“Step into my heart, leave your cares behind”
– Lyrics to Welcome To My World, 1973
On January 7th, Elvis flew from Memphis to Los Angeles to prepare for his benefit concert in Hawaii. Elvis manages to celebrate his 38th birthday and the next day he and his entourage fly to Honolulu. Camera crews are following Elvis everywhere and the footage from touchdown, meeting fans, and rehearsals will be used for the special.The rehearsal for the concert begins January 10th at the International Convention Center. There is an invited audience of over 6,000 people to watch the final dress rehearsal. The mayor of Honolulu reads a proclamation declaring January 13th Elvis Presley Day. This special was the first to be beamed around the entire world via satellite.
I’ll Remember You – Live
On January 14th, the concert began. It started at 12:30 a.m. and was sent via satellite around the world. With an estimated one billion people watching, the television special is a complete success. The world is watching as Elvis is, yet again, on top.
The benefit was for a local cancer fund. The goal was completely exceeded when Elvis announced they raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. I’ll Remember You had been written and composed by Kui Lee and since Elvis had already recorded this song years ago, it would go on to be the main song for the entire special. The audience was not charged for tickets, but instead asked to pay for what they could afford.
Suspicious Minds – Live
The director of the special, Marty Pasetta, who was also in charge of the Oscar ceremonies. Probably one of Elvis’s most famous jumpsuits, the white American Eagle jumpsuit was designed and custom made by Bill Belew. Elvis loved America and was so proud to sport this jumpsuit during the broadcast. Losing 25 pounds, Elvis had been in the best health and shape since 1969.
With the Golden Globe nomination for Elvis On Tour and this performance, Elvis’s success was only climbing higher. After the performance, Elvis was completely exhausted by the grueling schedule and secluded himself in his room for 24 hours.
An American Trilogy – Live
I remember the first time I ever watched the special. Though it consisted of my mother talking throughout it, I could not stop watching him. (Which her commentary was all Elvis.)
Steamroller Blues – Live
(These next two songs are for my mom)
Big Hunk ‘O Love – Live
From the moment he walked out on stage I was captivated, much as the audience had been when it was happening. The passion Elvis gave in this performance was absolutely incredible. To this day, as soon as Elvis begins singing Something, I audibly sigh and just sway to the music.
Something – Live
Though I love to get down to Burning Love and feel American during An American Trilogy, those songs will never make me feel like Something does. Just like as his other concerts, the special concluded with Can’t Help Falling In Love.
Can’t Help Falling In Love – Live
And, if you happen to have the time, here is the entire concert for your viewing pleasure.
This will always be one of my favorite performances from Elvis. This shows his potential and how much he was actually capable of. He gave his all and focused on the fans because he never wanted to disappoint them. Though this was stepping out of a comfort zone, Aloha From Hawaii could never be a disappointment to any Elvis fan.
Until we meet again,
TCB and TCE,