From Down Under

Elvis Tour #21, August 27 - September 8, 1976 

    Part three

 by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)

 

 

Keith Alverson © Lakeland,FL. September 4, 1976 matinee show

Elvis had been based/staying in Lakeland for a day now and so he traveled on a chartered bus to his St.Petersburg show. 

September 3, 1976 (8:30 pm) St. Petersburg, FL. Bay Front Center. R/T 65 Minutes 

 TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman – Amen (x2) / Love Me / If You Love Me / You Gave Me A Mountain / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Help Me / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / America The Beautiful-with reprise/ Polk Salad Annie / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say -Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/  Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog /dialogue/ Funny How Time Slips Away /Mystery Train/Tiger Man/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp  

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

ATTENDANCE: 8,000

The best thing about this show is that as well as singing ok Elvis is now back to NOT just ‘ America ’ before the intros but Polk Salad Annie as well. If You Love Me is much better than in Macon, as well as several highlights during this show such as ‘ Help Me’,’ America ’  and ‘ Polk Salad Annie ’. However Elvis closes with the all too familiar line changes of “ Wise Men Know, when it’s Time to Go ”. The crowd also were pretty quiet until his wild version of Mystery Train/Tiger Man.

Next up were 5 shows in only 3 days, a real test to see if Elvis could handle it and also if the QUALITY of his shows could be ‘ good ’ as well. After the poor quality of his shows during August the word had spread by fans that his shows had been 2nd rate up to this point. After Lakeland though the word spreading around fans was that Elvis’s shows had become ‘ Real Hot ’ and scalpers started having a great time! As this afternoon show in Lakeland marks the point where Elvis started putting out really ‘ good ’ shows..

 

Keith Alverson © Lakeland,FL. September 4, 1976 evening  show

September 4, 1976 (2:30 pm) Lakeland, FL. Civic Center.R/T 60 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / C.C. Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / dialogue/Love Me / If You Love Me Let Me Know / You Gave Me A Mountain / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / Love Me Tender / Jailhouse Rock /America The Beautiful / Polk Salad Annie /Joke dialogue about ‘Why Me LORD?’/ Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say -Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo(x2)-Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/  Love Letters /Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog / Funny How Times Slips Away / dialogue/Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

Sherrill Nielsen White pants and sleeveless shirt.

The Sweet Inspirations: Yellow dress

Musicians: Blue pants and shirt

ATTENDANCE: 8,000

Amazingly not only were BOTH of Elvis’s Lakeland shows ‘ good ’ but his repertoire improved with the evening show and Elvis held no abysmal shows from now onwards. Kathy Westmoreland was sick and absent from both Lakeland shows so Elvis had to sing something else other than ‘ AND I LOVE YOU SO ’ At the Afternoon show it was ‘ Love me Tender ’, then at the evening show ‘ How Great Thou Art ’. Elvis opens this afternoon (after the 20 minute intermission) ‘ pretty up ’ with a good C.C. RIDER, then before too long Elvis shows he’s in great spirits changing the lines of ‘ If you Love me ’ to ‘ Built my Scarf around You ’ (and other lines too!). You Gave Me A Mountain, Polk Salad Annie and Love Me Tender are good, well sung  this afternoon. Even during Jailhouse Rock Elvis is moving more than ever! After a child got shoved ‘ on stage ’ as Elvis was finishing Polk Salad Annie, Elvis just cracked up saying that after he was moving it,shakin’ it, going crazy- when all of a sudden he sees a 6 month old baby in front of him and wonders what the hell is going on-whether the baby had just been born or what? his expression was ‘ Priceless! ’ and many other kids were put on stage after this. After this Elvis then says “ I’d like to ask J.D. Why Me Lord? ”, but J.D. kept saying ‘ NO ’ and then shook his head. Elvis continued though and called the Stamps piano player to the stage, then by the time he was ready Elvis had changed his mind and told him to forget it!. It was really funny!. This afternoon show isn’t that long but it does seem well sung and Elvis DEFINITELY very much ‘ AWAKE ’ throughout. Elvis also still complained about the sound system and how much it cost. 

