Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

What is the most significant event in Elvis' professional career?

February 14, 1955 when Colonel Parker first became involved in Elvis' career
The release of "Heartbreak Hotel / I Was The One" (RCA 20/47-6420) on January 27, 1956
January 6, 1957 final appearance on the Ed Sullivan show
Elvis' induction into the US Army - March 24, 1958
No votes
Elvis' last live performance until 1968 as a benefit for the USS Arizona - March 25, 1961 in Hawaii
1968 NBC-TV Comeback Special in Burbank, CA taped June 27-30
American Sound Studio sessions in January and February 1969
Las Vegas opening July 31, 1969 at the International Hotel
September 12, 1948 Elvis and his family move from Tupelo to Memphis
In 1975, Elvis turned down the role to star with Barbara Streisand in "A Star Is Born"
Total votes : 40

The most significant event in Elvis' professional career

Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:42 am

What do you think the most significant event in the King's career is? Interpret this question however you like. It is entirely up to you.

I'm leaving out the 1954 recording and release of "That's All Right Mama" for obvious reasons.

It doesn't include everything but I tried to hit some of the highlights.

(Sorry the last couple are out of order)

Thu Apr 24, 2003 8:13 am

elvis-fan -

I'm sorry to be so slow, but what was the "obvious reason" for omitting the Sun sessions of 1954 ?

Colin B


Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:37 am

IMO, the Aloha from Hawaii Satellite broadcast was the most significant event of his career. It marked the peak of his career. He never looked or sounded better. The performance itself was pure control and had the worldwide audience mesmerised. Elvis never really had that sparkle after this performance although there were some great performances right up until the end.

The Aloha special should have marked the beginning of a worldwide tour where Elvis could've thrown himself into the ultimate project, touring countries such as Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, this would've given him a clear direction. A new line-up of songs from his back-catalogue would have been welcomed. If I could turn back time!

A close second would be the '68 Comeback Special where Elvis proved he could compete against the modern acts of the time including the Beatles. However, the Aloha Special did not only show he could compete but it proved that he could surpass anyone, or any group, on the planet.


Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:19 pm

Pfoehhh... man, it's hard to pick 'a winner: all choices were milestones. I guess that even Elvis would have a hard time to select one. But I'd go for the Ed Sullivan shows. This was the ultimate way (more than only his music) to show America that Elvis was something new. The rest of the world would soon follow...

Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:40 pm

If we're excluding the Sun era, then it has to be the 68 special and the recordings at American in 69.

As mentioned above the special proved he wasn't an embarassing anchronism as his film career might suggest. The 69 recordings prove that Elvis was capable of reinventing himself (thanks to Chips). This was far more difficult than what he did in 54/55 when he was doing what came naturally. You can only guess at what cost to himself. He never reached that high again.

Aloha was spectacular and deserves a place in history, but it didn't seem to alter the idle course of his career through to 1977. It seemed like a professional, rather than a personal triumph, which is a criticism that can't be levelled at 54/68/69.

Just my 2 cents.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:04 pm

The "68 TV Show" and the "Aloha Special" were the two main events in my mind. The Comeback wins out because it resurected him to where he should have been all the time.


Thu Apr 24, 2003 1:58 pm

I also believe it's the '68 comeback. After not been on stage for many years, he's finally back doing what he loved to do.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:22 pm

Thanks for the posts so far!

ColinB - The reason I left out the first SUN session was because I thought everyone might pick that over everything else. That's all.

I did have the "Aloha From Hawaii" NBC-TV special on the list but I was limited to the number of items I could list in the poll. I was also going to put his death on the list but again, no room.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:44 pm

elvis-fan -


So we are really voting for the 2nd most significant event after the 'Sun Sessions' !!

I'd still go for the American Sound sessions !

Elvis achieved commercial success from these sessions.

Of course, he had enjoyed this before.

But after the Chips Moman sessions, for perhaps the first time in his career, he got critical acclaim.

At last the world conceded that the boy could sing !!

This new-found credibility was to sustain his reputation for the rest of his life and beyond.

Colin B

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:47 pm

I'd really like to know what Elvis thought was the most significant event in his career. Come to think about it, I wonder what Lisa Marie thinks it is too.

Never ceases to amaze me Baby, I'll tell ya...My Boy My Boy..

