Documentary Film Directed by: Denis Sanders. RCA Studios, Hollywood and Culver City. MGMRehearsals. July - August 1970

Summer Festival International Hotel. Las Vegas August 1970 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Premiere: November 11, 1970

Calendar of Rehearsals and Filming in Concert.
July August 1970.

Rehearsals will be held in the days prior to the performances that will take place at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. It was the Third Season that I was going to do there. Rehearsals were divided into two locations for the convenience of Elvis and his musical team. The first two days were held at MGM, Studio 1 in Culver City, at RCA in Hollywood and finally at the International Hotel Rehearsal Room, where he was to perform. 
The rehearsals prior to the Concerts would be filmed in the performance hall itself and the following would be filming for four days of Concert performance. Some fragments also appear in the film, in the opening credits sequence that contains images of the Elvis Presley show at the Arizona Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on September 9, 1970. It would be the beginning of the tour that will take place days after the performances in Las Vegas.


On Stage

That´s The Way it is

We travel back in time to the International Hotel in Las Vegas from August 10 to 13, 1970. We will be able to learn how the movie "That's the way it is" was made, during the performances by Elvis Presley. Film directed by the Oscar winner Denis Sanders that would be released in November of the same year. A gem for all Elvis fans that should never be ignored. This program is made with script and presentation by Ana Albajara. With the collaboration and correction of Rosa García M. An opportunity to learn day by day, everything that happened in the life of Elvis Presley, his music, his films, anecdotes ... and much more. On an extensive bibliography that we continue to expand. "Following the Path of the King..."

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TTWII The Rehearsal

TTWII The Rehearsal .
Four programs dedicated to the rehearsals filmed for the making of the film That's the way it is. July and August 1970 on the occasion of the performances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. The third season for Elvis Presley and again on stage, but these rehearsals will determine an attitude, a control and a way of doing the shows that will to give way to the tour that is going to carry out during this same year.

From Tupelo to Memphis  49. TTWII The Rehearsal I.

From Tupelo to Memphis 50. TTWII The Rehearsal 2.

From Tupelo to Memphis 51. TTWII The Rehearsal 3.

From Tupelo to Memphis 52. TTWII The Rehearsal 4.

Reflections on the personality of the artist
Elvis Presley

During rehearsals for the filming of the film "That's the way it is" we have been able to learn more about the man, his smiling personality, his optimism, his camaraderie, his closeness... His attitude towards the reality of the moment in his music, it is lived with intensity at certain moments, with the heart... the voice and the body were impregnated with his passionate experience in some songs. And in others, his absurd joke, his restlessness, his insecurity, his forgetfulness... and of course also their rapport, his strength. 

Elvis Presley, above all, was looking for an intention in his music and the interesting thing about seeing these rehearsals is what sometimes we can't hear only on the recording. His body says it all, his look too... and of course his voice is the command and direct reflection of everything he carries inside him. 

His way of dragging the rest of the musicians, even with a director behind him, who is finally going to follow him as he said "as if it were a marble" managing the music product of his musical intention... With improvisation, with changes, with freshness or with an energetic interpretation. And finally we are going to witness all this on stage and before his loyal audience. 

This film takes us further, since not all of us could have been lucky enough to witness these moments. And he remains as a witness to all his greatness. It is from 1970 onwards that his moment... In Las Vegas and during his performances at the International Hotel he will transport us to his inner self. Dragging us with his interpretation into his interior and making us live his music even more intensely. Because we can see all that strength, that heartbreaking intensity in his voice, in his body... 

This film "That's the way it is" is one of the best documentaries about an artist that we are going to be able to see. And without a doubt the most interesting during Elvis Presley's career because we can get to know his project as a whole, his rehearsal, embodied in the actual performance and stage experience. It would have been wonderful to have been able to witness the glorious moments at Sun Records when he first started recording or on RCA, or at his unparalleled time on stage during his youth. But his moment in 1970 would be great and also unparalleled. . 

His maturation had turned him into another unrivaled artist and Elvis was once again the King... but from now on his legend is going to walk through the door with a different image. The staged white silhouette of him would charge another drawing in the artist's memory over time.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Elvis . The Rehearsals. 
That´s The Way It Is.

