ELVIS AND THE BILLBOARD

1969

ELVIS PRESLEY 1969

INTRODUCTION:

Greetings to all, today we have a new installment of this serial that tells us, through this prestigious American magazine, the adventures and misadventures of our beloved Elvis, and that this time will take us to 1969, the last year of this wonderful and unrepeatable decade. In our next episode we will go back to the year 1970 and experience the birth of new trends such as Glam, Funk, or Melodic Rock bands. But that is already part of another exciting story in the world of music, so in the meantime, do me a favor, be happy.

Cesar Valle, Torrelavega (Spain)



ELVIS PRESLEY – 1969



There is no doubt that 1969 was one of the most decisive years in the career of Elvis Presley who, thanks to a titanic effort, recovered the status he had achieved in his early days.
The singer ended his acting career and focused on his work in recording studios, returning to concerts. He said goodbye to the cinema after participating in the filming of Change Of Habit and attending the premieres of his two previous films, Charro (released on March 13) and The Trouble With Girls (released on September 3).


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The highlight of the year were the historic recording sessions at American Sound, which returned him to the record business as an absolute star, confirmed by the signing on February 26 of a contract with the management of the International Hotel, recently built in Las Vegas, for a series of 57 concerts that generated a gross of 1.5 million dollars.
Thus, while From Elvis In Memphis continued to top the charts, at the beginning of October Elvis traveled to Hawaii with his family and some friends, and then visited the Bahamas with the intention of enjoying a few well-deserved days off. However, his vacation was interrupted by the hurricane storm that hit the island. Luckily, Elvis had the months of November and December to gather the necessary strength to face a full year 1970 on his schedule due to his commitments in Las Vegas.
FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS 1969

THE BILLBOARD IN 1969

This year of 1969 will be the year of the great festivals, such as the one on the Isle of Whight, the one in Watkins Glen, the one in Altamont and what will undoubtedly be remembered as the largest festival ever held, Woodstock, with more than 500,000 people. of assistance in 3 days of uninterrupted music, and through which artists such as Santana, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Hendrix or the Credence Clearwater Revival performed. 72 hours of music were filmed and recorded in a film directed by Michael Wadleeigh and with Martin Scorsese, among others, also publishing a triple album that reached more than two million copies sold. It was the climax of those years of “Peace and Love.”
1969 will also be the swan song for The Beatles as far as their live performances are concerned. On January 30, on the roof of Apple Records, it will be the last time that these four boys from Liverpool can be seen together, who had revolutionized the world of music as we knew it until then.


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New styles are also beginning to emerge, such as Heavy Metal, with groups like Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin, Symphonic Rock with groups like Nice or Yes, and macrobands like Santana, with influences from Latin music, or tendencies towards Jazz, like Chicago. .
But, while all this is happening, what is being heard in Uncle Sam’s country? The number 1s of that year began with the singer of Motown, Marvin Gaye, with the theme “It Heard It Through The Grapevine“. Another Motor City song that went to number 1 was “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and The Supremes.

Tommy James, with “Crimson and Clover“, was the second number 1 of the year. James laid out another subsequent hit with “Cristal Blue Persuasion.” The Funky band from San Francisco, Sly and The Family Stone, in addition to being number 1 with “Everyday People“, was also number 1 on the Soul charts. The so-called “Bubble Sound” was one of the clear winners this year. Tommy Roe with “Dizzy“, and The Archies, characters based on a cartoon television series, with the theme “Sugar Sugar“, will be the songs that remain at the top the longest.
The world of cinema also made its contribution. Thus, we have from the Opera Rock Hair, their song “Aquarius“, in a version by the group 5th Dimension, which they would repeat with “Wedding Bell Blues“. Henry Mancini would also be number 1 with the love theme from the movie “Romeo and Juliet“.
The Beatles, of course, also had their hits, starting with “Get Back” and continuing with “Something“, a composition by George Harrison. Also their eternal rivals, The Rolling Stones, reappear this year with “Honky Tonk Woman“.

Other successful songs: that of the Nebraska duo Zager and Evans, with “In The Year 2525” or the group Steam and their happy “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” (which in 1983 was once again brought to success in England by female trio Bananarama).
Finally “Suspicious Minds,” a masterpiece by a reborn Elvis Presley, and a John Denver composition for Peter Paul and Mary: “Leaving On A Jet Plane.”
Other songs that played that year were “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and “Proud Mary” by the Credence (curiously these three songs would end up including Elvis in his repertoire).

We also have “I Want You Back“, by five brothers who under the name of The Jacksons 5, sponsored by Diana Ross and signed by Motown, began their brilliant musical career in 1969.
Thus, 1969 is a brilliant year, spectacular in all respects, the year in which all together make Rock reach unimaginable heights.

On January 20, Richard Nixon was sworn in as President of the United States; on July 20, man set foot on the moon for the first time. This is how we say goodbye to the happy and psychedelic 60s that are left behind. For bet

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ter or for worse, a new decade awaits us, that of the 70’s.

Information provided by Cesar Valle (Torrelavega , Spain)

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