1977 Elvis live Unchained Melody

In 1977 I had been an Elvis Presley fan for (approximately) two decades. When I learned, through the “must have” tv viewing essential guide called TV guide which let you know in advance what programs were playing on each tv station time and date, that Elvis’ concert entitled “Elvis in Concert” (i.e. this concert footage was taken on June 19 and June 21 1977) was airing on October 3, 1977 it was a bittersweet reality that this would be the last (known) footage of Elvis onstage…forever.

I, and the nation and much of the world, was still in shock about Elvis dying on August 16, 1977 even though we knew Elvis had been enduring great, and in some cases debilitating, health issues (i.e. mental, physcial, and emotional).

Watching, on a now unthinkably small tv screen that was approximately 24 x 24, Elvis perform on “Elvis in concert” I was shocked to see the adverse effects his medial issues were having. But, I was amazed at his vocal abilities.

If you listened, as I did, to every song on the “Elvis in Concert” album you would be left with the impression that this was a man with incredible vocal range – inflections – feelings – and who was (wholly) unique. Man, he could sing.

Watching “Elvis in concert” it was clear that Elvis gave his heart and soul to his audience as he always had. I believed, and do to this day, that instead of performing (and I knew the incredible financial pressures he was under along with other personal/professional pressures) he should have been under the care of the world’s greatest doctors/hospitals with the never ending mantra from those he loved/trusted being “no amount of money is worth your health Elvis so please please stay committed to these treatments” (note: there is no doubt that many tried, time and again, but Elvis had the desire and ability to obtain medical care and medications…or not. A man cannot be kept from himself and decisions, whether made under duress of not, have consequences). Also, unlike today there were no state of the art treatment facilities where stars and/or those with means could recover without any adverse effect on their careers. The stigma of being labeled “a drug addict” was (in most cases) a kiss of death for one’s career and though I know that Elvis did not consider himself one AND I greatly dislike this connotation associated with Elvis his dependency on medications for very real medical diagnoses were something Elvis dealt with 24/7 and 1977 it had gotten..worse.

Bravely Elvis went before his audience knowing the cameras would be capturing Elvis in ill health but in spite of these hardships he went forth, as he had for decades, and gave the best performance possible.

Via YouTube is the very moving rendition of “Unchained Melody” a song that was previously a national hit for the Everly Brothers among others.

Take care and may God bless you.

 

http://www.ElvisCollector.info

http://www.ElvisCollectorWorldwide.freeforums.org

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