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Elvis in Concert - The Later Years

Updated on April 30, 2011

Elvis Presley on Stage from 1974 - 1977

Whilst Elvis Presley's later years may have been troubled by ill health and personal problems he continued to perform a huge number of live concerts in Las Vegas and embarked on numerous gruelling tours across the United States.

His final shows recorded in 1977 for the TV documentary Elvis in Concert are often difficult to watch but are nevertheless a moving tribute to the man's indomitable spirit and extraordinary voice.

This lens takes a closer look at the period beginning 1974 until Elvis' final concert on 26th June, 1977, looking at both performances which were officially recorded by RCA for album releases and shows which were taped by members of the audience or recorded by sound engineers (soundboard recordings).

For the years 1969 - 1973 please visit Elvis in Concert.

1974 - Desert Storm

Fort Baxter 2200 - released 1996

Without doubt the closing night concert recorded on 2nd September 1974 at the Las Vegas Hilton and nicknamed Desert Storm because of Elvis' outbursts during the show is, without doubt, the bootleg with the greatest notoriety out there! Even the most casual Elvis fan has probably heard or read about how Elvis let rip that night and ranted about recent drugs accusations against him, the tabloid press and magazines in general, as well as rambling on with some, frankly, excruciating dialogue addressed to Priscilla - from whom he'd recently been divorced - who was sitting in the audience that night.

What has often been overlooked, however, is the staggering quality of the song performances that night. It's Midnight and You Gave Me A Mountain are some of the finest of his career and heartbreakingly felt. This is raw, messed up and very human Elvis - unmissable!

(Microphone Dialogue)

I Got A Woman/Amen

(Karate Dialogue)

Until It's Time For You To Go

If You Love Me

It's Midnight

Big Boss Man

You Gave Me A Mountain

(Priscilla Dialogue)

Softly, As I Leave You

Hound Dog

American Trilogy

O Sole Mio/It's Now Or Never

(Band introductions)

Bring It Back (sung by Voice)

Aubrey (S. Nielsen lead vocal /Elvis backing)

(Band and Celebrity Introductions)

It's Now Or Never

Let Me Be There

If You Talk In Your Sleep

(Drugs Dialogue)

Hawaiian Wedding Song

(Jewelry Dialogue)

Can't Help Falling In Love

Lead Guitar: James Burton

Rhythm Guitar: John Wilkinson

Bass: Duke Bardwell

Piano: Glen D. Hardin

Drums: Ronnie Tutt

Acoustic guitar: Charlie Hodge

Backing vocals: The Sweet Inspirations (Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell , Estelle Brown)

Backing vocals: JD Sumner & The Stamps Quartet (Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Dave Rowland )

Backing vocals: Voice (Donnie Sumner, Tim Baty, Sherrill Nielsen)

Highvoice singer: Kathy Westmoreland

Orchestra: Joe Guercio orchestra

Orchestra conductor: Mr. Joe Guercio

It's Midnight from Desert Storm - Elvis clearly says "Listen Cilla"...

Elvis Presley Concert Ticket Stubs on eBay

A very special piece of music memorabilia!

1975 - Let Me Take You Home

DAE 3595 - 2 - released 1995

There's always something special about hearing Elvis play to his home crowd and this end of tour Memphis performance on 10th June, 1975, is no exception. Elvis is in great voice and having fun on stage. The mix on this CD is excellent and the gatefold sleeve with photographs of Elvis in his white Indian feather jumpsuit is another bonus. A personal favourite!

Also Sprach Zarathustra

See See Rider

I Got A Woman/Amen

Love Me

If You Love Me

Love Me Tender

All Shook Up

Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel

Hound Dog

Fairytale

Burning Love

Introductions

Johnny B. Goode

Introductions/Drum Solo/Bass Solo/Piano Solo

School Days

Introduction of Vernon and Dr. Nick

T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Why Me, Lord

How Great Thou Art

Let Me Be There

Funny How Time Slips Away

Little Darlin'

American Trilogy (*Jackson, June 9 1975)

Mystery Train/Tiger Man (*Jackson, June 9 1975)

Can't Help Falling In Love (**Shreveport, June 7 1975)

Closing Vamp (**Shreveport, June 7 1975)

