“I told the Colonel to stay off the stage”

Found this video of Elvis live in 1974 on YouTube. I normally don’t link to this kind of thing, but this is the best footage of this nature I have ever seen. Unbelievable.

It doesn’t seem that impressive at first, but wait until 25 seconds in. It is totally captivating after that.

Looks like a fun time. Sure wish I could’ve been there. I had trouble getting tickets, you see, because I wasn’t born yet.

Elvis revamps his show

Inspired by a recent eBay auction of Elvis’ handwritten rehearsals set list from August 1974, Thomas has a posted another creative piece over on his Elvis Today Blog. This is a must-read:

“The Handwritten Las Vegas Rehearsal Set List” — Elvis Today Blog

Sony’s Follow That Dream collectors label for Elvis fans documented the rehearsals on the 2-CD set From Sunset to Vegas. The unique opening show of this engagement is one of two concerts that appear on FTD’s 2-CD Nevada Nights.

“The Twelfth Of Never” and “Softly, As I Leave You” from the August 16, 1974, rehearsal first appeared on 1995’s Walk A Mile In My Shoes.

I always find it a little eerie while listening to “Softly” in particular to think that Elvis would pass away exactly three years later.

He felt himself start to die, and he took his notepad from the side of the bed, and he wrote, ‘Softly, I will leave you, softly. For my heart would break, if you should wake, and see me go…'” –From “Softly As I Leave You,” Elvis Presley version, August 16, 1974

Experience Elvis in Lake Tahoe with High Sierra

High Sierra cover (concept art)

High Sierra cover (concept art)

In May, Follow That Dream (FTD) Records is releasing High Sierra, a new CD containing Elvis’ May 21, 1974, show at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel (now the Horizon Casino Resort). Rounding out the set are six bonus songs from the same engagement, as well as an 8-page booklet. The track listing certainly has my attention:

01 See See Rider
02 I Got A Woman/Amen
03 Love Me
04 Trying To Get To You
05 All Shook Up
06 Love Me Tender
07 You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
08 Hound Dog
09 Fever
10 Polk Salad Annie
11 Why Me Lord
12 Suspicious Minds
13 Introductions
14 I Can’t Stop Loving You
15 Help Me
16 Bridge Over Troubled Water
17 Let Me Be There
18 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
19 Big Boss Man
20 Can’t Help Falling In Love
21 Closing Vamp
Bonus Tracks
22 Johnny B. Goode
23 Steamroller Blues
24 Spanish Eyes
25 How Great Thou Art
26 It’s Now Or Never
27 I’m Leavin’
28 Introducing Billy Eckstine

What a great and varied collection of songs! I don’t collect every FTD CD, but this one looks like a potential must-have to me. I’m especially looking forward to hearing “I’m Leavin’,” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Spanish Eyes,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.”

FTD is Sony’s Elvis collectors label, aimed directly at fans rather than the general public. FTD releases are like official versions of bootlegs. The Elvis bootleg industry is huge, but FTD provides a legal alternative with releases focusing on alternate takes and live performances. While the mainstream is listening to yet another greatest hits compilation, the hardcore fans are listening to FTD releases. The FTD releases are available from ShopElvis.com and other online Elvis retailers.

Also coming in May is Showtime! Birmingham/Dallas ’76, a two CD set containing Elvis’ December 28 (Dallas) and December 29 (Birmingham), 1976, concerts.

For those of us in the United States, FTD releases (which are imports) are normally about one month behind. So, we can expect to see these two titles in June.