The Last Farewell (1976)

October 16, 2016

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“Though my heart is full of tears at this farewell”

– Lyrics The Last Farewell, Elvis Presley

1976 would be the last full year of Elvis’s life. It was almost a farewell to his fans. He toured for the majority of the year providing concerts to his adoring fans. The beginning of the year, Elvis was able t relax before the hustle and bustle and tour life.

Elvis began 1976 in Vail, Denver. He traveled with Linda and the gang and rented condos. On his birthday, he went house hunting in Vail after falling in love with the landscaping. He does not want people to know he is looking for a house and decided to wear a ski mask and jumpsuit which caused him to not have the best luck finding a house. Elvis tended to go on spending sprees, and because he did not have success with house hunting, he decided to go to the Lincoln-Mercury dealership. He bought cars for the police officers that were assigned to be with Elvis and spends over $70,000. Because of his excessive spending, he gets a warning from Denver narcs to leave.

On January 19th, RCA released Elvis – A Legendary Performer. Elvis returned to Memphis and RCA brought over recording equipment to Graceland and they set up a session in the ‘jungle room’. The next six days were spent recording, Bitter They Are Harder They Fall, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, Danny Boy, Eyes Crying In The Rain, Danny Boy, Eyes Crying In The Rain, Danny Boy, For The Heart, Hurt, Moody Blue, Solitaire, and many others.

Moody Blue

Elvis travels back to Denver on February 20th to attend a friends’ funeral and stays there until the middle of March. The relaxation is over, and Elvis goes back on tour.

MARCH TOUR 1976

  • 17th: Freedom Hall, Johnson City, Tennessee – 21,000 (three shows in three days)
  • 20th: The Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina – 24,000 (two shows) During the second performance, a woman broke through security and jumped on stage. In an effort to kiss Elvis, she bit his lip and left Elvis speechless on stage.
  • 21st: Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati – 35,000 (two shows)
  • 22nd: Keil Auditorium, St. Louis – 10,564

Elvis heads back to Memphis and relaxes at Graceland until he is required to go back on tour. The relaxing lasted one month and by April 21st, he was back on the road.

APRIL TOUR 1976

  • 21st: Kemper Arena, Kansas Arena – 17,600
  • 22nd: City Auditorium, Omaha – 10,564
  • 23rd: McNichols Arena, Denver – 19,000
  • 24th: Sports Arena, San Diego – 17,500
  • 25th: Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, California – 28,000
  • 26th: Seattle Coliseum, Seattle – 14,687
  • 27th: Coliseum, Spokane, Washington – 7,500 (sold out)
  • 30th: Lake Tahoe, Sahara – Elvis performs one show a night through May 9th.

MAY TOUR 1976

  • 27th: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana – 16,000
  • 28th: James W. Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa – 14,750
  • 29th: Myriad Center, Oklahoma City – 15,300
  • 30th: Ector Coliseum, Odessa, Texas – 16,000
  • 31st: Municipal Coliseum, Lubbock – 9,600

JUNE TOUR 1976

  • 1st: Community Center Arean, Tucson – 20,000
  • 2nd: Civic Center, El Paso – 7,050
  • 3rd: Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth – 14,000
  • 4th: Omni, Atlanta – 68,800

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Elvis returned to Graceland to rest for a few week until he went back on tour a few weeks later. Honestly, Elvis toured the majority of the year. Elvis was not well, yet he continued to tour because the Colonel told Elvis that is how he would make his money. Never wanting to upset the fans, Elvis toured. Elvis would take one-month breaks after touring for almost two and would not stop when a tour began.

  • 25th: Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo – 17,500
  • 26th: Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island – 27,000
  • 27th: Capitol Center, Largo, Maryland – 40,000 (two shows) Elvis even met Elton John.
  • 28th: Spectrum, Philadelphia – 19,000
  • 29th: Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia – 11,900
  • 30th: Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina – 16,000

JULY TOUR 1976

  • 1st: Hirch Coliseum, Shreveport, Louisiana – 11,000
  • 2nd: Assembly Center, Baton Rouge – 16,000
  • 3rd: Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth – 14,000
  • 4th: Mabee Center, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa – 11,974
  • 5th: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis – 11,999

Elvis and Linda fly out to Palm Springs on July 7th in order to have some relaxation. After the unexpected firing of Red and Sonny West, Elvis relaxed for a few weeks until he headed back on tour.