Lead Guitar: James Burton

Rhythm Guitar: John Wilkinson

Bass: Jerry Scheff

Piano: Glen D. Hardin

Drums: Ronnie Tutt

Acoustic guitar: Charlie Hodge

Backing vocals: The Sweet Inspirations (Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell , Estelle Brown)

Backing vocals: JD Sumner & The Stamps Quartet ( Bill Baize, Ed Enoch, Ed Hill)

Backing vocals: Voice (Donnie Sumner, Tim Baty, Sherrill Nielsen)

Highvoice singer: Kathy Westmoreland

Orchestra: Joe Guercio orchestra

Orchestra conductor: Mr. Joe Guercio

Elvis in the Dark Blue Aztec jumpsuit - 1975 - T-R-O-U-B-L-E

1975 - Official Concert Releases

Dixieland Rocks
Dixieland Rocks

This Follow That Dream release features an unreleased soundboard live show from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, recorded May 6, 1975! Includes 'Love Me', 'If You Love Me', 'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me', 'Johnny B. Goode', 'An American Trilogy', 'Funny How Time Slips Away' and more. All Follow That Dream CD's are beautifully packaged in digipaks.

 
Big Boss Man
Big Boss Man

A Soundboard Concert Recording from a 1975 Dinner Show Engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton.

 
Dinner at Eight
Dinner at Eight

Live Fan Club Recording from the Las Vegas Hilton 1975, with his Great James Burton Led Band and 18 Tracks (Including Medleys) of Hits from all Stages of his Career.

 

1976 - Burning in Birmingham

2001-05 - released 1998

Another personal favourite, this soundboard recording of an adrenalin-charged Elvis was made in Birmingham, on 29th December, 1976. The king's love of Christmas and the holiday period is well documented and certainly on this recording and the New Year's Eve show a few days later he sounds like he's really enjoying himself. The sound quality is reasonable too.

See See Rider

I Got A Woman/Amen

Love Me

Fairytale

You Gave Me A Mountain

Jailhouse Rock

O Sole Mio/It's Now Or Never (incomplete)

Tryin' To Get To You

My Way

Polk Salad Annie

Band introductions

Early Morning Rain

What'd I Say

Johnny B. Goode

Band solos

Love Letters

School Days

Funny How Time Slips Away

Hurt (w/reprise)

Hound Dog

For The Good Times

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Unchained Melody

Mystery Train/Tiger Man

Can't Help Falling In Love

Lead Guitar: James Burton

Rhythm Guitar: John Wilkinson

Bass: Jerry Scheff

Piano: Tony Brown

Electric Piano: David Briggs

Drums: Ronnie Tutt

Acoustic guitar: Charlie Hodge

Backing vocals: The Sweet Inspirations (Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell , Estelle Brown)

Backing vocals: JD Sumner & The Stamps Quartet (Ed Enoch, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland, Garry Buckles)

Highvoice singer: Kathy Westmoreland

Orchestra: Joe Guercio orchestra

Orchestra conductor: Mr. Joe Guercio

New Year's Eve 1976 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - The legendary concert captured on 8mm film by a fan

1977 - Moody Blue & Other Great Performances

Fort Baxter FB 2097 - released 1995

When I first started collecting Elvis concert soundboards what most surprised me was how enjoyable they are even when Elvis isn't at the peak of his powers. Even in some of the patchier shows there will suddenly be a track that is outstanding, moving or incredibly rare which suddenly makes the CD a must-have! The rarity value on this 21st February, 1977 soundboard recorded in Charlotte, is provided by the track Moody Blue, which is the only live version recorded of this song, whilst the magic is provided by Elvis's first live performance of Where No One Stands Alone.

Are You Lonesome Tonight

Reconsider Baby

Love Me

Moody Blue

You Gave Me A Mountain

Jailhouse Rock

It's Now Or Never

Little Sister

Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel

My Way

Release Me

Hurt

Why Me, Lord

Polk Salad Annie (Montgomery, Feb. 16)

Where No One Stands Alone (Montgomery, Feb. 16)

Unchained Melody (Montgomery, Feb. 16)

Can't Help Falling In Love (Montgomery, Feb. 16)

Closing Vamp (Montgomery, Feb. 16)

Extra track - Telephone Conversation from 1971 (!?)