It is very interesting to be able to observe and listen to Elvis Presley in the first days of rehearsal. The facility of him in this case in the same, the line of song of him and without any type of problem to face the subjects. His way of being a joker makes everyone feel comfortable and empathize with him. As a whole, the rehearsals would pass to the absolute domain of Elvis, his way of directing his musicians, at all times it will be possible to observe in this film, it was his way of moving, with his body, with his arms and it was clear that Elvis Presley knew what he wanted to hear. In a few days he would know what he wanted to offer and how to obtain it from his musicians and from the choir that would later accompany him with the orchestra. 
And all of this can be seen in this great documentary and in the performances that are going to take place starting in August. All the work and time would bear good fruit. And for Elvis a control of the situation that from then on he will take in spite of the orchestra direction and everything else. 
The interpretation of the musicians of his band was much simpler than that of the previous musicians, with the band of Muscle Shoals who had accompanied him in June. And it is clear that, judging by the result, Elvis felt very well with his band, which from now on would be the usual one for years, regardless of the fact that sometimes other companions join in due to special circumstances... 
You can also see in this documentary the presence at all times of the friendly members of his team, of the Mafia. Joe Esposito, Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, Sonny West or George Klein, for example. Several songs will be performed as a preliminary rehearsal and for the amusement of all those attending. Songs from the 50's like Blues songs of the moment, songs that he has recently recorded, known and it is clear the initial warm-up to then take the direction of what is going to be interpreted on stage.
 Elvis wasn't just having fun, he was looking for a combination of songs that could be the final repertoire. The musicians accompany him with the same intention and the observation of following his interpreter at all times and becoming attuned to him is also clear. The first days only with the base musicians of the band. James Burton, Jerry Scheff, Glen Hardin and again with drummer Ron Tutt. 
The interpretation of some of these songs would only be in these rehearsals as fun, many songs would simply be played and stored for years and others would be edited and performed live. The recording of these is a bit deficient and although over the years we will be able to listen to them, they will be a bit dirty. The curiosity of these songs is the initial variant that shows a very varied repertoire. Elvis would also include songs that he had known since he was a child and new ones in the repertoire, in combination with hits from other artists. In this way he ensured the acceptance of the public in the present.


That´s the way it is" Heading to Vegas

It is very possible that if we observe the attitude of Elvis Presley in the rehearsals carried out before the cameras in July 1970, we could get the wrong impression of what a serious and professional artist is before his artistic work. But the truth about Elvis is that he was very professional, what would happen in these rehearsals has a lot to do with his intimacy and his way of being. The reason was that he really did not feel comfortable with the presence of the cameras, they followed him at all times following his footsteps and following his work. With his usual humor, the first thing Elvis does is throw a shot at the Chamber as a joking welcome... his way of being gave a laughing and joking touch to these early days. Ironically for an actor and singer it would be the most natural thing, but Denis Sanders the director of the documentary film "That's the way it is" wanted to show the inside of the studio, the rehearsals... and the live performances.
For Elvis Presley, who of course tried to collaborate at all times in the filming, was in some way an intrusion into his interior, his musical self. His sensitivity and his intimacy were exposed at all times and his most sincere way of repressing this feeling was to joke around and laugh at everything. But even with laughter, with jokes, with changes of lyrics with mistakes ... his professionalism as the days progressed was growing and finding his place to be able to face the orchestra, with the choirs and finally with the public. Almost all the work would be ready in the last days of rehearsal and his third return to the scene in August 1970 would be a success that we would witness in this film.
Denis Sanders was the director of this film "That's the way it is" and he believed in Elvis. Although he was not one of his favorite artists, when he met him he always said that when he met him he fell in love with him, that is to say that the impression as a person and as an artist for Denis Sanders was so great that he became an unconditional fan. He understood that for Elvis everything that was happening was very important, his intimacy was very important, this was not a normal movie but something much bigger, more improvised and special and naturalness was the key to the work of the. Denis Sanders as a director came to be Oscar-winning and award-winning for his documentaries.
The natural key to this TTWII film was improvisation and the making of a film as a promotion towards Elvis concerts. But for the followers and fans of Elvis it would become something exceptional in his work. Because we have all been able to understand a little more about his way of acting, his ability to improvise and his impressive personality on stage and above all his point of humor and his laughter. An artist who, with his gift, knew and wanted to put on a show that was different from the others.
"Following the Path of the King..."

elvis rehearsal julio 1970 Ana Albajara 4jpg

Essays.. "That´s The Way It is"

During the film "That's The Way It Is", we will be able to see the rehearsals of many songs, fragments of an extensive repertoire that Elvis would have chosen to sing during his performances. We can also see how it includes fragments, lines from a song, between jokes. As of August, Elvis will already be accompanied by his Vocal group, with The Imperials, The Sweet Inspirations and the solo voice of Millie Kirkham. The first day 4 with the same and days 7 and 10, with the whole group, musicians, choir and with the Orchestra with its Director Joe Guercio.

