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Elvis Presley & Barbara McNair facts

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If you believe some fans, surely we've already heard enough 1969 Las Vegas concerts. Now that Live In Vegas: August 26, 1969 Dinner Show is available from FTD, let's take a closer look at their claims.

Claim: If you've heard one 1969 show, you've heard them all.

Verdict: FALSE

For those who believe there are no more revelations to discover in these shows, I can easily pull one example of many from this release alone. For over 40 years now, Elvis fans have listened to the 1969 compilation Elvis In Person. How many ever realized that Elvis dedicated the specific performance of 'Suspicious Minds' contained on that album to Barbara McNair, one of his Change Of Habit co-stars?

Elvis evidently thought a lot of McNair, who played Sister Irene, for he plugged her upcoming TV series, 'The Barbara McNair Show', when presenting her to the audience. As mentioned, Elvis' introduction of the familiar version of 'Suspicious Minds' is now slightly different: 'A new record that just came out, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you like it, I'd like to do this especially for Barbie, it's called 'Suspicious Minds'.

Though it is the sixth full-length show released from this engagement, 'Live In Vegas' actually marks the first release of a concert that contributed songs to the 'Elvis In Person' compilation ('Suspicious Minds' and 'Can't Help Falling In Love'). One of the joys of being able to hear complete 1969 shows like this one is re-discovering a song within its original context.

After introducing the band, Elvis has Barbara McNair stand and introduces her as 'a young lady that I just got through making a picture with called Change Of Habit, and I found her to be one of the nicest, warmest, lovingest people I've ever met'. When audience members complain they could not see her, he has the lights turned back on so she can stand up again.

I remember this night in Las Vegas, We were at the dinner table in front of the stage eating supper waiting for Elvis to start his performance. I attended this with my Aunt Barbara, Grandmother Pearl, and my Brother Ron, my Uncle Rick was in the Casino at the time. After the show, we met with Elvis in his dressing room, and I had the chance to sit on his knee and "Meet The King" as my aunt put it. It was a memorable night. Elvis did come to our home on Bruce Street in Las Vegas, I remember he drove up the driveway in a Cadillac  that had the top down. Elvis was sitting in the back seat, the cornel was driving and Elvis jumped out of the car without opening the door, I was playing on the front porch by the door. He got out of the car, holding his guitar and asked me if Barbara was home. I remember running in the house to let my Aunt know he was outside, and she graciously asked me to let him in. That day, we were in the formal living room playing the piano and they both were singing together.

 

My Aunt Barbara recalls the visit of Mahalia Jackson :'Elvis and I were sitting there together and Mahalia came on the set and she asked Elvis if he would participate in a fund-raiser that she was going to organize. Elvis was so gracious, 'Oh, Mrs Jackson, I am so happy to meet you, I would love to do it, but I still have to ask the Colonel'. So after she left, he said to me, 'I'll never do it, the Colonel won't let me', but he was so gracious to her, he knew all the time the Colonel would not let him do it.

I remember this day, as I was on the movie set with them. I was playing with Mary Tyler Moore's Son, this was the day they shot the scene on the Merry Go Round with Mary Tyler Moore. Me and her son wound up eating the extra Ice Cream Cones that Mary could not eat.

Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley and co-star Barbara McNair.

 

> Click Here to Visit Elvis's Women
  

> Suspicious Minds Original Live Performance dedicated to Barbara
 

 

 
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