" recorded on February 5th and that also the single was published in March, so it was interesting to sing it to promote it. The public received this song very well so Elvis decided to sing it in the repertoire, besides it was one of the songs in which he poured all his enthusiasm and feeling.

However, the tour went smoothly, starting a year of tours, it was 1976, the bicentennial of the United States, a moment of burst of national pride and Elvis was ready for it.
In his first City in Johnson City, Tennessee, Elvis performed three concerts, these days he was a little grumpy with the new members of his band. The poor guys were not to blame for anything.
Elvis called J.D. Sumner of the Stamps and told him to hold out his "Elvis hand", the one with all the rings he had given him to show off to the public (worth over $100,000), and told him a joke about the bumper sticker that many already wore on his Cadillac, it said, "I paid for this, Elvis didn't buy it".

There were many anecdotes such as a girl who came on stage in Charlotte and kissed him so hard she must have bitten him because she cut his lip. On another occasion a little boy was brought on stage dressed as Elvis, a handmade costume. Elvis tried to get the little boy to move his legs and sing "Hound Dog."
But as always the enthusiastic fans climbed on stage in spite of the bodyguards and security guards, trampling the ushers of the coliseum, this happened in Cincinnati.

Actually Elvis' physical condition was about to take a turn, but in these performances he seemed to be fine and did good concerts. Most of the audience was happy and even the critics, except for the foul-mouthed ones, also found the shows to be of quality. Elvis could hold up well if he wanted to, there was still no sign of any lack of control and he seemed to hold up well for his fans. But it is true that he did not look good and had gained weight, so that the Jumpsuits that he used to wear so well, showed another physical form. The important thing was the voice and in this Elvis Presley as usual sang and gave everything to his audience.

His performances continued to attract the attention of the public, the commotion that followed his concerts as well. Elvis continued to attract his fans, regardless of the fact that he had gained weight, an example would be when Elvis sang in Johnson City would be outside his hotel where 500 people gathered screaming and asking to see Elvis. Around the concert halls there were many more people, so the roar was even louder. In the Holiday Inn Hotel someone got hold of the aluminum foil that covered the windows of his Suite, also the sheets where Elvis slept, then cut them into pieces and sold them to make his own profit.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"Conditions for Musicians"
March 1976

The life of an artist, soloist or not, is always exposed to changes, proposals, ties and whether the contract is good or bad, it is obviously complex to live depending on this commitment without knowing the dates of the concerts. Sometimes you work for several artists and you have to be able to combine and adjust the time in order not to fail anyone and of course you never want to lose these arrangements, since you are economically dependent.
This kind of short tours worked for Elvis Presley, but they probably annoyed his musicians a lot. Many of them worked in studios to accompany recording sessions and earned much more from this than in concert. The booking of these studios was done well in advance by signing a commitment and there would always be a problem with their Tour obligations. The reason was that they didn't give them advance notice, so they all complained about this, they were actually given a week and a half's notice.
This was not the fault of Elvis, who wanted the best in his organization and that the musicians were happy, for him it was very important. All the scheduling of engagements depended on Colonel Parker who suddenly got a contract and didn't want to miss out on the opportunities to make money.

This was one of the reasons why Elvis could lose his musicians, since there were so many artists and so much demand for work. Things were done in an improvised way and this caused musicians to lose money if they turned down because of touring. For example David Brigs who had played with Elvis as a pianist on his sessions, could not accept to replace Glen D. Hardin because he was already booked for studio sessions.
But for his musicians there was a powerful reason that could change their course and that would be why they might want to stop accompanying Elvis. The novelty had worn off, they were not rehearsing anything else, there was no change, no surprise, so for his musicians it would be the same thing every day.
A creative person would not admit to go on like that without changing, because his mission as a musician was to accompany, seeking in his interpretation a meaning to his profession of interpreter. This was now difficult at Elvis Presley's concerts. Besides seeing how Elvis was deteriorating day by day, this was something they were going to live and it was not pleasant to witness.
The new replacements noticed all this right away, but even though they knew there wasn't much new, for them working with Elvis was enough for the time being.
"Following the Path of the King...".

The Concerts in March 1976

Elvis Presley began an endless touring schedule, the first one in March, not respecting the advice of the doctors who predicted health problems if there was too much activity. Elvis was only thinking about his economic problems and so was the Colonel, so several commitments were accepted.
The first tour of the year begins amidst some confusion for Elvis Presley because he had not been informed of the absence of his pianist Glen D. Hardin, who had resigned and would be replaced by Nashville session musician Shane Keister.
Elvis trusted Glen Hardin who was also the arranger of his songs and had been a vital part of all his concerts, when he arrived at the rehearsal everything was chaotic, but there was no choice but to accept it. In addition James Burton his guitarist and guide of his band was also missing because he seemed to have accepted another tour apart, but if it was not already enough disappointment for Elvis, Ronnie Tutt, his drummer had also left the band and was replaced by Larrie Londin.
For Elvis this was a jolt, because Ronnie had been with him since the first gig in Las Vegas in 1969, his playing was driving him to move and he knew him like nobody else, he knew how to follow him without fear.
Elvis was very upset and rightly so, Tom Diskin had not dared to warn him for fear of his response. Fortunately James Burton would come back at the last minute to play at the concerts, but for more money, since he had to pay more for the gigs.
Actually Glen had already warned of this departure, as a pianist and creative that he was, he could no longer stand the kind of tour they were doing, always the same and also because of Elvis' changes.
The new band met at Graceland for a rehearsal before the March tour, but to listen to the comments and rehearse when Elvis came down and would sing just a few bars, then leave again. They would all go back to their hotel and the next day they went out on stage in the cold.

The new March tour didn't add anything new, just the inclusion in the repertoire of the song "Hurt", sometimes he sang songs he had left behind like "Steamroller Blues" or "Until It's Time For You to go"...
The March concerts would be OK and Elvis gave good performances, but there were too many people interested in teasing him by criticizing his physique.
Elvis again ripped his pants as in the Cincinnati afternoon show, leaving the stage to change while J.D. Sumner introduced the band.
When he returns to the stage he jokes that he only has that one suit left and has to be careful.
In spite of this detail Elvis was in a good mood and also in good shape.
Some journalist such as Billy Reed of the Courier-Journal wrote a column criticizing Elvis' weight, without taking into account the good performance he had given.
It seems that Elvis could not afford to change physically, because he was called fat, even quoted a fan who had said that instead of Elvis looked like Raymond Burr, said his face was too fat. The journalist with his bad taste even called him "Moby Elvis", "The great white whale", with a lack of respect and of course lack of musical ear.
This article was insulting and fans sent numerous letters in response defending Elvis, even telling Billy Reed to drop dead.
It was clear that despite doing good shows it was evident that the general view towards Elvis Presley at this time was too critical and detrimental to him.
Elvis always suffered with this type of criticism because he did not deserve this treatment from the press, it seems that no one listened to his concert, all effort was futile if things went on like this.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Tour 16. March 1976

In this new short Tour, Elvis Presley only used a new suit that was designed a year before by Gene Doucette, not yet released. It was the "Blue Egyptian Bird Suit", better known as the "Blue Bicentennial Suit". better known as the "Blue Bicentennial Suit", because of the bicentennial in 1976. The rest were already known by the public as in the last concerts, the "White Phoenix Bird Suit", "V-Neck Suit", "White Egyptian Bird Suit", "Rainfall Suit" and "Chicken Rib Suit".

"Blue Egyptian Bird Suit"

A white jumpsuit again and also similar to the other known suit, "White Egyptian Bird Suit", but carries for differences the blue color as the main color.
The shirt was white and had embroidered bands on the wrists.
Like the other White suit, it had an original blue leather belt, with the same embroidered pattern as the white one. With six golden medallions, oval with an eagle with the flag and with an emblem of the Seal of the President of the USA. With a bronze chain and another golden chain as usual in six bows.
The "Blue Egyptian" suit was premiered in March 1976 on Tour 16, then in April 1976 on Tour 17 and also on the final Season 5 at Lake Tahoe in May of the same year.
Elvis wore it the rest of the tours until September 1976.
This suit was given other names such as "Blue Prehistoric Bird Suit" or "Blue Bicentennial Suit".

"The Outcome of the March Tour"

The outcome of the Concerts was beneficial to Elvis, as the six-day tour generated over half a million dollars, which the Colonel magnanimously agreed to split on the old two-thirds for one-third basis, so that he could settle his financial affairs. Actually a new agreement had been reached whereby the partnership between the two was 50/50 for both and commenced from January 22. It was an understanding on both sides with reference to touring as a joint venture, Elvis being responsible for stage representation and Colonel Tom Parker and his representatives for publicity and promotion.
Elvis agreed to these terms, surely because it was in line with the language governing the 1973 contract, which had established a 50-50 agreement in all areas except live. From the outside this would not make sense, first of all because he had financial problems and since again Elvis stood to lose financially something that was his own work and for which he was losing his health, but it is difficult to know what his real reason was. Insecurity, mistrust, not wanting to do anything about it... it could be anything, but Elvis was still at the mercy of Colonel Parker, financially and commercially, so his future was not likely to change.

April 21 to 27, 1976.
8 Shows. Tour 17

This year would be the most hectic year in the history of Elvis Presley, one tour after another, although it was not foreseen yet, but that would be the direction to follow. Elvis gave the impression that he was not taking care of himself physically as well as artistically. He was always very careful about his physical appearance, but it is true that his health problems caused his belly to swell, in addition to his habits. This made it more difficult for him to get in shape as he did at other times.
In relation to his show, the impression he gave at concerts was also of being the same show over and over again, regardless of how well Elvis sang.
This was a detriment to him, because although he had good songs in his repertoire, what it really caused was indifference because logically there was no change.
But the public did not realize that Elvis was doing what he could and the best he knew how to do, because his show was of quality, but it really worked well and he did not see the need to make changes. He had quality songs

The lack of renewal and variety in the repertoire led to indifferent performances of most of the songs in the concerts. Aimqie But the repertoire contained enough strong numbers to make the concerts as a whole of reasonable quality.
Audiences cheered and rose to their feet when he sang songs like "America The Beautiful," "An American Trilogy", "Hurt", the songs that Elvis found most challenging on stage.
But in the background it had become a routine for him, Elvis was on a wheel and as a consequence he would go back to his usual routine, with his drugs. This began to influence the concerts.
Everything was still the same, but the public was loyal to him and still loved their King, the concert halls were full and the same road was still being traveled, Elvis could not stop.
Elvis is still a legend and in his concerts he continues to create enthusiasm and hysteria, but it was not enough because Elvis no longer had any incentive.
"Following the King's Trail..."

"The Other Vision, the Press"
April 1976

The journalists in Omaha said that Elvis had gained presence with the kilos, but he had logically lost mobility, also his way of performing singing with his gestures was greater. The show, they said, hadn't changed much since 1974, although they said that Elvis worked hard for his fans, and that he gave them little of himself. He spoke little to the fans on this tour, what he said between songs was brief, but also sometimes disconcerting.
Elvis always made fun of himself for some reason, this time it had to do with a comment in the press, he laughed when he said: "I woke up the other morning and I was married to someone. In the papers it was said that a woman claimed that Elvis Presley had proposed to her.

In Denver, reporters said that Elvis, at 41, was approaching the never-never land of middle age; he was chubbier. But fortunately they said that Elvis was still correct. They defined it like this: "The lower register is still the powerful, sensual, sexy, melodious and euphoric instrument that made him King. The higher range is still expressive and full-bodied; it is used to accentuate his singing and for the melodies of fast movement."
The crowd of 19,000 at McNichols Arena on Friday night responded to his performance with devout applause, there was no madness unleashed. The audience was mostly over 30 years old, there were also teenagers.
Elvis would be escorted to the stage by a corps of security guards while the flash bulbs of countless cameras exploded.

On the other hand, in San Diego they said that Elvis was not making an effort, they said that the King was not singing but rather what he was doing was giving answers to his support group. They wondered if Elvis only bothered to sing two songs, the rest wouldn't matter.

In Long Beach the critics were harsh, they said that Elvis had a petulant and annoying behavior in his performance at the Long Beach Arena. They described his performance as having an average impact, they criticized the sound system, they said that his song selection was cheesy and also the excess of having nine choir singers and countless musicians whom they defined as confusing, but despite this he performed. In any case, they praised his subtle, flexible voice and the Gospel numbers they said were performed brilliantly. Although Elvis was once the King of Rock and Roll, now they said he liked the material of Perry Como and Olivia Newton-John better.
The song "My Way" was sung correctly, they discovered it as a sigh of resignation.
They did recognize that Elvis enjoyed the stage, from his smiles, his bowing, but they also suggested that he would have even more fun if he introduced lively vocal works into his repertoire. His physical form let her tremble and move moderately. And the gifts of scarves that rewarded the women in front of the stage.
Finally they praised his performance of "America, the Beautiful" which they described as sincere and refreshing.

In Seattle the critics said "Old Elvis retains his charm"
They said he was a little older, heavier, a little slower, but he was still fine. The audience screamed in ecstasy on the stage of the Colosseum, with their hips that drove a generation crazy. All of him and especially the lascivious look with heavy eyelids that promised much more. He provoked applause, winking his eyes and throwing scarves. They said there were the young women of yesteryear, now mature, and their daughters too...

In short, his performances seemed to give two different versions of the concerts. But in any case, Elvis could still enjoy himself on stage and seemed to be mocking those criticisms.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The beginning of the end"

Those who could really see what was happening on stage and also judge it were the musicians, his group of accompanists, his choir and the director of the Orchestra, because they were the ones who had accompanied him for years. They could clearly see what was happening and how Elvis was doing compared to past concerts. Although the audience remained faithful, they, the musicians, knew that Elvis sometimes forgot the lyrics of the songs, was not involved in his performances, came out half asleep on stage, and sometimes even seemed like he was going to fall. . It was the beginning of a downhill slope, no one could solve it but Elvis himself, since it was increasingly difficult to approach him, he did not want advice from anyone and those who could help him would not be listened to. Elvis could fight this and decide to leave. his bad habits, but it was impossible if he did not enter a detoxification clinic and he rejected all the opportunities they offered him because he thought that he alone could overcome his addiction to drugs. But unfortunately he couldn't and he seemed more and more affected and out of control. It was the beginning of the End. "Following the Way of the King..."

June 1976

The voice of an artist really reflects his sensitivity, his inner self, his true self. It is such a sensitive instrument that sometimes it breaks down because of emotion or insecurity, it transmits everything, love, pain, joy, sadness... and when the singer is sick or tired, the voice suffers at the same time.
Physical changes also have repercussions on the vocal cords because they can change the voice, they can impoverish it or they can thicken the instrument and make it much more powerful. And it is evident that every action has repercussions on the acts, Elvis Presley felt a great loneliness, a feeling of prison despite the fact that he was singing in front of his audience.
His big, powerful voice was sometimes affected by his tiredness and confusion, but in spite of this Elvis was still struggling to keep up his show and offer the best to his fans.
June 1976 Elvis is back on the road again for some fast and exhausting touring, because he knows he still has his fans and he knows they will always be there for him.

May 27 to June 6, 1976. 13 shows.
Tour 18. Elvis Presley

When the Elvis Presley Concerts were announced, the ticket sellers sold them on the spot, it was incredible the demand and the speed with which the tickets were sold out, they even reported it in the newspapers. In Atlanta, four concerts sold out, just like the previous year, simply by advertising in the press.
After the Lake Tahoe performances, Elvis was back on stage for the new tour in which he would perform 13 shows. Tour 18, which began on May 27 and ended on June 6, 1976.

In his concerts there was a different air, even the overture sounded different, the public was impressed by his voice and his presence, but it would be just another tour. The change in Elvis Presley was evident, his movements were not agile and in spite of having a great voice and a magnificent interpretation what was clear was that Elvis had an older voice than him. Surely due to his health, the pills, his voice sounded as if he was an older person, although it was only noticeable in some slow songs for example. It didn't matter because his fans adored him and filled the auditoriums with their screams. But in spite of this, Elvis still had a great voice and knew how to use it, although the repertoire he carried remained more or less the same. There was no surprise as far as his Show was concerned, since it was always the same, the only ones who could say that things had changed were the musicians who accompanied Elvis, since they always saw the reality that perhaps the public could not notice at certain times.

But those who attended his concerts saw him looking good this time, fortunately he had had a few days of rest. He was in a good mood, he would go on stage with more energy than in recent concerts and the attitude he had with the audience was warm and friendly.
Pianist Tony Brown commented that one of the best concerts Elvis did on this Tour 18, was the one on June 3 in Fort Worth, as he would sing loud, no jokes, he didn't forget the lyrics and there were no garbled words. It was clear in saying this that there were some concerts in which Elvis forgot the lyrics or spoke unintelligibly, but all this would be the effect of his health and the drugs, because he would never have done it intentionally.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"Nothing New on the Front"
Repertoire Tour 18. 1976

In this Tour Elvis sang less songs than he was used to, he had given time to his musicians so that they could do a solo and some songs also of the soloists of the group, like Kathy Westmoreland. This made the show more varied, but of course, whoever went to see Elvis Presley enjoyed his songs less. This was really necessary so that he could rest more and not get exhausted, because his health was already very questioned by the doctors.
Elvis had not followed the advice to do fewer concerts, but this had an impact on his performance, since in many cases he had to sit down to rest and during the Shows he made a great effort to keep up during the whole time.
The sad thing is that they kept doing the same songs with the same voice games, as an example "I got a woman" with J.D Sumner and other kind of laughs and jokes.
Again the hits of yesteryear and the songs that had been added recently but there were no more than four. The last novelty was the song "Hurt" that Elvis always sang with power and risk, but although his voice was good, it was sometimes a little forced, really his maturity as an artist was great, his voice sounded many times rich and deep, but at some point his voice sounded more tired, but he had the habit of repeating again part of the song. Curiosities like the song "Danny Boy" that he had recently recorded, but it was not a commercial song, although it was a beautiful song, that the audience would applaud.
In slower songs like "And I love you so" his voice was confident and penetrating, they were songs that he interpreted with more sensitivity. But Elvis although he had the perfect instrument to sing, sometimes he lost support and was short of breath so he cut abruptly at the end, relying on the chorus that was there for that purpose.
But what he lacked was any kind of experimentation, improvisation or variation in this show, which to those who had seen him several times could seem tiresome due to the lack of novelty. Elvis needed an incentive to launch himself again and look for a challenge, but this did not come.
"Following the King's Path..."

"The Trial of the Press."
Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington.

There were journalists like Rich Stim , who insisted that it wasn't important that Elvis had gained weight, because it wasn't that much and because really what mattered on stage was his voice and his show. I really compared him to a burly man of his age who lived well. I knew nothing about his health and that his bulk had more to do with his problems than his excesses. It was the first concert of the tour at Assembly Hall and Elvis played to the audience at all times, moving with shaking and the usual kind of posturing that everyone knew.
Elvis addressed the bad publicity surrounding his previous performances by telling the audience, "Whatever you've heard, have a good time."
And of course the audience had a good time and Rich Stim called the performance "a perfect Bicentennial treat".

Lubbock AvaIanche-JournaI :
"Elvis wows fans at sold-out concert".

A good review highlighting the entertainment that Elvis Presley offered his fans for an hour and a half, with a smooth sound that he has used for 20 years.
9,600 fans who screamed with the King enjoying his show, as the interaction with the audience would be important. Elvis kissed girls, offered his hand, all this was accompanied by the screams and sobs of the audience that was excited.
Also the handing out of scarves for his fans, there was a party atmosphere, souvenirs were being sold, etc.
Dottie Townsend, the manager, commented that Elvis Presley was very conscious of his weight, since on his previous visit to Lubbock four years earlier he was 20 kilos lighter. But more importantly she commented that Elvis was just like anyone else, not haughty in any way, soft-spoken and a good guy. "You get a good feeling about him when you go. It's like...
Like talking to a friend."

Tour 18. 1976

Elvis Presley again wore the jumpsuits he had already worn in previous concerts, "White Egyptian Bird Suit", "Blue Egyptian Bird Suit" and "V-Neck Suit", which he stopped wearing on June 3, 1976.
Egyptian Bird Suit" and "V-Neck Suit", which was permanently discontinued on June 3, 1976.
No new suit was designed for Elvis, possibly he would have two pairs of suits to be able to repeat during the Concerts. There really wasn't a reason for him to be premiering Jumpsuits per concert either. Surely for comfort would be the reason to wear these three suits.e.

TOUR 19. Elvis PresleyJune 25 to July 5, 1976. 13 shows.

Again a tour with short distances between Buffalo NY, Providence RI, Largo MD, Philadelphia PA, Richmond VA, Greensboro NC, Shreveport LA, Baton Rouge LA, Fort Worth TX, Tulsa OK and Memphis, in the different engagements, this caused the content of the shows to vary less than usual and of course the boredom of all the members and Elvis Presley himself.
It was really hard to travel from one city to another with almost no rest and to face the shows with enthusiasm if everything they were going to play was repeated. Besides Elvis seemed uninspired at the concerts and would only pour himself into a few songs that he was most interested in.
In these concerts Elvis had a perfect voice and did good concerts, but it was not the general tone. There were changes during the Shows, in some the repertoire was stronger because it gathered more impacting songs like "You Gave me a Mountain", "An American Trilogy", "How Great Thou Art" and the song that they all celebrated singing with Elvis "America The Beautiful". But the rest of the shows did nothing spectacular and with songs that nothing risked, popurris or songs of yesteryear, they were flat shows. But in general there was nothing new and the one I attended seemed to be just another concert with the same songs.
But as always the audience was in charge of the outcome of these performances and their attitude was positive, they enjoyed Elvis' performances at all times without thinking whether he was singing one song or another. They were satisfied and the shouts with the flashes were continuous during his performance.

