Main Menu
|
Official News
|
Import News
|
Session Notes


Review of Elvis On Tour in 1977

- - Go here for focus on Elvis In Autumn 1974 - -
- - Go here for focus on Elvis In June 1975 - -
- - Go here for focus on Elvis In Summer 1976 - -
- - Go here for Complete Tour List From 1977 - -

**Elvis On Tour 1977**

Elvis in 1977
Elvis In Orlando, Feb 15 1977
Elvis in 1977
Elvis In Johnson City, Feb 19 1977
Elvis in 1977
Elvis In Charlotte, Feb 21 1977

Tour 25 - 10 shows
The year 1976 had a promising ending for Elvis. He had one of his best tours ever from December 27 to December 31. The New Year Eve concert in Pittsburgh was absolutely splendid! In January, Elvis was supposed to record some new songs in Nashville. This could have proved interesting, as he was to record some more up-tempo and up to date songs. The band was ready to record in Creative Workshop, the technician was ready, but Elvis never arrived. Although he flew to Nashville on January 21, he never made it to the studio.
Tom Parker excused Elvis' absence and promoted the new tour that was to begin on February 12. Elvis started out in Florida - first in Miami - and then in West Palm Beach the 13. This concert was released on Coming On Strong. As with all soundboards from 1977, it is not a complete recording. The CD begins with 'Little Sister' and continues, omitting the band intros, and 'Love Letters'. The sound quality on the bootleg release is superb, though!
Cover
More info
# (Fort Baxter claims
that Blueberry Hill on
their CD (A Profile)
is from West Palm Beach
and that the two Nielsen numbers are from St. Petersburg.It is the opposite. Nielsen did not sing any number in St. Petersburg, but did in West Palm Beach.)

More info
Elvis is weak in his voice in West Palm Beach. Several numbers are performed below par. 'All Shook Up' for instance is awful. 'And I Love You So', on the other hand, is ok. 'Fever' is also well performed.

This day Elvis sings 'Blueberry Hill' during the introduction of the band. Piano player Tony Brown does not know the right key to the song forcing Elvis to sine the song in a too high key. The result is a total mess! Two S. Nielsen numbers - 'Danny Boy' and 'Walk With Me' are omitted on Coming On Strong. These was, however, released on A Profile Vol. 1 (Fort Baxter). The next day Elvis played in St. Petersburg. A large portion of this concert was released on Cajun Tornado. Elvis alos does 'Blueberry Hill' this day, but he helps Tony Brown with the first chords of the song. Cool! After hearing the version from West Palm Beach I fully understand why Elvis kicks Tony Brown of the piano stool. Elvis hits the right key immediately. Nice version!

Cover
More info
The bootleg release of the show in St. Petersburg starts in the middle of 'If You Love Me'. It is a stereo recording in good sound quality. Elvis sings the standard repertoire, but teases the audience with a 2 second long 'Guadalajara' before his medley of Spanish folksongs...

For the first time we are able to hear a 1977-version of 'Love Letters' in soundboard quality. Elvis does a brilliant version this day, much more in tempo than most 1976 versions! Except from this St. Petersburg offer nothing new. Elvis delivers a solid version of 'My Way'... as always!
Not too far away from The Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Elvis visited the Sports Stadium on February 15. He was in a better shape here then on the three first concerts. The show was first issued from a audience source by Straight Arrow on Going Back In Time, but was finally released from a soundboard source in 2010 on a major 1977 project called The Final Curtain.
Cover
More info

Cover
More info
On February 16, Elvis performed in Garret Coliseum, Montgomery. The most interesting tracks from this concert was released long time ago on the CD Moody Blue and Other Great Performances. It was eventually released in a more complete version, found on Coming On Strong.

Tony Brown has to listen to corrections from Elvis also in Montgomery. The beginning of 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel' is played three times before Elvis is satisfied. I can't tell the difference, as I think they're all off-key.
Elvis in 1977
Elvis In Montgomery, Feb 16 1977
After closing 'You Gave Me A Mountain' a quite indignated (?) Elvis simply says "Thank you for that mediocre respons!"

Still, Elvis treats the audience in Montgomery with a special performance. This day he performed - for the first and last time - the gospel tune 'Where No One Stands Alone'. It was obviously not rehearsed, as it does not hang together too well. Still it is a beauty! Before Elvis sings 'Where No One Stands Alone', someone in the audience hands Elvis woman clothing. Elvis gives it to Kathy Westmoreland and says "... it was custom build for you dear!" He even has Kathy try it on!

