Gotta Find My Baby!

June 25, 2022

The Final Farewell (CD - Rainbow Records, 2008)

Title:
The Final Farewell - Elvis In Concert - June 26, 1977
Label:
Rainbow Records [RR 19770626-2]
Format:
Double CD
Number of tracks:
37
Running time:
103:30
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
Unnofficial discography
Year:
2008
Recorded:
June 26, 1977
Released:
2008
Singles:
---


The Final Farewell - Elvis in Concert - June 26, 1977 is a Rainbow Records double CD featuring part of the pre-show and the full June 26, 1977 show in Indianapolis, Indiana, which would prove to be the last of Elvis Presley's career. The work is an improved version of the 1988 CD "The Last Farewell" by E.P. Records, and J. A. Records' 1993 CD "Adiós, The Final Performance".


On June 17, 1977, Elvis began what would be his last tour. Over ten days he would perform in 10 different cities, including Omaha and Rapid City, in which he filmed his special, and culminating with the magnificent, for that moment, show on June 26, 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In total, Elvis would pass an audience of 117,000 and raise over $1.5 million in those few days. In 1977, his 59 shows would earn around $7 million, a low sum compared to previous years when just a 30-day season in Las Vegas brought in $2.5 million and national tours brought in more, on average, US$ 50 million.

Of course, Elvis' poor health played a part in why these numbers were low, as younger fans began to see him as a "music dinosaur". Another point was the musical style of the time, which also began to change rapidly towards Punk Rock and Pop, alienating younger audiences. The work of the media, which defamed Elvis whenever he could, also played a part.

But Elvis was Elvis and if there were anything he could count on, it was the millions of fans across the US and the world. His voice, which at that time was beginning to sound like that of tenors, was another thing that never left him. Even at the worst shows of 1977, and there were many of them, unfortunately, his voice remained intact and sonorous—albeit slurred and tired at times.

After his show in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the night of June 25, Elvis flew in the early hours of the 26th to Indianapolis, where he would perform at the end of his tour that night. According to members of the Mafia, he had complained of not being able to sleep and some headaches during the flight, but nothing serious or suggesting the need to cancel the concert.

There was a certain enthusiasm in him and a willingness to sing old classics from his shows and so some changes were made to the setlist. With such modifications, the performance would become something surprising.

Elvis had some contractual obligations at that time. Upon arriving at Cincinnati airport, he was greeted by RCA executives and awarded a disc equivalent to a 200x Diamond certificate of sale due to the fact that the label's Indianapolis factory had reached the number of two billion LPs pressed during the production of "Moody Blue".

At ease in his special DEA attire, Elvis attended to executives and the press as he descended the Lisa Marie, taking photos for news stories and archival. Fans waiting at the airport were able to see him from afar and get a hand wave, but there was no approach for photos and autographs due to the delay of his flight and the need to rest.

Elvis receives an award at the Indianapolis airport; June 26, 1977


Elvis, Vernon, Ginger, Joe Esposito and Ed Parker took their limousine shortly afterwards and headed to the hotel where they would stay until the show. Just before 7:30 pm the King of Rock and his entourage headed to Market Square Arena, where 18,000 people would see him perform in his Mexican Sundial jumpsuit. In fact, many people would still be outside the arena, trying to at least hear the performance, as tickets sold out quickly and the audience was larger than the venue could accommodate.

At the time, with each show that passed, it was noticed that the public's interest increased and the next event was packed beyond expectations. Elvis Presley was still a strong name in the musical world, but there is a chance that his audience was noticing that those would be his last moments on stage, whether through retirement or illness. In a way, all the worship felt a little morbid.



Backstage, Elvis prepares for his concert to the sound of the pre-show taking place in the arena. As usual, their backing vocals yielded a few songs and excited the audience for the big moment. JD Sumner and The Stamps are the initial attraction, singing classic Gospel and songs from their new albums. Following, The Sweet Inspirations bring some hits of the moment like "Black Sunday" and "If You Leave Me Now", in addition to a long medley of Stevie Wonder songs. The introduction of the trio members leads to the end of the pre-show and the most anticipated moment of the night. The lights go out and the magic happens for the last time.

Elvis arrives at Market Square Arena; Indianapolis, Indiana - June 26, 1977











See below for a detailed review of the presentation.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CD 1 - PRE-SHOW

JD Sumner & The tamps Quartet:
- 1. Great Good Morning
- 2. Street Corner Preacher
- 3. Gone at Last
- 4. Operator
- 5. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
The Sweet Inspirations:
- 6. Black Sunday
- 7. If You Leave Me Now
- 8. Get Away
- 9. Introductions and Intermission


CD 2 - ELVIS IN CONCERT

- 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: The audience is ecstatic and it's no wonder. Despite all the difficulties, Elvis enters the stage with contagious energy.

- 2. See See Rider: The first thing you notice is that the song is playing slower than usual. It's not a radical change and goes almost unnoticed, but it shows that Elvis took care to adapt the show to his voice and energy that night.