The atmosphere was strained between Elvis and his companions, then Elvis found out that Sonny had held a guy down while Red beat him up. His friend John O'Grady the policeman advised him to fire them because there were more and more problems with them, as well as his father Vernon.
John Herman who was a police officer and also an Elvis fan, talked to Red West during the show and said that Red spoke harshly about Elvis. He didn't think Red would last long as an Elvis employee.
The last time Red, Sonny and Dave Hebler would be with Elvis would be June 28 in Philadelphia.
"Going the Way of the King..."

                                                    Tour 19 Elvis Presley. 25 June 5 July 1976
                                                     Repertoire. Elvis Presley

In this Tour 19, Elvis did not foresee any kind of change that could affect his Show. Actually what was working best for him was the moment when he sang "An American Trilogy", for the Bicentennial, since the audience was moved by his performance. Elvis had added a spoken and very heartfelt part and this song moved him as well. In the rest of the usual songs there was not much enthusiasm on his part and where he was most involved was in the slower or Gospel songs. As always "How Great Thou Art", "An American Trilogy" or "Gave me a Mountain".
Although sometimes he sang some recent songs like "fairytale" and of course the recently released "Hurt" which he sang with passion.
The rest was always the same day after day, there was nothing new.
"Following the King's Path..."

One of the reasons why Elvis sang were his fans to whom he always wanted to offer the best of his show. They always compensated him with their loyalty, their unconditional love and their applause. When Elvis Presley sang "America the beautiful", he poured his whole being into the performance and enjoyed the audience. He shared with them and made them sing along. Everyone stood up with this song that moved them because of its symbolism and meaning in the Bicentennial.

About the Concerts
"Elvis proves he's still the King."

In Buffalo the Buffalo Courier-Express headline read, "Elvis proves he's still the king."
Author Thomas Putnam wrote about the control Elvis Presley had over his audience. There were 18,000 people who came to see him at Memorial Auditorium. Elvis looked cool in his white jumpsuit, reflected by the lights in a violet ray effect. The crowd was enthusiastic, shouting, raising their arms, stomping their feet, etc. There was a banner that read "Elvis is still the king after 20 years".
The auditorium came alive for Elvis Presley and was well lit by the flashing light bulbs, although Elvis complained about the microphone.
In the audience, a banner carried by the audience read: "Elvis is still the king after 20 years".
It was clear that for the fans Elvis was still the king of Rock and Roll also adding the inevitable screaming and stomping during his performance.

The auditorium came alive for Elvis, well lit by flashing flashbulbs. Elvis joked when the microphone failed.
The reporter reflected on why Elvis was still successful:
"The voices were made to move large crowds, yet individuals feel that Elvis is directing his performance toward them.
Why else come from as far away as Fresno, California, if not to have for a chance to see their idol.
Elvis sings just for you?"
"Following El Camino de el Rey..."

"Did you pay just to hear me say well, well, well?"
In Richmond.

Journalist C.A. Avutarda recounted the anecdotes and conclusions of the Concert.
"You paid just to hear me say well, well, well?" Elvis joked in focus with
a spotlight and surrounded by hands straining to reach him.
He said the Hall was full and everyone had paid to watch for an hour and participate in the ritual that had characterized Elvis Presley's concerts.
The custom for more than five years, the exhibit opened with
spotlights focused on an empty microphone. The band and orchestra began to play "Also Sprach Zarathustra" in a powerful way.
As screams and shrieks climbed the Auditorium's decibel scale.
When he took the stage, Presley was only visible with flash bulb lights, and the only audible music was
the steady thump of the bass. The opening number was "See, See Rider." But it took it took him nearly halfway through the song to realize that he was singing amidst all the screaming.
He was likened to the performances of the Beatles in their heyday, and like himself before these shows.
Elvis Presley knew best what to do as a musician when a crowd greeted him.
He would pass a bit for tunes, as he was more concerned with stopping to shake hands, accept gifts, attend fainting spells, scarves and plant occasional kisses.
Fans flocked to the front of the stage.
Elvis sang much of his classic rock repertoire, but his heart was reflected in slower, more dramatic songs. From relatively recent ones like "You Gave me a Mountain" or older ones, "Love Letters", etc., Elvis sang a lot of his classic rock repertoire, but his heart was reflected in slower, more dramatic songs.
His passion in "Hurt" which was his new release. And the best of his courage a theme half sung and half narrated.
"America the Beautiful". It would be the performance that drew loud applause from the crowd.
He was defined by his musically varied and well-paced show, And his concerts
were an emotional purgative for his predominantly
predominantly female fans.
It was clear that there were good reviews as well.
"Following El Camino de el Rey..."

TOUR 19. JUMPSUITS. Elvis Presley
June 25 to July 5, 1976

In Tour 19 there was no variety on stage, again Elvis Presley wore the two Jumpsuits, "White Egyptian Bird Suit" and "Blue Egyptian Bird Suit". No changes had been made and it's true that the tours were very frequent and surely Elvis didn't think it was necessary to ask for more costumes. His size had increased and although Elvis was always an attractive man, he would be criticized by the press about his size, since he had a swollen abdomen.
Surely he would feel more confident in these two suits than in the recent ones he had worn on previous tours.

"The Unforeseeable, the Firing of Red, Sonny and Dave".
July 1976

Everyone around Elvis was worried about him, because they couldn't help him with his addition to drugs and didn't know how to stop his deterioration. Elvis had a motto "It's better to be unconscious than miserable" and his stepbrother David Stanley said he lived by those words.
They were still dealing with the daily changes during concerts, Elvis would do a wonderful concert and the next day he was not understood, they didn't really know what to expect from him or if he had the strength to go on stage.

On July 13, 1976, David received a call from Red West telling him that he and Sonny had been fired. He would never have imagined that Elvis would allow Vernon, his father, to fire them. Years of helping, protecting, sharing and being loyal were not matched by the sad reality, being fired without warning and not being able to talk to Elvis. David Hebler was also fired and the only reason Vernon would give was that they were too expensive and needed to cut costs, aside from the lawsuits they were being sued for overprotecting Elvis, for being violent. But the reality was that Elvis didn't want to talk to them, he was becoming more and more distant and suspicious because Red and Sonny were insisting that he stop using drugs and he didn't want anyone questioning his actions.

There was also another reason, Shirley Dieu who was dating Joe Esposito traveled on tour as well, she was the only couple allowed to go with them. Apparently Dick Grob had besides his wife a girlfriend on the tours and his wife found out about this. So Dick with Sonny, Red and Dave questioned Shirley to find out if she had told his wife. Shirley didn't go and was treated as if she was guilty, she felt intimidated and afraid, all this she told Elvis, who felt outrage over this and something else. An Elvis fan reported Red and Sonny for treating the fan violently during a performance. The day Vernon called him to tell him about this Elvis asked his father to fire them.

This was very difficult for everyone, even for Elvis himself who allowed this but he would really miss them and was not prepared to lose his fellow entertainers for years. But nothing could be done and they felt betrayed and hurt by the lack of consideration and distrust they had suffered from everyone. To them and to Elvis, they were all a family of sorts and it was falling apart because of these circumstances.
Elvis had again chosen his path without reproach, he needed his vices more than he needed Red and Sonny.
No one would have foreseen all this which would eventually have its consequences....
"Following the Path of the King..."

July 23 August 5, 1976. 15 shows.
Tour 20. Elvis Presley
"The Public remains Faithful"

Ten days had passed after the dismissal of Sonny, Red West and Dave Hebler, when a new tour was going to start, Tour 20 from July 23 to August 5, 1976, in which 15 shows were going to be performed.
Once again the public gathered for hours to queue and get the best tickets, even in the Hartford Newspapers an article was published on June 19 referring to their sale. It said: "No one sat on the sidewalk for Bob Dylan, but fans spent the night there and thousands showed up.
lines on Friday in the 30 degree heat to get many tickets to see Elvis Presley, and he is not expected for another 6 weeks. The queue began to form at 11 in the morning. on Thursday and about 500 people gathered with beds to sleep on and lawn chairs to use overnight.'
They commented that since the Civic Center opened there had not been such a frenzy with tickets. When the announcement of the Elvis Presley Concert was made, people came from far away to attend. There were even fans who spent two days in line, the sale of more than 10 tickets per person was prohibited, for fear of resales and of course they were completely sold out.

Although the show was apparently the same for the Fans who had already witnessed it, the novelty unfortunately was Elvis's attitude, since everything he did or said was more visible to the public. The shows were somewhat monotonous and lacking in energy and enthusiasm. Only in the most dramatic songs would Elvis really intensify his performance.
Elvis was already in a difficult time due to his state of mind, but having dispensed with his friends and bodyguard made his existence even more complicated, since he was in a phase of self-destruction.
The main problem is that Elvis seemed to act automatically and it showed. The musicians were concerned about the lack of life in the performances, since they were following their direction and there was no way to change it. Elvis would continue in the same direction but worsening his image before the public, although there were really only a few who realized it, the rest remained faithful.

But as always, the contradiction between those who witnessed his show was evident since some were enthusiastic and listened to him as always and others saw him without grace or originality. Fortunately for Elvis himself, the press highlighted the good and the reviews were generally favorable.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Repertoire
Tour 20. Elvis Presley

On this 20th Tour, the songs that Elvis Presley had chosen for his shows could undoubtedly be summarized with these words: "More of the same."
There was no change and nothing different from the previous Tour, logically they were Tours that were held very frequently but the lack of innovation in this repertoire made it monotonous for everyone.
A push was needed for Elvis to make some type of modification, but it didn't come, so both he and his musicians ended up getting bored of doing the same thing over and over again. It seemed no time had passed, as if they woke up every day on the same day singing the same songs.

Press comments

In Louisville, Freedom Hall was packed in anticipation of the show and the audience was hungry. It was the first concert of the tour they performed on July 23, 1976. Elvis seemed to be thinner, as if he had lost a few kilos and he also seemed more agile to move, hit, etc. The audience screamed, moaned and was in ecstasy.
In the Louisville Messenger, writer Kate Parry defined the audience as appearing to be a family tree of Elvis fanatics.
The teenagers of the 50's had matured into middle-aged women dressed in pastel colors. They gave them time to get married, have children and raise them, these children also became Elvis fins with the same enthusiasm that a second generation immigrant might have making a pledge of loyalty, because it was in his blood.
But really the performance did not seem to be defined either for better or for worse, what stood out would be the attitude of the public loyal to Elvis.
The general noise would be huge since there were 19,400 people.

En el War Memorial, el Herald Diary
"Los fans de Elvis llenan el War Memorial"

Joan E. Vadeboncoeur wrote about the show in which Elvis sang almost as he did in the early days of his career, giving kisses, hand offering scarves...he called him "the phenomenal Elvis Presley."
For a whole hour he turned the concert into a love festival. She would describe how fans approached the stage near the end, with security guards present. She said that women and men were allowed to sit up front for what she called the ritual of shaking hands, kissing and receiving a handkerchief, some with sweat from Elvis Presley's brow.
She spoke very fluently, with control of the situation and with a good relationship with his audience. Elvis made little jokes that were very well paid.
He described his version of "America the Beautiful" as singing almost operatically and adding a narrated part that he turned into a highlight of the show.
Another important moment would be when he sang his recently released album, "Hurt."
Elvis would display some self-deprecating humor at times, but he seemed genuine and the audience appreciated him. He ended the concert talking to the fans about him saying:
"Any time, if you want us to come back, let us know"
A big family could be recognized in the atmosphere on stage, because Elvis treated his fellow artists like family and there were also jokes with them.

In The Syracuse Post Standard's review of the July 25 show, he was not so kind to Elvis Presley. Dale Rice's article defined it as
Fat, bloated and old, he said he was dwarfed by his appearance. The headline was judgmental:
"The sex idol is dead! Long live the memories?"
He said he remembered Elvis not so much as a Rock star, but as an idol who shone in a boring decade and about the concert his illusions were shattered.
Elvis said overweight moved through the movements that he once was in his performance. He highlighted the lack of enthusiasm in his show and the only thing that shined was the Elvis costume. He also added that musically the performance was mediocre. His voice had not regained the vitality it once had and the audience did not rise to his songs.
It was a rather cruel criticism of what Elvis did on stage, downplaying his merits and saying that there was less audience than expected.

However, the next day in Syracuse, they would once again describe him as "King Elvis" at his best Rockin, Croonin. Syracuse Herald Journal reporter Mike Holdridge said:
The "King" lives! Elvis Presley, displaying the same charisma, vocal range and showmanship that brought him to the throne of "king of Rock'n'Roll", carried out an open love story with more than 8,000 of his staunchest fans last night at War Memorial Auditorium ".
He described him as dynamite while singing his love songs mixed with Rock songs. The audience was on its feet when he sang a proud vocal and narrative version of "America the Beautiful" for the Bicentennial.
Elvis told his audience again that they had been one of the best audiences he had ever worked with and said he would come back if they wanted him. Which was followed by a thunderous standing ovation in response.
He added: "Long live the King!"

In Rochester Jack Garner said "King Elvis Holds Court."
"So what hasn't been said about Elvis? You know he's the only guy in the world who doesn't need his last name.
The reason he doesn't need his last name is because he's still The King of Rock 'n' Roll."
Although he commented that Elvis's voice seemed a little tired and thin on some of the old time tunes, but then he stood out powerfully on songs like "Hurt" saying that he was in good shape with his baritone voice.
A bit contradictory, but it was not far from the truth, since Elvis focused on the most dramatic songs and neglected the Rock ones, failing to properly support his vocal instrument so his voice would sound more tired.

"The Wheel of Misfortune"

Elvis Presley is in a delicate, sensitive moment, but he remained silent, immersed in himself. Colonel Parker was very concerned about the criticism he was receiving and met with him to make matters worse. He told him that if he didn't react his audience would stop loving him and he would lose his contract in Las Vegas and his record deal. This sank him even more, so he took refuge in drugs, Doctor Nick was replacing the harshest pills with placebos. But it wouldn't take long for him to discover it and ask for stronger medications. Elvis became angry with his doctor and replaced him with Doctor Elias Ghanem, who was always ready to prescribe whatever Elvis requested.
After the firing of Red, Sonny and Dave, San Thompson had been brought in as the new head of security, having worked for the Memphis Sheriff's Department for the past four and a half years, working alongside former Palm Police Officer Springs, Dick Grob.
On the new tour, Elvis called Larry Geller, with whom he could talk about philosophy and books, calming his anxiety a little. But Elvis couldn't do without the drugs on him and everyone was aware of what was happening, but he really was impossible to control, or even to advise. It was a wheel that turned and turned without being able to get off and threatened disaster.

The tour began on the 21st, on August 27 to September 8, 1976.
The first concert, although the newspapers said that the show was mediocre, would nevertheless be a success thanks to its loyal audience. It was clear that this was not a good start. The worst came on the 28th in the city of Houston where there was a disastrous performance, because Doctor Ghanem had overmedicated Elvis, loading him with sleeping pills and antidepressants. He was so bad that he would collapse in the dressing room just minutes before going on stage. Elvis was unconscious and no one could revive him, so Colonel Parker was asked if they should cancel the show. Evidently the Colonel was not thinking about Elvis's health, but rather about the loss of money if the tickets were returned. The Colonel shouted saying, "The only thing that matters is that that man is on that stage tonight. Do you hear me? Nothing else matters! Nothing!" He added that Elvis would be on that stage one way or another and that was because they submerged his head in a frozen bucket of water, regaining some of his strength, but not enough. Elvis would perform a concert automatically, without grace or feeling, slurring his words and slowing down. He was confused and was even guided by his musicians instead of directing his show, resulting in a disaster.

Critic Bob Claypool called his show a "depressing, incoherent, amateurish mess served up by a bloated, stumbling figure who didn't act like the King of Anything.
The songs had no coherence and Elvis slurred his voice clumsily, it would be the worst concert he had ever performed.
Elvis was so high, according to the testimonies of several of the staff members, on stage when he would come out at the beginning of the show, he could barely walk, talk, his performance was even worse.
Everyone agreed the show was miserable, his friend Lamar Fike would say they almost lost him in Houston and he was torn, as was Larry Geller. The rest, although they were still there, did not seem to recognize him. The general public did not complain and applauded him as if nothing was happening, but the Houston police officers who had come to cooperate noticed and talked about Elvis's sorry state.
They took him out of the city as quickly as possible, but nothing could prevent the publication in the Houston Post the next day, expressing the harsh reality that was already evident to everyone.

The main problem is that Elvis needed more and more time to prepare and go on stage, he was bad and it was also evident to everyone because he went to everyone's rooms and cried. Colonel Parker called Dr Nichopoulos to handle the matter and control the situation.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Tour underway
From Tupelo to Memphis

Despite the problems Elvis was having, the tour was able to continue and everyone could go back to pretending that nothing was wrong. But nothing had changed, Elvis continued to gain weight and the people who already knew him as Colonel Parker's brother-in-law, Bitsy Mott, had not seen him for a long time. When he saw Elvis perform on September 2 in Tampa, he was surprised at how he looked but even more so when he saw the show. He and his wife burst into tears and couldn't see it through to the end, they didn't even say goodbye to the Colonel, who was also dejected by this.
The Tour was difficult for everyone, but even more so for Elvis Presley who couldn't make him change his course and didn't seem to want to. Actually at all times he was medicated and seemed to be asleep, even during the performances. Dr Nick gave him Sparine for depression, but the side effect was lethargy and also a drop in blood pressure. In order to solve this he gave him Donnatal to treat irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers.
He insisted on recommending that Elvis have a lighter performance program to prevent the drugs from harming him and worsening his health. But there was no way to stop this, they needed money and he had many commitments, curiously there was no other artist who toured as much as him.
Nothing was going as planned and Elvis was becoming more and more exposed with his dependence on him and getting worse little by little.

Unfortunately the public began to realize that Elvis seemed sick or asleep or even worse disinterested. Although the shows were getting a little better, Elvis's voice sounded tired and without spirit.
The last few days he was better but not stable in his actions because he was not focused and felt betrayed by his usual friends. Elvis did not seem to realize that they were actually betrayed first, without time to know how they were going to earn a living, how they were going to eat, etc.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Press
"The Performances of Bewilderment"

On this tour the circumstances that were influencing Elvis began to be visible on stage and as had happened before, the press criticized him, not only because of his physique since he was gaining weight, but because of his performances. During this Tour there was a lot of instability in the performances and this would also be evident to some of his most loyal followers who did not understand what was happening to him.
In San Antonio, the journalist described the beginning of the performance as promising, with energetic movements, but as the performance progressed it began to decline. What would be very well received would be the song "America the Beautiful", which thrilled the audience and burst into cheers and applause. But for the rest there is no enthusiasm in his words, plus Elvis was getting tired so he needed to sit down during the Concert.

During the performance in Houston, where the journalist himself became sad commenting on the spectacle they had witnessed. It was the place with the most audience with around 17,500 people. For every die-hard Elvis Presley fan, there were at least two or three blank, stunned faces staring at the stage in disbelief.
The journalist defined Elvis's performance as a merciless parody of his former self, his movement was poor and his pelvic thrusts were also said to be clumsy. However, fortunately the bicentennial song would be a pleasant surprise since Elvis grew in his interpretation of it and had already seemed to come back to life. About this song "America the Beautiful" the journalist wrote:
"An artist in a stage of disintegration had performed a miracle, but that
was all Elvis got during this concert. Even "Hurt" was performed poorly. The voice did not have enough strength to sing the demanding ending of the song with clear notes. Elvis was burned out after one song. A brief
light ray. The rest, bottomless darkness."
In any case, most of the fans were enthusiastically shouting his idol's songs.
This performance was at the matinee concert and Elvis was not used to being awake at this time.

In general, in the morning concerts Elvis was still under the effect of large doses of sleeping pills that he took to sleep, it continued to affect him. The show in Mobile would be similar, also a morning show, it seemed tired and dull. He probably wasn't feeling well, since the night guy didn't have any better luck either.
The Tour continued with the same situation since in Tuscaloosa he seemed disinterested in general, without any enthusiasm.
A woman in the audience described him as absorbed in himself, he did not seem to be well at all, he seemed in his own world. He even seemed uninterested in a moment of getting closer to his fans, they brought him a child in a cast to whom he gave a scarf and signed his cast but to whom he did not show his usual affection.

Everyone was worried about him, although fortunately in the next show Elvis changed his attitude, he was seen in a good mood and the result would be a good and longer show. In the rest it would be just as good, he would finish the tour in a dignified way, with good shows and better spirit. But the press did not forget the first shows, frightening his admirers, criticizing and making speculations about drug abuse.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"Fear of the Truth"
September 1976

In late August 1976, Red West, Sonny and Dave Hebler decided to write a book about life with Elvis. The intention was really for him to react and try to stop his addiction to the drugs. They talked about this with Jerry Schilling, but without proposing anything to him, he understood that they were suggesting that he join them. In September a rumor spread that this book was being written and Elvis found out from Jerry, being grateful that he did not follow the same path.
Elvis had just learned that they were closing a deal with The Star journalist Steve Dunleavy, and he was cynically joking with the guys about who was going to be next to do the same. But the truth was something else that she couldn't hide from those closest to her. Linda saw him with fear, anger, and pain.
Larry Geller said they were in Mobile, Alabama when they found out about this and how Elvis felt. He was very hurt, he sat on the bed crying and asking why they were going to do this to him. His concern was how it would affect his family, his father and his daughter, if his life was published by trusted people, everyone would be hurt.

