Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Trying to Get to You" - Elvis Presley (1968)

In 1968 Elvis Presley did a TV special just before Christmas. It was a mixture of a variety show format, with musical numbers featuring Anne Margaret and a host of dancers. But the best part was the half hour or so when Elvis came out with his band, sitting in chairs facing one another, and played some real Sun Records rock and roll.

“Trying to Get to You” was a show stopper for me. Clad in leather and leading the band with his vocals, as well as his more than competent guitar playing, this may have been the best performance of the last decade of his life. It was almost as if, in response to the “British Invasion”; which was at its peak in 1968; he needed to show he was still relevant after almost 10 years of making pretty bland films on the West Coast. 

In a way, this show was a reminder that the sounds coming back at us from Europe had begun here in the good old USA. And Elvis, along with the rest of the “Million Dollar Quartet” at Sun Records, had been there at the beginning, when blues, country and jazz all fell in with one another and gave birth to a new sound called rock and roll.

This is just a short sample of the magic which was Elvis when he was really being Elvis, and not playing a movie role. After making all those movies he must have had to really practice a bit for this special in order to capture that original magic. Ironically, that probably makes him the greatest Elvis impersonator of all time. Hit You Tube for the full show at;

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