- 3. I Got a Woman / Amen: "Thank you very much." Also played slower, it's a standard rendition. The difference is that Elvis is really willing and makes a lot of elaborate steps while performing. After a "stripteas"e and extra-long dive bombs, he ends the song with karate chops and throwing the guitar into the shadows, directly into Charlie Hodge's hands.

- 4. Love Me: "Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to say that it is a pleasure to be here in front of this large audience and we hope to entertain you tonight.... What is today? Monday?" Charlie Hodge replies that it's Saturday, but it's actually Sunday. "Saturday?! Anyway, we're going to do a lot of songs, old ones, new ones, and some that yoy've never heard, you know... Polish folk songs." The audience goes wild as Elvis approaches the edge of the stage to throw a scarf. "Our job is to entertain you, so just have a good time and leave the driving to us." After a long intro the song starts, again slower than usual, and the King of Rock starts handing out scarves to his hysterical fans.

- 5. Fairytale: "This next song is one that we... It's kinda the story of my life, it's called  'Fairytale'." Esta é uma das poucas músicas que ele cantava com entusiasmo na época, e pode-se perceber isso sob todas as dificuldades daquela noite. A versão, no entanto, é executada em um ritmo mais lento que o de costume. 

Elvis at the beginning of his performance; Indianapolis, Indiana - June 26, 1977 (last two photos - ©Keith Alverson)


- 6. You Gave Me a Mountain: Elvis' voice is very strong in the rendition and recalls some of the best shows of that last season. The band's rhythm seems to have briefly returned to normal and the audience really likes what they hear, especially as the King of Rock starts to get carried away and shows the true power of his voice.

- 7. Jailhouse Rock: "My third movie was called 'Jailhouse Rock'. I was quite young and my voice was higher... But I shall try it." As the song starts, Elvis interrupts it. His still very keen ear had noticed that his new drummer Larrie Londin had skipped a chord and that was all it took for him to want to start all over again. The rendition then proceeds as usual.

- 8. O Sole Mio / It's Now or Never: The first signs of fatigue appear when Elvis starts to curl up to talk during Sherrill Nielsen's intro: "In 1960 we recorded a song called 'It's Now or Never', and... It was taken from the Italian song 'O Sole Mio'." A few fans call Elvis' attention and he talks to them briefly. "So I'd like to ask Sherrill to do, do, do, do, do - 'that's all, folks!' (a Porky Pig joke for his stuttering - nice!) To do the Italian version of 'O Sole Mio' and then we'll do 'It's Now or Never'. Listen to his voice, ladies and gentlemen." Nielsen does his usual bit and Elvis stops the song to ask him to repeat the last part. (Why haven't anyone told Elvis that the magnificent voice he was hearing while Sherrill was squealing wasn't the same we were hearing?) Genuinely excited about his tenor, the King of Rock delivers an impressively well-executed English version.

- 9. Little Sister: "I'd like to do a medley of some of my records for you, just a little one. Starting with 'Little Sister.'" The song is well-received, but is performed less well than in previous days. The audience doesn't care and claps their hands to the beat, something that cheers up Elvis.

- 10. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: The rendition is standard, with Elvis handing scarves to crazed fans at the edge of the stage. It's interesting to note that Larrie Londin's drums make an incredible difference in this version.

Left to right: Elvis during "You Gave Me a Mountain", "Jailhouse Rock", "O Sole Mio / It's Now or Never" and "Teddy
Bear / Don't Be Cruel
"; Indianapolis, Indiana - June 26, 1977 (first and last photos - ©Tom Loomis; center photos - ©Len Leech)


- 11. Release Me: "Thank you very much. Let me see... 'Please Release Me'. In what key do we do it?" The first surprise of the night is met with real enthusiasm by the audience. Elvis had already sung it on two other occasions in 1977, but the song had been officially out of his shows since September 1973. The version clearly doesn't live up to the more famous ones from the beginning of the decade, but it shows an Elvis who leaned towards different things than what Parker and part of his audience would like to chain him to. The rendition is much slower than usual. "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. That was totally unrehearsed."

- 12. I Can't Stop Loving You: "This here next song... Uh, this next song... I like the regular act, but, uh, there's a list of songs... What'd you wanna hear?" The audience suggests 'I Can't Stop Loving You', a classic absent from the stage since July 1974. Elvis misses the entry on the first try, but starts over and shows that he still remembers the lyrics perfectly. Aside from the not-so-high notes and the slightly slower rendition, the song is well-executed for something spontaneously chosen.

- 13. Bridge Over Troubled Water: Fans ask and Elvis answers: "Let's do 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'." The version is quite slow and Elvis uses notes more suited to his vocal power at that moment, but the audience effusively applauds the effort to fulfill that request for a song that had only been sung sporadically since September 1974. The audience's screams and applause take the place over at the end of the rendition.

- 14. Band Introductions:  It's time to introduce his group members. The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner, The Stamps Quartet (introduced individually), Sherrill Nielsen and Kathy Westmoreland come first.

- 15. Early Morning Rain: Elvis sings during John Wilkinson's rhythm guitar solo.