He asked the Colonel to prevent its publication and he called John O'Grady, who contacted Sonny to offer them $50,000, but the three refused. They were doing the writing with Steve Dunleavy and it never stopped, although Lamar Fike said Parker tried to stop him, but they had already signed their contracts. Elvis believed that he had everything solved but he became obsessed with all of this and his anxiety caused him to overeat, gaining even more weight.

Elvis felt guilty about the way they had been fired and he also thought that after so many years of service they deserved greater compensation. But he didn't do anything to fix it, he didn't back down and gave them time to feel betrayed and hurt too.

Red West called Elvis but couldn't reach him, but the next day he received a call from him at 7 in the morning. They both spoke cordially like the friends they had always been, but in the conversation many things would come to light. Elvis apologized for not having spoken to him sooner, explaining that he was disassociating the contract he had signed a month earlier and saying that his father was unwell. Red told him that he understood but he felt very hurt and disappointed for having been fired in such an abrupt way, explaining that he had to sell his house, his cars and so on to be able to move on. Elvis regretted this but also reproached him for the future publication of the book and to this Red replied again that he had not been able to talk to him about the dismissal and he also felt betrayed and hurt. The conversation would end with the best wishes on both sides, although Elvis did not know at the time that the conversation was being recorded, probably for Red's peace of mind due to future complaints against the book.
It was a terrible mistake to have turned his back on his friends of so many years, simply because they advised him to stop taking drugs, because Elvis regretted all of this.
"Following the Way of the King...".

Jumpsuits. Tour 21

Again the Bicentennial suits "Blue Egyptian Bird Suit" and "White Egyptian Bird Suit", which he was wearing every day. No new creation by Bill Belew and Gene Doucette, supposedly Elvis wouldn't want to change his wardrobe. At this time his size was variable, but with a tendency to gain more size, for this reason it was difficult to know if he could wear something that was not comfortable for him on stage.

"Return from Absence"
October 14 to 27, 1976. 14 Shows

This October tour would be very different from the previous one, fortunately Elvis reacted and wanted to get in shape for Tour 22, for this he lost 15 to 20 kilos. His appearance had been renewed and although he still had serious health problems, his attitude and his renewed strength turned around the writings of the press and for his fans.
Elvis was optimistic and reflected it in the performances, his voice was present in him and with greater certainty he would return to perform the songs with intention and feeling. Although the repertoire was the same and there wasn't really much change, he was looking for his tranquility and happiness on stage again.
He even wore the suits he had worn in 1974 and a new one, in any case it was clear that his effort was maximum.
Although Elvis was still somewhat lost and downcast due to the absence of his friends whom he had said goodbye to, he tried to normalize the situation, but everyone knew that it was not a good time for him despite appearing happy.

Again a tight Tour in different places like Chicago, Duluth, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, etc. It was really hard to tour like that from one place to another, with hardly any rest and with health problems.
His relationship with Linda Thompson was faltering, since Linda was focused on her work and there was hardly any time, also because Elvis always found someone to combine his relationship with. And also at this time Elvis continued spending money without any control as was usual for him. There was also another factor that had been influencing him, the health of his father Vernon, who had had another heart attack but at this time was already recovering.
The change in his father helped Elvis feel better and in relation to his health, although he had several problems, his colon had suddenly worked again. For these reasons Elvis seemed to feel much better, healthier and when the tour began in Chicago he would once again have more agility on stage and his dedication would be maximum in these concerts.
Once again Elvis seemed to return from his absence to be the same artist until he had the strength.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Elvis in Concert
Tour 22 Elvis Presley

As usual, anecdotes could always occur at Elvis Presley's concerts. On this tour, for example, in the city of Minneapolis, hundreds of spectators lost their minds when Elvis was about to leave the stage. For his fans, his performance was not enough, since when he sang the last song 'Ca n't Help Falling In Love', madness broke out to try to catch up with him at his exit and everyone tried to get to him. Although some went on stage, they did not have any opportunity to see or touch him. There were fights with security guards, chairs were flying, an adult even got into a fight with a girl, fans and ticket takers also had confrontations. That end of the concert was a bit chaotic, although Elvis couldn't see it, he was already used to this kind of thing.

In Chicago Elvis was successful again and critics praised him, making comparisons with the previous Tour. In Kalamazoo, in Cleveland, everyone said that Elvis was fantastic and his improved appearance due to his weight loss gave him an elegant image again with his Jamsuits, they described him as magnificent.
The musicians were the same, with just a single change in the lineup of the Stamps Quartet there would be a new voice, Buck Buckles, who replaced Bill Baize. The rest were already a team in the TCB Band again.
"Following the Way of the King..."


On this Tour the same songs were sung again, with barely any new features such as including "My Way", "Steamroller Blues" or "Little Darling". Really everything was already repeated and of the last songs he had recorded, it was not included either. great thing, "Fayritale" or "Hurt". If you compare this repertoire with his return to the stage in 1969, there was a great change during the years that blurred his vision in his show. The initial enthusiasm, strength and determination of Elvis Presley was declining until 1976. Elvis loved his work, his music, but unfortunately in 1976 he was not looking for innovations or changes, this was stagnating him in the same place over and over again, deflating his interest.
New air was needed, even though on this tour Elvis was performing with enthusiasm again.


Tour 22. Elvis Presley

On this new tour, there were finally changes in the clothing that Elvis would wear, since he had lost weight, around 17 kilos, he could wear suits that he used in 1974. He used several belts, original and other suits that he combined with the Jumpsuits. "Inca Gold Leaf Suit & Original Belt & Dragon Buckle", "Embroidered Arabian Suit & V-Neck Suit Belt", "Blue Swirl Suit & White Two Piece Suit Belt", "Indian Chief Suit & Original Belt" and "Red Phoenix Suit & Original Belt". He had already dressed all of them before, it would be the last time that Elvis debuted a new Jumpsuit called "Flame Suit".

Jumpsuits  October 1976 Elvis Presley

"Blue Swirl Suit"

It is a white suit with a special design. Also called "Blue Swirl Suit", "Blue Rainbow Suit", "Turnpike Suit" or "Toothpaste Suit". Adorned with an embroidered pattern on the outer side of the right pant leg to the belt. The design runs across the stomach and up up to the left shoulder. It is also on the outside left part of the pants upwards and on the lower part of the back to the right shoulder. The drawing of the design was made up of four stripes in different shades of blue, with thin gold stripes outside each blue line that also They had circular stones. They were imitation diamonds in different bluish tones. On the neck the drawing is similar. Lined in blue fabric. With 3 white cufflinks on each cuff. The belt was made of white leather with the same design with two oval bronze medallions on the back, with the RCA symbol, Nipper and the phonograph. The belt had gold and bronze chains on the back. four arches. He wore the "Blue Starburst" belt on the May tour in California and Lake Tahoe in 1974. Elvis used the original belt of the suit, made for the June tour of the same year. The original belt was also worn in Las Vegas in the summer of 1974, as well as on the tour and Lake Tahoe in October 1974. He later wore it on the tour in October 1976. It seems that it was very comfortable for him because he wore it a lot throughout the year. throughout that year until December 27, which was the last time Elvis dressed him.

"Chief Suit"

This suit has patterns inspired by Native Americans on each side of the chest, on the shoulders and back, as well as on the neck. On the neck it has an embroidered design in the shape of a circular dream catcher. Also on the back with huge eagle feathers. In the front, at the opening, it has more feathers. On the outside of the trouser legs there are three feathers embroidered on each side, the kick lined in orange. The colors of the patterns in light beige, orange, blue, yellow, purple, white and black with bronze stud decorations in the shape pyramidal or round. The white leather belt also has a dream catcher design on each side of the buckle and on the back. In the central part of the back there is a square bronze medallion with patterns that form the face of an Indian chief with smaller medallions with an eagle. On the buckle there is a large medallion carved with the figure of "Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux" . Adorned with a bronze chain and another gold chain in six arcs. It had a second belt with the same embroidery, but with an additional one on the back of the belt. With four square medals and a pattern with an American girl or "Squaw" drawing. The suit had other names such as ", "Old Indian", "Chief" or "Indian Feather Suit". It was used for the first time on the May-June Tour. 1975, also in July of the same year. It is also believed in December in Las Vegas. Also in October 1976 with the second belt and in the rest of the tours until the end of the year, also in Las Vegas. He also used it in the February 1977 tour.

"Embroidered Arabian Suit"

It is a white jumpsuit with a design very similar to the spectacular "Arabian Suit" from 1973, but this set from 1974 has fantastic embroidered patterns with round and transparent rhinestones in blue, purple, light green and orange, with a gold thread on the outline . They are Arabic drawings that resemble swords in a deck of cards. They are arranged at the chest opening, over the shoulders and in the lower back and neck. Also in the folds of the pants, lined in blue fabric. On the gold embroidery there are small round and pointed gold studs. The suit has 3 white cufflinks on each cuff. With an original white leather belt it has 3 gold colored hollow square medallions and a round bronze medallion in the middle. With the same embroidered patterns. With a bronze-colored chain and a golden one in six arcs around the belt. Other names: "Ace of Spades" or "King of Spades." It premiered in October 1974, in Lake Tahoe. The next time Elvis wore this beautiful outfit was on October 18, 1976 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This time, Elvis wore another belt belonging to "V-Neck Suit" from 1975. He wore this outfit many times in the late fall of 1976 on tours and in Las Vegas. On March 24, 1977, Elvis began wearing the original belt again. And on June 18, 1977.

"Red Phoenix Suit"

It is a white jumpsuit with the same design and pattern as the other "Phoenix" suits, with red embroidery with lined pleats of the same color. Embellished with red transparent rhinestones. The suit with the same pattern with the heads of birds pointing the other wayGene Douccette who was not considered for his talent, since he had been making designs for a long time, was complaining to the company for which he and Bill Belew work, since he was paid very little. In this design, as a complaint, he made that pattern of heads pointing to the opposite side, it was a joke directed at the company. He tried to leave on several occasions and resign because he was never considered worth his weight, because he was a great designer. It has two golden chains with six arches. In 1976, another belt similar to the original was made, but with five bronze medallions that draw a crown of a king, with two chains, one in bronze and the other golden in six arches. The suit has other names, "Red Bird Suit" and "Red Eagle Suit". Elvis wore it for the first time on May 31, 1975, also in 1976.

"Colorful Flame Suit"

Tour 22. Elvis Presley. A new white suit with flaming pattern designs arranged on the chest, back and below the belt, embroidered with orange-red circular shapes. The embroidery in orange, pink and yellow colors also has circles made of gold rhinestones, with studs. They also decorate the legs of the pants, since on each side there are flame patterns next to the orange folds. Each sleeve has three white cufflinks. The belt made of white leather has the same drawings of flame patterns. With prints, rhinestones and studs, as well as seven circular medallions in gold, adding a four-legged figure, similar to a human with a head with the symbol of Sagittarius, bow and arrow. He wears chains with six bows on gold colors. There is another "Flame Suit" that Elvis never wore, but which was designed unlike this one with red pleats. He used it on this October 1976 tour, possibly because he didn't like it. If he liked it too much, Elvis would never use it again.

Recording Sessions   RCA The Jungle Room   October 1976

Recording Sessions
Jungle Room. Elvis Presley
October 1976

Once again, songs required by RCA were needed to publish a new Elvis Presley album and Felton Jarvis had material prepared to be able to record several songs. The RCA Truck would once again enter the gates of Graceland, to settle in the Jungle Room where Elvis was going to sing.
He was back from the recent Tours, after 3 days and as the last Tour had turned out positive, he was happy and optimistic. But as we know, Elvis sometimes surprised us with his improvised changes and only 4 songs could be recorded. While on Halloween Elvis surprised everyone by entering the room with his friends and they were all dressed as gangsters carrying weapons and hats as if they were Al Capone. It was fun for everyone, but nothing else was recorded on this day. During the sessions Elvis demonstrated again that he could record perfectly and with feeling in his performances, but for some reason he was not very focused on this.

"It’s Easy For You" de Andrew Lloyd Webber y Tim Rice

"It's Easy for You" would be the first song recorded on October 29, 1976. With lyrics that could perfectly be a story based on his marriage and divorce. It was very close to his present life because Elvis was again losing the love of a great woman, Linda Thompson. Lyricist Tim Rice actually wrote it with all intentions thinking about Elvis Presley. He was talking about a man forced to separate from his wife, his new love and his reason for living.
During the recording Elvis recited a line from the song that said:
“He had a wife and he had children. “I threw them all away.” And then he added: “I get carried away very easily. “Emotional son of a bitch.”
Elvis recognized himself as letting himself be carried away by the lyrics of the score, singing with every intention, but he was in a good mood anyway.
In his usual way he laughed at some false starts that the musicians made saying:
"We need a red light here, like in a brothel, so these guys can play better." He was joking and of course everyone knew this side of him.
Although it is true that Elvis's voice does not sound powerful, he pronounces the words with pain and passion.

This Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber ballad would be the final track on Elvis Presley's final studio album, "Moody Blue." It would be released in 1977 and a first remixed track from this session would also be released on the FTD release, The Jungle Room Sessions."

Curiously, it was composed by two of the most famous musical composers since then, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
Andrew Lloyd Webber (born 22 March 1948) is an English musical theater composer and impresario. Highly talented and successful, his musicals have been performed everywhere for years. Composer with 21 Musicals, a song cycle variations, he has two film soundtracks and a Requiem mass.
Recordings by multiple artists and commercially with great success have come out of his musicals, songs such as "Memory", "Do n't Cry for Me Argentina", etc.
He has been defined as "the most commercially successful composer in history."
In addition to being awarded numerous awards: three Grammys, an Academy Oscar, a Golden Globe, 14 Ivor Novello awards, a Tony, even a Knighthood, etc. He's a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is also a member of the British Academy of Composers and Authors.
Several of his Musicals have been adapted to film, such as "The Phantom of the Opera", "Cats", "Jesus Christ Superstar", etc.

Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (born 10 November 1944) is an English lyricist and writer. He is known for being a collaborator with Disney in films such as "Aladin", "The Lion King", "Beauty and the Beast", etc. Very well known and successful, he was also knighted and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. , in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, etc. He received a Johny Mercer Award, an Emmy, an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, etc, etc.
Rice was very proud of the lyrics, which Elvis said resembled his life, since they were intentionally written for him. The two songwriters wrote two songs for Elvis, without any hope that he would accept their compositions. It would be a big surprise if Felton Jarvis gave the song to Elvis and he recorded it.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"Way Down" by Layng Martine, Jr

The second song recorded on October 29, 1976 would be a more upbeat song titled "Way Down". Elvis was still in a good mood and wanted to continue with this topic. He jokingly said "I'm a napalm bomb", in this way he seemed to be doing well with the recording. The beat seemed to slow down and Elvis was worried about his voice, still joking this time with his pianist saying, "We won't know what we have until Briggs' fingers start bleeding." In the master the group would sound better than ever and the song was performed correctly.
Elvis began to sing the song quickly, not precisely, since at this time being more influenced by drugs caused him to slur his words at times so it could be difficult to fit into the lyrics of a Rock. But despite this it could finally be recorded, the third take was chosen for the master, although the later ones would be better because the arrangement of the song became more lively and Elvis seemed to have fun.
At the end of the score J.D Sumner sang the words "Wayo on Down" hitting the lowest note, three octaves below middle C.

The song would be very commercial so it was chosen to be published as a single, Side A of the last single of Elvis's life, released in 1977 with "Pledging My Love". When the single was released on June 6, 1977, it initially peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Ho 100 charts and by August had dropped down the chart. Due to Elvis' death, it would rise again to number 18 on Billboard, but would reach number 1 on the Country Music chart. It was later certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
"Way Down" also appeared on the release of Elvis' final album, Moody Blue, in July 1977. A version without overdubs was released shortly after Elvis' death on "Our Memories of Elvis Vol.2". Later on "Gold Records Vol 5", "Walk a mile in my Shoes", "Elvis 30# Hits. 1", "Platinum: A Life In Music" includes an alternative version, offers an alternative studio version, which is also included on "Elvis 30 #1 Hits Deluxe Edition" and the FTD release, "The Jungle Room Sessions", etc. Also curious, its composer Layng Martine Jr. sings the song in the FTD edition "Writing For The King".

James Layng Martine Jr. (born March 1942) is an American songwriter well known for his country songs for four decades. Songs like "Way Down", "Rub it In", "Should I Do It", "I Wanna Go Too Far", etc., were recorded by more than 20 artists.
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The composer idolized Elvis since his adolescence and had written many songs that he had sent him for the opportunity to have Elvis sing his songs.
Martine pitched the song "Way Down" to several publishers, but no one seemed to have any interest in recording it. He didn't understand it because for him, it was a magnificent song. One day, a Nashville editor, Bob Beckham said, "Layng, do you have any songs for Elvis?" He knew he was there offering his songs. Layng told him that he would and would bring three of his songs for them to choose for the recording. Felton Jarvis called two weeks later saying that Elvis would record "Way Down." His emotion and enthusiasm would be the most important thing for him.



"Pledging My Love" by F. Washington and D. Robey

Before recording this song Elvis received the proposal to record a song by one of the musicians, Chip Young the guitarist. The version he showed him was from 1954 by Delbert McClinton, which Elvis already knew. He concentrated on the lyrics to search for emotion while the musicians rehearsed.
When recording, Elvis closed his eyes and internalized the lyrics, showing his feelings through his voice, although the version was inspired by the previous one. Elvis repeated the lyrics over and over again, a love lyric.
The theme of the song is reflected in the title and its first verses: Forever my love, my love will be true, Always and forever, I will love you.
Blues-style ballad and dubbed in the following verses, it seemed very heartfelt by Elvis, who sang it a little slower.
The song was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey and published in 1954. The version that became most popular and successful would be the one performed by Johnny Ace in 1955, published one day after his death playing Russian roulette with his revolver. .
This song would be widely covered by other artists such as Teresa Brewer, Roy Hamilton, Kitty Wells, Diana Ross, etc.
Recorded on October 29, 1976 at the Jungle Room, Graceland, it was published with "Way Down", as a Single and as an album track on "Moody Blue". It was later published in "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "Elvis R 'n' B", etc.
An alternate version published in "Platinum: A Life In Music" and the FTD "The Jungle Room Sessions" features a 5-minute version.

Don Deadric Robey (November 1, 1903 – June 16, 1975) African-American songwriter, record producer, and record label executive. He founded Peacock Records and eventually became the owner of Duke Records.
In 1952, Robey merged his Peacock label with Duke Records of Memphis and Duke-Peacock was born. He closed the Bronze Peacock club to turn it into a rehearsal and recording studio. At the beginning, the singer Johnny Ace was his biggest star, after his death he had other artists such as Junior Parker, Bobby Bland and Johnny Otis, etc. He recorded in addition to blues, R&B, gospel music, with successful artists such as Dixie Hummingbirds, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and Swan Silvertones. Robey also founded Back Beat, an R&B label that had hits with O. V. Wright and Roy Head. He later also acquired other labels, including Sure Shot and Song Bird.
As a writer, it could be said that he was a fraud, since the contracts he offered for artists were exclusive for management and reservation. He acquired royalties from the publications, taking credit as composer of many songs recorded on his labels. He bought the publishing rights to songs written by musicians, claiming full or partial credit, earning the hatred of their composers.
For example he is credited with co-writing "Farther Up the Road" with Joe Medwick Veasey, which was initially a hit for Ed "Blue" Bland in 1957. Bland's "I Pity the Fool", which it is suggested was in fact was also written by Veasey, etc.
Jerry Leiber, the songwriter, said of Robey that he was a gangster who ran his various entertainment companies using violence, the threat of violence and murder.


"He'll Have To Go" by Joe Allison and Audrey Allison

"He'll Have to Go" is an American country and pop hit recorded on October 15, 1959 by Jim Reeves. The song, released in the fall of 1959, became a hit in both genres in the early 1960s. Its authors husband and wife. The Allisons were inspired by a telephone conversation in which they had trouble understanding each other. The lyrics are about a man who is talking on the phone with his beloved, but during the conversation he realizes that he is with another man.
  "Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone / Let's pretend we're alone together / I'll tell the man to turn down the jukebox / And you can tell your friend who's there with you that he'll have to go."
A pop-style Country song that Elvis sings in a relaxed, calm and intentional way. His version is a little slower than Jim Reeves' and his performance is more dramatic. Although his voice sounds perfect, it is true that he sometimes feels tired, something that could go unnoticed on stage, but in a recording it could not be hidden. Although Elvis sang with all his heart and strength, his voice was actually being affected by his health and bad habits.

Joseph Marion Allison (October 3, 1924 – August 2, 2002) was an American songwriter, radio and television personality, record producer, and country music business executive. CMT called him one of the most influential figures in the rise of modern country music. He was very successful and won five BMI awards for singles he wrote and a $2 million performance award for writing "He'll Have to Go." He was a co-founder of the Country Music Association.

This song was included on the "Moody Blue" album, Elvis probably couldn't have chosen a more poignant title for the last song he completed in a studio session, at Graceland, on the night of October 30, 1976. It was later released on the 2000 FTD, "The Jungle Room Sessions", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and on country compilations "Great Country Songs" and "The Country Side of Elvis", etc.


The Last Session 1976

The next night, the band began working without Elvis on an up-tempo new song by bassist Jerry Scheff, "There's A Fire Down Below." When Elvis arrived at rehearsal he really liked the tune, he seemed to be enthusiastic, but the musicians spoiled his moment as they started making stupid and obscene jokes. This caused Elvis to reproach them for his comments saying:
  "Guys, straighten up, this is a recording." And without any explanation he left the room and went back to his bedroom.
Felton, who wanted to advance the session, ordered them to record the instrumental track of the song "He'll Have To Go", which had been an old hit by Jim Reeves.
That day was Halloween night and Elvis with some of his friends later returned to the session dressed in gangster costumes and weapons. Everyone was amazed and the costume party put an end to the recordings.
The lead vocal for “He'll Have To Go” was probably done the next day, although engineer Mike Moran remembers that Elvis apologized on the same day of recording, saying that he was not in a position to record.

