Aloha from Hawaii

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Presley at the Aloha from Hawaii concert

Aloha from Hawaii was a concert performed by American musician Elvis Presley that was originally broadcasted live via satellite on January 14, 1973. The amount of people who viewed the concert is debatable. Several sources, including Elvis Presley Enterprises, say that over a billion people watched the concert worldwide, and it is the most watched broadcast starring an individual entertainer. Some other sources claim that this figure was created by Colonel Tom Parker, and that only several hundred million viewed the concert. The concert was shot at the Honolulu International Center (HIC) in Honolulu, Hawaii. The concert did not air in the United States until April 4, 1973 (the same day as the Super Bowl). This was the most expensive entertainment show at that time, costing over $2.5 million.

The concert featured an array of Presley's early and recent hits, including "Hound Dog", "Steamroller Blues", "See See Rider", "Early Morning Rain", "Burning Love", "Blue Suede Shoes", "A Big Hunk o' Love", "Can't Help Falling in Love", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", "It's Over", "Welcome to my World", "I'll Remember You" and "What Now My Love", and "Suspicious Minds", as well as covers of songs including Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" and The Beatles' "Something".

Presley was accompanied by:

  • James Burton (lead guitar)
  • Charlie Hodge (acoustic guitar/vocals)
  • Glen Hardin (piano/keyboards)
  • Ronnie Tutt (drums)
  • John Wilkinson (rhythm guitar)
  • Jerry Scheff (bass)
  • J.D. Sumner & the Stamps Quartet (vocals)
  • Kathy Westmoreland (vocals)
  • The Sweet Inspirations (vocals)
  • Joe Guercio & his Orchestra

History

Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, decided that he was going to air a live concert via satellite since it was impossible for Presley to tour in every major city. It was inspired by a visit to China on July 8, 1972 made by then-President Richard Nixon. Parker initially wanted the concert to take place in late 1972, but was changed to 1973 since MGM was releasing its Elvis on Tour concert documentary. On September 4, 1972, Parker held a conference announcing the Presley concert would air on January 14 the next year. The show aided the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.

Presley arrived in Hawaii on January 9, 1973, having lost twenty-five pounds for the show, to begin rehearsing.

Concert

The concert was performed on January 14, 1973. Presley was wearing an eagle jumpsuit designed by Bill Belew. The show was directed by Marty Pasetta. He performed hits such as "See See Rider", "Steamroller Blues", "Hound Dog", I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", and "Can't Help Falling in Love". After the concert ended, Presley performed five songs including "Hawaiian Wedding Song" and "Early Morning Rain" that would be included in the American broadcast.

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