- 16. What'd I Say: James Burton's first solo runs as usual, with Elvis singing "What'd I Say".

- 17. Johnny B. Goode: James' second solo, as usual.

- 18. Drum Solo: Larrie Londin does a killer drum solo (same as Ronnie Tutt, but much more elaborate).

- 19. Bass Solo: Jerry Scheff does a roots Blues in his solo.

- 20.  Piano Solo: Tony Brown does his solo.

Elvis during his show show; Indianapolis, Indiana - June 26, 1977
(first photo - ©Tom Loomis; second photo - ©Len Leech; last two photos - ©Bob Heis)


- 21. I Really Don't Want to Know: Elvis sings during Tony Brown's second solo.

- 22. Electric Piano Solo: Bobby Ogdin presents his psychedelic solo.

- 23. School Days: Finally, Charlie Hodge, Joe Guercio and his orchestra are introduced. Elvis gives his all in the end.

- 24. Hurt: "One of our latest records is called 'Hurt'.Elvis raises the opening note and the fans scream along. One of the biggest concert classics from 1976 onwards, the song is really emotional for everyone. Elvis does his best despite everything and delivers a solid rendition that is heard by the audience in almost total silence and adoration. Elvis' final notes in the song seem to really express and vent all his pain.

- 25. Hound Dog: The fans rave about the song and the scarves given by Elvis during it. Larrie Londin's heavy drums encourage the King of Rock to go further in his already typical dance at the end of the song. He rocks, rolls, jumps, kicks; pours out all his feelings.

- 26. Introduction of Vernon Presley, and others: Elvis introduces Vernon to the emotional audience and calls him to the stage, hugging him affectionately. After thanks to his production team, family and friends (Elvis calls Jo Smith "my assassin", in a somewhat awkward joke), the moment of the last goodbye is announced.

- 27. Can't Help Falling In Love: "If you want us back, just let us know and we'll come back. Adiós!" Elvis does a phenomenal version of his 1961 hit and takes the opportunity to say goodbye to Felton Jarvis and Joe Guercio during the interpretation.

 - 28. Closing Vamp: The audience sighs in a mixture of sadness, melancholy and ecstasy, seeming to know that the last chance to see him has ended there. The last adiós had happened before their eyes. Unknowingly, they hear the famous phrase for the last time: "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night!"


Elvis says goodbye to his fans for the last time; Indianapolis, Indiana - June 26, 1977 (last photo - ©Bob Heis)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


THE FOREGOERS

Title:
The Last Farewell
Label:
E. P. Records [CD78-1]
Format:
CD
Number of tracks:
26
Running time:
78:00
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
Unnofficial discography
Year:
1988
Recorded:
June 26, 1977
Released:
1988
Singles:
---


Poorer sounding than the double CD reviewed above, but still pretty good for an amateur recording, the CD was the first to bring Elvis' last show to the public. The pre-show parts brought out in "The Final Farewell - Elvis in Concert - June 26, 1977" had not yet been discovered in 1988. The work features the following tracks:

1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
2. See See Rider
3. I Got a Woman / Amen
4. Love Me
5. Fairytale
6. You Gave Me a Mountain
7. Jailhouse Rock
8. O Sole Mio / It's Now or Never
9. Little Sister
10. Teddy Bear / Don't be cruel
11. Release Me
12. I Can't Stop Loving You
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water
14. Early Morning Rain
15. What'd I Say
16. Johnny B. Goode
17. Ronnie Tutt Drum Solo
18. Jerry Scheff Bass Solo
19. Tony Brown Piano Solo
20. I really Don't Want to Know
21. Bobby Ogdin Clavinet Solo
22. Joe Guercio Orchestra Solo
23. Hurt
24. Hound Dog
25. Can't Help Falling in Love
26. Closing Vamp

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Title:
Adiós - The Final Performance
Label:
A. J. Records [CD92-2002]
Format:
CD
Number of tracks:
27
Running time:
79:00
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
Unnofficial discography
Year:
1993
Recorded:
June 26, 1977
Released:
1993
Singles:
---


With a slightly improved sound, the CD brought Elvis' last show with a few minutes more. The pre-show parts brought in "The Final Farewell - Elvis in Concert - June 26, 1977" had not yet been discovered in 1993. The work features the following tracks:

1. Also Sprach Zarathustra
2. See See Rider
3. I Got a Woman / Amen
4. Love Me
5. Fairytale
6. You Gave Me a Mountain
7. Jailhouse Rock
8. O Sole Mio / It's Now or Never
9. Little Sister
10. Teddy Bear
11. Don't be cruel
12. Release Me
13. I Can't Stop Loving You
14. Bridge Over Troubled Water / Band Introductions
15. Early Morning Rain
16. What'd I Say
17. Johnny B. Goode
18. Drum Solo
19. Bass Solo
20. Piano Solo
21. I really Don't Want to Know
22. Keyboard Solo / Introductions
23. Orchestra Instrumental
24. Hurt
25. Hound Dog
26. Can't Help Falling in Love
27. Closing Vamp
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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