Only four songs had been recorded and RCA with Felton scheduled another session for January 1977 in Nashville. Songs were chosen, musicians arrived, but although Elvis was at his hotel, he never arrived at the studio. He for some reason regretted flying there and would return back to Memphis.
For this reason Felton decided to overdub some of the songs recorded in October.
Colonel Parker apologized to the RCA, excusing his absence due to a severe sore throat, including a note from his doctor. Although Felton Jarvis tried to convince Elvis to return to record, unforeseen events always arose and it would ultimately be the last time Elvis would record for RCA.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The departure of a sincere love
Linda Thompson

Mid-November 1976, one of the days before the Tour 23, Elvis organized a party in Graceland where he would meet a very shy twenty-year-old girl named Ginger Alden. George Klein, his friend, the owner of Ginger's eldest, the local beauty queen Terry Alden, thinking she would like him, nevertheless noticed Ginger. She was an assistant in a clothing store and also Miss Mid-South Fair, her younger sister was also there.
Elvis was attracted to and tried to sympathize with Ginger, talking a lot without paying attention to the rest. This is a series of meetings where a relationship is sent to another place.
The relationship with Linda Thompson was very long, although Elvis took part in other relationships and she was in Canada. No question of this time until Linda left him permanently, she had no shortage of reasons to do so, she also began a relationship with David Brigs, the pianist who played in the group. She was not at all like Elvis's way of being and there was no turning back, there was no telling how long it would take for her to realize the relationship.

The finale of the relationship with Linda lasted until she was in San Francisco, and Elvis asked Linda to live in her house with Ginger waiting in the same hotel in a different room. She knew she had someone else waiting to be with her and Linda decided upon arriving in Memphis that there was nothing that united them as a couple anymore. Although Elvis assured her with his last words:
"No matter what you hear, there is no one else. It's you who I love." She did not believe him and when she arrived in Memphis, Linda left never to return, even though she loved him and was sincere in love, she was so tired that she could no longer stay by her side. Later they spoke on a couple of occasions despite their separation but they did not see each other again.
In this case and for a lot of people who are suffering from a new death for a woman, the room is supported by Ginger. Who was too young to be able to fill her void although Elvis was infatuated with this relationship. While you're still in an old position, you'll find that a camera from the Hilton Hotel encounters our written words and the words spoken by the text: "I'm alone in a moment." The night is calm for me. . . “I probably won't rest tonight.” On another paper it is written: “I feel like I'm already in my hands and I'm still talking about something. . . “Sometimes I feel lost.”
In another: “I don't know who to talk to anymore.” . . Help me, Lord, to do the right thing.”
It is evident that no child has found a child who has been looking for a moment, so that she has a moment in life that has resulted in her having found something special like Linda, but she does not care about her love and her new life . Elvis was devoted to his new enlightenment and the obsession with keeping her by her side at all times made him lose his temper on occasion. She was too young a girl to be able to share and understand Elvis, but there was no other beside her.
She was the closing of an episode of more than four years to continue without control of her actions and without care of her health.
"Following the Way of the King..."

November 24 to 3O, 1976. 7 Shows.

On November 24, 1976, Elvis Presley's mini tour in California began. He was apparently healthy and in good shape. Elvis seemed to have regained his interest in his concerts and was also in good spirits. The influence of having a new woman at his side had given him the strength to return to his path with enthusiasm. The quality of his concerts compared to recent ones. He had improved and the repertoire, although it was practically the same, became more interesting with his interpretations.

Fortunately, although bad reviews had been published in recent months, this had not influenced the interest shown by the public. There were long lines to buy tickets, always faithful to his idol, they did everything possible to see him, listen to him and get close to him.
In San Francisco, tickets were sold out in less than 2 hours and an extra concert was organized.
The public would notice the difference in the new Elvis, slimmer, healthier and more dedicated. Above all, those who had seen him in the past months would be the ones who could appreciate the changes the most.
When Elvis arrived at the last stop of the tour;
Anaheim, California, November 30, 1976, Ginger Alden was in the audience and it was clear that he was invested in her performance, this relationship had had a positive effect. He was inspired and noted for his extraordinary version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water", a song that Elvis had stopped singing for almost a year.
In general they would be good performances during this short tour, most of the critics praised his performances and especially the change made in the artist.
"Following the Way of the King..."


In his review of the "Nevada State Journal", on November 26, 1976, Robert P. Laurence said that Elvis did not seem to be 41 years old because of his voice, since he was powerful, strong, dynamite. But when he sang songs from his usual less risky repertoire like "Hound Dog" and the like, his voice was no longer so, but was weak and confused. It is true that Elvis played these usual songs in a row and did not insist on singing these songs more carefully, which made it seem like there was a lack of interest.
His voice in more powerful songs like "Hurt" said that it was a full-throated explosion, highlighting his new release and that the song was tailor-made for him.
He also highlighted his performance in the song "Fever", since Elvis moved his hips as always and causing the screams of young and mature women, they became frantic.
One of the most exciting moments and most applauded by the audience was when he sang "America the Beautiful." It was orchestrated with a martial drum rhythm, accompanied by the choir and the brass that also helped to have a greater impact on the song.
The journalist highlighted the outfit that Elvis was wearing, with his white Jumpsuit with gold edges, he said it did not show the fat and belly that he had criticized so much in recent months.
Regarding his repertoire, he spoke of an inevitable slowdown in his songs throughout his career. The fast and energetic ones were very short, compared to the soft ballads that were slower. Elvis also played very well with the audience, knowing how to maintain high interest, also rewarding his audience with pastel-colored handkerchiefs that he used to wipe his forehead.
But in his Gospel music he said it came out like a cheap novel and he did not use his voice fully when he accompanied his choir in some Soul number which he said sounded flat and almost breathless.
There was a lot of contradiction in these reviews that put him down and out, it really seemed to be the result of the ups and downs that Elvis had on stage, but even so, the shows were much better than what he had performed recently.

Another journalist, Bill Steinauen of the Reno Evening Gazette, defined it with the following title "Elvis' Magic Magnet still exists."
He said of the same performance on November 24 and about Elvis, that twenty years did not seem to have done him any harm since he continued to maintain a magic that permeates the public.
He was not really a fan of Elvis, but as a journalist he recognized seeing that magic that existed between Elvis and his fans.
In Reno it was Thanksgiving Eve and many buses arrived from Canada and other places with signs that said "We love you Elvis" or song titles. It was an audience of all ages, old, young, women in formal suits, others in jeans, in general it was very varied.
Once again his image was the center of attention confirming that he was not chubby as was said. He also talked about his ability to deal with the public, his movements, the shouts and about the songs. Their usual repertoire was very fast-paced, but the show was a success, improving the sound during the show.
At the end of the last song, the fans wanted to go on stage, the bodyguards had to stop them. The summary of this was that everyone was satisfied with his performances.

They say the end of the Tour was one of the best of these shows, since Elvis was more enthusiastic, he was dedicated to his performance and this was noticed by everyone, including the press who always looked for reasons to criticize him. This change could be because he had the influence of the presence of his new girl Ginger Alden, whom he had brought to the concert.
In any case it would be a success for Elvis.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Rest of Concert

In another concert on November 28 at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, Elvis performed in an impressive way in front of the audience, he would sing about 23 songs. He once again demonstrated the mastery he had in front of the audience and was heard as the singer who had squandered so much magic. His movements, his leg spins drove his audience crazy and it was difficult to keep without screaming and his fans seemed trained. Elvis' presence was total, when he sang "Teddy Bear" and "love Letters" they excited the audience. There were moments of absolute hysteria like when Elvis provoked with his movements singing "Fever", it was an unleashed crowd that was very reminiscent of his early years.
Elvis was in exceptional shape that night, the rumors of ill health did not seem to be true because he looked vibrant, tanned and fit.
Although Elvis really did continue to have problems regarding his health, but this did not prevent him from performing good concerts.
At the Concert in Anaheim at the Convention Center, all seats were sold out, thousands of people gathered to listen to Elvis Presley. An electric excitement seemed to fill the air during the concert. He was praised by the press, since he would perform a good concert, it seemed that the presence of his new romance with Ginger Alden had influenced the confidence and enthusiasm he demonstrated on stage.

Jumpsuits. Tour 23
Elvis Presley. Noviembre 1976

In this new Tour 23 Elvis would once again wear the suits already used on previous tours, he had once again lost weight and for this reason he would look splendid. The suits chosen would be: "Chief Suit", "Blue Swirl Suit", "Egyptian Suit" and "Arabian Suit".

"Chief Suit"

This suit has patterns inspired by Native Americans on each side of the chest, on the shoulders and back, also in the neck. On the neck there is an embroidered design in the shape of a circular dream catcher. Also on the back with huge eagle feathers. In the front, at the opening, it has more feathers. On the outside of the pants legs there are three feathers embroidered on each side, the kick lined in orange. The colors of the patterns in light beige, orange, blue, yellow, purple, white and black with bronze stud decorations in pyramid or round shape.
The white leather belt also has a dreamcatcher design on each side of the buckle and on the back. In the center back there is a square bronze medallion with patterns that form the face of an Indian chief with smaller medallions with an eagle. On the buckle he wears a large medallion carved with the figure of "Sitting Bull, Chief of the Sioux."
Adorned with a bronze chain and a gold chain in six arches. He had a second belt with the same embroidery, but with an additional one on the back of the belt. With four square medallions and a pattern with an American girl or "Squaw" drawing. The suit had other names such as ", "Old Indian", "Chief" or "Indian Feather Suit". It was used for the first time on the May-June Tour. 1975, also in July of the same year. It is also believed in December in Las Vegas. Also in October 1976 with the second belt and in the rest of the tours until the end of the year, also in Las Vegas. He also used it in tour in February 1977.

"Blue Swirl Suit"

It is a white suit with a special design. Also called "Blue Swirl Suit", "Blue Rainbow Suit", "Turnpike Suit" or "Toothpaste Suit". Adorned with an embroidered pattern on the outer side of the right pant leg to the belt. The design runs across the stomach and up to the left shoulder. It is also on the left outer part of the pant up and across the lower back to the right shoulder. The design drawing was made up of four stripes in different shades of blue, with thin golden stripes outside each blue line that also had circular stones. They were imitation diamonds in different bluish tones.
On the neck the drawing is similar. Lined in blue fabric. With 3 white cufflinks on each cuff. The belt was made of white leather with the same design with two oval bronze medallions on the back, with the RCA symbol, Nipper and the phonograph. The belt had gold and bronze colored chains in four arcs. He wore the "Blue Starburst" belt on the May tour in California and Lake Tahoe in 1974.
Elvis used the original belt of the suit, made for the June tour of the same year. The original belt was also worn in Las Vegas in the summer of 1974, as well as on the tour and Lake Tahoe in October 1974. He later wore it on the tour in October 1976. It seems that it was very comfortable for him because he wore it a lot throughout the year. throughout that year until December 27 which was the last time Elvis wore him.

"Egyptian or Inca Gold Leaf Suit"

Was a white jumpsuit with square patterns embroidered on the belly, chest and shoulders and on the back. With the same design on the sides of the legs. At the bottom lined in gold. On the pants also with squares; they rest against each other with red, blue and orange threads. With gold embroidery inside , which have studs. With a high collar decorated with triangles and on the front of the shoulders it has 12 patterns with squares, with a thick golden thread, also on the back. On the cuffs it has three white cufflinks. The white leather belt has five golden medallions of Indian heads. With embroidery of studs and rhinestones. With two golden chains in six arches. It was inspired by the "Pharaoh" costume, although it is more similar to the costumes of the Incas. Elvis wore it for the first time in Lake Tahoe May 1974. Also on the June tour and in August Las Vegas of the same year. Elvis wore it He would use it again on his September-October 1976 tour, changing the belt buckle for that of the "Dragon Suit". Also on the November tour and in Las Vegas and in December 1976. "Embroidered Arabian Suit" It is a monkey white with a design very similar to the spectacular "Arabian Suit" from 1973, but this set from 1974 has fantastic embroidered patterns with round and transparent rhinestones in blue, purple, light green and orange, with a golden thread on the outline. They are Arabic drawings that resemble swords in a deck of cards. They are arranged in the opening of the chest, over the shoulders and in the lower back and neck. Also in the folds of the pants, lined in blue fabric. On the gold embroidery there are small round and pointed gold studs. The suit has 3 white cufflinks on each cuff. With an original white leather belt it has 3 gold colored hollow square medallions and a round bronze medallion in the middle. With the same embroidered patterns. With a bronze-colored chain and a golden one in six arcs around the belt. Other names: "Ace of Spades" or "King of Spades." It premiered in October 1974, in Lake Tahoe. The next time Elvis wore this beautiful outfit was on October 18, 1976 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This time, Elvis wore another belt belonging to "V-Neck Suit" from 1975. He wore this outfit many times in the late fall of 1976 on tours and in Las Vegas. On March 24, 1977, Elvis began wearing the original belt again. And on June 18, 1977.

Tour 24 Elvis Presley
December 27 to 31, 1976. 5 shows

The last Tour of the year held after Christmas at Graceland. The Colonel had prepared a proposal for him by the end of the year taking into account the success that the previous one had on the same dates. On this occasion there were five concerts that they were going to perform. It would be the shortest tour of the year but it would exceed all expectations and be the best. Elvis performed in Wichita, Dallas, Birmingham, Atlanta and finally in Pittsburg. Elvis would begin the tour on December 27 and would end by saying goodbye and celebrating the new year on December 31, 1976.
On this tour Elvis Presley was very lively, his voice was in a good moment and sounded powerful. Plus he seemed slimmer and more focused than in previous shows. It is very possible that he was happy for his father's healing, for the presence of Ginger Alden and his daughter Lisa Marie joined him on the Tour.
It would be the best tour of 1976, Elvis was acting in a magical way and with a powerful voice.

The big news was the version that Elvis had made of "The Righteous", a dramatic work with the hit "Unchained Melody" that he had already sung once. He would sit at the piano playing while he sang, starting the song without accompaniment to follow later. Elvis would demonstrate great form when he did his first show and the following ones.
A curious observation during the concert on December 28, Elvis was smiling at the audience when he told them: "If I die tonight it will take a year to wipe the smile off my face."
In another performance Elvis received a cake from the audience to celebrate that in a few days, on January 8, 1977, he would turn 42 years old. The fans decided to celebrate his birthday in advance. Then the audience began to sing "Happy Birthday" to him. Elvis was excited and would achieve great success.
It is evident that when it was only five days ago he could do the best shows without exhausting himself, but in the following year, 1977, they would be more extensive again, so Elvis would become exhausted from the fifth day onwards and would become ill again to perform.
The last concert he performed in Pittsburgh would show the best side of Elvis Presley, singing with his usual repertoire "Reconsider Baby", "Are you lonely tonight", "Love Letters", "My Way", etc. As a novelty, Elvis performed the song "Rags To Riches" sitting at the piano; it would be the only time he sang it on stage.
The year 1976, after a few unstable months, Elvis ended with his head held high since he received praise for his performances, showing that he could continue being the King.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Press. Tour 24
Elvis Presley. End of December 1976

The press was enthusiastic about this tour, fortunately they saw an important change in Elvis and highlighted his magnetism and the intensity with which he performed his shows.
For example, journalist Emmett Weaver in Birmingham would publish an article about his recent performance where he commented on the shouting and loyalty of his fans, with some 18,400 fans filling the Jefferson Coliseum in Birmingham. There was a large security check around Elvis so that people did not jump on stage although many jumped out of his seats, they threw a cape at him which he put over his shoulders. Handing out his scarves to the women who were lucky enough to get close to him. Elvis Presley knew how to involve the public with his performance, he defined him as a superstar.

In the Post Gazette, Mike Kalina highlighted his performance and commented on his fans.
On December 31, 1976, Elvis Presley performed in front of 16,409 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. He would come out on stage 35 minutes before midnight and would receive a deafening ovation accompanied by thousands of flashes, and his fans would carry signs that read "We love you Elvis."
Elvis was very attentive to his audience and his fans who wished him a happy birthday in advance and gave him dozens of gifts. His voice in top form highlighted by some bass that would give more impact to his phrasing.
His group of musicians were very close and followed Elvis's every move. To highlight the company of Charlie Hodge with Elvis on stage, his laughter, his jokes and he said that just seeing this relationship was worth the price of admission.
When Elvis sang "Auld Lang Syne", Elvis was joined by the audience to celebrate the new year, he was greatly applauded with short cheers and again continued singing.
The repertoire did not surprise anyone because it was more or less the same and the journalist said that he sounded more comfortable in the more modern songs than in the older ones. He highlighted his interpretation of the song "Unchained Melody" playing the piano and some songs playing the guitar, but also the movements he performed in his show. He said that they were no longer the same and Elvis was already a mature man who parodied himself. Age was taking its toll on him and he looked like a good show and a lot of work behind him. But the journalist, although he recognized that it was a magnificent Show, compared it with the past and recommended a change of style in his career.
In any case, the dedicated performance ended the year 1976 successfully for Elvis.
"Following the Way of the King..."


Tour 25 and 26. 1977

1977 begins for Elvis Presley and although most of the fans did not know it, nor did the journalists... he was already very ill, although Elvis wanted to live, he was happy and enjoyed himself, he really should never have gone on these tours.
The medical opinion was very clear to him, if he did not stop the performances or did not reduce the pace of them, his worsening was doomed.
A year before he should have stopped, but that was not the case and this year he will suffer the serious consequences.
His performances are unstable, ups and downs, good and bad shows.
In addition to the concern about the book that was going to be written soon, written by Red, Sonny West and Dave Hebler... Elvis had a clear enemy who would be criticizing him, with cruelty and mockery. The Press, which day by day added more weight with his words to the worsening of his health.
Elvis felt happy with his new girlfriend, but his understanding was lacking and Elvis did not feel good about so many things.
He had little time left and without knowing it, he felt his end was getting closer and closer.
Program dedicated to Elvis Presley, his life, his music, his filmography.
Direction, voice-over and script: Ana Albajara
"Following the Way of the King..."

JANUARY 8, 1977
The Last Birthday. Elvis Presley

Elvis would turn 42 years old and it was the day he enjoyed the most, because he could do whatever he wanted and really what made him happiest was the joy of giving others gifts and enjoying their happiness. He could have everything, but his generosity was so great that he met with his friends and had prepared to give them an envelope with money, so they could buy whatever they wanted.
He would tell them, “Now you have to promise to spend this on yourselves, and I will have Robinson keep his store open late tonight just for you. Nobody is going to bother you; I'm sending security with you. So go and have fun for me on my birthday.”
For everyone it was an important and special day and on the latter they met at the house in Palm Springs, without work or problems, in addition Elvis had chosen a list of books to give to his friends.
Before the meeting Larry Geller was doing Elvis's hair, while they chatted about the new year and everything they wanted to do. Elvis was very optimistic and also excited because he had many projects and changes to make both in his personal life and in his work. He had decided to fire Colonel Parker and look for a new manager to focus an important change at the professional level. Elvis was very aware of his health problems, knowing that he had neglected and denied his problems and recognized that he had to change and fix things for himself.
He was happy and exuded enthusiasm for life, he dressed in a black suit that looked fantastic on him. He turned to Larry who saw a special sparkle in his eyes as he said, “This is my day, Lawrence, my birthday, and I can do whatever I want. Come on man, look at this!”
Elvis had the book of "The Prophet" in his hand and took the money that he also wanted to give.
When they entered the room where everyone was waiting for him, Elvis was left alone with all the women to whom he read several passages from his book and then presented them all.
Elvis was happy giving gifts to others and seeing their smile, for him it was the most important thing on his birthday.

A few days later, on January 26, Elvis calls jeweler Lowell Hays to order an engagement ring for Ginger, which he wants to give her that night. Hays tells her there is no time to get another stone as big as the eleven and a half carat center diamond on her TCB ring. Because Elvis wanted it to match his. But since it couldn't be done, the solution was to remove the diamond from Elvis's own ring. Late at night, Elvis calls Larry and Ginger to his bedroom and gets down on one knee to propose. Larry can't believe it and Ginger, who is also surprised, shyly says that she does.
They had only been dating for two months and Elvis told them that this had to remain a secret until it was convenient to announce it.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Cancellation of Nashville Sessions
January 1977

The possibility of new recording sessions in Nashville to be held in January 1977 was already a commitment accepted by Elvis Presley. Although he had long refused to record in studios, Elvis traveled to Nashville with Ginger Alden.
According to the testimony of his producer Felton Jarvis, Elvis did appear in the studio in addition to listening to a song that he liked, but he told her that he had a sore throat. Elvis was examined by an otorhinolaryngologist who advised him not to sing for a few days, this was the real reason for the cancellation of the sessions in Nashville.
The change in temperature he had suffered returning from Palm Springs to Nashville was very abrupt. There it was below zero the first night and Elvis suffered it in his voice, as always, his instrument was very delicate and they went directly to the Hotel. On the second night was when Elvis listened to songs, choosing one, but his throat was already sore. According to a specialist's recommendation, they let four nights pass but Elvis did not improve.
Felton was very concerned because he needed songs for his commitment to make a new album that would be titled "Moodie Blue."

