Tag Archives: Ronnie Tutt

Elvis: That’s the Way It Is

Elvis: That’s the Way It Is is a documentary movie directed by Denis Sanders about Elvis Presley that was released on November 11, 1970. The film documents Elvis’ Summer Festival in Las Vegas during August 1970. It was his first non-dramatic film since the beginning his movie career in 1956, and the film gives us a clear view of Presley’s return to live performances after years of making movies. The original concept as devised by Colonel Tom Parker was in view of Elvis’s triumphant return to live performances was a closed circuit television presentation of one show but the concept developed into this movie. Although the lion’s share of the footage takes place onstage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, there are several other parts to the film:

* The opening credits sequence contains footage of Elvis’ show at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on September 9, 1970. This was the first show of Elvis’ first tour in 13 years.

* Elvis and his band are seen rehearsing for the Las Vegas engagement at MGM Studios in Culver City, California. There are scenes of Elvis running through such tunes as “I Just Can’t Help Believing”, “What’d I Say”, “Little Sister”, “Words”, “That’s All Right Mama”, and “The Next Step Is Love.” The rehearsal sequences were filmed during late July 1970.

* Later rehearsals show Elvis in Las Vegas with his back-up vocalists The Sweet Inspirations, Millie Kirkham and The Imperials Quartet, preparing songs such as “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

* There is also a session of rehearsals that takes place in the Showroom Internationale of the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Together, Elvis and the entire group run through songs from “Mary In the Morning” to “Polk Salad Annie”. These rehearsals took place on August 7, 1970.

* Footage of an Elvis Appreciation Society convention in Luxembourg was shot on September 5, 1970. Radio Luxembourg DJs Tony Prince and Peter Aldersley are on hand to lead the festivities. A tandem bicycle owned by Elvis is raffled off to a lucky fan in the audience. Additionally, various musicians are seen performing their own versions of Elvis’ songs.

Elvis – Aloha from Hawaii

Aloha from Hawaii is a music concert that was headlined by Elvis Presley, and was broadcast live via satellite on January 14, 1973. It was the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history. The concert took place at the International Convention Center Arena in Honolulu and aired in over 40 countries across Asia and Europe (who received the telecast the next day, also in primetime). Despite the satellite innovation, the United States did not air the concert until April 4, 1973, as the concert took place the same day as Super Bowl VII. The show was the most expensive entertainment special at the time, costing $2.5 million.

Far superior to any previous home-video version, the huge deluxe edition of Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii captures over four hours of footage from the King’s historic televised concert from January 1973. The main concert is presented in its entirety for the first time since its original worldwide satellite telecast, and reedited to remove the now-dated split-screen “montage” look. But that’s not all–as a prelude to the concert, the first disc includes 17 uncut minutes of the “Elvis arrives” footage (only 2 minutes of which appears in the concert film) followed by the complete rehearsal concert that took place two days before the telecast. This rehearsal, which was released separately on video as The Alternate Aloha Concert, is rougher than the official show, but more relaxed and often more satisfying musically.

Leading off disc 2 is footage of five songs (“Blue Hawaii,” “Ku-U-I-Po,” “No More,” “Hawaiian Wedding Song,” and “Early Morning Rain”), including multiple takes, recorded after the performance, four of which (“No More” was the exception) were incorporated into the American television special that was shown a few months after the live telecast. Those four songs are not included in the uncut version of the concert on disc 1, but the original version of the American television special is also on disc 2 so you can watch the concert the way you’ve always watched it for the sake of nostalgia, or you can compare it to all the other pieces you’ve seen and decide which you like better.