Unforgettable Live Performances: Elvis Presley, The Comeback Special 1968

Pop icon and King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley played an informal jamming session to  a small audience, it is now considered the first “Unplugged” and aired on NBC and would be known as ´68 Comeback Special. It is a delight.



“Heartbreak Hotel” (1968 Comeback Special) – Elvis Presley

Elvis Aron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi to a humble family. He was a twin, but his brother, Jesse was stillborn. His family was humble and moved around a lot, but it was a loving environment, his mother Gladys raised him to have a strong faith in God, he would go to church, and gospel music became an important influence for him. When he turned 11th, his mother gave him his first guitar. He pursued his music career relentlessly and would cut his first demo just after graduating from high school, and in 1954 he released his first single. “That´s All Right”. In 1955 he would have his first No. 1 single “Heartbreak Hotel”.


That´s alright mama – Elvis Presley

Presley rose to fame, scandalized everyone with his hip movement, enamored women and would soon be on the radio, television and in movies. His first film “Love Me Tender” was a huge success. Elvis was drafted in 1957 and served in Germany. While he was in the military, Elvis´ mother died, he was devastated. He went back to Germany after her funeral, and there he met Priscilla Beaulieu. Elvis left the army in 1960 and went back to his successful musical career and making films. He was contractually forced to make a lot of movies, which started to take a toll on his career, and then came his first TV special.

Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley


The special was recorded in Burbank, California and it aired on December 3. Originally they intended to do a Christmas special, but contrary to Elvis´manager, the director and co producer Steve Binder and a nervous singer decided to make a rock and roll show….and what a show it was!  Binder saw them jamming during takes, and decided to have cameras there “without their knowledge”. Elvis is at his most natural, hanging out with his friends, among them: guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer DJ Fontana with whom he had not played for over ten years and bassist Bill Black.

They play blues, R&B and rock, laugh and make fun of each other. Elvis forgets lyrics, loses his voice and makes jokes. It is raw, vulnerable yet relaxed, and it is there, through his sweat, smile and leather jacket where I finally got why he would drive a generation crazy: he is the handsomest and sexiest man that has ever lived. At least there, in that moment…MY GOD!

Baby, What You Want Me To Do – Elvis Presley

Elvis would die of a heart attack at only 42 years old (attributed to drug abuse). They say he was never the same after his marriage fell apart and drugs became front-center in his life. Since his death, he is still considered to be the king of rock and roll and one of the most important figures in pop music. His home,  Graceland, is open to the public and still gets thousands of visitors a year. And though his final years were certainly not his best, this moment in time, the songs he played, the jokes he made and his fun and great talent preserved here in this special, show all of us why he was The King.


Featured image taken from http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/elvis-presley/images/36956182/title/elvis-presley-68-comeback-special-photo

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