Backing tracks were recorded but Elvis' voice could never be added. They were "That's What You Do To Me", written by Bob Morrison and Johnny MacRae, a Top 10 country hit in the United States for Charley McClain in 1978, the song "Energy" written by Bob Morrison and Tommy Roe.
Also the song "Rainy Night in Georgia" composed by Tony Joe White, which was an American hit for Brook Benton in 1970. The Song "By Day By Day"
by Dennis Linde, "Let Me On" composed by Layng Martine Jr and recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis on Killer Country in 1980 and "I Do" by Alan Rush.

If he had remained alive, it is very possible that Elvis would have considered changes and new songs. There were many artists who had composed songs for him, such as Bruce Springteen, David Bowie, etc.
"Following the Way of the King..."

February 12 to 21. 10 Shows

A few days before the tour began, a new attempt was made to record new songs, during the first week of February and a studio was furnished on the Graceland racquetball court. But Elvis did not like the sound at all, he was not happy and although the musicians waited 3 days in their hotels to be called, the recordings were finally canceled.
Again Elvis said, "I'm so sorry about this." My throat doesn't feel good and we can't make recordings with this equipment. -We'll do everything later. Once we have heard something new."
Later they discovered the reason why he probably couldn't concentrate to record, Elvis began talking about the book that Red, Sonny and Dave, his former friends, had written and that was about to be published. He had managed to obtain a copy long before its future publication and was surprised, hurt by what he was reading. He had tears behind his glasses, he said that he loved them like brothers and didn't understand why they stabbed him in the back like this.
Furthermore, his relationship with Ginger Alden was not entirely satisfactory for Elvis, he lacked support and understanding.

  In the first six weeks of the year, Elvis had gained the same kilos that he had lost at the end of the previous year, he was very bloated.
  The first tour of the year began in Miami, Florida, and showed an artistically weaker Elvis compared to the December tour. The song "Unchained Melody" was performed only in Miami and two other cities during this tour, this could be interpreted as a sign of loss of interest.
But he was really in shape and he did show his interest in some of the shows, in Orlando he put on a good show. In the last two shows in Charlotte, he started the show well but ended without inspiration or strength. Although compared to the previous year's tours it was not a bad tour, but he again seemed drowsy from the medication.
He started again with good shows but he couldn't continue until the end, his health weighed heavily.
It is also true that the press advanced news about the book "Elvis, What Happened?". In "Preview" Magazine they reported that Elvis' bodyguards who had served him for many years, Red and Sonny West with Dave Hebler, had been fired by Elvis's father in July of the previous year. I was commenting on the article about a revealing book they were writing about Elvis Presley. Also about the bad relationship he had with Colonel Parker.
Everything added up little by little and although Elvis had started the year very well, he really got tired and felt misunderstood, but he still had intentions of changing.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Repertoire. Tour 25
February 1977

The highlights of the show in most of the repertoire on this tour remain the big dramatic performances, "Unchained Melody", "Hurt and "How Great Thou Art". The rest were usual or usual songs, some curiosity like " Release Me" which I hadn't sung in a while. "Moody Blue" which was the new song published and for this reason it had to be sung.
With no changes and no new songs, Elvis didn't seem interested in making any changes.

This is the last tour for David Briggs, the pianist who had worked with Elvis on recordings and in concerts. He knew he had to leave the show because he had been dating Linda Thompson, Elvis' ex-girlfriend, for a long time, but it was at Elvis's insistence, since he really didn't know if he was aware of his relationship with Linda, or to what extent. In one of the performances it was evident that Elvis already knew about this relationship, because in one of the moments that he had to play with the electric piano, he was surprised to see that Elvis disconnected the keyboard from him. This would be the clear sign that he did not want him in his show, so he decided to leave him on this tour.

"Unchained Melody"
A moment for history of Elvis Presley

Unchained Melody" by Alex North and Hy Zaret.
A hit song widely covered by artists such as Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, Roy Hamilton and June Valli. The Righteous Brothers took it to the top five and then even higher when their version appeared on the Ghost soundtrack in 1990.
The music was written by Alex North with lyrics by Hy Zaret for the 1955 film Unchained, in which it was performed by Todd Duncan. That year, the song was nominated for an Oscar for best song, an award that was won by the song "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing."

It is ranked number 365 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Although Elvis began singing it in concert starting in December 1976, it would not be recorded until April 24, 1977 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Where a Concert recording was made that would be released on the album "Moody Blue", adding some overdubbed instrumentation. RCA released another live performance on June 21, 1977 as Elvis' first posthumous single, in February 1978, with "Softly As I Leave You" on the B-side. The highest it climbed was #6 on the chart. list of countries.
Live when Elvis performed it alone on the piano, something he didn't do very often, it was one of the highlights of the show before ending with the song "Can't Help Falling in Love."
Elvis always interpreted this song in an intimate and heartfelt way, it was a song that reached him and transmitted all his emotion to his fans.
Since then, "Unchained Melody" would be released on "Always On My Mind", "Elvis Aron Presley", "The Great Performances", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "Love Elvis", "Elvis Live", etc. Alternative live recordings have also appeared on the FTD albums "New Year's Eve" and "Unchained Melody", "Spring Tours '77", etc.

"Unchained Melody" a moment for history.
On June 21, 1977, while Ogdin was playing electric piano for Elvis at a live concert in Rapid City, South Dakota, he witnessed him suddenly go off script: he grabbed the grand piano and began singing the song. accompanying himself.
This was not on the usual list, he only did it on occasion and the members of the orchestra were surprised and unprepared. Everyone remained silent. Elvis continued to play the piano, but his playing lacked the refinement of a studio musician, but this was not really important because his performance would be one of the best he had done in years. Felton Jarvis thought so and wanted to save this moment.

The song was written by Alex North and Hy Zaret.
Alex North (Isadore Soifer: Chester, Pennsylvania, December 4, 1910-Los Angeles, September 8, 1991) was an American film music composer. He is the one who has been nominated for the Oscar award as the author of soundtracks the most times (up to 14 times), without ever winning the award in that category. In return, in 1986 he received the first honorary Oscar awarded to a composer. An example of his compositions are the soundtracks of "Spartacus", "Cleopatra", "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Death of a Salesman", etc.
"Following the Way of the King..."

THE PRESS  Tour 25 1977

"The Trumpets announce the arrival of the King"
West Palm Beach's Bud Newman

It was the title he published in West Palm Beach, about the performance on February 13, 1977, where Bud Newman recounted Elvis Presley's performance. He said that his movements made the auditorium explode with the frantic noise of women screaming, but the emotion would be even greater when he began to throw blue and white handkerchiefs to the people he had near the stage. The crazed fans ran through the auditorium towards the stage hoping to get a handkerchief, but the police and bodyguards prevented the chaos and maintained order.
He described him as obese, with a wide belt around his waist but praised his voice which he said was in much better shape than his body, in some of the 24 songs he performed. He noted that Elvis rarely sang more than a few bars of well-known songs like "Hound Dog," "Jail House Rock," etc.
The audience was delighted with him and couldn't stop shouting and applauding.

Performance in Montgomery
A review of Still Compelling by Wanda McClusky.

On February 16, 1977, Elvis Presley performed in Montgomery where the writer highlighted the figure of Elvis and the importance he had for teenagers in the mid-50s. She said that it was still important in the present 1977, only for a few, of different ages.
She describes the audience in a peaceful state, about the applause she said that it was not generalized in each song and that some were shouting and fighting to get a scarf, but it was a clear minority.
She said about Elvis that he looked handsome in his white sequined suit, but she said that his belly stood out more and more as the performance continued.
Mrs. Wanda McClusky was somewhat cruel because she also commented that looking at her thick black hair through her glasses, it first occurred to her that she might be a wig. At 42 years old, is he now fat and bald?
Despite her comments, she said that it didn't matter since on stage Elvis had personality and a great sense of humor.
The performance lasted an hour and Elvis performed a few bars of his past hits. She said it was understandable that he had grown tired of these songs.
She ended by writing:
"I won't pay $12.50 to see him again and I probably won't buy any of his new records. But every now and then I pull out the old ones and play them. And I wish him the best."

The Charlotte Observer:
  "Elvis overcomes the deception and shows why he still reigns"

It was Frye Gaillard's review of his performances in Charlotte, the last two days of the tour.
She said that during the first half hour Elvis joked, strutted around the stage and posed for photos, kissing the women he had under the stage.
He sang some old song and threw handkerchiefs to the audience, he also made pelvic movements.
He brought out the old power of him, the spark and soul of his early Memphis days, this he continued to reflect on stage.
He said that no one made better music, and during the first performances at the Charlotte Coliseum, there were scattered notes here and there, he stopped dead, trusted in the smiles, his charisma and legend, until finally, shortly before the 10:45 minute , came to the gospel classic “How Great Thou Art.”
"You could see why Elvis Presley is still going strong after 20 years, while dozens of others have fallen by the wayside. When he got to the part where he sings the title, he sounded like Mario Lanza with soul, letting out a series of high notes that would make even the staunchest skeptic tingle. From that moment on, the music seemed to take hold."
He said there was no doubt about the power of his voice and his good work when he sang the song "Hurt."
"There's just no one like him," said Vlary Burleson, a fan who saw his first show in 1956. "He can sing it all: rock, country, gospel, you name it. Elvis is the best."

February  12 to  21  1977

"Chief Suit"
"Rainfall Suit"
"Mexican Sundial"
"1974 Arabian Suit"

Elvis had put on weight again and his swelling was evident, but he was able to wear the same suits that he had worn two years earlier. There was nothing new as far as the designs were concerned, it was really complicated since Elvis's condition was very variable and so was his weight.

"Indian Chief Suit"

This suit has Native American-inspired patterns on each side of the chest, on the shoulders and back, as well as on the neck.
On the neck there is an embroidered design in the shape of a circular dream catcher. Also on the back with huge eagle feathers. In the front, at the opening, it has more feathers. On the outside of the pants legs there are three feathers embroidered on each side, the kick lined in orange.
The colors of the patterns in light beige, orange, blue, yellow, purple, white and black with bronze stud decorations in pyramid or round shape.

The white leather belt also has a dreamcatcher design on each side of the buckle and on the back. In the central part of the back there is a square bronze medallion with patterns that form the face of an Indian chief with smaller medallions with an eagle.
On the buckle there is a large medallion carved with the figure of "Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux." Adorned with a bronze chain and a gold chain in six arches.
I had a second belt with the same embroidery, but with an additional one on the back of the belt. With four square medallions and a pattern with an American girl or "Squaw" drawing.
The suit had other names such as "Old Indian", "Chief" or "Indian Feather Suit".
It was used for the first time on the May-June Tour of 1975, also in June and July of the same year. It is also believed in December in Las Vegas.
Also in October 1976 with the second belt and on the rest of the tours until the end of the year, also in Las Vegas. He also used it on the February 1977 tour

"Mexican Sundial Suit" 

This suit was made as early as 1974, before this Lake Tahoe season. Gene Doucette says he only made one suit with this pattern.The "Mexican Sundial Suit" is a white jumpsuit with a pattern similar to one of the two Aztec calendars, which have their origin in the calendar of the Mayan Indians. Tonalpohualli is the name of the sacred Aztec calendar that was used to worship and the rituals were read from the calendar, it was a design of the sacrifice made on the stone of the Sun. The suit has two large circular patterns embroidered in the colors orange, brown, it has a slightly thicker thread in a gold, silver color. A circle on the chest and another on the back. The same in the same colors on the neck and on the outside of the pants, lined with golden fabric. The patterns are embellished with bronze gilded pyramid studs. And inside the embroidery are mirrors and small round colored stones. The suit had three white cufflinks on each cuff. The white leather belt had two rows of round bronze pointed studs at the top and bottom. Between these is an embroidered row of similar patterns with the same studs, mirrors and rhinestones. Featuring five large, round, flat silver patterns with 21 hemisphere-shaped gold studs around the belt and one on the large buckle. It wears a bronze chain and a gold chain in six arcs. "Mexican Sundial Suit" or "Aztec Sun Suit" or "Pizza Suit", as some called it, was used for the first time on October 12, 1974, in the show midnight in Lake Tahoe. This was the only time the suit was worn in 1974. As we all know, it was worn again on February 17, 1977 in Savannah, Georgia, and was worn a total of 37 times that year, with the last time being on February 26. June 1977 in Indianapolis. Indiana. This was the last concert that Elvis Presley did before dying on August 16, 1977. Two spectacular costumes that made his performance even more spectacular, striking and magnificently designed this time by Gene Douccette. They would be one of the most beautiful designs that Elvis Presley would wear in recent years. "Following the King's Path..."

"Embroidered Arabian Suit"
It is a white jumpsuit with a design very similar to the spectacular "Arabian Suit" from 1973, but this set from 1974 has fantastic embroidered patterns with round and transparent rhinestones in blue, purple, light green and orange, with a gold thread on the outline . They are Arabic drawings that resemble swords in a deck of cards. They are arranged at the chest opening, over the shoulders and in the lower back and neck. Also in the folds of the pants, lined in blue fabric. On the gold embroidery there are small round and pointed gold studs. The suit has 3 white cufflinks on each cuff. With an original white leather belt It has 3 gold-colored hollow square medallions and a round bronze medallion in the middle. With the same embroidered patterns. With a bronze-colored chain and a golden one in six arcs around the belt. Other names: "Ace of Spades" or "King of Spades." It premiered in October 1974, in Lake Tahoe. The next time Elvis wore this beautiful outfit was on October 18, 1976 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This time, Elvis wore another belt belonging to "V-Neck Suit" from 1975. He wore this outfit many times in the late fall of 1976 on tours and in Las Vegas. On March 24, 1977, Elvis began wearing the original belt again. And on June 18, 1977.

"Rainfall Suit"

White jumpsuit with circle-shaped decoration, with imitation transparent blue diamonds. V-shaped pattern on the back, neck and shoulders. Wear these decorations from the chest down to the front of the legs and at the bottom. Blue lining on the sides.
With three cufflinks on the cuffs. The effect of the suit on stage reflects the colors of the rainbow when the light hits it.
With its original belt made of white leather and with the same decorations as the suit. with five squares, silver medallions. The belt buckle also has the same type of rhinestones. With two silver medallions in the middle.
The suit has another name "Raindrop Suit".

Publication March 1977
LP "Welcome to My World"

This Compilation Album "Welcome to My World" was released by RCA Records on March 17, 1977. As there was not enough new material to publish the new Album that had been planned, due to cancellations, Elvis' voice problems, etc., It compiled songs that had already been published except for the 1958 song "Your Cheatin' Heart." Country songs were generally chosen, because it was the genre that was doing the most in recent times. Some songs were performed live in the 70s.
The Album reached number 44 on the Billboard charts and with the death of Elvis sales would increase. The album was certified gold on September 30, 1977, and platinum on January 14, 1983 by the RIAA.

Vacation in Hawaii
March 1977

At the beginning of March, Elvis plans a vacation in Hawaii so that Ginger can get to know the islands.
But first he takes care of signing his will in which he appoints Vernon as executor and trustee, entrusting him with full responsibility for the "health education, comfortable maintenance and well-being" of himself, his grandmother, and Lisa Marie, the sole heir. Witnesses to the will are Ginger, Charlie Hodge, and Beecher Smith's wife, Ann.
On March 4, Elvis with a group of thirty people travel to Hawaii, checking in at the Hilton Rainbow Tower.
After two days, Elvis, the Alden sisters, and a couple of kids move into a beach house in Kailua, on the west side of Oahu. Elvis is happy, cheerful and satisfied during this holiday. He even asks Joe Esposito, who was fond of photography, to take photos of him with Ginger, with her sisters, and with his girlfriend Shirley. They were very special moments for everyone, because Elvis never asked to be photographed with anyone and it was something to remember.
These days he played football and it was evident to everyone that due to being overweight, Elvis could not control his body.
Although during this trip he did not change his drug doses, according to Ed Parker, he seemed to be in better shape after the stay, he slept better, he seemed stronger, even his face had color.
The trip was expensive for Elvis, but he told Larry Geller about the expense: "What's the point of winning the world if he can't share its good fortune with his friends?"
Unfortunately the vacation had to be canceled on the 12th, because sand had gotten into his eye and Dr Nick, concerned about his cornea, suggested that he recover at home for a few days before going on tour.

March 23 to March 30, 1977
8 Shows - 4 Canceled

Tour 26 was scheduled from March 23 to April 3, 1977, there were 12 concerts but the last four days were canceled due to Elvis' health problems. His mood was really low and he would not start things well because he seemed tired and listless.
Although he had rested on his vacation, his body could not retain much strength.
When he went back on tour at the end of the month, he didn't look well. Billy Smith is barely able to wake Elvis up to get him on the plane to leave on his second tour of the year, and Dr. Nick is forced to start an IV. Ginger's absence seems to be the determining psychological factor in his mood. Billy Smith really had a hard time getting him on the plane, thinking he wouldn't be able to make it to his first show. Just before going on stage, Elvis whispers to his cousin, "You didn't think I'd make it, did you?" and then puts on what Billy calls "an incredible show."

The Tour was already beginning in a difficult and unpredictable way due to Elvis's condition, which did not lift his head.
One fan commented after seeing the show first in Tempe, Arizona, on March 23: "His face was swollen and he certainly didn't look good."
Also fans who saw the shows in Norman commented: "The shows were like in Tempe, just routine."
It was sad to see that even his followers could already perceive that Elvis was not feeling well and for this reason he was doing the show differently from him. He normally asked to turn on the lights to see his fans, but he didn't do it, nor did he distribute kisses and handkerchiefs to the spectators who were closest to the stage. He only did it on a couple of occasions and he also seemed absorbed, distant.
His friends were very worried, like Charlie Hodge, Ed Parker who was also depressed seeing Elvis' situation.
Despite this, Elvis held the top two spots on Billboard's weekly list of top-grossing concerts for his shows in Norman and Tempe.
On March 27th he managed to fill a small concert hall like the Taylor County Coliseum in Abilene. But it is true that The last time Elvis performed in Abilene was during October 1974, when he did not do a good show.
In Alexandria, Louisiana, on March 30, he got stuck on the lyrics at the end of the show, in “Ca n't Help Falling in Love,” he was really lost and what he did was improvise a lyric that seemed to sentence himself. future of him:
“Wise men know when it is time to leave. . .”

The next day, March 31 in Baton Rouge, Elvis woke up feeling sick and called Dr. Nick, Joe Esposito and Larry Geller to his suite. He surprised them by saying "I talked to dad and Nick because I'm sick, man, I can't go on tonight. I'm canceling the rest of the tour."
At the State University Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, there were about 13,000 attendees coming to see his show.
The show had started as usual with a performance by The Sweet Inspirations, then The Stamps and finally comedian Jackie Kahane. Normally Elvis used to arrive at the concert hall during the break after the numbers, but this time he didn't go.
Charlie Hodge called Joe Esposito, who did not believe this was final, but half an hour later he saw that Elvis would not be able to attend his show.
The Colonel would add the canceled dates to a later tour, but he handled the show's cancellation in a peculiar way.
The musicians and backup singers took their places on stage as if Elvis was going to come out, but then a blackout was faked and they were taken out of the building in police cars. Tom Hulett said they were trying to get everyone out without getting hurt, then there was a riot.
Larry Geller had obtained a preview of Red, Sonny West, and Hebler's book through a fan, and knew that journalists might consider a cancellation a verification of the story. The terrible details were already beginning to appear in the British press and members of the Mafia were trying to keep all this from reaching Elvis. But Larry thought that he should know, it really wasn't the right time because upon hearing him, Elvis exploded with anger and requested the Colonel's presence. He was so bad that Dr Nick had to sedate him. When he woke up, he insisted on flying back to Memphis and going to the hospital, both for insurance and health reasons.

When they were heading back to the airport, Ed Parker, who was riding next to Elvis, saw in Elvis's eyes that he was looking for help, not sympathy. But Ed couldn't really help him, because he didn't really know how to do it and he felt bad not knowing how to fix it. It was really his health and in the early morning of April 1, Elvis was admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis. He was so exhausted that he slept this time uninterruptedly for 30 hours after being given a sedative. Although he was there four more days, when he left the hospital again he did not seem to have recovered.
The Press as expected made its own conclusions without finding out anything else, according to "The Final Years" by Jerry Hopkins, Elvis had taken too many stimuli.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Bobby Ogdin Pianist

Robert Ford Ogdin was born in September 1945, he studied as a pianist and violinist from a young age. In his career he is known for more than four decades as a session musician and recorded with numerous artists such as Ray Charles Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, George Jones, etc. Playing many genres, country, rock, Alternative Rock, etc. He known as a session pianist in Nashville.
He was also a member of Elvis Presley's TCB, recording on 20 occasions and would accompany him in the final months of tour from March to June 1977.
He has been a member of the Marshall Tucker Band for five years in the 1980s. He also recorded and performed concerts with the alternative rock band Ween.

With Elvis Presly he joined the TCB Band when David Briggs resigned in March 1977. He was chosen primarily by Felton Jarvis and Bob Beckham. When he accepted, he was told that there would be no lists or rehearsals, they gave him a cassette tape of the program so he could memorize the numbers. This can only be done by musicians who are used to improvising any type of music and do not even need sheet music.
The first time he performed on stage, Elvis approached Bobby while he was sitting at the keyboard and shook his hand, welcoming him to his show.
At these first shows they added a new song, "Moody Blue", to the show. One afternoon a rehearsal was called and the musicians gathered in the arena, which was already prepared for that night's show. Felton Jarvis called an Elvis impersonator he had hired onto the stage. This person sang "Moody Blue" imitating Elvis and standing in the same place as Elvis to rehearse the band.