  • JUMPSUITS TTWII  10 to 13 August 1970

The magic of the stage."That´s the Way it is"

When a show is performed, there are always a series of factors that adorn the scene in a special and unique way. The costumes are very important or, at least, it gives the artist more play, if he is a singer and is only accompanied by the play of light without further adornment. 

Bill Belew would once again be in charge of designing the costumes that Elvis Presley will wear during the performances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas and he was also responsible for the off-stage clothing. 

She was already his tailor since they met in 1968 on the occasion of the "Elvis" Comeback Special. And on the return to the scene in 1969 he would create the so-called Jumpsuit. They were two-piece suits or jumpsuits designed with a light and special fabric to be able to move without problem during the show. Elvis wanted to impress not only with his voice... 

The image was always very important to him and give a special touch to his Show. For him, clothing was always a different and essential touch in his way of being and, of course, it would also be in his performances. He needed a different and comfortable design to perform and be able to move at ease and these suits would be his personal brand from 1969. The initial designs were very simple and over time they would be adorned differently and would evolve with taste and fashion adorning themselves with more rhinestones... In the performances held from August 10 to 13 for the filming of the film, Elvis would wear four suits. The white color of the Jumpsuit with the effect of the play of lights would give the magical and special touch while he interpreted his music.

Fringe Suit.
White jumpsuit adorned with short fringes. With some beads or small wooden balls and in a different color. The suit was adorned with a white macramé belt. He would wear this suit in August and September 1970 and on tour. And another version of it that included even more fringes, would be worn in November of this year. Sometimes I would combine it with a green belt or a blue macramé belt.

Concho Suite
It was another white suit with metal rings embedded in it. It was adorned with a white macramé belt and could sometimes be combined with a golden one. It was used only during the third season in Las Vegas, but until 1971 he would not wear it again.

Chain Suit
Another white jumpsuit embellished on the front, on the chest with crossed metal chains. The white macramé belt was sometimes combined with a black or dark brown karate belt. And another version of white chain belt, or brown and sometimes red macramé. Elvis used it on several occasions during his shows and changing belts. This jumpsuit usually ended up with loose chains because of Elvis's movement during his performance, or because of the effusiveness with which his fans hugged him.

Red Ladder Suit
Red ladder suit. The white jumpsuit but with some decorations, red leather trim. The belt he wore was red snakeskin. It was worn during Season Three in Las Vegas and is believed to have only been worn one more time after the August - September 1970 tour. No doubt these suits with his performance , they gave Elvis an image that would forever forge the myth... and leave a mark on the memory of his fans.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Under:Concho Suit                                                                                                                             Chain Suit  

"ELVIS" That´s the way it is

Anecdotes TTWII

About Elvis's personality.

Anecdotes during performances in Las Vegas, International Hotel, August 1970. Elvis Presley was a joking, cheerful person and also an improviser on stage. In his performances he showed his way of being in many moments, he was a natural and spontaneous person, so on many occasions we can witness all this in normal situations that another artist would have taken in a different way.
During the filming of the movie "That´ s the way it is" we can see his charisma, his natural way of being and, during rehearsals held at MGM, RCA or in the Hotel's Convention Room, he jokes with everyone, laughs, plays... and of course we see also his professional side, his dedication and dedication.
During the performances at the Hotel International he performed masterly, the audience was delighted. And also his way of being so close and fresh would penetrate his audience. An example of this took place on August 12 at the Dinner Show.
At one point in his performance Elvis talks about his first movie in 1956. It seems to be that one of the microphones was failing and, when speaking to the audience, Elvis realizes that his voice cannot be heard. He goes back to where he knows the microphones are and takes all the microphones he sees in his hand... He puts the microphones in his ears, shakes them, raises them towards the audience...
He speaks with all four microphones at the same time and he jokes, he keeps looking for the right one but with his usual and spontaneous way of being... until he finally finds one so he can continue singing. Another artist would have patiently waited for the technical assistants to bring him a microphone and solve the awkward situation, but Elvis did everything in such a way that the public felt close to him.
The rest of the components, the musicians, the choir... laughed at his jokes and this can also be seen in the performances. After singing, he addresses the audience, bends down to give kisses and shake hands... Another fun moment at the end of the performance is when the curtain falls at the end of the performance; like a child playing he raises the curtains to greet the audience with surprise.A way to be fresh and fun.“Following the Path of the King …