Before closing the concert Elvis performs 'Unchained Melody'. In my point of view, this is not the greatest version. I have heard three really splendid deliveries of this song. The first from Savannah, February 17 (the day after Montgomery), the next from Ann Arbor, April 24 and finally the last version ever performed, from Cincinnati, June 25.
From Montgomery we also have a superb version of 'Polk Salad Annie'. In fact I like this version as good as the earlier ones. However, if any would argue with me that the versions from 1970 are better, they would not succeed. It would be nothing to argue about, because in general I agree that earlier versions are "better". Still, there is something about this 1977 version that I truly love. The sound quality on the soundboard from Montgomery is perfect, the mixing and balance is superb, better than anything else I have heard.
Elvis
Elvis In Johnson City, Feb 19 1977
The rest of the mentioned "Moody Blue..." - bootleg is from Charlotte, February 21. Elvis also visited this place the day before. This first show was released on an official CD from FTD called Unchained Melody. In general it is a so-so concert, with few highlights. Elvis tried to sing 'Moody Bluie' for the very first time on stage. He did not succeed. On the 21th, however, he did... well almost! It would be the last time Elvis ever tried to sing 'Moody Blue'. Frankly, I think this version is sad. Elvis runs out of steam almost before the song begins. Moreover, it keeps going on and on... In general I find this concert from Charlotte to be among the weakest I have ever heard. Strange, because Elvis started the concert strongly. Especially 'Reconsider Baby' is good. After completing this song the concert just fades out, although Elvis performs rare songs like 'Release Me' and 'Why Me, Lord'. As always Elvis rose to the challenge of singing 'Hurt'. Not as much this day, though...
Elvis
Elvis In Charlotte, Feb 20 1977



Elvis
Elvis and Ginger Alden in Hawaii, March 1977

Elvis in Hawaii
Elvis and Joe Espositos wife
A tired Elvis admitted to Ed Parker that he had to take a break. Ed suggested a trip to Hawaii. March 4, Elvis and 30 of his friends traveled to Hawaii. The vacation lasted until March 13, and had a certain effect on Elvis. He slept better and looked more relaxed than before the vacation. Elvis signed his last will on Vernons urging on March 3, the day before he traveled to Hawaii.

Playing football
Playing football.

During the vacation Elvis played some touch football with his entourage and friends. During one football session Elvis almost broke his hand when he accidentally hit the fence.

Although Hawaii had positive effect on Elvis, it was obviously not enough. He had to cancel 4 concerts the next tour. Elvis was like a battery that had been charged one time too many...

The total cost of Elvis' trip to Hawaii may have cost $ 100 000, but as Elvis said;"What profiteth it to gain the world if you couldn't share your good fortune with your friends."




Tour 26 - 12 shows (4 canceled)
The next tour - number 26 since 1969 - started in Tempe, Arizona. Felton Jarvis decided to bring with him the 8-track recording equipment this time. He had given up the idea to get Elvis to record in studio. Felton was hoping to record some new songs by Elvis on stage. The first time he set up the 8-track recorder was in Norman, Oklahoma on March 25. From Norman on March 26, BMG released 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Blue Christmas', 'That's Alright' and 'Blue Suede Shoes' on their Spring Tours 77 CD. On this CD you will also find 'Trying To Get To You' and a cool version of 'Lawdy, Miss Clawdy' from Abilene the day after (March 27).
Elvis in 1977
Norman, March 26 1977
Elvis in 1977
Austin, Texas, March 28 1977
(Photo taken by Rick Henson.)
On March 28 Elvis performed in Austin, Texas. This concert is available in poor sound quality on 'Elvis Slips Into Austin'. This day Elvis sang 'Steamroller Blues'. It sounds like a good version, although the sound quality makes it hard to define the standard. Felton Jarvis also recorded from this concert. It is really a mystery that 'Steamroller Blues' is not in BMG's vaults. Just a lackluster version of 'Jailhouse Rock' was definitely recorded and can be found on the aformentioned Spring Tours '77.