 

Keith Alverson © Lakeland,FL. September 4, 1976 evening  show

September 4, 1976 (8:30 pm) Lakeland, FL. Civic Center.R/T 60 Minutes.

TRACKLIST

 2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / Fairytale / You Gave Me A Mountain/ All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / How Great Thou Art / Jailhouse Rock / Fever / America The Beautiful / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode – Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/  Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog / Funny How Time Slips Away / dialogue/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

Musicians: Red pants and shirt

ATTENDANCE: 8,000

The evening show was ‘ Superb ’. During this show he started singing ‘ Fairytale ’ instead of ‘ If You Love Me ’ and did so at this point in the show for the rest of the tour. Best of all he really seemed to be getting into singing it with STRONG VERSIONS! Kathy still absent so this time we got ‘ How Great Thou Art ’ ALWAYS another concert highlight where ever it was sung in the show!. Elvis was in a funny mood doing the crazy Elvis things only he could get away with- like giving Joe Guercio a scarf and a kiss! Even ‘ Hurt ’ and ‘ Hound Dog ’ were better versions this evening in Lakeland!. The only ‘ negative ’ thing about this evening show was that no songs got reprises and it was a bit short, however still best show of the week so far. 

September 5, 1976 Jackson, MS. State Fair Coliseum.R/T 65 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / C C Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / Fairytale / You Gave Me A Mountain / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / and I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Fever / America The Beautiful-with reprise / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters / Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt- with reprise/ Hound Dog /Danny Boy (S.Neilson)/ That’s All Right/ Blue Christmas/ How Great Thou Art/ Dialogue / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

ATTENDANCE: 12,000

Elvis gave a fine show in Jackson this Sunday night. He even started wandering the hotel mixing with staff in the kitchen, then at the venue  before the intermission he met with Governor Cliff Finch, who presented Elvis with a plaque naming him to the Mississippi hall of fame. Mary Jenkins , Elvis’s cook at Graceland was also present for the show. Good versions of FAIRYTALE , America reprise and Hurt and a better version than yesterday of HOW GREAT THOU ART. Just for good measure Elvis played guitar on a couple of songs as well. Just before closing Elvis says ‘ Until we meet you again ADIOS ”. However security for this show was way below what was needed as several fans were hurt in the ‘ rush ’ for the stage. Then afterwards Elvis flew straight to Huntsville where he took up residence in the Huntsville Hilton and just the Biggest super King sized Bed I have ever seen!.

 

Keith Alverson © Huntsville,AL. September 6, 1976 matinee  show

September 6, 1976. (2:30 pm). Huntsville, AL. Von Braun Civic Center.R/T 65 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / Fairytale / You Gave Me A Mountain / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock/ Fever (false start only) / America The Beautiful with reprise / One Night/ Polk Salad Annie / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain (twice)- What'd I Say -Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt-with reprise / Hound Dog / Funny How Time Slips Away / That’s all right Mama/ Dialogue/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp  

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

ATTENDANCE: 7,000 

Amazingly Huntsville was ‘ lucky ’ because Elvis gave 2 ‘ good ’ shows here in 1976 ( as this pretty good track-listing tells us ) During the gap between A/S and E/S Elvis ( whom apparently was with Sheila Ryan?? ) met Imperials leader Joe Mescale, but Joe later said that Elvis cleared everyone out of the room wearing a bathrobe and pressed his forehead again Joe’s saying he was so sick he didn’t even want to be here!. Well none of that hidden feelings came across at either show as the impression one gets is that Elvis is really enjoying himself!. During the afternoon show Elvis sang the ‘ strong ’ version of FAIRYTALE , with AND I LOVE YOU SO,POLK SALAD ANNIE and LOVE LETTERS all as outstanding performance. Straight away Elvis says ‘ it’s a Monday-Labor Day ’, then later on ‘ good afternoon ’ so he knew where he was and what time of day it is. The evening  show was actually much longer and ( despite some mistakes )still a pretty good show.

