As of June 3, Elvis rehearses for the recording of his television special. Initially a press conference is held on June 25. The recordings are made on the 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of the same month. Known as the “68 Special” or the “68 Comeback,” the real name of this television special was simply “Elvis.” The 1960s have brought about great changes in music and pop culture, changes for which Elvis helped pave the way more than a decade earlier, when he burst onto the scene with his unique mix of pop, rock, country , R&B and gospel influences. Focusing primarily on his Hollywood film career in the 1960s, Elvis has become less than a part of today’s popular culture scene. Movies in the 1950s and early 1960s were smash hits, but mid-1960s movies and records, while still profitable, haven’t been as successful as they once were. Elvis has reached the ultimate level of frustration with the state of his career and all of its limitations on his creativity and artistic expression. He had hoped to become a serious actor, but Hollywood had other ideas and Elvis went with them. His chance to show his true acting talents came only rarely. Elvis was aware that he needed a change. It had been over seven years since Elvis had appeared in front of a live audience. Elvis had lost the closeness of his audience, the energy and excitement of live performances.

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“Special 68” opens with Elvis singing a powerful and gritty version of “Trouble,” from his 1958 film “King Creole.” This gives way to “Guitar Man” which becomes the theme song of the show. Elvis then reunited with two of his original 1950s band members, guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer DJ Fontana. They sit together on the quadrangle-shaped stage, along with two other friends, Charlie Hodge and Alan Fortas. The idea is to sing informally and exchange past stories. There are also sequences of Elvis taking the stage alone and performing many of his best-known hits. It also introduces a new song, “Memories”. One can speculate that on this special, Elvis pours out years of professional frustration and pent-up creative energy in performing these songs. Her natural talent, charisma, sensuality and stage presence have not been diminished by her years in Hollywood. In fact, Elvis looks impressive, sounds and moves in a way that was no longer remembered. At 33 he is better than ever. For group session segments (Sit-Down Shows) and solo performances (Stand-Up Shows), Elvis wears a two-piece, black leather suit specially designed for the show by Bill Belew, who also designed the costumes for Elvis from the whole special. The look evokes the days of James Dean and Marlon Brando, the kind of 1950s motorcycle movies, the time when Elvis was proclaimed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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In one of the jam session segments, Elvis talks about the origins of rock ‘n’ roll. This leads to the gospel music part, which features Elvis dressed in a maroon-wine two-piece suit, singing “Where Could I Go But to the Lord,” “Up Above My Head,” and “Saved”. During this segment, Elvis is backed by the female vocal group, “The Blossoms”, and accompanied by a group of dancers.

Information provided by Club Elvis Spain


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