Chapter 3; July - September

July 2, 1956

Elvis in RCA Studios, New York - July 2, 1956

On Monday the 2nd of July 1956 Elvis arrived at the RCA studio in New York to record 3 new songs, "Hound Dog", "Don’t Be Cruel" and "Any Way You Want Me". After 7 hardworking hours the job was done. Elvis had everyone in the studio realize that it was he who made the decisions. He had, among other things, been through 31 takes of "Hound Dog" before he was satisfied.

5 weeks later, the single "Hound Dog"/ "Don’t Be Cruel" were launched, and it ended up being Elvis' most successful single ever. It spent a total of 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard list, and both songs ended at the top spot.

Elvis would never record in a New York studio again.


Mandag 2. juli 1956 møtte Elvis opp i RCA studioet i New York for å spille inn 3 nye sanger; «Hound Dog», «Don’t Be Cruel» og «Any Way You Want Me». Etter 7 intense timer var jobben gjort. Da hadde alle og enhver i studioet innsett at det var Elvis som satt i førersetet. De hadde blant annet vært igjennom 31 tagninger av «Hound Dog» før han selv var fornøyd.

5 uker senere ble singelen «Hound Dog»/ «Don’t Be Cruel» sluppet, og den endte opp med å bli Elvis’ største hit-singel noensinne. Den tilbrakte totalt 11 uker på Billboardlistens førsteplass, og begge sangene endte opp som #1.

Elvis benyttet aldri et platestudio i New York etter dette.

July 5, 1954

Elvis, Bill, Scotty and Sam in Sun Studio - February 1955

The song that changed everything: "That's All Right, Mama" was written by Arthur Crudup in 1954, but it is Elvis' version recorded at SUN studio of Sam Phillips the 5th of July 1954 which has become the famous version. It was released on single under the name "That's All Right", coupled with "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" as the B-side. The catalog number was 209 SUN. Elvis sang and played acoustic guitar, Scotty Moore played electric guitar, and Bill Black played bass. The recording contains no other instruments or any kind of overdubs. As they had finished recording Bill Black exclaims to the others; "Damn. Get that on the radio and they'll run us out of town!" There is a widespread misconception that this is the first song Elvis ever recorded (which he even puts it himself on repeated occasions in the 70s). According to the current session lists, this is the 7th song Elvis attached to reel.

"We just landed upon it accidentally… Nobody knew what they were doing, until we had already done it!" (Elvis comments on That’s All Right in an interview with Don Davis March 1956)


Sangen som endret alt; «That's All Right, Mama» ble skrevet av Arthur Crudup i 1954, men det er Elvis’ versjon innspilt i SUN studioet til Sam Phillips 5. juli 1954 som har blitt berømt. Den ble utgitt på singel under navnet «That’s All Right» med «Blue Moon Of Kentucky» som B-side. Katalognummeret ble SUN 209. Elvis sand og spilte akustisk gitar, Scotty Moore spilte elektrisk gitar og Bill Black spilte slap-bass. Innspillingen inneholder ingen andre instrumenter, eller noen form for overlegg. I det de var ferdig med innspillingen sier Bill Black til de andre; «Fy flate. Hvis den blir spilt på radioen, kommer vi til å bli jaget ut av byen». Det er en utbredt misforståelse at dette er den første sangen Elvis spilte inn (noe han faktisk også selv sier ved gjentatte anledninger på 70-tallet). I følge de eksisterende sesjonslistene så er dette den 7. sangen Elvis festet til lydbånd.

«Vi landet på det helt tilfeldig... Det var ingen som visste hva man gjorde, før vi hadde allerede hadde gjort det!» (Elvis kommenterer hvordan That’s All Right ble til, under et intervju med Don Davis i mars 1956)

July 10, 1975

Elvis live in Richfield, Ohio - July 10, 1975

Elvis held a concert (8:30 pm) in Cleveland Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio the 10th of July 1975. Elvis did a very good show in front of more than 22.000 wild spectators. The concert was sold out in general. Elvis used the Black Phoenix Suit during this show.

"But the greatest audience response was to a ballad called 'The Wonder of You', which Elvis joked he recorded '25 or 30 years ago', and to two spiritual numbers ("Why Me Lord" and "How Great Thou Art"). These left me -- and most other fans, I'm sure -- with chills and goose bumps all over". (Cleveland Press - Bruno Bornino - July 11, 1975)

This show has not yet been released on CD.


