ELVIS – LOVING YOU- let's have a party -(part 4)

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Lonesome Cowboy

Elvis Presley - Loving You

The day after the show, with a group of about 100 fans waiting for him outside the Captain Shreve Hotel (as well as a dozen or so police officers and hotel staff trying to keep him safe), Elvis left Shreveport and returned to Memphis.

Leaving the city, the singer was closing another, extremely important chapter in his career so far, because as you can read on the official Graceland website, ” although ‘Louisiana Hayride’ did not make him widely known, it helped him reach many new audiences, and this in turn helped him in his later career .

Apart from a guest appearance on Wink Martindale’s “Holiday Hop” on local Memphis television KLAC-TV on December 31, the concert in Shreveport turned out to be the last big event in the groundbreaking, intense and successful 1956.

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After many months of touring, recording and television studios, Presley was finally going home, where he could spend some time with family and friends, which he missed and openly talked about in meetings with journalists.

When Lindy Shannon of WKBH radio asked him what he did in his spare time in May 1956, Elvis replied without hesitation, “I don’t have it,” before adding, ” But when I do, I always try to go home to my loved ones .”

In the same conversation, he also confessed that when he finds a moment for himself, he likes to play sports very much. “ I do a bit of water skiing, I like footbool and boxing ,” he said.

The last days of 1956, however, were spent preparing and celebrating Christmas, which he spent for the last time with his loved ones at home on Audubon Drive in Memphis.

He returned to work just after the New Year.

However, before he began to fulfill his artistic obligations resulting from previously concluded contracts, he had to fulfill his duty towards his homeland.

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On January 4, 1957, Elvis showed up at the John Paul II Veterans Hospital. Kennedy in Memphis to undergo routine medical examinations confirming his fitness for military service. The research was conducted by Dr. Leonard Glick.

A few hours later, Presley and his team were on their way to New York. ” We got on the train with him and went to New York for our third and final appearance on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ ,” Scotty Moore said. ” It was a long journey with a stopover in Washington . […] We arrived early Saturday morning and then went to the Maxine Elliot Hotel for rehearsals .

Despite the fact that Elvis’ previous performances in Ed Sullivan’s programs gathered a record-breaking, multi-million audience in front of television sets, each time they also met with a huge wave of criticism. Especially from the older generation, who saw Presley’s stage behavior as having a ” negative impact on American youth .”

So this time, wanting to avoid further critical headlines in the press and a broadly understood moral scandal, the censors of the CBS station broadcasting the show ordered the cameramen to show Elvis only from the waist up.

“That night, in the actual show, Sullivan took every precaution possible ,” Moore continued. “ We played seven songs in three separate shows, including ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Love Me Tender’ and ‘Too Much’ from our latest single. To appease the critics, the cameramen were instructed to film Elvis from the waist up whenever they felt he was moving a hip or leg .

In addition to the songs listed by the legendary guitarist, the program also featured “Hound Dog”, “Don’t Be Cruel”, “When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again” and “Peace In The Valley”.

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The latter title – an old gospel hymn written by Pastor Thomas A. Dorsey, was performed by Elvis with the Hungarian citizens in mind, who on October 23, 1956 undertook an armed attempt to overthrow the country’s communist regime. Unfortunately, the uprising known today as the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 or the Revolution of 1956 was brutally crushed by the Soviet Army after only two weeks, on November 10, 1956.

Aware of the extremely difficult situation in which the inhabitants of the country found themselves after the failed uprising, Elvis asked Ed Sullivan to ask the viewers on his behalf to donate to Hungarian relief efforts.

Elvis Presley - Loving You

The response was not long in coming.

It is estimated that as many as twenty-five million Swiss francs were collected during the program!

Hungarians, grateful for the support of their anti-Soviet revolution, honored Elvis by naming one of the parks in the capital, Budapest, after him.

And although the reason described above was probably the only reason why Elvis sang “Peace In The Valley” in front of the cameras, years later, various studies began to wonder whether the performance of this song was also intended to warm up Presley’s image in the eyes of American society.

“Peace In The Valley,” like every song Elvis sang that night, drew warm applause from the studio audience.

At the end of the show, which was watched by nearly fifty-five million Americans, Sullivan informed viewers that this was Elvis’ last appearance on his show and that the singer would be heading to Hollywood to shoot his new movie in a few days. “ I’d like to tell Elvis and the whole country that he’s a good and good boy ,” he said to Presley, who was standing with his head demurely bowed. “ Wherever you go, Elvis, there will be people with you who are by your side. I want you to know that we’ve never had a more enjoyable encounter on our show with a big name like you today .”

After recording, Elvis returned to Memphis by night train to celebrate his twenty-second birthday with his loved ones the next day.

Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland), Marius Ogieglo


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