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.
If you've heard one 1969 show, you've heard them all.
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
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
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.
singer Mahalia Jackson, Elvis Presley and co-star Barbara McNair.