#995: 1968, Elvis Presley, Lawdy Miss Clawdy

by Charlie_East_West on March 6, 2015

Welcome to the weekend. It has probably been a tough week. So, you deserve a Friday afternoon treat and boy do I have a treat for you.

My something for the weekend is Elvis Presley, Lawdy Miss Clawdy taken from his 1968 NBC Comeback Special.

This is undoubtably the greatest comeback concert of all time. Presley’s career had been in gradual decline leading up to 1968 largely due to two factors –
i) Presley doing way too many dodgy movies and bland songs.
ii) The music scene had changed dramatically and The Beatles, and the rest of the British Invasion in general, were leading the movement on “the swinging sixties”.

Put these two elements together and it created the impression that Elvis was uncool. His 1968 comeback concert immediately changed that impression. It is like an explosion from a rocket. Elvis looked cool, sounded cool and his songs were interpreted in a striped back acoustic set that simply oozed cool.

Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker Parker wanted the show, which was scheduled as a Christmas season broadcast, to be yet another formulaic format for Presley to just sing a few Christmas carols. Thankfully, the show’s Director, Steve Binder argued that the NBC special was an opportunity to reinvigorate Elvis’ cutting edge reputation.

So in 1968 on NBC, Presley took to the stage for the first time in over seven years, resulting in four one-hour live shows being taped at NBC’s Burbank studios. Wearing black leather, Presley sat down and jammed with band mates for two shows, belting out many of his old songs with a new and rockier interpretation. Elvis succeeded in reinventing himself as a magnificent beast. The rest, as they say, is history…

I recently showed the 1968 comeback special to my children. They were totally gripped throughout. Their jaws were on the floor. My son wanted to be Elvis. My daughter liked the look of him. After watching this, it is easy to see why.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ray_North March 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm



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