March 1977

In The Arizona Republic, the headline "Elvis offers no surprises", written by Hardy Price, told how Elvis arrived in the city of Tempe at night and already had
14,200 fans who showed up to pay tribute to him called him the number one attraction in rock and roll.
In relation to his music, he said that it ranged from parody to almost perfect. Elvis displayed the old brilliance that took him to the top, such as the rocking performance of "JaiÍhouse Rock." He said much of the time was spent joking and tantalizing his audience, waving scarves at the crowd and clowning around with the lyrics. .
  To the public he described him as happy to see Elvis, who conquered them.

In Austin, the concert on March 28, 1977 was commented on in "The Austin American Statesman", by Paul Beutel, the headline said "The Show Proved that Elvis is Still the King."
In his chronicle he commented on the excitement at the arrival of Elvis Presley on stage at the Municipal Auditorium. The audience expected them to solve a problem due to the lack of an amplifier on stage. The crowd was running in and shouting into the room "Elvis has arrived."
The audience applauds, stomps and sings. The security guards had to send away some girls who had huddled in the hallway near the stage.
The lights went out and the 2001 theme begins, everyone screams, Elvis has arrived at 10:27 p.m. and starts singing "See, see Rider."
When he reaches the second verse Elvis begins to undulate his hips and head but in a softer way than 20 years ago.
He then asks the audience: "It's been a long time, hasn't it?" Screaming in response, then Elvis says, "Let's do something to make up for it tonight."
The audience screams and screams... Elvis throws towels and scarves. Paul Beutel says that Elvis can still sing and although his rhythm has slowed down he can swing his pelvis. He says that it is true that he is a little pot belly, but that it is not as much as was said.

At the Rapidas Parish Coliseum Alexandria performance on March 28 and 29, the headline of the "Alexandria Daily Town" read: "Entertaining."
Written by Elizabeth Roberts, who defined the Elvis show with a capital letter on the stage of the Rapides Parish Coliseum that is organized in a very professional way. She'd say, "Entertaining, that's with a capital E like in Elvis." Although she nevertheless said that his performance was not grade A, she gave him a grade B, it was entertaining.
The performance was less than an hour and she said that it was impossible to understand him when she spoke between performances. Her song "How Great Thou Art" should have been How Loud You Are. The journalist criticized his lack of communication with the audience, greetings, etc.
Elvis came on stage, did a few songs and then ran off, without encores, without thanks, without anything.
She also detailed how Elvis made false starts on several songs and that he was relying heavily on his backing band and one of the singers.
She said that Elvis was a good singer and a showman, but that none of his talents appeared in this performance. She also said that she should update his performance and add more contemporary numbers. She went on to comment on more details, but ended by saying that the concert was very fun, but if you were an Elvis fan you might be disappointed.

"The Cruelty of the Press"
Tour 26

  The sad thing about all this was that Elvis had been one of the artists that promoted the most sales, the press wrote about this and it was difficult for them to say anything really negative. But they were feeding on rumors about drug abuse, canceled concerts, his hip movements and, above all, his weight problems. It was as if they were waiting to gradually destroy his image, because the newspapers were selling in the millions, which led to more articles, more photographs. And Elvis Presley was not prepared to suffer so much bad press, he was no longer the young man who relied on his music on stage. He was sick and these headlines that would circulate would be increasingly damaging his spirits.
Cruelty was his specialty, one Detroit critic wrote: "It's condemning Presley with faint praise to say he stunk. If he appeared live in concert tonight in my backyard, I wouldn't bother raising the window blinds." "We paid 15 dollars for a place to hear his aged voice crackle and hear him stumble over lyrics he should have known 20 yen ago," "Presley is old, fat and completely immobile. At best, he is a parody of himself "At worst, a poor imitation of Burl Ives."
It was adding more fuel to the fire, because Elvis was getting more and more burned...
"Following the Way of The King..."

Jumpsuits Tour 26

On this Tour he only wore two of his Jumpsuits, the "Mexican Sundials Suit" and the "1974 Arabian Suit". There was nothing new, no more design.
Just like in his repertoire that did not offer any changes, everything was more or less paralyzed.

To dependency with Ginger Alden.
Alicia Kerwin

At this time, spring 1977, Elvis depended on what Ginger Alden did, although he was very protective of her and treated her like a child. She actually didn't seem very interested in following Elvis around, she refused to move to Graceland, because it seemed immoral to her. Elvis complained about all this and told Joe Esposito's partner, Shirley, that Ginger always had her period (being her excuse for not having intimate relations with Elvis). She told him: "He said, 'That damn girl is going to bleed to death.'
Everyone wondered the reason for Elvis's relationship, who did not want to be alone and fought for months over Ginger, although he nevertheless got involved with other women with whom he would have a relationship, when Ginger disappeared.
Billy Smith, her cousin, asked him, "Why the hell do you put up with her?", to which Elvis would wearily reply, "I'm getting too old and tired to train anyone else." Elvis' nickname for Ginger was "Gingerbread."
Elvis felt old and he was really only 42 years old, he was in a mature age, but he couldn't consider himself that way. He really had lived a lot and very fast, so he was probably tired of it all. But her attitude created more anxiety and thinking about aging, increasing her insecurity.
She would disappear for two days and Elvis would get very nervous and her mood would blossom asking, "Where is she, man? Why doesn't she stay?"
He wasn't used to being rejected or not being the center of attention and Ginger surely knew how to handle the situation, because he had her eye on him.
Whenever she wanted to go home, Elvis tried to hold her back, but she didn't stop and on one occasion Elvis resorted to various methods, shooting, letting air out of the tires of his car... on another occasion he told Billy that Keep the door closed so he couldn't get out. But Billy refused, he told him it wasn't a prison.
He once asked Billy what he thought of her and he replied, "I think she's everything you've ever hated in a woman." This response made Elvis angry and he was angry with Billy for three days.
Ginger accompanied him on the April tour, but she got married in the last few days so Elvis brought her mother and his sister so she wouldn't get bored.

In April, after having a fight with Ginger, Elvis would have another girl at home again, she was a twenty-year-old bank teller and her name was Alicia Kerwin. As always, it was George Klein who introduced her to Alicia, although Alicia had never been an Elvis fan and she didn't know much about him, but they understood each other well. Although at first she did not want to meet, but as always Elvis convinced her and on April 13, she Alicia accompanied Elvis, Billy and his wife to Las Vegas. She bought him a car because she was in a good mood but her father scolded him because they hadn't warned that they were out of Memphis and her family was worried. Elvis in turn complained that she was being scolded.
As always, Elvis avoided taking her drugs and relaxants and when Alicia woke up she thought he wasn't breathing and alarmed she called Billy. They couldn't wake him up and Dr. Kaplan and Elias Ghanem had to go to revive him. He had a respiratory crisis but fortunately they were able to recover him.
But Alicia did not last long as she was shocked by this and another day in which she thought that Elvis was hemorrhaging in his sleep, but he simply had red jelly in his mouth, this was too much for her and she began to distance herself from him.
Elvis would sometimes call her from the road and ask her what she made of her. She liked him to tell her about the places she had been and to know the details about her, because he couldn't go out freely without being recognized.
She Alicia left him in June because she was too much to handle, she would see him as a little boy at times, she would read to him to sleep and she seemed sad at times. But more than a lover, she would simply be a good friend who accompanied him during this time, because they never had relations since Elvis was only aware of her problems with Ginger.
Although on one occasion Elvis told her that he felt that she was more or less after her money than anything else. Elvis wanted to take her on the last tour scheduled for August, but it never happened.
Alicia was impressed by the Elvis world, by Las Vegas, which she found stimulating, and she subsequently left her city to move there where she would become a blackjack dealer and she would become trapped in the toxicity that finally killed her.
She also met another bank teller named Debbie Watts, who unfortunately learned Elvis' bad habits. From June to August, she would be something temporary, because she was looking out for Ginger. Debbie later went to prison for trafficking methamphetamines.

Sometimes we don't know the influence we can have on people and to what extent we can divert them from their path to get lost in an uncertain destiny.
"Following the Way of the King..."

April 21 to May 3, 1977. 13 shows

In this new Tour, Elvis' mood and his health contributed to his new condition, getting worse every moment, so the good Shows were spaced out in time.
Elvis would lose interest in his performances that had cost him so much effort and care.
On this Tour Elvis seemed lost and his shows would be characterized by a lack of inspiration, routine because he could not do things as usual.
It was clear that continuing to perform would be a mistake in this situation, since Elvis Presley had not recovered and his physical problems were evolving. Your mood
also, because the press had focused on him as if he were a prey and Elvis, who had fought so much for his career, would feel very hurt by all the news that
They were publishing about him, his being overweight, his lack of movement. And also what was going to be published in the future in the book of his ex-friends.
The Tour seemed to be a disaster and Elvis was unfazed by this, he sang one song with another seemingly indifferent.

From the second show in Detroit, it was already evident that something was wrong, Elvis needed to rest because he had only slept an hour, he forgot the lyrics
of the songs. Charlie Hodge was waiting to dictate the lyrics to him and his movements were very slow.
Although not everything was negative, because in some of the concerts he would receive good reviews since Elvis sang magnificently. But this would be occasional, since in general
There were many more bad concerts.
Elvis didn't seem to have any control over his own situation, but it is true that he tried to defend himself against the comments during the penultimate concert in Chicago. He would say
that he felt very well and that those who said otherwise were completely wrong.

But it seems that Elvis was deceiving himself, he continued not to recognize his physical condition and continued to over-medicate. Although he could sometimes put on a good show,
because his fans encouraged him and he went up. His body was the one screaming for help and rest, but Elvis didn't hear anything and continued working as if everything was fine.
Everyone could see him, feel his tiredness and discomfort, but his illness was only a truth for those closest to him, but it didn't seem like anything could be done to remedy it. Colonel Parker, who was also a witness, instead of canceling the concerts, added more and more work.
On the 24th in Ann Arbor and on April 25th in Saginaw, RCA recorded the concerts to obtain more material to add to future publications. The songs "Unchained Melody", "If You Love me" and "Little Darlin" were included in the album that would be published under the title "Moody Blue".
Elvis should have thought more about himself and not so much about others, but he didn't do it because there were too many people depending on him and probably because he needed to feel the applause of his audience again.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Tour 27

The Press valued Elvis's interpretation on the one hand and criticized him on the other, but really whatever he did, the intention was to gain sensationalism to sell more newspapers or magazines. So Elvis became the target of these publications, the photographs of him and the chronicles of him made a lot of money for the press.

In Greensboro the Daily News published the headline "Elvis weaves a magic web out of a scarf" written by Jerry Kenion, after the first concert of the April tour.
He said that no magician had ever gotten as much benefit from his multicolored scarves as Elvis. He highlighted the collaboration of what he called the scarf man, who had to place a scarf around Elvis's head, who gave it to his fans.
The Fans screamed and Elvis gave away dozens of handkerchiefs, he said that was the biggest movement he made all night. His voice was excellent as he really tried to express the power of it through songs. The journalist was describing his interpretation of "May Way", despite reading the score he was full of emotion and demonstrated what had excited millions of buyers for 20 years. He also praised him in "How Great Thou Art" and in the serious songs he felt his entire being pour out. Then the chills would appear and the magic was in the air.
But he said that in many other songs there was no magic at all. The tremendous energy, humor, movement and emotion were not what he demonstrated in the same place in years past. His movements were very slow, giving the impression of being painful at times.
Elvis was still showing his crooked, devilish smile at the corner of his mouth. He responded to the deafening screams, saying that Elvis seemed to absorb and try to duplicate the energy created for him, since there were 17,000 people and the tickets were sold out.
Although despite growing, his energy was lagging and he skipped notes here and there improvising old standards.

CHICAGO May 1, 1977

"Fragments of old songs, some new: that's Elvis"

Chicago Tribune written by Lynn Van Matre, where she remembered that Elvis Presley had visited Chicago a few months ago.
The journalist wondered how it was possible that he returned in such a short time and the shows were sold out. Elvis continued as a kind of national musician, although he is feeling depressed these days. She said Elvis continued as a kind of national musician, like Mount Rushmore or something. But she said that Mount Rushmore didn't get overweight...
As for the show, she said that living legends could be fun and seeing Elvis Presley last fall was fun, but this time Elvis had gained weight and didn't put on a great show. He showed snippets of old songs, some new ones, some mumbling and lots of scarves he threw at his fans.
She said, Elvis had become a Self-parody, although he hardly made any movements. On occasion Elvis showed depth and timbre would ring true in his voice, he sounded like he once sounded on early recordings of him.
But she said the excitement had been gone for quite some time. Elvis played on stage and the crowd could see and hear him, this for many fulfilled his dreams and was enough.
Those without memories may find the performance less than memorable.

The Press in Milwaukee, April 27, 1976

The Milwaukee Journal ran the headline "Elvis fans pay a lot to see little."
written by Damlen Jaques

It said about the show performed by Elvis Presley, which broke many myths, referring to the past. There was a full house at the Milwaudee Arena with 11,854 people and with a record-breaking collection without being a benefit concert, they paid $167,272.50 to see Elvis.
Unfortunately Elvis once and for all demolished his own myth in this show, although he received some of the wildest adulation given to an artist at the Arena. Elvis would get lost in the middle of a song, asking the band to start again, he would read the lyrics because he didn't know the song, he would also criticize their attitude by mumbling, singing softly without being able to be heard, in addition to dedicating himself to a few people in front of the stage. . He also failed to return for an encore after 70 minutes of performance.
He described the performance as disconcerting after having turned the dark Arena into daylight when the public received him with thousands of cameras and flashes.
He criticized that Elvis seemed to be more interested in the women who were trying to fight under the stage than the thousands of fans who were calm in his seat.
The women jumped on stage and there was a fight to get the scarves.
Elvis moved around singing a medley mixing old rockers with new pop songs. When he sang "My Way" Elvis said he didn't know the lyrics and had to read them.
He went back to handing out more scarves and after 70 minutes he ran off the stage, while an announcer said that Elvis had left the Arena.
The public who wanted to see Elvis at his best said he felt pressured and cheated and they had a right to be.
The audience was very varied, teenagers, grandmothers, mature women and entire families, everyone deserved better.

Concert Recordings
April 24 and 25, 1977

On April 24 and 25, 1977, the planned live recordings were made to complete the album that was to be published. Felton Jarvis is very concerned about the lack of material from him since Elvis had canceled the recording sessions and would have to choose to release the last four tracks that could serve as the songs he sang on stage. Felton knew that the repertoire was too worn out, but since Elvis sometimes sang a song that he had recently included, he focused on what was already there, but was not recorded.
Elvis had occasionally sung the song "Unchained Melody." The performance featured Elvis playing the piano, something he rarely did in concert.
The finished recording is impressive. Because Elvis was focused on this song and his voice was splendid. It was fixed in the overdubbing process. The original undubbed recording is surprisingly patchy.
  "Little Darlin" was another song that Elvis had added to his repertoire, but had never been recorded. Although Felton Jarvis knew it wasn't the best, he added himself to the material.
  The last song to be included at that time was "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)", which also did not add anything new or original to the "Moody Blue" LP.

Elvis concerts were becoming increasingly problematic and unpredictable. You can see in some moments his great quality in his interpretation that would be so shocking, but in other moments that were increasingly common, we can hear Elvis who is struggling to maintain his voice, without support without being able to breathe and singing sometimes in murmurs. It was difficult for him to sing songs that were previously easy and simple and in which he had to be passionate and with a powerful voice he also encountered stumbling blocks. All of this could have been avoided if Elvis had decided to stop so he could regain his health and form.
His appearance was getting worse and worse and although his fans followed and worshiped him, this was no longer enough to silence his failures.
The critics were unpleasant and unfavorable because they did not respect the artist, the man, but in a way it was logical, since tickets continued to be sold with his shows that did not currently have the quality that a Concert demanded. But there was no need to be so unpleasant about his physical appearance and make fun of him as an artist.
Greg Oatis, in the Toledo Blade, wrote a decidedly unfavorable review of Elvis's April 23, 1977 Toledo concert. Referring to Elvis as a parody of his past performance, he said several couples sitting near him in the audience left early, evidently disappointed. He claimed that Elvis was a little chubby and that the only ovation he received was when he stopped singing, etc.
The response to this article would come from many fans writing complaining about how unfair the author was towards Elvis. A week later the newspaper published eight letters from disgruntled fans, saying that Mr. Oatis' article was disgraceful, disgusting, and saying that it was his own personal opinion. But it was useless because the bad reviews kept coming non-stop.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Marty Harrell conducts the Orchestra
May 1977

On Tour 28 there was a change in the last few days by the members of the Orchestra, Director Joe Guercio could not conduct and Marty Harrell took his place as Director.
Marty Harrell was a bass trombonist in Joe Guercio's orchestra, he was also his first substitute when Joe couldn't work or played a double.
The first time he conducted the Orchestra for Elvis was April 1977 and in A in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 31, 1977. Although he had been part of the Joe Guercio Orchestra since 1969, when they found out that Elvis wanted to work with them at the Hilton Hotel and later on tour.
The orchestra was different when they went on tour, because at the Hilton Elvis used 40 musicians, but when he left tours he was reduced by half.
He also directed Tours 28 and 29, since Joe Guercio could not or would not conduct for Elvis.
Actually, Elvis's situation and his illness could have had more consequences with respect to the musicians, but there was no time for them to have consequences.

Between tours ELVIS PRESLEY
May 1977

After the 27th tour, Elvis Presley had two weeks off until the day the next one would begin, May 20, 1977. Instead of going out and spending a few days relaxing, he isolated himself in his room at Graceland all this time. The concern of everyone in the house was to be expected, even the workers who saw how Elvis suffered and the stressful burden he had in the face of these tours that were exhausting his strength. But they couldn't do anything for him or in any case he wouldn't let themselves be helped.

When the time came for Tour 28, many things would happen that confirmed that his health was not stable at all. The second day he couldn't get up because he fainted in the dressing room and it was necessary to put his head in a cold bucket of water, at the request of Colonel Parker, who only cared about money and not Elvis's health. Another day in Baltimore, Elvis suddenly left the scene, leaving everyone speechless and returning within half an hour. The reason would be intestinal problems and although he finished his shows, the fans were somewhat disappointed.
The same day Elvis would speak with Larry Geller and Kathy Westmoreland with whom he had a deep conversation and as usual with Larry, a spiritual one. Elvis was sick again, in reality he was not recovering and Larry sensed that he was not going to get better. some. Larry would comment that he somehow believed that Elvis was aware that we knew he was dying. He told them that he didn't have much time left.
He didn't really listen to the doctors who advised him not to tour too much, but even if they toured every two weeks, Elvis was paying a high price for his contracts, with his life.
"Following the Way of the King..."

May 20 to June 2, 1977
14 Performances

After a few days of rest, the May tour began again, Tour 28 for Elvis Presley. He had gained more weight, was very swollen and could hardly put on the suits, so he wore only one suit on stage. The "Mexican Sundial Suit" was the only one that could be worn without discomfort and with two sets to be able to alternate between Concerts. It was not a suit that flattered him very much, because you could see all the swelling on him, his face was also extremely swollen and he looked much older than he was and he had gained 15 kilos since December.
Elvis would perform 14 shows from May 20 to June 2, 1977, the dynamic remained the same even though it did not work. That is to say fourteen days in a row that could start well, but they wore out more and more Elvis. Colonel Parker could have planned the concerts differently or spaced them out, so that these Tours would not be a marathon for someone who was not at his best and was suffering with his health, evading himself with drugs to be able to keep up.

But Elvis' mood seemed to have improved compared to the previous ones, since he sang with more strength, more clarity and more dedication. Even with this, his poor physical condition meant that he could only sing about 15 songs during the shows, but the important thing was that the motivation to do good shows again was present.
Elvis started very well, singing with quality and in an excellent way, but unfortunately he couldn't hold up in the same way, he couldn't handle his strength and although he had the greatest interest, his image was lost and it seemed that he didn't care. it mattered. At least this is what the press and the public would see, even if it was not reality, since Elvis was without strength.
Elvis did some shows quite well, for example in Mobile, Alabama, where there was one of the best Audiences of this Tour. Elvis liked to perform in the state where his dear friend Charlie Hodge was born. In this case he again included "An American Trilogy" in honor of the South, as well as the song "Unchained Melody."
But nevertheless in other places they were not so lucky, because he did not have great conditions to perform and he performed some shows in a terrible way.
An example was in the city of Baltimore, where he had to leave the stage because he was so physically ill that he couldn't sing well from the first note, until you could barely hear his voice, it was a disaster.

Ginger Alden accompanied him on this tour but on the seventh day she got tired and she left without Elvis being able to do anything. Elvis was exhausted, physically and emotionally, and at Balti-more, on the 29th, he would begin to mutter and curse on stage, abandoning it for half an hour.
After singing nine songs he asked Sherrill Nielsen to sing, performing two songs so he could reprise his performance but he did so pitifully by singing "Teddy Bear / Do n't Be Cruel". Elvis had no choice but to surprise the audience by leaving the stage to recover. Then JD Sumner sings one song, then Kathy Westmoreland sings another and Charle Hodge would introduce the musicians and Choir. They perform "School Days" and finally Elvis returns to the stage apologizing. Although he sings "Hurt" very well the audience is still shocked, he applauds modestly. They didn't seem to understand what was happening because after two more songs they still haven't reacted. Elvis gets desperate with this and asks the audience what they want, then he sings the song "Unchained Melody" very well. Elvis told the audience that every word of the lyrics and every note was perfect, so he poured himself into the score and finally won back his audience. He achieved great applause at the end and apologized again for having left the stage.
While he was in Baton Rouge on the thirty-first, making up for the performance he had canceled on the previous tour, newspapers abroad began serializing his former bodyguards' book two months after his publishers published it in the United States.
This would unfortunately be a major factor in his future mood.
"Following the Way of the King..."

