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James Burton says that during those first 6 days at RCA, they tried “150 songs”.

Rehearsals for the upcoming Las Vegas concerts began on July 18, 1969, and continued for the next five days through the 23rd at RCA Studios at 6363 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.

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James Burton recorded that they “learned to play together, probably a hundred and fifty songs” in those days.

Elvis was patient and always made it clear to the musicians what he wanted.

John Wilkinson never understood the rhythm part of “It`s Now or Never”. “…it’s relatively easy, but I couldn’t play it the way Elvis wanted,” John recorded.

“…I was sitting in a corner trying to learn how to play it like James taught me, and then Elvis came up to me…and started singing in unison with me.

When we got to the end of the song, I asked him, “…do I play it like this?” And Elvis told me:

“…could not be better”.

Charlie Hodge was constantly present at rehearsals, cheering Elvis on and keeping his spirits high.

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As of July 24, rehearsals continued in Las Vegas.

Felton Jarvis flew in to help with rehearsals, just four days after his own wedding; on July 20 he had married Chet Atkins’s secretary, Mary Lynch.

The hotel’s concert hall was hosting Barbra Streisand concerts, so dress rehearsals were held in the rehearsal room or one of the ballrooms and, for the first time, included a backing band.

For the “Sweet Inspirations” it was a great event, they were incredibly excited.

They were sitting and waiting for rehearsal to start when they saw Elvis for the 1st time.

“…she was wearing a chocolate colored suit,” said Myrna Smith, “tanned and absolutely incomparable; came up to us…and introduced himself as if we didn’t know who he was!

Then he sang our song and we sang with him in unison and fell in love with him immediately

In the photos, with fans outside the RCA studios in Hollywood; rehearsals are rehearsals… but Elvis Presley always had direct communication with his fans…


July 18-23: RCA Hollywood

July 24 to 31: International Hotel

“Elvis – Stories Images and more”

Information provided by Elvis Shop Argentina 


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