From Texas, Elvis and his band drove to Louisiana. On March 29 Elvis held the first of two scheduled concerts in Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria. An otherwise normal concert is special for the fact that Elvis this day decided to sing 'You Better Run/Bosom Of Abraham'. This version was released simultaneously on two different bootlegs, namely ...And The King For Dessert (Fort Baxter) and I'll Remember You (Rock Legends). I have serious doubts about this version. It does not sound like Elvis in 1977 at all, and the sound quality doesn't exactly support that it is from the concert in Alexandria.

Cover
More info
'By Special Request! From Louisiana To Tennessee' was released by Rock Legends a while ago. It features the concert Elvis held in Alexandria, March 30. This bootleg has great sound, and in general it is a fair concert. 'Fever' is cool. This particular version is available on Spring Tours 77. Elvis is very focused while singing, and doesn't fool around as he could do. Also I like the way Elvis sings 'Love Me'. This lazy version is a study in how to entertain people without giving it all. 'If You Love Me' performed right after also offers something. On 'Jailhouse Rock' the drums almost comes out of your speakers! Elvis doesn't give a good version; it is just like all other versions of this song. Elvis sung it to parody himself...successfully I may add!

After performing 'Hurt', a tired Elvis has to ask S. Nielsen to sing 'Danny Boy' and 'Walk With Me'. Here I can understand why Elvis liked Nielsens singing. He sings both songs beautifully. After that Elvis throw away 'Blue Suede Shoes', before he ends the concert with the lines "Wise man knows when its time, time to go" (Can't Help Falling In Love).
After this concert, Elvis got very sick and he had to cancel the 4 next shows. In Baton Rouge March 31, the band had warmed up the audience, Jackie Kahane had done his act and it was time for Elvis to arrive. However, Elvis did not show up. Charlie Hodge called up Joe Esposito and said that this concert was not to be. Elvis had probably taken to many "uppers". # (Note: Ed Parker joined Elvis in the car from the hotel to the Baton Rouge's airport. He says; "Not a single word was said. It was not necessary. Elvis was sick. I could read a prayer of help in his eyes - not sympathy. I was unable to help him, and it made me very sad.")
Elvis went to Baptist Memorial Hospital on April 1. Here he slept 30 hours after been giving medication. As a consequence of the canceled concerts, Elvis (or more likely Tom Parker) on April 4 set up four extra shows at the end of the May tour later the same year.

Tour 27 - 13 shows
Tour 27 started in Greensboro. At this time, Elvis had been using the "Mexican Sundial Suit" regularly. It was the only one that fitted him properly and Elvis had two of this one. He also tried "White King Of Spades" occasionally.

The second CD of 'Goodbye Memphis' covers the concert from Toledo, Ohio on April 23. The sound quality isn't exactly great, but it is a soundboard recording. In addition, the concert is boring. Elvis sounds extremely uninspired this day.
Cover
More info
Elvis in 1977
Elvis in Toledo, Ohio April 23 1977
'Hurt' isn't all that bad, though. Also 'Little Sister' deserves some attention. 'Little Sister' is one of those songs Elvis always performed well, no matter what. 'Polk Salad Annie', on the other hand is downright boring in my point of view.

Felton was still carrying with him the recorder. He was not satisfied with the result from the March-tour. In Ann Arbor Jarvis recorded at least two solid numbers. First of all the last GREAT effort from Elvis, 'Unchained Melody'. This is a magnificent version of the song, and it was released on Moody Blue with overdubs. The clean version can be found on A Profile Vol. 1 from Fort Baxter.

Altogether, the entire concert in Ann Arbor was good. Nice versions of both 'Trying To Get To You' and 'Help Me' can be found on the bootleg and also on Spring Tours 77. After completing 'It's Now Or Never', Elvis sings some lines of 'Blue Hawaii'. Someone in the audience requested this one. I really do believe that this could have been a complete delivery if Glen D. Hardin had played piano, instead of Tony Brown. As said above, Hardin was very good to find the right key for such impromptu occasions. Elvis concludes the song just after a few lines!

I have a liking for 'Little Darlin'. Elvis seems to be in a very good mood when he sings this silly song. Furthermore, when you listen to it, you cannot help but feel good. It makes you happy. Period! This version was also overdubbed by Felton Jarvis and released on Moody Blue. The clean version from Ann Arbor is available on Spring Tours 77.

