Profile of a Performer: Elvis is Back!

 

 

After serving two years in the Army, the time had come for Elvis to return to his public.  Would he be able to make the comeback he hoped for?

Elvis returned to his music career and movies after his time in the Army
Elvis returned to his music career and movies after his time in the Army

Elvis returned to the United States and was honorably discharged in early March 1960.

Less than three weeks later he was in the recording studio laying down new tracks.  His album, Elvis is Back!  Was released that year.

In May, he appeared on The Frank Sinatra Timex Special {also known as Welcome Home Elvis}, which was ironic due to Sinatra’s disdain of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

G.I. Blues was fittingly his first film after his return from the Army.

On March 21, 1961 Elvis appeared at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for a benefit concert.  He would not perform another live concert until seven years later.

Colonel Parker, Elvis’ manager, was focused on movie making.  Although Elvis reportedly wanted serious, meaty roles Parker refused, especially after two dramatic films were not commercially successful.  Parker insisted on the formulaic, budgeted musical comedies. Throughout the 1960s, Elvis made 27 films.  Although the critics dismissed his films, the studios could count on them being profitable.

Elvis with Priscilla and Lisa Marie
Elvis with Priscilla and Lisa Marie

Soundtrack albums were also released of the films, which also drove profits.   Elvis was reportedly unhappy with many of the songs chosen for his films, especially the later films that were churned out by the studio.  One co-star reported, “he hated many of the songs chosen for his films.”  Sadly, by the end of his film career many view him as a joke.  Even his singles being released were not finding the success hoped for.

In 1967, he released his first album in five years, a gospel album, How Great Thou Art.  This earned him his first Grammy Award.

Elvis and Priscilla were married that year on May 1, 1967.   The following year on February 1, their only child, Lisa Marie was born.

The movies and songs chosen for his films had damaged his reputation and career.  Would he be able to make a comeback?

 

 

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