Elvis Presley If I Can Dream


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By Rosa García Mora

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

In June 1968 Elvis was at a turning point in his artistic and personal life.  It was his return as an artist, and his breakup, at last, with his commitment to Hollywood.

He was in the midst of filming a new NBC television show, “Elvis: The Comeback Special,” after eight years away from the stage while fulfilling his movie contracts.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

1968 was a hectic year for American history, marked by the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the fight for civil rights, the endless war in Vietnam and the beginning of the hippie movement, whose postulates questioned the American dream.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

Elvis was devastated by the murders.  At the same time, he was fighting with himself to overcome his fears and his ghosts.  He had returned to television, which meant for him his resurrection , and having to face, again, his beloved public.

After so many years shooting movies in Hollywood, Elvis was in deep sorrow, not knowing if the public would accept him again.

After seeing the news of Kennedy’s death on television, Elvis spent the entire night with the show’s director, Steve Binder, talking about the assassinations and the situation in his country, and expressing his good and sincere wishes for all the world.

So Binder thought that Elvis had a very important message to convey to the country.

It was this reaction of Elvis, which led to the creation of the song ”If I Can Dream”, a song in tribute to Martin Luther King, and which directly alluded to his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream” ‘.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

Steve Binder, who was the person who brought Elvis back to his rebirth as an artist before the audience, and who wanted this show to be a complete turning point in Elvis’s career, could not tolerate his show ending with a Christmas song, such and as Colonel Parker had planned.

And overwhelmed by Elvis’s desperation in the face of the recent murders, Binder had a new initiative, one of those that made him a genius behind the cameras, and he told Walter Earl Brown, in charge of vocal arrangements: “Write me the best song you’ve ever written !!! …”

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

And Brown did so and created the most beautiful thing we can imagine for an Elvis full of desires for peace and brotherhood, and eager to give this world a message of peace and understanding, to convey his dream, to build a better world.  And for that dreamy Elvis, Brown created the song “If I Can Dream.”

Elvis recorded the song on June 23, 1968 at Western Recorders, Studio 1, Hollywood.

For a moment, let’s close our eyes and imagine…

Elvis in the studio, with the lights off, completely devoted to the song, with the microphone on the floor, prostrate on his knees…

Tears streamed down the cheeks of the chorus girls and no one present had ever witnessed such a heartbreaking scene.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

When Elvis performed the song for the show, he did it with such emotion and passion, that he sang as if his dream was our dream, engulfed in universal lament.

At the end of the song, Elvis raises his arms, almost in a crucifixion posture, as if the song had drained him of his own essence.

Elvis Presley If I Can Dream

When Elvis makes the music bleed, we can only open our souls and listen to him …


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-pP_dCenJA]

Information written and provided by Rosa García Mora https://www.facebook.com/rosa.garciamora.12


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