Cover
More info
The concert on A Profile is incomplete, which is a great pity. Again, I really would like to have a full concert from spring 1977. I imagine that there must be some good versions of 'See See Rider' among all the concerts Elvis had in this period...
'My Way' from Ann Arbor is great, just like all other versions of this song. When Elvis sung a song that he felt close to, he could rise anytime, although his health was lousy. 'My Way' from Saginaw the day after was released by BMG on Platinum - A Life In Music. Although Ernst Jorgensen says this version origin from May 2 in Chicago, it is from Saginaw May 25 (as the liner notes on the Platinum release also says!). The sound is a bit "flat" on 'My Way'. On the other hand, there is some nice piano playing not heard to well on the version form Rapid City as appeared on Elvis - In Concert. I think the clue lies in the fact that 'My Way' is not overdubbed, like for instance 'If You Love Me' from the day after. The sound on Spring Tours 77 is better by the way. On this CD you will also find 'Heartbreak Hotel' from Saginaw.

I have heard a story that Elvis was extremely dissatisfied with the sound on the show in Saginaw. Due to this fact, he decided to set up an extra concert at the same arena at the end of the tour, May 3 to be exact.
Elvis in 1977
Elvis in Ann Arbor, April 24 1977

On April 26 Elvis visited the Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Felton Jarvis recorded from this show also and 'If You Love Me' was overdubbed and released on Moody Blue back in 1977. This is a very good version. On Spring Tours 77 you will find the clean version together with 'It's Now Or Never', from the same show. Most of the show was captured from the mixing console, and the soundboard recording was released on the bootleg, Memories From Kalamazoo. Not a perfect soundboard technically speaking, but nice to have all the same.
Cover
More info
From the concert the day after in Milwaukee Jarvis taped at least 'Polk Salad Annie'. This concert exists in very good audience recording, although it has not been released as a bootleg.

In Duluth, Minnesota (April 29), Elvis sang 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' for the first time in 1977. All in all Elvis sang this song only 3 times this year, among those - on the last concert ever - in Indianapolis June 26. BMG released this Duluth-version on Spring Tours 77. It is a fair version, although quite shaky in the beginning of the song, as with the version from Indianapolis.

In Duluth Elvis also sang 'Big Boss Man'. It was released on Spring Tours 77. In my point of view, the arrangement for 'Big Boss Man' works almost better than the more familar 1974-arrangement does! Spring Tours 77 also contains 'Hound Dog' from St. Paul, April 30. It is of course a throw-away version.
Cover
More Info
On May 1 Elvis was back in Chicago. He visited this place both October 14 and 15 the previous year. Wearing his "White King Of Spades" suit Elvis entertained the 20 000 people large audience. As always when Elvis was in Chicago he performed two days in a row at the Chicago Stadium.

It is from the second concert (May 2) that Elvis tried to tell everyone that he was in good shape. Right after I Got A Woman he says; "In spite of everything that you've heard - rumors, I'm in good health and happy to be here". At this time several magazine more than often focused on Elvis' health. Some people even predicted a soon death! Jarvis recorded at least 'Fairytale' from this spesific show and it was released on Spring Tours 77. I find it to be one of the better versions of this song.

The people behind the filming of 'Elvis In Concert' saw booth these concerts to get an idea of Elvis on stage, and to be prepared for the filming in Omaha and Rapid City. (Although at that time it was decided to film Elvis in Lincoln, June 20 1977, which never took place, because of potential security problems...)

These two concerts in Chicago is documented in the picture book 'Elvis - Encore Performance Vol. 3' by Joseph A. Tunzi.
The last concert on this tour was in Saginaw on May 3. Elvis started the show with 'That's Alright', instead of 'See See Rider'. He also sung a little bit of 'Trouble' (from King Creole) in a very 50's style, but unfortunately stopped after a while. You can hear the disappointment in the audience when Elvis decided to conclude the song just after some seconds. BMG has recorded a version of 'Help Me' from this concert, but not released it. It can be found on a bootleg (Let It Roll). In Saginaw, Elvis performed 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' for the last time. It is available on Spring Tours '77.

To summarize, it was not a good tour this either. Although there was some good numbers by Elvis, there were also many sub-standard shows. A newspaper said after the concert in Detroit (April 22), "Even if Elvis was singing in my backyard I wouldn't bother looking out. Presley is old, fat and doesn't move. At his best he is a parody of himself, at his worst a bad imitation of Burl Ives".
Elvis in Detroit
Elvis in Detroit, April 22 1977
Cover
More info
Felton Jarvis did not record more of Elvis' concerts before Omaha, June 19. Of all the material recorded, 23 songs have been released by BMG.