 

Keith Alverson © Huntsville,AL. September 6, 1976 matinee  show

September 6, 1976. (8:30 pm). Huntsville, AL. Von Braun Civic Center. R/T 75 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider /dialogue/ I Got A Woman - Amen x2/dialogue/ Love Me / Fairytale-with f.start / You Gave Me A Mountain/ All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Fever / America The Beautiful + reprise / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode -Ronnie Tutt Solo - Jerry Scheff Solo (x 2) - David Briggs Solo - Love Letters - School Days / Hurt + reprise / Hound Dog / Danny Boy by Sherrill Nielsen / That's All Right Mama-with f.start / Blue Christmas / Mystery Train(with f.start) -Tiger Man / Funny How Time Slips Away / dialogue/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp  

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

The Sweet Inspirations: White pants & blouse

ATTENDANCE: 8,000

COMPACT DISC: Still Rockin’ the Nation ( July 00’ )+ ‘ Lone Star ’ mistake of  The Man in White Vol. 2! ( Nov 02’ ) 

This evening Elvis again  does strong versions of FAIRYTALE, AND I LOVE YOU SO whilst FEVER and JAILHOUSE ROCK seems better than ‘ usual ’ Sadly Elvis forgets the words during the spoken part of America the Beautiful-an obvious flaw/lack in concentration ( and later says so, saying it’s been a long day ) HURT is a tremendous HIGHLIGHT as for the only time this tour he sings the reprise up much higher!, and then playing guitar That’s all right and Blue Christmas are well sung too. Just before closing Elvis says :-“ be careful going home, it’s a holiday weekend ” Just before Mystery Train Elvis tells a girl ( who had been yelling all through Blue Xmas ) to put tape over her mouth! It’s a pretty ‘ upbeat ’ show and a much more ‘enjoyable’ show compared to Tuscaloosa or Macon. After the show Elvis flew to Pine Bluff , but upon awaking during the afternoon was annoyed by very noisy fans outside the hotel.

 

Sean Shaver © Pine Bluff,AR. September 7, 1976 arriving at the Pine Bluff Hilton

In Pine Bluff Elvis had the audience in the palm of his hand and hadn’t performed here since 1955 when he toured with the city’s best known entertainment act ‘ The Browns’ At that time Elvis had helped popularize the Browns Trio Supper Club- now 21 years later Elvis’s sell –out show was solely responsible for making a financial success the newly built  Convention Center. Word had spread that Elvis’s shows were now “ Good ” and many ticket Scalpers in Pine Bluffs made a fortune selling for up to $325 each ticket! ( many held by Convention Center Employees! ).

 

September 7, 1976. (8:30 pm) Pine Bluff, AR. Convention Center. R/T 70 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman – Amen x 2/dialogue / Love Me / Fairytale / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / You Gave Me A Mountain / Jailhouse Rock / Fever / America The Beautiful-with reprise / Polk Salad Annie / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain (twice) - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters -Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt + reprise / Hound Dog / Funny How Time Slips Away / My Heavenly Father( by K Westmoreland) / Mystery Train - Tiger Man / Danny Boy (by Sherrill Nielsen) / Why Me Lord / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

ATTENDANCE: 7,500

This show whilst still ok, doesn’t come across at as higher level as the Huntsville shows and highlights only seem to be FAIRYTALE,MOUNTAIN, POLK SALAD ANNIE and MYSTERY TRAIN/TIGER MAN. Other performances are passable. Why Me Lord seems too much a send up version. After this show Elvis didn’t hang around his ‘ noisy ’ Pine Bluff hotel he flew straight back to nearby Memphis and then straight back again on the 8th for his 2nd and closing tour show in Pine Bluff. 