Elvis avholdt en konsert (8:30 pm) i Cleveland Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio 10. juli 1975. Foran 22.000 publikummere, gjør Elvis en etter sigende meget bra konsert. Konserten var forøvrig utsolgt. Under showet hadde Elvis på seg Black Phoenix Suit.

«Men den største publikumsresponsen fikk Elvis etter balladen 'The Wonder of You', som Elvis spøkefullt fortalte at han hadde spilt inn for '25 eller 30 år siden', og etter de to gospelsangene 'Why Me Lord' og 'How Great Thou Art'. Disse sangene ga meg, og alle andre i salen, frysninger og gåsehud over hele kroppen». (Cleveland Press - Bruno Bornino - July 11, 1975)

Dette showet er foreløpig ikke utgitt på CD.

July 20, 1975

Elvis live in Norfolk, Virginia - July 20, 1975

Elvis held two concerts (2:30 pm/ 8:30 pm) in Scope Cultural Convention Center, Norfolk, Virginia the 20th of July 1975. In front of a total of 22.600 spectators, Elvis did two decent concerts. Both concerts were sold out in general. Elvis used the Silver Phoenix Suit during the afternoon show, while he used the Dark Blue Gypsy Suit during the evening show.

During the July 20, 1975 show, between songs Elvis was joking around and giving out scarves when he noticed a little girl standing on the far left of the stage. He walked over and knelt down on one knee in front of her. Realizing she was blind, Elvis held her hands and spoke to her for a few minutes. The audience could not hear as he kept the microphone away from his mouth. He then kissed his scarf and touched both her eyes with it. When he was finished he took the scarf and held it to the child's face. The little girl stood there with complete confidence in what Elvis was doing. The girl had been blind since birth (taken from www.elvis.com.au).

Elvis introduces Suzie Quatro following the band introductions during the 2:30 pm show.

The 2:30 pm show has been released on Scope's Hope (BSM 2011). The 8:30 pm show has not yet been released on CD.


Elvis avholdt to konserter (2:30 pm/ 8:30 pm) i Scope Cultural Convention Center, Norfolk, Virginia 20. juli 1975. Foran til sammen 22.600 publikummere, gjør Elvis to fine konserter. Begge konserter var forøvrig utsolgt. Under ettermiddagsshowet hadde Elvis på seg Silver Phoenix Suit, mens han under kveldsshowet brukte Dark Blue Gypsy Suit.

Under showet 20. juli, mens Elvis delte ut skjerf til fansen ved scenekanten, legger han merke til en liten jente som står helt til venstre for scenen. Han går bort og bøyer seg ned på kne foran henne. Han innser da at hun er blind. Elvis tar begge hendene hennes i sine og snakker til henne i flere minutter. Publikum kunne ikke høre hva som blir sagt, ettersom han holder mikrofonen vekk. Så kysser han skjerfet sitt og rører ved begge øynene til jenta med skjerfet. Da han var ferdig tok han skjerfet og holdt den mot ansiktet hennes. Den lille jenta stod der svært tillitsfull til hva Elvis gjorde med henne. Hun hadde vært blind siden fødselen (hentet fra www.elvis.com.au).

Etter presentasjonen av musikerne under ettermiddagsshowet, introduserte Elvis Suzie Quatro for publikum.

Ettermiddagsshowet finnes på Scope's Hope (BSM 2011). Kveldsshowet er foreløpig ikke utgitt på CD.

July 31, 1969

Live in Las Vegas, Opening Show - July 31, 1969

Elvis was overcome by stage fright on the night of July the 31st, 1969. Backstage at Las Vegas' largest show-room Elvis walked restlessly in circles, while over 2,000 spectators was anxiously awaiting the King's return to the stage after 8 years stuck in the wilderness of bad Hollywood productions.

Those who were present backstage with Elvis observed that he sweated in the black stage suit, and he was terrified that the audience wouldn’t be pleased with his show. The people around Elvis were sure he would succeed, despite the fact that he himself was very thoughtful and hesitant.

When Elvis took the stage everyone in the audience, as one unit, rose to their feet and greeted the King welcome. After a few minutes, everyone understood, including the man himself, that this was the night the prodigal son finally returned home! Elvis was in that exact spot he felt most comfortable; on stage in front of an excited audience.

After the concert, Elvis received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience and the press used superlatives they rarely or never uttered. Elvis was back!


Elvis var overveldet av sceneskrekk kvelden den 31. juli 1969. Bak scenen i Las Vegas største show-rom vandret Elvis hvileløst rundt, mens over 2000 publikummere ventet spent på Kongens tilbakekomst til scenen etter 8 års ørkenvandring i Hollywood.