For more information about the recordings made by BMG in the spring 1977, please go to my recording section for 1977.

Tour 28 - 14 shows
Elvis in Knoxville
Elvis in Knoxville, May 20 1977

Elvis in Louisville
Elvis in Louisville, May 21 1977
Next up was a tour at the end of May. It started in May 20 in Knoxville and ended in Macon on June 2. (Elvis performed 4 extra shows, to catch up the one he canceled in March/April). This tour is probably the worst of them all. From rather mediocre concerts to "horrifying" concerts. There exist a few bootlegs from this tour.

On May 22 Elvis visited Largo. The complete concert was released on the bootleg Tonight 8:30 PM in acceptable sound quality. This day 'Funny How Time Slips Away' was performed early in the concert. Normally this song would be one of the last one performed before the concert ended. "Funny" is quite good, but in general the concert is not 'outstanding' to put it that way...

The same could be said about the concert in both Providence (May 23) and Augusta (May 24). The Augusta show was released on Once And For All by Rainbow Records. It has very good sound for an audience recording, stemming from one of many Canadian tapes.
In May 1977 almost every concert included the same songs. Once in a while, however, Elvis did some rare numbers, like 'One Night' in Rochester, New York May 25. This concert was released on the bootleg Jailhouse Rock Man In Concert (Not the most appropriate name I can think of....). The sound is rather poor, and it is not easy to get an idea of the overall quality of the show. 'One Night' is not bad, though.

Up next are two concerts in two days in Binghamton, New York. The concert on May 26 was released on a bootleg called Unchained Elvis. Elvis did not sing Unchained Melody this day, though, but the bootleg also features three numbers from the day after. On May 27 Elvis sang 'Unchained Melody (a good one!) and also performed his second "1977"- version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. He stopped after a while on the first try, expressing some language, but finally managed to complete a good version, although he is a bit out of it in the end of the song...

Baltimore May 29 1977 represents one of the absolute low-points in Elvis' career. This day Elvis is so weak he has to leave the stage for over 20 minutes. He first sings a lot of old songs in the beginning of the concert ('That's Alright', 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Blue Christmas' and 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Love Me' and 'Jailhouse Rock'). Then right after 'You Gave Me A Mountain' Elvis asks S. Nielsen to sing some numbers. Obviously not enough, Elvis after singing 'Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel' "hands over" the responsibility to the band. He then leaves the stage. Meanwhile Kathy Westmoreland, Voice and the Stamps all did their best to entertain a dismayed audience.

This concert was released on a rather poor sounding bootleg called Send Me The Light... I Need It Bad.
Baltimore
Before the concert in Baltimore

Singing 'Unchained Melody'
Unhained Melody
Even the introduction of the band is taking place without Elvis present. Then suddenly, at the end of the introduction, Elvis is back. First excusing his absence, he then says that he had to leave because of an acing ankle "and nature cause...and you can do nothing about the nature..."

A shocked audience was eager to hear Elvis sing. They had traveled several miles, waited for hours and paid for an Elvis-concert, and the main attraction left the stage! Elvis tries to repair by singing a powerful 'Hurt'. After 'Hound Dog' he performs 'Help Me'. However, Elvis obviously noticed the lack of excitement from the audience, and almost helplessly ask "What do you wanna hear?". This leads to a very impressive version of 'Unchained Melody'. I can't help but wonder where Elvis found the energy and power to sing this song like he does here, given the overall shape he was in. But this was not enough, and Elvis managed to sing even 5 more numbers, including an incomplete version of 'The Wonder Of You'.

There is a story that Elvis right after this concert collapsed in the elevator. I don't know if it is true, but it is not very unlikely...
# Note: "A physically and artistically subpar Elvis Presley walked out on a strange concert performance for half an hour here Sunday night (29), but eventually returned. A Civic Center spokesman attributed the vet rock and roll singers murmuring, swearing and unscheduled haitus to the reported intestinal problems that had kayoed Presley from an earlier portion of this tour. After the break Presley came on like gangbusters as he politely and apologetically tried to recoup his losses. He succeeded to the extent that only a handful asked for refunds but at the finale there was no ovation, and patrons exited shaking their heads and speculating what was wrong with him."... By Marty Bennet, Variety, May 1977.

