Elvis Timeline 1970's

Alive and Kicking... The Vegas Years Part 1 1970 - 1972

January 26, 1970

Elvis opened his 2nd season in Las Vegas, at the International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on February 23rd. Elvis broke all earlier attendance records, and his engagement was a smashing success!

February 27, 1970

Between February 27th and March 1st Elvis gave six performances at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas. More than 207,000 fans were attending the 6 shows in the grandiose rodeo arena.

August 1, 1970

The Elvis single “The Wonder Of You” hit #1 on the UK singles chart. This was his 16th number one hit in the UK, and was one of his most successful records in the UK ever.

August 10, 1970

Elvis opened his 3rd season in Las Vegas, at the International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on September 7th. The documentary Elvis: That's The Way It Is was filmed during this engagement.

September 9, 1970

Elvis opened his first tour since 1957 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona.

October 9, 1970

Elvis bought his first Stutz Blackhawk vehicle in Los Angeles.

November 11, 1970

The documentary Elvis: That's The Way It Is premiered in the US. The movie, which mainly consisted of footage of his rehearsals and shows in Las Vegas in July and August ’70, was a huge success at the cinemas, and is still considered among fans as the best documentation of Elvis as a performer ever. The album released in combination with the movie, hit #21 on the Billboard album chart.

December 21, 1970

Elvis met President Richard Nixon during an infamous meeting in the Oval Office at the White House. Elvis and President Nixon hit it off very well, and Elvis got a Federal Narcotics Badge as a gift from the President.

January 1971

The Elvis album Elvis Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old) was released. The majority of the songs were recorded in Nashville in June 1970.

January 16, 1971

Elvis accepted the honor of being named “One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation”, an award given by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (The Jaycees). This national award recognized young men who had made great achievements in their field of work. Several famous persons had been acknowledged this award over the years, including John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Orson Welles.

January 26, 1971

Elvis opened his 4th season in Las Vegas, at the International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on February 23rd.

June 1971

The album Love Letters from Elvis was released. The songs were recorded in Nashville in June 1970.

June 29, 1971

The Memphis City Council decided to rename the part of Highway 51 South which ran past Graceland, to Elvis Presley Boulevard. The formal ceremony occurred in January of 1972.

July 20, 1971

Elvis opened his first season at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Elvis would make 5 seasons all together between ’71 and ‘76 at this venue.

August 9, 1971

Elvis opened his 5th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on September 6th.

August 28, 1971

Elvis, as the first Rock ‘n’ Roll singer, received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammy Award Organization). Only five nominees had received the award prior to Elvis; Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Irving Berlin.

October 1971

Elvis’ second Christmas album Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas was released. The songs were recorded at the RCA Studio B in Nashville in May 1971.

November 5, 1971

Elvis opened his only concert tour of ‘71 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

December 30, 1971

Priscilla moved out of Graceland taking Lisa Marie with her. Priscilla filed for divorce later that year in July. At that time Elvis had started dating Linda Thompson, a relationship that would last until late 1976.

January 26, 1972

Elvis opened his 6th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on February 23rd.

February 1972

The album Elvis Now was released. Despite the title, the album consisted of songs recorded over the last 3 years.

March 29, 1972

Elvis recorded the song “Always On My Mind”, which later hit #9 on the UK Chart. The song has later been a huge hit for both Willie Nelson and Pet Shop Boys. In 2013, the song reached #1 on a viewer’s poll for the UK TV-show The Nation’s Favourite Elvis Song.

April 1972

Elvis’ third gospel album He Touched Me was released. Elvis won his second Grammy Award for this album, and it has sold more than a million copies in the US alone, a formidable accomplishment for an album containing entirely of gospel music. The majority of the songs were recorded in May and June 1971, during sessions in Nashville.

June 9-11, 1972

Elvis performed four sold-out shows in Madison Square Garden, New York. Among the 80,000 spectators were celebrities like John Lennon, George Harrison, David Bowie, Art Garfunkel and Bob Dylan present. RCA recorded both shows on June 10th, and the evening show was released just a few days later on the record Elvis: As Recorded Live at Madison Square Garden.

August 4, 1972

Elvis opened his 7th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for a month. The season ended on September 4th.