"The Truth Hidden Under the Scene"
May 1977

The situation was even more complicated than it seemed, because the public would never have really imagined the truth about Elvis's state of health.
It is clear that Elvis Presley had many health problems, his physical deterioration was advancing and it did not help at all that he was taking drugs all day for everything. It took him more and more time to prepare and go on stage, although he wanted to do it, he felt bad about the reality of it. He told Jerry Schilling that he felt despondent about his health.
Larry Geller wondered why no one was doing anything to help him, he did not understand Colonel Parker nor the doctors who treated him, since it was clear that Elvis needed to stop. Elvis was so bad that every day he went to Larry's room and cried, but he didn't know how to help him. He proposed a change in his habits to improve his health and Elvis had promised to change, but he was locked in a daily dynamic that was impossible to modify. The Colonel only thought about making money without thinking about the artist and even less about the man.
The truth is that Elvis's worst enemy was always himself, because he did not pay attention to the recommendations that one of his friends or his girlfriend or others could make to him. Elvis only listened to Elvis and had an order of life based on his drugs, to sleep, to wake up, to act, to live...
He was tired, that's what it seemed to everyone, but the truth is that his heart was seriously damaged, it was twice as big as it should have been. His liver problem was also very serious and was getting worse little by little, there was also glaucoma and his hypertension, all this and other problems that were discovered over time caused his body to deteriorate and adding to it the drugs. There were really a host of reasons to leave the shows but Elvis felt obligated by everyone and by himself.

A former student of his physician, George C. Nichopolous, named Fred Hurto, was present at the May 20, 1977 performance in Knoxville. He realized that Elvis was overprotected by his bodyguards who were roughly pushing people away, running and trying to get to the stage. Elvis seemed to him like a puppet under the control of these men who were watching the exit time and on stage. When he was finally able to see him before going on stage, 8 or 10 people surrounded him. Elvis was very pale, swollen, but he didn't seem to have any strength. He looked over to where Fred was and smiled at him. But to him she seemed like a very sick person with constant stress and tension, he thought this would kill him but he never imagined he would have so little time. His impression of his bodyguards is that they were more aware of the weather than of the man, who they should have taken great care of so that he did not arrive on the scene like that.
The Press that was criticizing him so much seemed to finally understand after this tour that Elvis had serious health problems. Because they wrote about his physical condition and illness that weakened him and that as a result he could have problems performing his future concerts.
But the Truth about Elvis was difficult to assimilate and although one might think that Elvis was very sick, no one would have thought that Death was on his heels.
"Following the Way of the King..."

June 1, 1977

Regardless of all the ups and downs and circumstances that occurred on this Tour 28, the truth is that economically, this fourth tour of the year was a great success, raising $2,309,000. Elvis made almost $800,000, two-thirds of the profits, but Colonel Parker had loaned Elvis one-sixth of the profits they made from each tour since they signed a deal in January 1976. So at the end of the year Elvis would have him They had to return that money to fulfill an agreement they had previously made according to which each would receive half of the profit.
It was a lot of money and Elvis could barely keep up with everything he was in charge of. Since records were not being made and those that had been published were not successful, there was really an urgent need to make money. Elvis would also be burdened by this, which would be another straw that broke his camel's back.

Songs had to be recorded during tours to comply with RCA. Although a lot of money was made with the Concerts, unfortunately Elvis spent as much money as he earned and never saved with all that he had had with his success. Elvis continued to consume drugs that every day destroyed his health more and the love he had with Ginger Alden did not materialize either.


The Press in Largo
May 20, 1977

An article in the Washington Star, written by John Mckelway commented that in recent years there was a tendency to look critically at Elvis Presley's weight. He said that at his age, 42 years old, the body is not easy to control. On May 20, 1977 he had the opportunity to see him at the Capital Center in Largo, along with about 20,000 other people. Elvis had gained weight compared to 20 years ago, but he said those who flocked to see him gained even more weight.
He also attracts some young, thin, pretty girls and in any appearance he succeeds. He had never seen him perform, he said he sang in a deep rhythmic murmur and grandeur in the highest reaches, he said he still could.
He was struck by the fact that he drank a lot of water from a glass handed to him by a little man who he said must be a flatterer. And he called it slavery, I didn't know that Charlie Hodge worked for Elvis doing a lot of things besides singing with him.
The Show lasted fifty minutes, he said there was no discernible wave of disappointment that he would have settled for less. He said Elvis didn't have to do much, just hang around. He criticized what he called his costume, a kind of sequined suit, he was wearing the American Sundial, white sequined with the Aztec calendar. The belt with a buckle the size of Santa Claus's. “Elvis was still an excellent artist,” he said with just a touch of restrained meanness that never fully emerges. He wondered if this was what the public liked about him.
Elvis threw two microphones on stage because he said they were not working properly.

The Press in Jacksonville
May 30, 1977

Steve Crosby wrote for "The Florida Times-Union" with the following headline: "Elvis! Sequins, gold chain and that style."
He said of this performance that at the end there was no applause and the clients left shaking their heads and speculating about what was happening to him. It seems that the performance did not satisfy anyone and at some points he described it as "Eardrum Bursts." But he said it was comforting to see that Elvis was still temperamental.
He said that Elvis had a paunch, dressed in a white pantsuit, adorned with a gold chain and sequins.
The journalist warned that "if you ever return to the Jacksonville Coliseum, under no circumstances should you stay near the stage when Elvis gives away scarves and kisses women. Because normally calm and normally dignified women kill."
Despite there being no applause, the writer had liked Elvis, he said that he twisted, turned, shook, twirled and occasionally sang, but quite well, especially if you like his particular way of interpreting country music. rock.
But his concert was an event.

The Press in Providense
May 1977

In Providence the Journal with a writing by Tony Liocé said "Elvis does a show at the Civic Center."
There was a moment last night, during the Elvis concert at the
Civic Center, when he started singing "My way", he stopped, sang a national anthem from Las Vegas, he wondered if this was what happened to the rockers when he turned 42. But he said that Elvis was tremendous, that he was now a star and hadn't changed much.
He criticized that Elvis spent more time giving away his scarves to the public than singing his songs. He said he lulled his tunes rather than actually conveying them.
In some songs he did transmit to the public about him and would return to routine interpretations of his greatest hits. In any case, the audience was delighted by every detail of his performance. His show lasted an hour.
Some said before the show that they had come to the concert to check out the man who started it all, but they were at the end of the show moved and excited.

The Press in Mobile
June 2, 1977

Mobile Register published a piece by Mignon V. Kilday with the headline: "Elvis is much better this time."
He said that Elvis Presley was still the King, in the eyes of his devoted fans who filled the Movil. He looked considerably improved compared to his last time.
She described him as older but broader, but she wondered, who isn't? . She said of Elvis that his voices were many, varied, impressive and professional.
That he accelerated the pace between songs and if he had a mistake he made excuses for it. She wondered if Elvis only sang ballads, he was soothing, crooning, tender. A mature performer in concert, everything she does is great and Mobile is looking forward to Elvis' return.

The Press in Baltimore
May 1977

Variety's Marty Benneft titled his article "What's up with Elvis? He leaves in the middle of the show at Balto"
He said that Elvis Presley was physically and artistically deficient; he walked around for half an hour in what he described as a strange concert. He left and then returned, while the spokesman to silence murmurs, bad words saying that Elvis was suffering from an intestinal problem. After the break Elvis performed with great success and politely apologized to recover his losses. Only a few asked for a refund.
Elvis had heavy eyelids and seemed weak and tired. Elvis announced that he had to leave the stage. He said he had left because of "a sprained ankle and nature calls and is not deceived." Afterwards he said that there was nothing wrong with his health and repeatedly thanked the public for hanging out with him, he also said:
"If you want us to come back we will come back."
The writer said "Presley, pot-bellied and apparently painted, first made 30 minutes, marked by anemic singing, some stilted attempts at his patented turns, a disconcerting rhythm, and awkward stage movements that included an assistant holding his hand." your voice microphone."
The program consisted of old hits.

The Reality behind the footlights.
On May 29 in Baltimore, Elvis was feeling sick, his whole body and leg hurt, and he also said his throat felt raw.
When he took the stage at the Civic Center, he was exhausted and thirteen thousand people cheered him frantically. Elvis felt very sick, his eyes were swollen and he couldn't move well, his movements were very slow. When he sang he slurred his words and was trying to stand, his body swaying.
From the audience it might appear that he was drunk or sick. He evidently couldn't take it anymore, he was about to collapse, but he reacted and left the next song in the hands of Sherrill Nielsen and Charlie acted as master of ceremonies until Elvis could recover.
Backstage in the dressing room, Dr. Nick did everything he could to revive Elvis. Thirty minutes passed and Elvis would return to the stage recovered and animated to finish his show. Larry accompanied him as he whispered, "Just send me some energy so I can sing."
Despite being sick and without strength, Elvis gave everything to satisfy his fans, but the press didn't really understand it that way.
Elvis did not want anyone to know about his health, for this reason he always tried to control the situation against his own convenience.

"Mexican Sundial Suit"

 This suit was made as early as 1974, before this Lake Tahoe season. Gene Doucette says he only made one suit with this pattern.The "Mexican Sundial Suit" is a white jumpsuit with a pattern similar to one of the two Aztec calendars, which have their origin in the calendar of the Mayan Indians. Tonalpohualli is the name of the sacred Aztec calendar that was used to worship and the rituals were read from the calendar, it was a design of the sacrifice made on the stone of the Sun. The suit has two large circular patterns embroidered in the colors orange, brown, it has a slightly thicker thread in a gold, silver color. A circle on the chest and another on the back. The same in the same colors on the neck and on the outside of the pants, lined with golden fabric. The patterns are embellished with bronze gilded pyramid studs. And inside the embroidery are mirrors and small round colored stones. The suit had three white cufflinks on each cuff. The belt was white leather with two rows of round bronze pointed studs at the top and bottom. Between these is an embroidered row of similar patterns with the same studs, mirrors and rhinestones. Featuring five large, round, flat silver patterns with 21 hemisphere-shaped gold studs around the belt and one on the large buckle. It wears a bronze chain and a gold chain in six arcs. "Mexican Sundial Suit" or "Aztec Sun Suit" or "Pizza Suit", as some called it, was used for the first time on October 12, 1974, in the show midnight in Lake Tahoe. This was the only time the suit was worn in 1974. As we all know, it was worn again on February 17, 1977 in Savannah, Georgia, and was worn a total of 37 times that year, with the last time being on February 26. June 1977 in Indianapolis. Indiana. This was the last concert that Elvis Presley did before dying on August 16, 1977. Two spectacular costumes that made his performance even more spectacular, striking and magnificently designed this time by Gene Douccette. They would be one of the most beautiful designs that Elvis Presley would wear in recent years.

The ineffectiveness that surrounded Elvis in recent times

In all the Concerts Elvis was always surrounded by his bodyguards because when going up or down the stage, he had problems since the spotlights blinded him and adding to this his problem with glaucoma, sweat and nerves, it was necessary to be accompanied. On April 27, when Elvis turned to leave the stage on the steps, he extended his arm to where Dig Grob was supposed to be. The people were hysterical and Elvis seemed lost but what he was was blinded, as Dick Grob was not there to help him Elvis slipped and sprained his ankle because of this. Elvis arrived at the Hotel furious and his bodyguard excused himself by saying that he was holding back the public.
There really were a lot of people around Elvis, but he really only trusted Billy Smith, Charlie Hodge, Larry Geller and Ed Parker. They truly cared about what was happening to him, they listened to him, they went to see him when he felt alone and they cared for him at all times because they loved him.
Since Red and Sonny West were gone, Elvis didn't have that special friendship that united him with current bodyguards Dick Grob, Ricky and David Stanley...In the past Red and Sonny were literally attached to him and were also his friends, but since they were fired this no longer existed and when Elvis felt bad or felt alone he had to call Billy, Charlie or Larry, because the rest didn't care. He cared for everything he really needed.
When Elvis slept, they had to be in the next room in case he had any problem since they could hear him and attend to him, but sometimes they went down to the living room and were not there as happened when Elvis died. It is very possible that if Ricky had been in his place he would have heard Elvis fall and perhaps things would not have happened the same way. Although it seems that the end was inevitable due to his health, we would have to ask ourselves if having two young people attending to him irresponsibly without being in his place and also another young person like Ginger sleeping in his bed, was the reason why Elvis did not could be attended to correctly.

Vernon, Elvis's father, was very angry and spoke to everyone. He told them that he had had a conversation with Elvis and that he was very hurt by the attitude they had toward him, that they weren't fooling anyone. He added: "You all have had something good here and Elvis is very hurt. He told me that you all sneak out every night and never come in to talk to him, or just sit and listen to what's going on. You're supposed to be his friends and he can't understand why you're gone."
He said the only people he feels care about are Larry, Billy and Charlie. They are the only ones who stay with him or want to be with him and keep him company. Sometimes Ed does it too, but the rest does his job and leaves as quickly as possible. Vernon added: "He's not asking for too much. And I'm just giving you good advice. I know Elvis. He's fed up and so am I."
Everyone stayed silent because they couldn't really say anything else.

Elvis was sometimes without Ginger because he had returned home to Memphis and felt very lonely. He said that he couldn't sleep without anyone next to him and since he had no one with him, he called Kathy Westmoreland, who was a good friend for him with whom he shared his conversations about books, spirituality, etc. Kathy went to accompany him at night, she understood that Elvis was very lonely.
"Following the Way of the King..."

Halftime June 1977

In mid-June 1977, Elvis was spending a few days off and his friend George Klein asked him for help in relation to an accusation made of mail fraud on federal charges. George admitted to having signed WHBQ's books by falsifying data that was actually correct, but he was guilty and was depressed because he was fired from the station where he worked for so many years. He was afraid of going to jail and his great friend Elvis promised him that he would do everything possible to help him and that he would never leave him alone. He even told him that if there was no other solution he would take him out of the country with his plane, but he remained silent and suddenly told Billy Smith that he was also there, to call President Carter.
Elvis knew him and spent time with him since he performed in Atlanta when Carter was still governor. Billy called President Carter in Casablanca on behalf of his cousin Elvis Presley, but he had retired and his message was taken. The next day Chip Carter, the president's son, called Graceland and told Elvis that he wanted to discuss it with his father, but Elvis insisted that he was private and finally the president himself would call him directly.
When they spoke, Elvis explained George's problem and the president told him that he would investigate his case to see what could be done. Although the conversation was complicated because Carter couldn't understand Elvis' somewhat incoherent conversation. Although he would call him again the next day, the president decided not to answer the call and George's case continued.
George Klein was one of Elvis's best friends and appreciated everything he did for him, but finally in a few months he would have to face his mistake.

Billy heard Elvis talk on many occasions about what he would plan to say on his next tour if someone interrupted or accused him. He would admit that he wasn't perfect and planned to take some time off to get ready. He had also told Larry Geller that he wanted to stop touring for a year, go to Hawaii, rent a house, run on the beach and exercise, make a movie as an actor. It was clear that Elvis needed to free himself from everything that was distressing him and also take a long break to recover.

June 17 to 26, 1977
10 Performances

Between tours he would again have two weeks to rest between Tours 28 and 29. On this new Tour Elvis would travel through ten cities doing 10 shows, in ten days from June 17 to the 26th.
His performances were somewhat variable because in some of the shows, Elvis had to leave the scene for a short period of time and it is also true that he occasionally forgot the lyrics. The mere fact that he appeared to sing before the public was already considered a success.
But unfortunately nothing was overlooked by the press, which was giving bad reviews, but it was useless, because the fans were still loyal to Elvis.
They said about Elvis that he had no voice, that he had disappeared, that his appearance on stage was a confused attitude and that his waist had grown.
But his weight as an artist was more powerful than the newspaper articles. Furthermore, the Colonel was able to get a contract for Elvis to appear on Television, again with CBS. He would win $750,000 of which Colonel Parker would take 50% of the profit. The intention was to reach all televisions in homes in the US.
Elvis when he talked about this said “another of the Colonel's greedy deals.”

This commitment worried him a lot as always, first of all because of his appearance and because of his insecurity, since he wanted to live up to it because it represented a challenge for him again.
It was going to be filmed during the concerts, but the actual state of Elvis Presley's health had not been taken into account. Part of the concerts would be filmed, two different ones, but when they took shots of the first concert, but unfortunately, Elvis was not in condition and there was little that could be saved. He himself would admit that the show was terrible and promised that the next show would do much better.
Although Elvis kept his promise to do better, he would not be able to improve his image among viewers and the TV program would highlight his external decline and his voice would also suffer in ratings, since Elvis lacked strength and therefore seemed to have lost quality compared to the TV Hawaii broadcast.
His weakness and his health were already evident to the world through this program, he should never have been filmed.
The image of him that had cost him so much care to maintain was not only damaged by the book that was going to be published, his situation was also transparent to the world.
Jerry Schilling, his friend, cried when he saw him on television when she saw how his real situation was reflected.

Upon his arrival in Indianapolis he is presented with a plaque commemorating the pressing of the two billionth record at RCA's Indianapolis pressing plant, which is produced during the manufacturing of Elvis' new album, Moody Blue. After the show, he, Ginger, and a large party including friends and family return to Memphis.

The Musicians on the last Tour

On this last Tour in June 1977, Elvis Presley's team was the same as months before except for Drummer Ronnie Tutt who did not play in the last three concerts. Larrie Londin, who was a highly respected drummer in Nashville, had already worked with Elvis.
He worked for Elvis Presley in Concert in March 1976 and later in the last three concerts that Elvis performed in 1977. He was also a drummer in sessions for Elvis on his 1970 Christmas album. For Larrie it would be a very great emotion because he admired Elvis, it was his idol, so much so that he burst into tears when he was called to the sessions.

Press Tour 29, 1977

The Press in Des Moines
June 23, 1977

Jim Healey of the Des Moines Register wrote about the June 23 performance with this headline:
"Fans scream and faint while Elvis sings his songs."
All the tickets were sold out at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, he described Charlie Hodge as the man in the scarf waiting expectantly at the back of the stage. Elvis wore a blue scarf around his neck, he uses it then throws it into the crowd, the man with the scarf gives him another one and the crowd loves it.
The writer said: "Elvis is consummate entertainment." He criticized those who had spoken ill of Elvis. "Only a jerk who has no appreciation at all for modern popular music could have escaped Presley's spell at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium here on Thursday. It's safe to say that none of the 11,000 people who occupied every chair in the room, they felt deceived by their spectacle.
He further added that if he had had a bad run a year ago at the Hilton, by this time he had disappeared. Also that his spirit, his wit and fortunately, his voice, were intact.
It was a novelty that finally a journalist defended Elvis in this unfortunate time. He even excused the slight confusion that he had in rare moments and that he slurred his voice only when he spoke. Therefore he did not understand the cause of the insult towards him.
He compared the performance to last year's in Ames, saying that in the present Elvis' voice was more powerful throughout the performance compared to the other show that was ruined.
A writer who had much more sight and hearing than the rest of his professional colleagues.

The Press in Cincinnati
June 25, 1977

In The Cincinnati Post an article written by Brad Balfour said: "Elvis's rich voice caged by his old image."
The Concert that he presented would be on June 25, 1977 at the Riverfront Coliseum.
He commented that Elvis was a young, inexperienced, uneducated boy but he was a tough kid from Memphis, with the ambition of being a famous singer. He says he had a lucky break and performed songs that made him a local sensation and earned him a shrewd manager. He becomes King and conquers the system to win the hearts of young people by flaunting sexuality, becoming a symbol of rebellious youth.
He later joins the army and participates in films. Rock is left aside for Las Vegas and the system.
About the show he said that the comedian would tell the same jokes as in Las Vegas. The musical interlude was pleasant and suggestive of Elvis's sexuality and musical values to whet the audience's appetite.
Elvis appeared after almost an hour of waiting, while souvenirs could be bought in the hallways. His face was swollen and he had heavy lumps around it. He says that Elvis made almost a parody of his movements with his hips, while the audience became the spectacle. Because Elvis knows that with every move he makes, screams follow and with every throw of scarves, women will take the stage. The audience relives his lost youth through Elvis.
Of him she says that he seems to be a man caged by his schedule, his bodyguards, his apparently deteriorating physical condition and his old image.
Regarding his repertoire, he commented that pop and country material was more suitable for his maturity. His clothing required no changes or theatrics, but he said he still relied on the crutch of his past.
He said that Elvis had a great voice, rich, mature, strong and varied. He said that the Band was good although he thought the melodies were too arranged and they supported him skillfully.
He ends by saying that he was the talented singer he set out to be.

The Press in Indianapolis
June 1977

In The Indianapolis Star Rita Rose wrote the following headline "Elvis performs in the purest Presley style before 18,000 people."
She said he looked great and sounded great, 18,000 enthusiastic, sweaty-palmed people.
The fans at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis prepared for great joy, the hip singer who has been called the King of Rock'n',
since the mid-fifties, Elvis.
His name was everywhere: on posters, buttons, souvenirs, also books, t-shirts and homemade clothing that proclaimed, with personal touches, admiration for a man idolized by millions.
She wondered if he had lost weight, since 2 years ago Elvis was found overweight at the last performance, sick and prone to putting on a lethargic show.
And then he appeared, with a gold and white jumpsuit and white boots, he went up to the stage with an energy that was a relief for everyone. Although she said that Elvis still carried some excesses.
She said he had luggage in his midsection, but that didn't matter to her. asked to give a performance in the purest Presley style.
Elvis began singing the old numbers, "C.C Rider" to applause, "Amen," in which he encouraged everyone to clap and sing, seemed to bring everyone together.
His old songs generated a lot of applause although he said that everything he did created mass hysteria especially when he moved his legs.
He explained his movements to understand what the audience saw and then commented that he had limited his karate movements, but also the postures he puts on when he picks up his guitar generates screams and screams from his fans who were delighted.
He highlighted "It's now or never", his medley, etc. as one of the best songs. His scarves caused crazy commotions in the public.
The packed Arena was indication enough that Elvis remains as popular as ever.

