This feature is about the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special showing in Cinemas for two nights only, August 16th & August 20th
I remember the day Elvis died. There was a newsstand in my building at work and all the newspapers carried his death as the headline. Women were literally weeping. At the time, I didn’t know much about Elvis Presley and I didn’t understand the level of the outpouring of grief.
The Carnival Cruise Line ship was completely sold out and I was amazed at how many people of all ages were huge Elvis Fans. At home, I began listening to the authentic Elvis realized just why Elvis is an icon.
The reason is a combination of things that are rare in one person. No one entertained like Elvis. No one has his talent. Add his handsome face that could look almost angelic when he sang love songs. And then there are the once-scandalous, exuberant moves, and that soulful, smooth, sweet voice that is dutifully mentioned in the tribute song by Allanah Myles, “Black Velvet.”
Elvis the Icon
Producer Steve Binder
Enter Steve Binder, almost the same age as Elvis at the time. Mr. Binder was already known for his work on the television show Hallabaloo and had worked with other stars such as Petula Clark who,. when she touched the arm of singer Harry Belafonte on TV. In this racially-charged time, it marked the first time a man and woman of different races exchanged physical contact on American television.
The ’68 Comeback Special Revisited
Steve Binder and his wife were sitting right in front of me at an editor’s screening last night hosted by Fathom Events. Fortunately for movie-goers, most of what he told editors an friends at the event is available in a taped interview with Priscilla Presley while they are sitting on the same soundstage as Elvis television special.
The version of the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special you’ll see if you go to one of the movie theaters (thanks also to content producer Spencer Proffer and Meteor 17) also includes more “improv” moments with Elvis joshing around with his band and the audience. It’s in these moments you see Elvis as he really was in real life as a man having fun, loving music, and connecting with the audience.
Elvis sings…well….just about all of the hits that you know and maybe some songs you don’t. He’s in a square the size of a small boxer’s ring but manages to make the most of the space. The looks on the faces of the lucky females surrounding the stage are priceless!
There are a number of costume changes and a few very silly production dance numbers that seem dated. For most of the performance, Elvis is shown dressed completely in black leather in a suit made just for him to resemble Marlon Brando’s look in “Rebel Without a Cause.” You can’t help but notice that it fits him like a glove. He also wears a denim outfit (to depict his roots days) and at the end, a dreamy formal white suit.
No matter what he wears or what he’s singing, Elvis is so riveting, there is no doubt that he reclaimed his crown as King of Rock and Roll in those two hours.
The Elvis Television special completely re-energized his career.
Where to See the Elvis Special:
Elvis has never “left the building.” Not everyone was around when Elvis was “the King” but you’ll be a fan after you see this performance on the big screen. Be sure to take the kids.
For more information visit Fathom Events: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/elvis-68-comeback-special