October 21, 1972

One of Elvis’ best known songs and his last Top 10 hit in the US; “Burning Love, hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

November 1, 1972

The last Elvis motion picture Elvis On Tour premiered. It received good reviews and it won a Golden GlobeAward for “Best Documentary”. The now famous director Martin Scorsese supervised the montage sequences. The backbone of the movie was filmed during Elvis’ tour in April 1972.

November 17-18, 1972

Elvis closed his third tour of the year with three shows at the Honolulu International Center in Honolulu, Hawaii; the same venue he would later do his famous satellite broadcasted show.

Struggle and Decay – The Vegas Years Part 2 1973 - 1976

January 14, 1973

This was to become one of the most important days in Elvis' career. His concert at the Honolulu International Center Arena in Hawaii was broadcast live to more than 40 countries via satellite (in addition, there were approximately 30 European countries that saw the concert slightly delayed). It is estimated that one billion people watched the TV show… that was significantly more than those who saw the lunar landing live! The accompanying album Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite hit #1 on the Billboard album chart on May 5th, 1973. This was his last #1 album in the US during his lifetime.

January 26, 1973

Elvis opened his 8th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on February 23rd. During this engagement Elvis presented Muhammad Ali a robe with the inscription “The People's Champion”. Later Ali offered his boxing gloves to Elvis with the imprinting “You're the greatest” on the left glove, and “To Elvis, my main man, from Muhammad Ali” on the right.

March 1, 1973

Elvis and Colonel Parker sold the royalty rights on Elvis’ entire RCA catalog up to that point for 5,400,000 USD. This was an ill-advised decision, which deprived Elvis and his heirs for an unheard of amount of income (royalties) in the following years.

May 4, 1973

Elvis opened his 2nd season at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Elvis held two shows every day for almost two weeks. The season ended on May 16th. Elvis had to cancel 8 shows during this season due to illness.

July 1973

The Elvis album Elvis (known as The Fool Album) was released. The songs on the album were unreleased tracks recorded in 1971 and 1972.

August 6, 1973

Elvis opened his 9th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for almost a month. The season ended on September 3rd.

October 1973

The Elvis album Raised on Rock/For Ol' Times Sake was released. All but two of the songs on the album were recorded at the famous Stax studio in Memphis in July 1973.

October 9, 1973

The divorce between Elvis and Priscilla was finally formalized in court. The couple remained close friends, and though Priscilla got custody of Lisa Marie, Elvis could visit his daughter whenever he wanted.

October 15 - November 1, 1973

Elvis was hospitalized in Memphis for recurring pneumonia, an enlarged colon and hepatitis. In addition, Elvis was battling an increasing dependency to prescription drugs.

January 26, 1974

Elvis opened his 10th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for two weeks. The season ended on February 9th.

March 16, 17 and 20, 1974

Elvis held five sold-out shows in his hometown over three days. Elvis had not performed in Memphis since 1961, and the audience greeted their town’s most famous citizen welcome home in a grand scale. The show on March 20th was recorded and later released on the album Elvis Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis. The album contained a performance of the gospel hymn “How Great Thou Art”. Elvis won his third Grammy award for this performance.

March 1974

The Elvis album Good Times was released. The songs on the album were recorded at the famous Stax studio in Memphis during sessions in July and December 1973.

May 16, 1974

Elvis opened his 3rd season at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The engagement ended on May 26th.

August 19, 1974

Elvis opened his 11th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for two weeks. The season ended on September 2nd.

September 16, 1974

Elvis received his 8th Degree San Black Belt in Karate.

October 11, 1974

Elvis opened his 4th season at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The engagement ended on October 14th.

January 1975

The Elvis album Promised Land was released. This was his third and final album with songs recorded at the Stax Studio in Memphis during July and December 1973.

January 29, 1975

Once again Elvis was admitted to hospital for his increasing health problems. He was diagnosed with hypertension and an obstructed colon caused by overuse of prescribed drugs. He was treated with cortisone, which has the side effect of causing notable weight gain. He returned home on February 14th.