Jumpsuits Tour 29 June 1977
Elvis Presley
The Last Tour

In this last Tour 29 of 1977, Elvis would wear only two Jumpsuits,"Mexican Sundial Suit" and the "1974 Arabian Suit", although there was actually a future forecast with new designs that were going to be made for the following Tours. But in June 1977 Elvis still had a larger size so he could not wear the Jumpsuits that I had used on previous Tours.


During the performances in Omaha, on June 19, and in Rapid City on June 21, 1977, the concerts were filmed in order to make a special program on CBS TV that would last one hour. It was a commitment that he had signed through Colonel Parker to benefit from a good economic agreement, but Elvis really had no interest in appearing on TV and even less so at this time in his life. His physical condition was delicate, he had problems and couldn't last long, he got tired and also often felt short of breath when singing. It shouldn't have been done, it wouldn't do any good for his image, but it was finally done.
Elvis showed the best he could under these circumstances, although the first show would be worse than the second.
He sometimes slurred his words and his image was not very good, but he showed that he could still be great when he sang songs like "How Great Thou Art" or "Hurt".
At the beginning of the special, the president of the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain, Todd Slaughter, gave Elvis an award. He watched as he tremblingly walked down the stairs of the plane and realized that Elvis was very sick. His eyes were bloodshot, for some reason his lip was bleeding and he didn't seem to see very well. CBS cut parts that could be sensitive and focused on the performances.
This special was broadcast after the death of Elvis Presley.

TV Show

Arbeierbladet in Oslo, Norway. It was titled "Requiem for Elvis."
He wrote about the Elvis Presley TV Show as a tragedy at its climax. The artist said that he was destined to prolong his art or be forced to perform his art until he died.
He did not define it as a happy concert, because he looked pathetic, he said, they took him on stage and he described him as plastered by makeup and drugs. He was thinner but still swollen, he said because of the pills.
Some somewhat derogatory comments since he referred to him as an old circus horse who performed his own requiem without stumbling either with the rituals or with his own sad mind. He also criticized his interpretation because he said he was too musically reduced, but acknowledged that he still expressed himself powerfully. As for the audience he was mesmerized, possessed as always and devoted.

After the last Tour
July 1977

The tour ended the next night in Indianapolis. For those who knew Elvis and worked for him, his friends who had seen most of his shows, this would be the best show they had seen him give in several months. Elvis remained on stage longer than usual, but the concern was great because he did not look well. In truth, everyone was exhausted and returned to Memphis trying not to think about the situation, but really everyone was being influenced by seeing Elvis so deteriorated.
They would return aboard the Lisa Marie after the show, Elvis was heading to the back of the plane, when Lamar Fike, who had known Elvis for so many years and who knew how he was feeling, said to David Stanley:
"That kid, he's never going to see snow fly again." A comment said with great sadness, Lamar really knew that Elvis did not have much time to live.
Elvis had a pharmacological protocol at the end of his life, to be able to sleep, to wake up, to stay in shape, for his health problems, etc. It was a daily routine overloaded with drugs that had exhausted him, his physique did not respond and his strength was at its last stage. Although he wanted to fight to change his future, perhaps it was too late, because there was no more time, his great love for his life still kept him going, but his body couldn't take it anymore.

At this time Elvis no longer wanted to meet with the boys and locked himself upstairs at Graceland, only trusting Larry Geller, Charlie Hodge and Billy Smith. Marty Lacker worked remotely, Lamar Fike was always scolding Elvis so he was increasingly distant from him, this also happened with the rest.
Actually, Billy Smith, his cousin, was almost always talking to him in his room, they spent the time with jokes and word games, although sometimes Elvis would say things that would make you think. He thought about undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance, disappear and live somewhere else, to stop being Elvis, the artist. He would have to find a terminally ill man who looked like him and pay him to have surgery to look like him and when the man died, he would be buried like Elvis Presley. In this way Elvis could live peacefully, giving up being Elvis Presley.
But she abandoned this idea in a short time to think about perpetuating herself through a new child. With the right woman he would be a son with his eyes and his face, he would be an artist and surely a perfect being, his name would be Elvis Presley Jr.

The Search for Love

It says a lot about a person, what they like, the music they listen to, the books they read. And we know that Elvis was a very spiritual person and that he liked to read.
This was his favorite Bible passage:
1 Corinthians 13.
It's called the love chapter of the Bible. His favorite part said:
"And now there remain these three: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of them is love."
In his personal search, Love was his main aspiration, throughout his life Elvis loved joyfully and was loved. But as he matured, his imperative need to Love led him to repent and lament for past acts and to want to be loved as he truly was, not for his fame.

Elvis was generous with people, he gave more than he could receive without asking for anything in return, only a smile of happiness compensated for his actions. But in recent times he needed to receive signs of affection, loyalty and sincerity, because he felt alone, fragile and unsure of himself.
He needed to feel loved by his reality and not continue feeling that his image was a lie, a double face of his person, he wanted to be himself.
Love had once knocked on his door, but just as he arrived he let him go to follow his path searching.

"The unpredictable"
August 1977

In his way of being Elvis always showed that he did not hold a grudge against anyone, even if he had felt hurt by someone and felt anger at the moment, he really deflated quickly because his core was noble and good. He still loved Red and Sonny West, his friends for so many years, and he was very hurt because he felt betrayed by their reaction to writing a book telling his reality. Although the truth is that they always said that they wanted Elvis to react and stop adding him to the drugs, but it was really too late for anything.
There was a month in between until the next Tour began, but before this, at the beginning of August the book by Sonny and Red West was published, with Dave Hebler entitled: "Elvis, What Happened?". It was not known what was going to happen and especially Elvis's reaction to its publication and what consequences it would have.
But they also didn't know what it would entail in the new tours, because obviously this book would have a very strong impact on his fans.

Many of them did not believe Red and Sonny's story, because they could not believe that their idol Elvis Presley was a drug addict, violent, unfaithful and also with problems.
emotional type. On the other hand there was Elvis who regretted all this, it bothered him and he couldn't stop talking about the book. He got angry and hurt, on the one hand he said that he wanted to kill them and on the other hand he cried because he still loved them.
But what Elvis feared most was the harm it could cause to his family, his daughter, and what his fans would think of him. How they would react to seeing him at the following concerts and how he would be able to deal with the situation.
Ginger would say that Elvis was disappointed because he said that he had helped the three of them and their families and he regretted this, but he learned to fight with the pain. She told him, "When you feel hurt by something, kill it and let it go."
Elvis took advantage of his days off enjoying his daughter, his movies, he even went to Livertyland where he enjoyed it a lot.
Lisa Marie was 9 years old and she could already sense that things were not right, sometimes Elvis would go to her room to see her, but she was staggering and in order not to fall off of her Lisa had to help him.

Elvis was tired and under a lot of pressure in recent days, he was following a diet of liquid proteins, which did not help at all with so much drug. On the 14th he tried on the new jumpsuit that he was going to wear on tour. It was pale blue, with silver trim and studs, but when he put it on, it didn't fit. Elvis got so angry that he first blamed the tailors, but then reality dawned on him because he told Billy: "Billy, I'm too fat." It was already very difficult for him to lose weight but he continued with his liquid diet.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Last Hours of Elvis
August 15 and 16, 1977

In the last hours before the new tour that began on August 17, Elvis called Kathy Westmoreland, he was not feeling well and told her that he was very tired and that he did not want to make that trip. But it was a commitment already signed and she also told him that Colonel Parker owed a lot of money. Something similar had happened two days before. Elvis spoke with Lamar Fike who asked him to cancel the tours for his health and peace of mind. Lamar was very worried about his health, he knew that he was not feeling well, but again Elvis said that he could not cancel the concerts for financial reasons. Certainly the reasons were obvious, they would not be able to pay salaries, expenses, etc. The tours seemed to be essential and the fatigue, his physical situation, his mood, were taking a big toll that sooner or later he was going to have to pay.

On August 15, 1977, Elvis woke up with his cousin Billy, with swollen ankles. He helped him put on a white silk shirt with a black tracksuit and black patent leather boots with zippers that he couldn't close. Elvis had pain in his teeth that increased throughout the day. After riding a motorcycle, he agreed to visit his dentist, Lester Hofman. He was scheduled for hours later and at 10:30 p.m. he went to have the pain in one of his teeth relieved. He was accompanied by Ginger, Billy and his wife Jo. They returned at midnight and retired to rest, because Elvis had prepared for the new tour and the next day they would have to travel to Portland.
Around 2 in the morning Elvis spoke with Larry Geller, he was in a very good mood, he was looking forward to the tour and also wanted to plan his future. He seemed to have changed from the last few hours and he was in very good spirits.
Elvis and Ginger also talked about the future and their engagement, they thought the wedding could be at Christmas. Lisa Marie was in the house these days and Elvis asked her to go to her room to sleep and later she stopped by her room to check that she was asleep.

He was still in high spirits and Elvis decided he wanted something to entertain himself and called Billy and Jo to play a game of Racquetball with him and Ginger.
  One last anecdote that Billy would tell was when he was going to the Racquetball building. They were leaving the house when it started to rain lightly and Billy was upset with the raindrops, so Elvis said to him:
"No problem. I'll take care of it," then he spread his hands as if to stop the rain. Surprisingly, whether by chance or not, the rain let up. Elvis told him, "Look, I told you," "If you have a little faith, you can stop the rain."

When they started playing, Elvis was not as energetic as he thought and they started joking and laughing.... Elvis had been following one of his regimens which consisted of a diet of gelatin and liquid protein, it was to lose weight for the tours. And in the last 24 hours he had hardly eaten anything solid. This could affect taking his medication on an empty stomach. They finished the game when Elvis hit his shin and Billy was laughing at him, they were both laughing as always. Then Elvis sat down at the piano, sang softly, and the last song he performed was "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain."

Around 6 a.m., Billy washed and dried Elvis's hair while they talked. Elvis was angry about the publication of the book, but said that no one was going to be able to stop him. If necessary he would tell the truth and acknowledge that he needed help. He said it while he was crying and Billy caressed him and reassured him that nothing was going to happen to him and that everything was fine.
When Billy left him and walked out the door, Elvis had already calmed down and regained his strength, so he told him:
"Billy son, this will be the best tour of my life."

At 06:30, Ricky Stanley put the first dose of pills in an envelope because Elvis needed to calm down, Ricky had had to go pick up 6 Dilaudid tablets. And Doctor Hofman, the dentist, had given him codeine, but Elvis said it wasn't helping him. Additionally, the cook and maid at Graceland, Pauline, offered to bring him food because Elvis had not eaten anything, but he told her that he did not feel like eating.
At 7:45 am Ricky brought him the second envelope with his sleeping pills, when he arrived he found Elvis with the bodyguards book and very agitated. Elvis felt bad, he said things like "How does Lisa Marie feel about her dad?" he seemed to be filled with despair. He asked Ricky to pray with him and together they knelt.
"God, forgive me for my sins," Elvis pleaded. "May the people who read this book have compassion and understanding of the things I have done. Amen."
It is evident how much damage it was doing to him knowing that his fans would read the truth about him and that his family would be affected by this as well.
Ricky went downstairs and after this he took drugs, so that he couldn't hear anything that was happening on the second floor. He should have stayed in the next room and kept an eye on Elvis, until David, his brother, replaced him.

Since Ricky couldn't find it there, Aunt Delta brought Elvis the third envelope with his pills. Although it was eight o'clock and he went to bed to sleep with Ginger, he couldn't fall asleep and nine in the morning arrived. Elvis still couldn't calm down and nurse Tish Henley reportedly sent him two Valmids and a Placidyl placebo.
Ginger had tried to convince him not to take so much medication, but Elvis never listened to her and that night she was also medicated by the nurse, since she had severe menstrual pains and for this reason she gave her a sedative. She told Elvis not to fall asleep reading since she told him she was going to the bathroom. She then fell asleep deeply because she was not used to taking pills, this prevented her from hearing what was happening in the bathroom later.

Around eleven o'clock, everything was quiet and Billy went into the house to see that everything was in order. He then spoke to Al Strada, who was packing Elvis's wardrobe. Billy asked if anyone had seen the boss, but Al told him no, because Elvis had ordered him not to wake up until four in the afternoon.
For some reason Billy was feeling uneasy since he knew that Ginger didn't pay much attention to Elvis, at least not like Linda did and he thought that no one was watching him. Then his intuition made him go up the stairs to check on her, but when he got to the top his thought made him stop. Billy said to himself, "No," he thought. "If they don't know anything about him, God, let him rest. He needs it."
Unfortunately his mind changed the order that his intuition was sending him and Billy always regretted not having made it to Elvis' room. He really couldn't know if he could have prevented his death.
"Following the Way of the King..."

The inexplicable in the life of Elvis Presley
August 16, 1977

The truth is that Elvis Presley's death could perhaps have been avoided if someone had really been watching for him, if Ricky had been in the next room, if he had not taken drugs, he would have heard his fall and he could have been caught. attended on time. Ginger, who normally did not take pills, was fast asleep because of the painkiller the nurse gave her; if she had not been so sleepy she would have heard Elvis' call or the noise. David, who should have replaced his brother Ricky, did not go to check on him either and instead of staying in the room that was intended to attend to his demands, he did not go up either and left. Everything was the result of great irresponsibility on the part of the people who took care of him, but we must keep in mind that the three of them were young and did not see any danger in someone who they became accustomed to seeing in poor health.
It is sad to recognize that Elvis was in the hands of a bunch of kids and that if his former friends Red and Sonny West had been in his place, who did not detach themselves from him at all, they would have at least listened to him and cared for him.
As for the medication, it was absolutely true that it was already very dangerous for Elvis's health and there was no measure; not only was he responsible, but also the doctors who treated him and prescribed drugs non-stop, like Doctor Nick.
  It must also be taken into account that Elvis had hardly eaten in the last few hours and the excess medication could have created an explosive mixture that he could not endure. This would be the easiest and most sensational way to explain his death since fourteen different drugs were found when he died. The list of what they found at the autopsy was codeine; morphine; Cualude; Valio; diazepam metabolite, which is a sedative; Valmid; placidyl; amytal; nembutal; carbrital; Demerol; Sinutab, the decongestant; and Elavil and Aventyl, which are antidepressants. But there were other physical problems that influenced that day. The doctors knew that Elvis was a time bomb that could have exploded at any moment.

With problematic family genetics, when an autopsy was performed it was discovered that his heart had become enormously enlarged, his arteries and veins were corroded, his liver had considerable damage and his large intestine was blocked. He also had an ulcerated larynx, glaucoma and an ear infection.
Before the autopsy was completed, Dr. Jerry Francisco, Shelby County Chief Medical Examiner, announced to the press that the cause of death was due to cardiac arrhythmia; that is, a heart attack. But there was really a lot of information behind it that only brought more confusion. In any case, it was clear that Elvis could have died at any time, since his health was already very damaged and whether due to the effort he made in the bathroom or the drugs, his body reacted with a heart attack and he fell to the floor suffering. until his death.

The autopsy revealed that Elvis had large abdominal organs. His spleen was three times larger than a normal one, his kidneys were also large but seemed fine. Elvis's fatty liver was enormous, twice the normal size, and he was very damaged
A normal heart weighs 375 grams, Elvis's heart weighed 520 grams, its size showed signs of hypertension and perhaps congestive heart failure.
They also found mild atherosclerosis in the coronary, aorta and cerebral arteries.
  The autopsy showed that the atherosclerosis of the kidneys was moderate. Elvis had nearly needed dialysis for previously unknown reasons before his death. But there was more, his also large colon was crammed from the descending base to the middle. Elvis always had problems with constipation since he was a child, but this could have been done months earlier if he had undergone the necessary tests, which he refused. Too many things and also the damage of years of his habits with drugs, even if they were prescribed.

Everything had been decided a long time ago, since in his case the drugs helped his daily worsening, many knew it. Red and Sonny West had told him this countless times and had written so in the book that was published two weeks earlier. His friend Lamar Fike had also announced it because he knew that Elvis was very sick, Larry Geller also sensed it and Billy, his cousin, would see in Elvis the same symptoms that his father had before he died. Although it was a surprise, it was a sad reality that was going to come true.

The news spread around the world, Elvis Presley had died at the age of 42 and fans and media came to Memphis by the thousands, eventually estimated at around 80,000 people. Crowds from all over cried for him, big headlines and the always opportune record sales when an artist dies.
One of the most successful headlines sinces of his death on August 17, 1977:
  "A lonely life ends on Elvis Presley Boulevard."
"Following the Way of the King..."

The Reaction to Elvis' Death

When Elvis Presley died, he left a very big void in the lives of many people who loved him, who accompanied him. He also left behind his heartbroken fans who would always pay tribute and remain faithful to his legacy passing it on through generations. His daughter Lisa Marie, his father Vernon, his ex-wife Priscilla and other family members would be the ones who continued their work to maintain Graceland and its music for everyone. But the displays of affection from his fans, their pain, would be indescribable, Elvis left to never leave His friends and members of his Mafia also provided a lot of information so we could get to know the person better. All of them were also affected by his death.

Jerry Schilling, like a brother

On August 16 he was on the balcony of his house in southern California, the same one that Elvis had given him some time ago. He was going to direct a tour that he was preparing for the Beach Boys tour and he was so busy that in that moment of relaxation he heard the phone ringing but didn't feel like picking it up.
Again the phone rang so he entered the house and answered it. She was Pat Parry, the only woman who was considered a member of the Memphis Mafia, a friend of Elvis and everyone for years. Her voice was unrecognizable and distraught, she told him that Elvis had died, Jerry was shocked, hung up the phone and began to cry. He would go back out to the balcony when it started to rain. He couldn't stop thinking that Elvis was no longer there, he didn't seem real to him.

Vernon sent a large plane to Los Angeles, so that Jerry could fly to Memphis for the funeral. They would also share the flight with him, Priscilla, with her parents and her sister Michelle, Joanie Esposito, Joe's ex and his girlfriend Shirley Dieu, as well as other people. Everyone was very affected by the death, but Jerry had boarded the plane with the terrible feeling of acute pain that he could not stop.
Jerry met Elvis when he was just a little boy and grew up admiring him, he loved him like a brother and now he would no longer be with him to continue sharing good and bad times.

ELVIS PRESLEY "The Way of the King"
"From Memphis to Eternity"

Elvis was much more than an exceptional artist, he was a magnificent being because he was able to convey his music, to transmit his feelings, and even though he died he never really left the stage. His music is still alive for everyone and will continue for future times, because his death would take him hand in hand to a new Path without end, turning him into a myth and eternal legend.
Elvis Presley was born with a Gift, his voice and his sensitivity were so great that he could not do anything other than dedicate himself to music. Fame came to him very young, when he still did not really know everything he wanted to have, his dreams were fulfilled beyond measure and this comfortably established him in an image that never disappeared. The years passed through his life and Elvis let himself be guided by his manager, he let himself be carried away by the comfort of not having to think about the worries of money, of really choosing, of letting himself go, but with this he lost his direction. . He became addicted to drugs from a young age to be able to live life his way, but this choice would be a clear mistake for the future, because he was always dependent on them.
But Elvis wanted much more, his ambition for a film career was thwarted by bad decisions and the influence and control of Colonel Parker. His professional path took a wrong path, because Elvis wanted to do great works as a musician and as an actor.
His good work with music, the creation of a new style and the improvisation of his genius in the early days, was restricted during the following years by the influence of poor management and choice of songs that did not make him proud of himself. same.
He felt imprisoned by his own fame in a great wheel that he could not stop and this hurt him a lot because little by little it frustrated his ambition as an actor and as a singer he was forced to accept scores that did not fit into the growth of him as an artist. This led him little by little to lead a happy and carefree life that hid a great disappointment that day by day had more weight in his mind.
Fortunately Elvis was able to choose and stop making disappointing films and saw a door to his hopes. As a man Elvis searched for himself, his reasons, his faith and as an artist he asked himself why he was the chosen one, why it was him and not another? Elvis would assume that he had to serve and reach his fans through his music. He also sought purpose in everything he did or could do for others, he was generous and enjoyed the happiness of those who lived around him.
Elvis would grow again as a singer when he resumed his artistic life on stage, because he loved the performance, the applause and because Elvis Presley found his reason for being in his fans.
Finally he once again had a very high image of himself and he felt the pride of being the most coveted and loved artist. He grew as a singer day by day and as he matured as a man he became enriched vocally and spiritually. But unfortunately he did not have his health and his addiction, which little by little physically degenerated his condition. He was also very affected by his state of mind, which surely carried all the anguish and despair of years, which he had never confessed to anyone.
Elvis lived off his image and his gift, music, but his private life would always be so important to him that he did not admit his own reality and did not allow anyone to advise him in order to help him. In recent times he would be a slave to his fame and his fans, because Elvis was sick and continued singing and giving everything he had. His love for applause and his fans was paying with his life, his health was faltering and so was his image.

Possibly all of this could have been avoided if he had changed course years ago, if he had stopped taking the drugs, his fragile health would surely not have been affected so quickly. In any case we will never know the designs of destiny or if this would have been otherwise.
On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died without being able to do anything. His time as a man had ended, but as a singer he had barely begun his journey. The truth is that Elvis Presley was already a myth in life and his death gave him eternity to turn him into a legend.
Elvis Presley, the man, the myth, the King!
"Following the Way of the King..."

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