In Jacksonville, Florida the day after, Elvis introduced 'I Really Don't Want To Know' for the first time. It takes Elvis and Tony Brown a couple of "attempts", but on third try Elvis hits the key right away! This would be a regular part of the bandintro until the last concert.

The press announces that Elvis has signed a contract with CBS for a one hour special in the fall. It was decided that two concert from tour 29 should be filmed - June 19 in Omaha and June 21 in Rapid City.

The tour closing concert in Mobile, Alabama had Elvis sing 'American Trilogy' for the first time in many months, and definitely for the last time ever. Except from at bad timing in the middle of the song, it is a powerful version. Not among his greatest deliveries, but the last time he performed Trilogy was after all in Tulsa on July 4, 1976. The Mobile concert is pretty ordinary, but Elvis really do excel on 'Unchained Melody'.

Springfield June 17 was to be the start of the last tour ever, tour number 29 since 1969.
Elvis in Macon
Elvis in Macon, Ga June 1 1977

Tour 29 - 10 shows
Kansas City, June 18
Elvis and Jackie Kahane
before the concert
Before this tour Elvis had actually called president J. Carter to try to help out his friend George Klein in a federal court case. This was on June 13. The day after Carter called Elvis at 5:18 PM, but reluctantly gave up after approx. 10 minutes when he could not understand Elvis' incoherent conversation. Elvis called Carter again, but this time the president refuse to answer the phone.

On June 18 Elvis held a concert in Kansas City. This concert is featured on the bootleg video The Last Tour. The quality is very good considering that it is amateur footage. The version of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight' is quite funny, with Elvis and Charlie Hodge doing their "act" on stage...
Kansas City, June 18
Kansas City, June 18 1977
Singing 'Are You Lonesome Tonight'
Then it was time for the CBS crew to record and film Elvis in Omaha, Nebraska. This concert is described as one of the poorest ever held by Elvis. In general that is true. Elvis was very out of focus and had probably taken too many "downers". He was sluggish, from the moment he went on the stage to the final song. Elvis looses the lyrics in the beginning of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', he is off-key in 'I Really Don't Want To Know', while 'Hurt' is amazingly well performed...
Candid Elvis On Camera
More Info

As I Leave You
More Info
This concert was released simultaneously by two different labels. Captain Marvel Jr. on their Candid Elvis On Camera and Ecolorado on their As I Leave You. Because the microphone system in Omaha was out of proper order in the beginning of the concert, and the fact that Felton Jarvis decided not to record the band, the sound quality is not the greatest. This show is featured in it's completeness on the bootleg version of 'Elvis In Concert' (The CBS Tapes).

In Lincoln after the show, Elvis sat in his bed in his pajamas asking Joe Guercio "Well, what do you think?". Joe said "It was a fair dress rehearsal", to which Elvis replied "Yeah, you're right". According to Ed Parker Elvis was not too happy about the situation before the concert in Omaha. The stadium was crowded with people and cameras. He said to Ed "How come I get placed in these situations?". Looking out of the window, biting his lip he said "Ah...hell, I guess it's show business!"
Omaha, June 19
Omaha, concluding 'Hound Dog'
Lincoln, June 20
Lincoln, June 20.
The evening after the show in Omaha, Elvis immediately traveled to Lincoln where he slept over night (well...did he really..?). The day after Elvis held a concert in the "little" Pershing Municipal Auditorium (7.500 attendants). This day he performs one of the better versions of 'Unchained Melody' I have heard. Even 'Hound Dog' is given some extra attention this day.

Rapid City, South Dakota was next. From this concert the majority of CBS' "Elvis In Concert" was taken.

The CBS crew: "We picked Rapid City for filming because it was Elvis' first concert in that hall. He'd never been to Rapid City before. We wanted to avoid any possible audience disappointment over him being overweight"
Good choice from CBS, as Elvis in Rapid City managed to perform one of his better "1977-concert". It was a totally different Elvis appearing on stage, compared to two days earlier. Story has it that Elvis took many tablets of Ionamin, his favorite appetite depressant. At least Elvis was much "trimmer" in Rapid City, than only two days later.