Rehearsals prior to the scene
"The Magic of the Show"

1970. The rehearsals prior to the scene, the recordings that Elvis is going to make in the studio. Everything Elvis Presley is going to do from now on to culminate his success with the public. Elvis achieved on stage what many singers had wanted to convey to the public from him. Seeing him act was quite a spectacle, but seeing him rehearse was a master class in directing and musical nuances. With his voice he caressed the senses but with his movements of body, arms, hands, all of him showed the true intention and interpretation so that the musicians followed his orders in interpreting the score. Leaving no doubt about the air, a nuance, an accentuation..., crescendo, diminishing, forte, piano..., he was the ink printed on the score... With a single finger he could convey his intentions. It was something innate in Elvis Presley, his particular rhythm, his energy, his skin-deep feeling... All this, canned for years, would unleash from this moment on him. And this is what he will be able to discover before the musicians and before the public.
Any self-respecting conductor should bring all this to the orchestra and Elvis transmitted it to us at his concerts. Until then, although he was always the owner of his feelings and controlled his musical mission in the studio, in some way he could be a little restricted by the musical director or the producer who gave the direction to follow. But as of 1970 Elvis takes the reins of his career and he is not going to let anyone tell him on stage what he wants to do. And anyone who doesn't understand this is going to be out of the way of him. He is only going to want professionals, the best, those who can follow him in his interpretation and his sensitivity. And this is going to make his show something magical and special. Giving it that particularity that no one will have in Concert...

"The Genius of the artist before the camera"

In July 1970, Elvis resumed his work as an artist, this time at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayers MGM studios in Hollywood in the City of Culver City, Los Angeles County, and later again at the International Hotel in Las Vegas to film the new movie. that is going to be shown to its public on the occasion of the future performances that it is going to carry out.
During the filming of the film we will be able to enjoy The Magic of the Artist, the vision of the music inside him, through the score, the rehearsal, the rapport with the musicians. The interpretation, the mirror of the soul in the voice of the artist that captures his feeling through his voice.
The fun the enjoyment in the moment sharing with the musicians who accompany you. In July 1970 Elvis Presley again with projects and with enthusiasm for his performances that he is going to present at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
His return to the stage, this time controlling everything that is going to happen, the rehearsals that are going to be recorded for the new Elvis documentary film "That's the way it is" on the occasion of his return in his performance with the public.
On the one hand, Elvis liked this new attempt to connect with his audience, sharing his moments of experimentation and rehearsal in the studios.
But on the other hand, it must be taken into account that all this was absolutely intimate for him and although several rehearsals were held, Elvis finally asked that not everything be filmed these days.
Although there are many recordings that would later come out on the market and that we could enjoy, what is going to be filmed will remain as proof of these rehearsal days prior to the performances in the concerts performed in front of the public. Elvis Presley was at his best and this is going to be reflected in this film.
With joy and enthusiasm Elvis is going to choose the songs that he will later sing in front of his audience. The idea was not yet clear, hence the number of songs in rehearsal was much higher than the one finally chosen for the performances. Really The realization in this documentary film presented several aspects in particular of the rehearsals, scenes and acting and on the other hand interviews that were included from employees of the International Hotel and also from an Elvis fan club.
Although it could be interesting, it really doesn't have much interest compared to what the viewer is really learning.

FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 49 TTWII "The Rehearsal" "Following the Path of the King..."