De som var til stede bak scenen sammen med Elvis, observerte at han svettet i det sorte sceneantrekket, og han var livredd for at publikum ikke vil like showet hans. Folkene rundt Elvis var sikre på at han skulle lykkes, til tross for at han selv var svært tankefull og tvilende.

I det Elvis entrer scenen reiser alle i salen seg som en homogen masse, og hilser Kongen velkommen. Etter få minutter forstår alle, inkludert Elvis, at dette er kvelden da den bortkomne sønn endelig har vendt hjem! Elvis er på det stedet han trives best; på scenen foran et entusiastisk publikum.

Etter endt konsert, mottar Elvis stående ovasjoner fra et begeistret publikum, og pressen brukte superlativer de sjelden eller aldri tar frem. Elvis var tilbake!

August 4, 1970

Elvis rehearsing for the movie "That's The Way It Is" - August 4, 1970

August 10, 1956

Elvis live in Jacksonville, Florida - August 10, 1956 7:00pm

August 16, 1977

In Memory of Elvis Aron Presley - January 8, 1935 to August 16, 1977

August 16th, 1977 started as just an ordinary day for the inhabitants of Memphis, the city often called “the cradle of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. It was indeed unusually hot this day and already in the early afternoon the temperature had risen to more than 30 degrees Celsius.

Even at Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, the day started as just any other day. Elvis was scheduled to go on yet another tour the following day, and the preparation for his departure was in full motion. Sometime around 2.30pm Elvis' girlfriend Ginger Alden calls the kitchen staff and cries out that they need urgent help upstairs in Elvis’ bathroom; she had just found Elvis lifeless on the floor.

The next hour is kind of foggy, but it is a fact that after the first attempt to revive Elvis in the bathroom where he was found, the medics rushed Elvis to the Baptist Memorial Hospital where all efforts to revive him was in vain. Elvis was declared dead at 3.30pm.

The news first hits Memphis, and it hits hard. Within a few hours thousands of grieving fans flocked to the gates of Graceland to share their grief. Just hours later the whole world knew; “The King was dead!”


Den 16. august 1977 begynte som hvilken som helst annen dag for innbyggerne av Memphis, byen som ofte blir kalt «Rock ‘n’ Rollens krybbe». Det var dog usedvanlig varmt denne dagen, og allerede tidlig på formiddagen hadde temperaturen steget til over 30 grader celsius.

Selv på Graceland, hjemme hos Elvis Presley, startet dagen som en helt vanlig dag. Elvis var klar for å reise på enda en ny turné neste dag, og forberedelsene til avreisen var i full sving. Rundt klokken 14.30 ringte Elvis’ kjæreste Ginger Alden ned til kjøkkenpersonalet og ropte ut at hun trengte umiddelbart hjelp oppe på badet i 2. etasje. Hun hadde funnet Elvis livløs på gulvet.

Hva som egentlig skjedde den neste timen er noe diffust, men vi vet med sikkerhet at forsøkene på å gjenopplive Elvis på baderomsgulvet ikke lyktes, og han ble fraktet i hu og hast til Baptist Memorial sykehuset, men alle forsøk på å få liv i han der mislykkes også. Elvis ble erklært død klokken 15.30.

Nyhetene rammet Memphis først… og det rammet hardt. Bare noen få timer senere hadde det samlet seg tusener av sørgende fans utenfor portene til Graceland. Noe senere fikk hele verden vite det; «Kongen var død!»

August 24, 1956

Elvis recording "Love Me Tender" - August 24, 1956

August 27, 1965

The Beatles meet Elvis - August 27, 1965 (This photograph was signed by all four members of The Beatles and given to Elvis' cousin Billy Smith)

September 1, 1956

Elvis during a RCA recording session - September 1, 1956

September 9, 1956

Elvis live at the Ed Sullivan Show - September 9, 1956

September 11, 1963

Ann-Margret and Elvis in the movie Viva Las Vegas - September 1963

September 23, 1956

Sam Phillips, Elvis and Marion Keisker outside SUN Studios in Memphis - September 23, 1956

September 26, 1956

Elvis live in Tupelo, Mississippi - September 26, 1956

Sources; “Elvis: Day By Day” – Peter Guralnick, Ernst Jørgensen / “Last Train To Memphis” – Peter Guralnick / “Careless Love” – Peter Guralnick / “Elvis Files Volume 1-6” – Erik Lorentzen / “A King In The Making” – Alfred Wertheimer / Wikipedia / www.elvis.com.au / www.elvisconcerts.com / www.elvis-history-blog.com / ELVIS and his MUSIC