As always when Elvis was in good spirit he delivers a good version of 'See See Rider'. This day too. In fact Elvis stopped the song, just to say that someone did a mistake... and then began sing as if nothing had happened. A strange moment, really. Elvis was filmed by CBS and he manages to find an unnoticeable error, and stops the band... This incident was cut from the official version of "Elvis In Concert" (where they edited in snippets of Elvis singing the same song in Omaha) and also edited out this sequenze on the album with the same name.

# "I thought the show in Omaha was very very bad. He was pale and unsteady. I don't even know if he knew where he was. Maybe he did. And yet the other show,...it was pretty good. His voice was strung. Physically he looked awful, but he was steady on his feet, and in Omaha he was not" (...John Wilkinson)
Rapid City, June 21
Rapid City, June 21.
After his regular I Got A Woman/Amen "session", Elvis performs a very good version of 'That's Allright', and a (just almost) funny, still good 'Are You Lonesome Tonight'. 'Love Me' is a very good version, and the same goes for 'If You Love Me'. 'Trying To Get You' is share dynamite! For some strange reasons CBS decided to omit this masterpiece in their one-hour production. Like 'My Way' and 'Little Sister', Elvis always performed 'Trying To Get To You' with bravura. At least CBS included 'My Way' on the TV-Special.

Another highlight that CBS omitted from this show was 'Hawaiian Wedding Song'. Elvis had complete control over his voice and this version is better than others I have heard from 1973 - 1975.

'Early Morning Rain' was first omitted from the TV-Special, but at the end included. On the TV-Special CBS used the version from Omaha, while the Rapid City version (the better one) was used on the LP album.
'I Really Don't Want To Know' was included on both TV and LP special. Elvis started singing this song only 3 weeks ago, and it is a kind of song that really fitted Elvis' voice and overall condition at the time.

There is no doubt that Elvis was influenced by another type of medication than in Omaha. In Omaha he was "sluggish", while he in Rapid City was...well "rapid". Due to this, Elvis has some problems completing sentences. During the introduction of J. D. and The Stamps, Elvis tries to tell the audience that he used to watch J. D. sing together with the Statesmen in his early days, but it is very difficult to catch exactly what he says.

After the concert in Des Moines, June 23, Ronnie Tutt leaves the band for good. He is replaced with Jerome Monroe (June 24) and Larrie Londin (June 25 and 26). In Madison, June 24 Elvis sings 'One Night' for the last time.

While driving to Madison, Elvis stops the car so he could get out to assist a gas station attendant who is set upon by two youth. The fight came to a sudden end, as the two youth was shocked by the fact that Elvis Presley stood in front of them. The whole scene ended with Elvis getting them to shake hand, promise not to fight anymore, and finally a picture taken of all three. (From the newspaper)

Before the concert in Cincinnati, Elvis finds out that the hotels air-condition does not function! Elvis immediately leaves for another hotel, which was not easy since most the accommodations where taken... Elvis was in town!

Cincinnati, June 25
Cincinnati, June 25
Cincinnati, June 25
Elvis together with David Stanley. Leaving the hotel, trying to find another one. After the show Elvis instead headed home.

Cover
More info


Cover
More info
The concert in Cincinnati was released on a very rare bootleg called Since Cincinnati. In my point of view this concert is among the best in 1977. Elvis does very good versions of 'See See Rider', and 'If You Love Me' among others. For the last time Elvis performes 'Unchained Melody'. This is one of the best versions I have ever heard!

Since Cincinnati was re-released in 2007.

Arriving the airport in Indianapolis on June 26, Elvis is presented with a plaque for the "Moody Blue" album.

Elvis' very last concert is one of the longest ever in 1977. It features several "rare" songs for the year, and in general it is a fair concert.
Cincinnati, June 25
Cincinnati, June 25
Indianapolis, June 26
Indianapolis, June 26.
Many Elvis fans find this to be one of the best concerts in 1977, but I can't agree to that. Elvis is way out some places, and he has problems completing both songs and sentences.

  (John Wilkinson, July 1, 1977)
  # "We played in Indianapolis three times....But the last one was really good. The place came unglued, like they were really glad to see him. It was a dynamite show, rock and roll all the way. But he looked whipped when he came around the corner to get off the stage at then end of the show. He really looked tired"
The concert in Indianapolis has been released on several bootlegs through the years. The best one so far is Adios, The Final Performance. Elvis performs a few "unregular" songs on this concert, like 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'Release Me' and 'I Can't Stop Loving You'. Unfortunately there was no place for 'Unchained Melody' this evening, although the concert in Indinapolis is one of the longest ever performed in his lifetime. Cover Cover



Thanks to Oto Meszaros for providing information from this period. In addition, thanks to those I have borrowed pictures from. I have taken some from this site, and some from another site. Claude Baker has been helpful with information about different pictures on this focus. I have been told that many of the pictures has been shot by Bob Heis, actually no big surprise....