March 18, 1975

Elvis opened his 12th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis held two shows every day for two weeks. The season ended on April 1st. During this season Elvis was offered the leading role in the movie A Star Is Born starring Barbara Streisand. Though this would have given Elvis his long awaited chance to act in a serious movie, it unfortunately never materialized.

May 1975

The Elvis album Today was released. The songs on the album were recorded at RCA's Studio C in Hollywood in March 1975, his last session in a regular recording studio.

August 18, 1975

Elvis opened his 13th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Due to illness, Elvis had to cancel this engagement after just 3 days. Once again Elvis was admitted to hospital in Memphis.

November 10, 1975

The renovation of the Convair 880 jet plane Elvis bought in April 1975 was completed. Elvis christened the plane “Lisa Marie” after his daughter.

December 2, 1975

Elvis opened his 14th season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. The season ended on December 15th.

December 31, 1975

Elvis ended a year with extensive touring with a special New Year’s Eve concert in Pontiac, Michigan. With approximately 60,000 fans in the audience, this was the highest attended Elvis concert ever!

February 2, 1976

RCA brought recording equipment to Graceland, and the Jungle Room was used as studio. During a week of recording Elvis produced songs to the album From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee. The album was released in May, and it hit #1 on the Billboard country chart.

April 30, 1976

Elvis opened his fifth and last season at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The engagement ended on May 9th.

April 30, 1976

The now famous Bruce Springsteen attempted to get a glimpse of Elvis by climbing the fence surrounding Graceland. He was escorted off the premises by security guards while he tried to explain who he was. Unfortunately, he never managed to meet up with his big hero!

November 1976

Elvis and Linda Thompson, his steady girlfriend since 1972, split up. On November 19th, Elvis met Ginger Alden who would be his steady girlfriend until his death.

December 2, 1976

Elvis opened his 15th and last season in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. The season ended on December 12th. Just two days after the opening Elvis twisted his ankle, but he chose to continue his engagement. This forced Elvis to be seated during some of his performances.

December 31, 1976

Elvis ended a year with extensive touring with a special New Year’s Eve concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Final Curtain... The Last Year 1977

April 1, 1977

In the middle of an extensive touring program Elvis got hospitalized once again. It was obvious that Elvis was constantly struggling with increased health problems.

June 19 and 21, 1977

Elvis’ shows in Omaha and Rapid City were recorded by RCA and filmed by CBS for the upcoming TV-special Elvis in Concert. Sadly, the footage showed quite clearly Elvis' deteriorating condition during his last days. The TV-special did not air until October 3rd, one and a half month after Elvis’ death.

June 26, 1977

Elvis held the last show of his career at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

July 1977

The Elvis album Moody Blue was released. This was his last album to be released in his lifetime, and consisted of mixture of live tracks and studio tracks recorded in the Jungle Room at Graceland in February and October 1976. The album hit #3 on the Billboard album chart and the single “Way Down”, picked from this album, hit #1 on the UK singles chart.

August 4, 1977

The book Elvis: What Happened? co-written by former friends and bodyguards Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler, was released. This highly controversial book exposed Elvis’ private life in a shocking way. Elvis was devastated when he was informed about the book.

August 16, 1977

Elvis was found dead by his girlfriend Ginger Alden at his home in Memphis. He was rushed to Baptist Memorial Hospital, but all efforts to revive him failed. Elvis was pronounced dead at 3:30pm. The reason for his death was heart failure.

August 18, 1977

Elvis was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis. Tens of thousands mourning fans followed the funeral cortège to the burial site.

Epilogue

October 2, 1977

The bodies of Elvis and his mother Gladys were moved to the Meditation Garden on the premises of Graceland.

June 26, 1979

Elvis’ father Vernon Elvis Presley died. He was buried in the Meditation Garden, beside his son.

June 7, 1982

The Graceland mansion opened for public tours.

January 23, 1986

Elvis was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame at the first induction dinner.

April 8, 2003

Elvis’ only daughter Lisa Marie debuts as a recording artist with the album To Whom It May Concern.

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 Boy From Tupelo” – Ernst Jørgensen / “The Complete Chart History Of Elvis Presley” – Joseph A. Tunzi / Wikipedia / www.keithflynn.com / www.elvis.com.au / www.officialcharts.com / www.imdb.com