Originally published when/where ?
By Rodney Bingenheimer
ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE’S MOMENT OF MY LIFE
Elvis, during his dynamic stage performance, shows why he is admired and imitated by many of today’s too names in the music world. I attended the opening show of Elvis Presley’s stint at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, along with Lord Sutch. We missed the first plane and has to catch the next one. We got there just in time, and we got off the plane and walked into 119 degree heat. Hot! Hot! Hot!
We took a cab straight to the hotel, and we were greeted by Mr Nick Naff. We were seated third table from the front and were lucky to get that close. The International showroom seats 2000 people. Within a hands reach, we saw Mr Vernon Presley and his wife, Colonel Tom Parker, George Hamilton, Sonny and Cher, Carol Channing, Wayne Newton, John Gary, Paul Anka, Fats Domino, Donald O’Conner, Dionne Warwick, Earl Wilson, and Dick Clark. And sitting at our table was May Mann, the Top Hollywood columnist.
AND THE SHOW BEGAN
The Sweet Inspirations were followed by Sammy Shore, a comedian whom Elvis saw on The Tom Jones Show. The began the concert we had all been waiting months and months for- the first live show (by Elvis) in nine years. He came out, Mr Elvis A. Presley, looking unbelievably young, dressed in a black suit with a sash around it, and long black hair and sideburns, and he immediately went into Blue Suede Shoes. You could tell that he was a little scared. And then he did I Got A Woman, dancing around doing the steps that a lot of top singers have copied from him.
Elvis next sang That’s All Right, the first record he ever recorded. This was followed by the lovely ballad ‘Love Me Tender’, and then he went into a medley of his RCA hits: Jailhouse Rock, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, (doing this one like he did it in ’56), All Shook Up, and Hound Dog – and he nearly freaked out on Hound Dog.
He got out of breath during most of the numbers, and Elvis said: “It’s the first time I’ve worked in front of people in nine years, and it may be my last- I don’t know.” He also did Memories, My Babe, I Can’t Stop Loving You, In The Ghetto, and a new one called Suspicious Minds which he recorded in Memphis. Elvis also performed Lennon and McCartney’s Yesterday and went into sixteen bars of Hey Jude. And then it was into Johnny B. Goode, Mystery Train, Tiger Man and What’d I say? What a showman! Of course, he got a standing ovation before he came back with Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Elvis was backed throughout by the thirty-piece Bobby Morris orchestra. He also had his own band, with James Burton on lead guitar, Jerry Scheff on bass, Larry Muhoberac on piano, RCA’s own John Wilkinson on rhythm guitar and Ronnie Tutt on drums. Backing Elvis on vocals were The Sweet Inspirations and The Imperials. It was truly the best show I have ever seen in my entire life.
After that Elvis gave a press conference. Members of the press from all over the world were there. It was a photographers field-day. You could tell that he was happy; he was smiling, even beaming.