Anecdotes On Stage. Las Vegas
From Tupelo to Memphis 53. On Stage

One of the best-known anecdotes during the filming of the film at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for the film "That's the way it is" was seeing Elvis come down from the stage to greet his fans.
The audience delighted with Elvis during the concert, he did not stop shouting and applauding and, suddenly without warning, without knowing very well, like something sudden in his thoughts and skipping all artistic protocol, he went down to the audience room. No one expected this... it was not a studied moment and of course the security had not been warned that Elvis could mix with the people.
The musicians continued to play, the audience standing at the foot of the stage. But Elvis is already in his audience waving, Joe Esposito and George Klein heading towards him with Richard Davis, strategically positioned behind Elvis, and Colonel Parker, also running very cautiously behind. Elvis said at one point that he was It happened to go down in the audience. He comments on stage that those behind are very far away and immediately afterwards it was something spontaneous, one of those fresh and normal moments in his personality that invited him to do sudden things because he He felt that way.
The fear or the feeling of not being sure was such that he thought he would never do it again... He confessed this to one of the musicians. But obviously it wasn't like that. A show like the one Elvis Presley did required a lot of effort, because during it, he wouldn't stop talking and singing.
Normally every artist should have a moment, a song performed only by the orchestra or by the choir, so that he could rest his voice and change his mood on stage. But it wasn't like that, really his show was a sequence of songs performed by Elvis, with all his strength and, obviously, only Elvis himself would know the reason, who ordered his own repertoire and did not demand any other performance during it.
This would be a mistake that would happen over time bill... since the artist would be abusing his own means without any rest. Elvis also spoke between songs, told anecdotes, remembered other times, joked and greeted the public.
He needed to free his voice for a while, and surely for this reason he would improvise and get off the stage to say hello. rest of security that went to cover their way between the tables of the International Hotel.
One of the reasons could be the momentary rest during their show and another, of course, had to do with their need to be able to have that real closeness with the people who they admired him and their gratitude after so many years away from him. But what he didn't expect was to feel the sensation of being imprisoned among his fans and it would be a bit scary.
The strange feeling of not being able to continue down the aisle without someone stopping you, kissing you, grabbing you, hugging you or loving you so much that you don't let them go your way... Elvis improvised as he went and greeted the audience, bending down to kiss women and shake hands with gentlemen... The first time he did it was during the Dinner Show, on August 12 during the performance of the song Love Me Tender, the musicians of the orchestra also followed in surprise with improvisation playing.
This time it could have been for thanks and to greet the public closer ... but the second time he would do it, it would be at the Midnight show. It is clear that he did also do it to free his performance from fatigue.
It would be after singing "Polk salad Annie" sweating, after a song that completely absorbed him, exhausted... he crouches before the audience and they give him a drink to cool off... Elvis takes advantage of a few minutes and finally after greeting He goes to the stairs and goes back down into the audience. In the film we can see these moments and in one of the special editions, this second time even more clearly how tired he was.
And when trying to get to the other side of the stage as his fans imprison him, one jumps towards him and Elvis he has to rise among the people to finally free himself and run to the stage.
But it is an incredible moment that deserves to be remembered.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Here are the two examples of these moments:

Elvis in the audience

The public.
The reaction to your idol can sometimes bring unexpected consequences. Elvis Presley was adored by his fans and in this movie we can see the reaction they have when he comes down from the stage to say hello.

The concentration of the artist. "That´s the way it is"

Of all the moments in which an artist is going to get nervous in front of the public for one reason or another... the intro, the wait on stage, the moment in which he prepares and prepares to go on stage, he always surpasses with you grow the rest. For two fundamental reasons: the uncertainty of the reception of the public and the inner nerve... the fear that the artist may or may not have... It is true that many performers have the so-called stage fright, which blocks the body when jumping to the footlights and stops any performance, succumbing to panic and blocking the senses. Elvis Presley like everyone could have that initial feeling but when he had crossed the door to the stage he managed to cross that dark side and enter the scenic magic. But before moving on to this other On the other hand, there are a few moments, a few minutes of waiting in which every artist requires inner peace to be able to focus on what they are going to do next. Concentration is maximum when entering the stage and possibly for an artist so surrounded by people as Elvis ... it would be very difficult to reach this essential state to finally perform before his audience. It was very important and absolutely necessary to be in a situation, to be able to get carried away by acting and for Elvis Presley it would be the most important thing in those moments. And this is the first thing we can see in the movie "That's the way it is", when Elvis arrives with his entourage at the concert hall at the International Hotel. What is called in show business being between the boxes, behind the stage, where you can hear the audience, the orchestra, the presenter and glimpse the audience a few minutes before going out to perform. Despite the jokes, the comments ... his face is seriously worried, difficult to concentrate, his nerves, his thoughts..., Elvis was surrounded by all the musicians, choirs, etc. His entire technical team was also there, his companions from the Mafia, his producer and to top it off... the cameras filming all of this. Elvis tries to hide his nerve, but it shows easily on his face. For an artist like him, this moment was difficult before entering... Once he steps on stage, the heat of the public, the shouts, the spotlights and the music they do the rest... now he can sing... As we could see in the rehearsals, his way of directing leads the whole group of musicians who will follow him in his movements, in his expression, in his strength... until the end. All that he has practiced and his previous directions bore fruit for him... The music is finally the sample of his work and the desired success arrives. It is the magic of the show.

"Following the Path of the King..." In the following video you can see the arrival on stage, between boxes with the members of the choir, the musicians, etc and part of the show =tTDArylrfHU

On StageThe last program about the movie "That´s the way it is"

August 1970 Opening Show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas

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