September 8, 1976. (8:30 pm) Pine Bluff, AR. Convention Center. R/T 90 Minutes.

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman – Amen (x 2) / Love Me / dialogue/ Fairytale / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear- Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / One Night / You Gave Me A Mountain / Fever /America The Beautiful / Polk Salad Annie / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say -Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo (x2) -Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt (twice) / Hound Dog (with one fs) / Funny How Time Slips Away / Why Me Lord / That's All Right (with one fs) / My Heavenly Father ( by K.Westmoreland) / Mystery Train - Tiger Man / Danny Boy - Walk With Me (by Sherrill Nielsen) / Blue Suede Shoes / How Great Thou Art / dialogue/ Can't Help Falling In Love

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

Musicians: White pants & shirt

ATTENDANCE: 7,500

Well pretty much during MOST tours Elvis seemed to try and make closing tour shows longer and better than ‘ usual ’- and this show ( the 16th show in 13 days ) follows that principal. Highlights seem many during this lengthy show and ONE NIGHT is better sung than in Huntsville FAIRYTALE, MOUNTAIN,POLK SALAD ANNIE, AND I LOVE YOU SO, HOW GREAT THOU ART are all good versions and a feel good concert emerges. In going on so long Elvis even says that he hopes he’s not going on too long/boring anyone and the fans really seem to appreciate this show, much better than the 1st one here. The 2nd version of HURT for example seems to bring the house down!. Looking at this lengthy final tour show in Pine Bluff it’s interesting to wonder if the audience effect from the show would have been ‘ similar ’ if Elvis had closed after That’s All right without the extra padding/killing time of back-up singers solo’s (possibly yes?) However ( apart from New Years Eve 1976 ) Pine Bluff was his last very lengthy closing tour show ever and a good one at that 90 minutes length, ( best since closing in Memphis on 5.7.76 )-Elvis may have carried the good Memphis show himself entirely and ‘ Padded out ’ this closing show in Pine Bluff but Never again would Elvis seem to sustain enough energy at the end of a tour in 1977 to be on stage for such a lengthy time ( on a statewide Concert Tour Programme ).This tour had ended on a ‘ positive ’ note, but the worrying August shows were still too much of a recent memory and although his attitude showed a positive change was taking place his weight didn’t yet reflect that.

 

Sean Shaver © Pine Bluff,AR. September 7, 1976 arriving at the Pine Bluff Hilton

Straight after his Pine Bluff show Elvis flew straight to Las Vegas where on Thursday night ( 9th ) he was ' spotted ' on stage during Tom Jones's final closing Gospel number at his Caesars Palace show. After this briefest of visits to Vegas Elvis returned to Memphis where on Saturday 11th September he was spotted riding his moterbike. Elvis had a VERY keen interest in motorbike riding for the next couple of months it seems ( as the arrival of Motorbikes would be responsible for ending his recording session at home in October! ).Elvis Spent a week at Palm Springs between 19th and 26th September before returning to Memphis. Good for him too getting out MORE  as was his loosing weight before the next tour as again at 2am on 4th October he was seen at Vickers Gas station in Memphis, then the next day flew to L.A. with Linda Thompson to her ' new' Apartment ( and to get another 'new' Ferrari!. )Whilst at Linda’s apartment Elvis met Jerry Schilling for one last time thanking him for NOT getting ‘ involved ’ with the ‘ bodyguard book ’ occasionally Elvis ranted and raved about having the ‘ West’s ’ killed again with guns, but when the stuff he was taking had worn off he was calm and visited Lisa Marie often whilst at Palm Springs. Finally having achieved weight loss and a ‘ working stomach ’ Elvis fed himself Delicious Peanut Butter Sandwiches in Denver on October 10th before he was back to Memphis on the 11th, the Famous Red West phone call on 12th and his Tour #22 starting in Chicago on 14th October 1976!.