In 1969, Elvis Presley Hit No. 1 for the Last Time With 'Suspicious Minds'
After a fruitful recording session in Memphis, the King of Rock & Roll notched his seventh No. 1 on the chart on Nov. 1, 1969 with 'Suspicious Minds'. In the wake of the success of Elvis Presley's December 1968 NBC TV special, Elvis – often referred to as the '68 Comeback Special – the then-34-year-old singer headed into the recording studio in January 1969 to build on the momentum.
Among the cuts Presley laid down at Memphis' American Sound Studio was his seventh and final No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, 'Suspicious Minds'. (Note: many of his hits predate the launch of the Hot 100 in August of 1958. Those include 'Heartbreak Hotel', 'Hound Dog' and 'Don't Be Cruel', which all hit No. 1 on the Best Sellers in Stores chart.) 'This is where it all started for me', Presley told Billboard during his only in-studio interview after signing with RCA in 1955. 'It feels good to be back in Memphis recording'.
Presley also remarked that it was 'especially refreshing' that the American Sound sessions were among the few he did in the '60s that weren't tied to a film.
After years of acting in movies and churning out their soundtracks, Presley and his pop career were rejuvenated. His comeback was complete on Nov. 1, 1969 when 'Suspicious Minds', released as stand-alone single, became his first No. 1 Hot 100 hit since 1962's 'Good Luck Charm'.
Words & Music by Mark James
We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much baby
Why can't you see
What you're doing to me
When you don't believe a word I say?
We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds
So, if an old friend I know
Drops by to say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?
Here we go again
Asking where I've been
You can't see these tears are real
We can't go on together
With suspicious minds
And we can't build our dreams
On suspicious minds
Oh let our love survive
Or dry the tears from your eyes
Let's don't let a good thing die
When honey, you know
I've never lied to you
Mmm yeah, yeah
Recorded: 1969/01/23, first released on single
|From Elvis In Memphis LP 1969|
|Elvis Back In Memphis LP|
|Elvis Presley 1969|
Elvis has been doing all of his recording work in Nashville or Hollywood since signing with RCA. But, now he records in Memphis again for the first time since 1955. He has all-night marathon sessions at American Sound Studio.
His work here will become regarded as some of the finest music of his career, his best work since the innovative days at Sam Phillip's Sun Records and the exciting early days at RCA before he went into the army.
Inspired and invigorated by the success of his television special, Elvis walked through the door of the tiny American Sound Studios in Memphis in January 1969 to make quality music that would garner him hit records. Elvis had not recorded in his hometown since he left Sun in 1955, but the musical atmosphere at RCA's Nashville studios had become stale.
His friends and associates encouraged him to record at American Sound because Nashville would yield nothing for him at this time.
American Sound Studios, a small studio in a rundown neighborhood, was operated by Chips Moman. With Moman as producer, Elvis worked hard to record his first significant mainstream album in years.
In retrospect, From Elvis in Memphis may be his most important album because it brought his recording career back from soundtrack purgatory and set a creative standard for the next few years.
Elvis has excellent material to choose from and pours his heart and soul into the sessions. He works with a lot of top-notch Memphis musicians. The sound is fresh and gutsy. On every track one can sense his creative excitement and energy. This is joyful work after years of movie boredom.
Two albums albums From Elvis In Memphis & Back In Memphis will result from these sessions. The sessions will also yield four hit singles to be released starting later this year - 1969 - and going into 1970: 'In the Ghetto', 'Suspicious Minds', 'Don't Cry, Daddy' and 'Kentucky Rain'.
January 13, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 14, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Come Out Come Out (Wherever You Are) (Fast - Track) XPA5 1144-02
Memory Revival (Slow - Track) XPA5 1144-04
Wearin' That Loved On Look XPA5 1145-15
You'll Think Of Me XPA5 1146-23
A Little Bit Of Green XPA5 1148-03
January 15, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 16, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 20, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 21, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
In The Ghetto XPA5 1154-23
My Little Friend (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1153-NA
Inherit The Wind (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1151-NA
Mama Liked The Roses (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1152-NA
Mama Liked The Roses (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1152-NA
I'm Movin' On (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1147-NA
Long Black Limousine (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1142-NA
Don't Cry Daddy (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1149-NA
Don't Cry Daddy (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1149-NA
Poor Man's Gold (Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1150-01
Wearin' That Loved On Look (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1145-NA
You'll Think Of Me (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1146-NA
This Is The Story (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1143-NA
From A Jack To A King XPA5 1158-05
January 22, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
January 23, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 17, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Stranger In My Own Home Town XPA5 1266-01
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road XPA5 1265-03
This Time / I Can't Stop Loving You (Informal Jam) WPA5 2513-01
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road XPA5 1265-11
February 18, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 19, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 20, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 21, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
February 22, 1969 American Sound - Memphis, Tennessee
Any Day Now (Vocal Repair) XPA5 1274-NA
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Harmony - V.O.) XPA5 1265-NA
Power Of My Love (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1268-NA
Do You Know Who I Am? (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1270-NA
Who Am I? XPA5 1278-01
March 5, 1969 Decca Universal Studio - Universal City, California
March 5, Elvis returns to Hollywood to film and record the soundtrack music for his thirty-first, and what will turn out to be his last, acting role in a motion picture. It is Change of Habit, co-starring Mary Tyler Moore. Elvis plays a hip ghetto doctor in a Northern city, having come from Tennessee. Mary Tyler Moore and two others play nuns who go 'undercover' into the ghetto to assist with health and societal troubles in the community. The theme, though serious and timely, is not particularly well carried out by the script in the opinion of many, and the title is frivolous. But, Elvis looks magnificent, and gives a natural, easy, understated performance that is a refreshing pleasure to see after the silliness he endured in his films through most of the sixties. The few songs in the movie are good and they're performed in natural, rather than the usual badly contrived, situations.
