Elvis Month: A New Life Brings Elvis Back to his Roots

Elvis 25/08/2019

Exactly nine months following his marriage Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley on February 1 1968.

Elvis continues to make efforts to depart from the formulaic rut his films have fallen into with the more adult themed melodramatic ‘Live a Little, Love a Little’.

April 8 1968 Elvis is deeply distressed by the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Elvis had been a long time admirer and often quoted the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

He is once again shaken to his core with the assassination of Robert Kennedy on June 6. 

This begins a series of conversations between Elvis and his producers leading to the eventual song that would close his Christmas television special, ‘If I can Dream’.

He rehearses and records the special throughout the month of June, the special will air in December.

It is referred to by many as the comeback, the actual title is simply ‘Elvis’. This special represents an outlet for the years of frustration from Elvis.

He had hoped to grow into a more serious dramatic actor, but his career took a formulaic and lacklustre turn.

It has been said that Elvis missed the intimacy of live performances and his time in Hollywood had left him absent from much of the popular culture.

He had felt limited in his career and unable to connect with audiences as he wanted to. 

When he takes to the stage for this special his abilities had not soured and his energy and talent exploded on the screen.

His mature approach to his music injects new life into old songs. He also introduces the new song ‘Memories’.

he 68 comeback special features a lengthy production number that charts a young man with ambitious dreams achieving those dreams and then getting lost in the success to end with coming back to his roots singing ‘I’ll never be more than what I am... a swingin’ little guitar man’.

The parallels with Elvis’ true life are not unnoticed with rock writer John Landau saying, “There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home...He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock ‘n’ roll singers.”

Early 1969 Elvis rings true with his yearning to return to his roots by returning to Memphis to record for the first time since 1955. 

He has marathon sessions at American Sound Studio, with the result being recognised as some of his best work.

The sessions yield two albums and the four hit singles ‘In the Ghetto’, ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’, and ‘Kentucky Rain’.

In March he films his final film performance for ‘Change of Habit’ the theme , serious and timely, is considered poorly carried by the script though Elvis’ performance is natural and affable.