  • 23rd: Louisville, Kentucky – 19,400
  • 24th: Civic Center Charleston, West Virginia – 17,000
  • 25th: Onondaga War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse – 8,550
  • 26th: Community War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester – 10,000
  • 27th: Onondaga War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse – 8,500
  • 28th: Civic Center, Hartford – 12,314
  • 29th: Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusets – 10,000 (At this point, Elvis developed a sore throat that lasted for months)
  • 30th: Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Hartford – 9,600
  • 31st: Hampton Roads Coliseum, Hampton Roads, Virginia – 22,000 (two shows in two days)

AUGUST TOUR 1976

  • 2nd: Civic Center, Roanoke – 10,598
  • 3rd: Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium, Fayetteville – 21,000 (three shows three days)

Elvis headed back to Memphis and learns that he has sold more than 400 million records. Relaxing for a few weeks before getting back on tour, Elvis is exhausted.

  • 27th: Convention Center, San Antonio – 11,000
  • 28th: Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston – 12,000
  • 29th: Municipal Auditorium, Mobile Alabama – 10,720
  • 30th: Memorial Coliseum, Tuscaloosa – 12,000
  • 31st: The Coliseum, Macon, Georgia – 10,200

SEPTEMBER TOUR 1976

  • 1st: Jacksonville Coliseum, Jacksonville – 9,500
  • 2nd: Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa – 7,500
  • 3rd: Bay Front Center, St. Petersburg – 8,000
  • 4th: Civic Center, Lakeland, Florida – 16,000
  • 5th: State Fair Civic Center, Jacksonville, Mississippi – 12,000
  • 6th: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama – 16,000 (two shows)
  • 7th: Convention Center, Pine Bluff, Arkansas – 15,000

Experiencing complete exhaustion, Elvis returns to Graceland to rest. After a few days, he then travels to Palm Springs and spends time with Lisa Marie and Priscilla.

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OCTOBER TOUR 1976

  • 14th: Chicago Stadium, Chicago – 38,000 (two shows, two nights)
  • 17th: Metropolitan Sports Center, Minneapolis – 15,800
  • 19th: Dne Country Coliseum, Madison, Wisconsin – 10,211
  • 20th: Notre Dame Athletic and Convention Center, South Bend, Indiana – 12,000
  • 21st: Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo – 7,500
  • 22nd: Assumbly Hall, Champaign, Illinois – 17,000
  • 23rd: Cleveland Coliseum, Richmond, Ohio – 20,000
  • 24th: Roberts Stadium, Evansville, Indiana – 13,500
  • 25th: Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana – 8,500
  • 26th: Ohio University, Dayton – 13,000

Elvis took a short break to head to Memphis and record Pledging My Love, He’ll Have To Go and a few others. At this point, Elvis and Linda are struggling to keep their relationship going and decide to end things. After about a month break, Elvis goes back on tour.

Pledging My Love

NOVEMBER TOUR 1976

  • 26th: Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon – 11,000
  • 28th: Cow Palace, San Francisco – 14,300 (two shows in two days)

Elvis’s 1976 tour ended with a six-day tour in Anaheim before he ventured to Las Vegas. December 2nd, Elvis opens in Las Vegas and does one show a day. This is when Elvis met Ginger Alden, his next girlfriend. Elvis apparently sprained his ankle and had to perform sitting down. The next night, Elvis performed a short version of his concert because of his ankle. On December 12th, Elvis closes at Las Vegas and takes Ginger back to Graceland with him. There was a quiet Christmas at Graceland and Elvis closed out the year going right back on tour.

DECEMBER TOUR 1976

  • 27th: Henry Levitt Arena, Witchita Falls, Texas – 10,000
  • 28th: Memorial Auditorium, Dallas – 9,800
  • 29th: Civic Center, Birmingham – 18,056
  • 30th: Omni, Atlanta – 17,000
  • 31st: Civic Center Arena, Pittsburgh – 16,049

This would be the last full year of Elvis’s life. He spent so much time traveling and touring with little time to enjoy life. He was not well. The constant touring every single day with no breaks in between happened to be too much for Elvis.

TCB,

Little Sister

1 Comment

  • Reply Billie Grubbs October 17, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Ashkey I love this post but it made me sad too. With Christmas coming up I am hoping you will do some blogs on our favorite Christmas album ever in the history of the world.

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