Tour 25
(Feb. 12 to Feb. 21)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
Trying To Get To You
You Gave Me A Mountain
All Shook Up
That's Alright, Mama
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
And I Love You So
It's Now Or Never
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Fever
Polk Salad Annie
Love Letters
Hurt
Funny How Time Slips Away
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
Moody Blue (Feb. (20) and 21)
Unchained Melody
Big Boss Man
Little Sister
Help Me
My Way
How Great Thou Art
Where Noone Stands Alone (Feb. 16)
Blueberry Hill (Feb. 13 and Feb. 14)
Blue Suede Shoes
Why Me, Lord
Release Me
Fairytale
Reconsider Baby
My Boy (one-line)
Can't Help Falling In Love
 
 
 
 
Tour 26
(March 23 to March 30)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
You Gave Me A Mountain
And I Love You So
Little Sister
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Fever
Hurt
Funny How Time Slips Away
My Way
Trying To Get To You
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
That's Alright, Mama
Love Me Tender
Steamroller Blues
Blue Suede Shoes
How Great Thou Art
It's Now Or Never
Help Me
Blue Christmas
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
You Better Run/
Bosom Of Abraham (March 29)
Can't Help Falling In Love
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tour 27
(April 21 to May 3)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
You Gave Me A Mountain
Little Sister
And I Love You So
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Fever
Polk Salad Annie
Heartbreak Hotel
Big Boss Man (April 26)
Hurt
Funny How Time Slips Away
My Way
Trying To Get To You
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
That's Alright, Mama
Love Me Tender
The Wonder Of You
Bridge Over Troubled Water (April 29)
Blue Suede Shoes
How Great Thou Art
It's Now Or Never
(includes snippets of 'Blue Hawaii')
Help Me
Fairytale
Blue Christmas
Early Morning Rain
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Unchained Melody
Little Darlin'
Mystery Train/Tiger Man (May 3)
Trouble (incomplete May 3)
Happy Birthday (May 3)
Rip It Up (incomplete)
Can't Help Falling In Love

Tour 28
(May 20 to June 2)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Love Me
If You Love Me
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
You Gave Me A Mountain
Little Sister
Fairytale
And I Love You So
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Big Boss Man
Polk Salad Annie
Heartbreak Hotel
One Night (May 25)
Bridge Over Troubled Water (May 27)
I Really Don't Want To Know (May 30)
Hurt
Funny How Time Slips Away (May 22)
My Way
Love Me Tender
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (May 29)
Blue Christmas (May 29)
That's Alright, Mama (May 29)
Help Me (May 29)
The Wonder Of You (incomplete) (May 29)
Blue Suede Shoes (May 29)
American Trilogy (June 2)
How Great Thou Art
It's Now Or Never
Early Morning Rain
Unchained Melody (May 29)
Can't Help Falling In Love
Tour 29, The Last Tour
(June 17 to June 26)

See See Rider
I Got A Woman/Amen
Big Boss Man (June 18)
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (June 19)
Blue Christmas (June 18)
That's Alright, Mama
Love Me
If You Love Me
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
You Gave Me A Mountain
Little Sister
Fairytale
And I Love You So
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Bridge Over Troubled Water (June 26)
I Can't Stop Loving You (June 26)
Release Me (June 26)
I Really Don't Want To Know
Hurt
My Way
Love Me Tender
Help Me
Blue Suede Shoes (June 23)
How Great Thou Art
It's Now Or Never
Early Morning Rain
Unchained Melody
Can't Help Falling In Love
 
 
 


Source:
The Concert Years by Stein Erik Skar
The Final Years by Jerry Hopkins
A Life In Music by Ernst Jorgensen
Careless Love by Peter Guralnick
Day By Day by Ernst Jorgensen and Peter Guralnick
The Ultimate Elvis by Patricia Jobe Pierce
and finally, most important - several bootlegs from 1977


Main Menu
Official News
Import News
Session Notes
Autumn 1974
June 1975
Summer 1976
Complete 1977