Lead Guitar: James Burton

Rhythm Guitar: John Wilkinson

Bass: Jerry Scheff

Piano: Tony Brown

Electric Piano: David Briggs

Drums: Ronnie Tutt

Acoustic guitar: Charlie Hodge

Backing vocals: The Sweet Inspirations (Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell , Estelle Brown)

Backing vocals: JD Sumner & The Stamps Quartet (Ed Enoch, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland, Garry Buckles)

Highvoice singer: Kathy Westmoreland

Orchestra: Joe Guercio orchestra

Orchestra conductor: Mr. Joe Guercio

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1977 - Focus on Elvis in Concert

A CBS television special and RCA soundtrack album

When Colonel Tom Parker announced plans at very short notice that Elvis would be filmed live in concert during June 1977 for a forthcoming CBS television special just about everybody close to Elvis was taken aback. Elvis was in poor health, puffy and overweight and on some nights could barely manage to get through an entire show - what was the Colonel thinking!? Claiming that Elvis needed a challenge he stubbornly stuck to his guns and the special was made.

As it happens, when the CBS cameras rolled on 19th June in Omaha, NE and 21st June in Rapid City, SD history was once again made. These would be the final Elvis concerts ever recorded officially (although not the final concert itself as if often thought and mistakenly indicated by Vernon Presley in a moving statement added to the end of the special). Although clearly unwell there are moments of sheer magic when against the odds Elvis pulls off some amazing show stoppers such as How Great Thou Art, My Way and Hurt. The astounding scene when Elvis sits at the piano and plays Unchained Melody was cut from the special but has often been seen in documentaries about him.

The 1977 television special Elvis in Concert was shown a couple of times on network television and pops up now and again as clips only in documentaries. There seem to be no plans to release it on DVD...although copies are readily available online from unofficial sources.

RCA also recorded the concert and it contained several tracks from both concerts.

CD Tracks

Omaha: Fairytale, Little Sister, Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel, And I Love You So, How Great Thou Art, Can't Help Falling In Love

Rapid City: See See Rider, I Got A Woman - Amen, That's All Right, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Love Me, If You Love Me, You Gave Me A Mountain, Jailhouse Rock, O Sole Mio - It's Now Or Never, Trying To Get To You, Hawaiian Wedding Song, Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel, My Way, Early Morning Rain, What'd I Say, Johnny B. Goode, I Don't Really Want To Know, Hurt, Hound Dog

The TV Special Set List

Elvis Fans' Comments/Opening Riff

Introduction/Also Sprach Zarathustra

See See Rider

That's All Right

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel

Elvis Fans' Comments

You Gave Me A Mountain

Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Fans' Comments

How Great Thou Art

Elvis Fans' Comments

I Really Don't Want To Know

Elvis Introduces His Father

Hurt

Hound Dog

My Way

Can't Help Falling in Love

Closing Riff

Message From Vernon Presley

Lead Guitar: James Burton

Rhythm Guitar: John Wilkinson

Bass: Jerry Scheff

Piano: Tony Brown

Electric Piano: Bobby Odgin

Drums: Ronnie Tutt

Acoustic guitar: Charlie Hodge

Backing vocals: The Sweet Inspirations (Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell , Estelle Brown)

Backing vocals: JD Sumner & The Stamps Quartet (Ed Enoch, Ed Hill, Larry Strickland, Garry Buckles)

Highvoice singer: Kathy Westmoreland

Orchestra: Joe Guercio orchestra

Orchestra conductor: Mr. Joe Guercio

My Way from the CBS TV Special 'Elvis in Concert' - 1977

Unchained Melody - Rapid City SD, June 21 1977 - From the CBS tapes for the TV Special 'Elvis in Concert'

Adios - The Final Concert in Indianapolis, Indiana on June 26, 1977 - The final time Elvis sings Hurt on stage

1977 - Official Concert Releases

Spring Tours
Spring Tours

Limited Edition CD on the official Elvis collector's label, Follow That Dream/BMG Denmark, comes in a digipak sleeve. Recorded five months before his death, these recordings prove that Elvis still had the power, emotion and excitement in his performances up until the very end. Features the King running through some of his greatest hits including 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Little Sister', 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Blue Suede Shoes' as well as live favorites like 'Little Darlin''...

 

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Rumor has it that James Burton has the Pittsburg soundboard recording.

      Several songs from the 12-31-76 concert were on his website a few years back...included CC Rider and Can't Help Falling in Love. They were the best versions by far over the bootlegs. Please James release the concert for all to hear!!!