March 6, 1969 Decca Universal Studio - Universal City, California
March, 1969, Charro! opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
September 26, 1969 RCA Studio A - Nashville, Tennessee
Let Us Pray (Vocal Replacement) ZPA4 1957-05
A Little Bit Of Green (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1148-NA
A Little Bit Of Green (Harmony - Vocal Overdub) XPA5 1148-NA
And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind (Vocal Replacement) XPA5 1267-NA
International. Hotel, Las Vegas, Nv July 1969
Starting July 31, Elvis is booked for a four-week, fifty-seven show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which has just been built and has the largest showroom in the city. Elvis puts together top-notch rock and roll musicians, an orchestra, a male gospel back-up group, and a black female soul/gospel back-up group for his show. They rehearse for several weeks and open on July 31, 1969. The show is a delightful mix of fresh arrangements of classic Elvis hits, exciting new material he has recorded, a few covers of current and past hits of other artists, and charming on-stage antics and sharing of personal recollections of his career. A press conference follows the first of his two opening night shows.
This engagement breaks all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracts rave reviews from the public and the critics. It is a triumph. Elvis' first live album, Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, is recorded during this engagement and is soon released. For these shows a lean Elvis in top physical form, wears simple, unique, karate-inspired two-piece outfits in black or white. These are designed by Bill Belew, who did the wardrobe for the ‘68 special. These are the predecessors to the famous one-piece jumpsuits which will be simple at first, then become flashier and more elaborate over the years.
Elvis Presley makes television and entertainment history with his Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii - Via Satellite special. Performed at the Honolulu International Center Arena on January 14, 1973, broadcast live at 12:30 AM Hawaiian time, beamed via Globecam Satellite to Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam and other countries. It is seen on a delayed basis in around thirty European countries. A tape of the show will be seen in America on April 4th on NBC. The live broadcast in January attracts 37.8% of the viewers in Japan, 91.8% in the Philippines, 70% in Hong Kong, and 70-80% of the viewers in Korea. The April showing in America will attract 51% of the television viewing audience, and will be seen in more American households than man’s first walk on the moon. In all, it will be seen in about forty countries by one billion to 1.5 billion people. Elvis commissions an American Eagle design for his jumpsuit for this show, his patriotic message to his worldwide audience. Never has one performer held the world’s attention in such a way. Elvis is in top form physically and vocally. This is probably the pinnacle of his superstardom, one of the all-time great moments of his career. Elvis was very, very nervous at first. Nobody else had ever done a satellite show before.
He was the very first entertainer, ever, to do a satellite show.
It was very expansive to rent the satellite for one hour, so Colonel Parker went to NBC, because they owned the satellite, actually it was their recording company. So they cut the deal and it was the first one ever.
Elvis was a nervous wreck. But as he went along rehearsing, and enjoying Hawaii, he became very comfortable with it. The thing about it, when you go on a satellite show, you go on stage at a certain time and you got to get off at a certain time, otherwise they will just cut you off, the satellite will cut you off after one hour. So the hardest part that Elvis was worried about, was to time it right.
But as we all know it went along perfectly. Joe Esposito was at the side of the stage while Elvis was performing with a flashlight and about ten minutes before the end time, he flashed the light to let Elvis know he had ten minutes left. It was an unbelievable performance, it was all for charity, and he was very comfortable when he walked on stage. He did a great job, looked fabulous. Can we ask for more?
A great singer, in a great location, great music and its now part of history.
12 Jan 8.30pm International Centre, Honolulu, Hi
14 Jan 0.30am International Centre, Honolulu, Hi
Audience tickets for the January 14 concert and its January 12 pre-broadcast rehearsal show carry no price. Each audience member is asked to pay whatever he or she can. The performances and concert merchandise sales are a benefit raising $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. (Kui Lee was a Hawaiian composer who had died of cancer while still in his thirties.)
Read more about the Aloha Special, including an interview with show director, Marty Pasetta .
Also Sprach Zarathrusta - See See Rider - Burning Love - Something - You Gave Me A Mountain - Steamroller Blues - My Way - Love Me - Johnny B. Goode - It's Over - Blue Suede Shoes - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry - I Can't Stop Loving You - Hound Dog - What Now My Love - Fever - Welcome To My World - Suspicious Minds - Introductions by Elvis - I'll Remember You - Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - An American Trilogy - A Big Hunk O' Love - Can't Help Falling In Love
Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.