Rob S.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:55 pm

Hey Colin!

Wouldn't you say that his "new found credibility" really came to light with the 1968 TV special?

American Sound

Thu Apr 24, 2003 4:36 pm

elvis-fan -

The '68 TV Special showed that he was looking good again.

But it was let down by the poor audio recording, and the cheesy 'big band' backings.

It was the American Sound sessions which brought the commercial and critical acclaim.

The combination of contemporary, adult material; Chips Moman's fine arrangements; a really cool backing band; and some sublime performances from the lad himself; led to a success that Elvis had not enjoyed since his early days.

Perhaps the TV Special unlocked the door to an upturn in Elvis credibility; but the American Sound sessions dragged him through it !

Colin B
Last edited by ColinB on Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 4:40 pm

Elvis did not turn down barbara .. the colonel did it again another screw up on the colonels behalf ... being greedy again

Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:53 pm

The '68 comeback special hands down! It resurrected his career. It was a stunning reminder of why he was the great white rock&roll singer/performer. It went a long way towards restoring the damage done to his reputation by the cornball movies/sountracks. It remains to this day (along with TTWII) the most visually stunning footage of the latter day Elvis. And the level of passion, intensity, and raw power in his voice was never higher! The artistic triumph of this show made the Memphis sessions possible. It effectively brought the movie period to an end, as he was vocused on returning to live concerts after this show. It galvanized his lukewarm recording career/record sales. Yep folks, it's the comeback special all the way!

Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:53 pm

Hi epfan22!

But it was ultimately Elvis' decision not to do the movie.

Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:56 pm

To me, I think it was the day he walked into Sun Recording Studio with $3 and a dream......

Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:07 pm


Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:46 pm

Except for the moment when he finally took courage, left his truck, walked across the street into that studio and told Mario Keisker "I don't sound like nobody" I guess the most important moment in Elvis' career was when Steve Binder took him by the hand, walked with him over midday Sunset Boulevard and - nothing happened. That was probably the moment when Elvis knew that everything was at stake ...

Thu Apr 24, 2003 11:08 pm

See See rider -
Elvis walking hand in hand with another man on Sunset Boulevard - or anywhere else for that matter - certainly would've garnered attention!
(Sorry, I couldn't resist LOL).

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:34 am

Pete Dube wrote:See See rider -
Elvis walking hand in hand with another man on Sunset Boulevard - or anywhere else for that matter - certainly would've garnered attention!
(Sorry, I couldn't resist LOL).

LOL! You're probably right! But that was meant metaphorically of course ... :wink: On the other: How many people really noticed Elvis that midday on Sunset Blvd.? Not many obviously ...

Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:41 am

I have to admit, I thought much like CarolynLM....Elvis' death certainly was the most significant event of his career

During his lifetime, however, I vote for the Sullivan appearances. Although my favorite era is the late 60's to early 70's, the Sullivan show is what really propelled him to superstardom and showed the world what the man had to offer.

Fri Apr 25, 2003 3:34 am

I'd have chosen The Aloha Concert which reached a billion people around the world (more than the moon landing) and was the last #1 album Elvis had - it was also the first quadrophonic #1 Lp . Aloha is also the last visual document of Elvis that we have -officially that is.

I voted for the 68 Special as it has everything (rock pop gospel) and was made at a time when Elvis looked and sounded so good.
It was also the sprog of the Unplugged concept and its one of my favourite things Elvis did. I know its not PC but I happen to like the big backings and Elvis singing with an orchestra - maybe Elvis took something from that with his own recordings and when he got his live act together in 69? Guralnick is not too complimentary about the production backings on this show - but what about the dull thud of the guitar cases being used as drums and the constant tamporine and the inaudible Scotty Moore during the sit down shows? LOL

I can see why 'A Star Is Born' is listed - its an average film but it could have given Elvis a focus outside of the tours and kept him on track.

What would have happened had Elvis not been picked up by SUN records though? That record he made has to be pretty significant.

Elvis death meant so much to so many people because of what he did in his lifetime so I wouldn't have voted for that as being THE most significant event of his career.

Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:12 am

I think the most significant thing that could have happened to Elvis in the 70's was doing "A Star Is Born".
You're right PW, it is an average film but it could changed the whole direction of Elvis' career.
This would have really been a challenge for him.