Elvis Presley

Elvis’ Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

Elvis comeback concert 1968, Elvis Presley, known as the “King of Rock and Roll”, was one of the most iconic and influential musicians of the 20th century. His music, style, and charisma captivated audiences all over the world, making him a true legend in the music industry. However, like many other celebrities, Elvis faced ups and downs throughout his career.

In the late 1960s, he experienced a decline in popularity and was struggling to maintain his status as a leading artist in the music scene. But everything changed when he made a triumphant return to the stage with his unforgettable comeback concert in 1968.

This blog post will take you on a journey through Elvis’ historic comeback performance, exploring its impact on music history, behind the scenes details, the significance of the show, and much more.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

Elvis comeback concert 1968 Concert

After a series of disappointing movies and lukewarm songs, Elvis’ career was at a low point in the mid-1960s. His last live performance was in 1961, and he was mainly focused on making films instead of creating music. However, in 1967, Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker announced that the King would be returning to the stage for a television special. The news caused a lot of hype and excitement among fans, who were eager to see their idol back in action.

The Iconic Return of Elvis comeback concert 1968

On December 3rd, 1968, NBC aired the highly anticipated “Elvis” special, also known as the “Comeback Special”. It marked Elvis’ first live performance in seven years, and the viewers were not disappointed. The show consisted of two parts, with the first part being a sit-down jam session with Elvis and his bandmates, showcasing his raw talent and musical skills. The second part was a full-scale concert with Elvis performing in front of a live audience, which had been carefully chosen to be mostly young fans.

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Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

This special event not only brought Elvis back into the limelight but also showcased his versatility as an artist. He effortlessly moved from rock and roll to gospel, showcasing his range and leaving the audience in awe. The iconic black leather outfit that he wore during this performance became synonymous with his comeback and is still a popular Halloween costume choice for many fans.

A Look Back at Elvis comeback concert 1968 Show

The 1968 comeback show was a turning point in Elvis’ career, as it reignited his passion for music and reminded the world of his talent. The show was filmed on a soundstage at NBC Studios in Burbank, California, and was directed by television veteran Steve Binder. The director wanted to create a more intimate setting for the concert, bringing the focus back to Elvis’ music and away from the elaborate stage productions he was known for.

The Impact of Elvis’ 1968 Concert on Music History

Elvis’ comeback performance was not just a success in terms of ratings and reviews; it also had a considerable impact on music history. The special marked a shift in Elvis’ music career, as he returned to his roots of rock and roll and blues, rather than the pop-fueled songs he had been recording for movies. This change in direction not only revitalized Elvis’ career but also paved the way for other artists to explore their musical styles and experiment with different genres.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

One of the most significant impacts of Elvis’ comeback concert was its influence on the future of music. The special featured a mix of new songs and classic hits, and its success showed that there was still a demand for rock and roll in the late 1960s. This inspired other musicians, such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, to incorporate more rock and roll elements into their music, leading to the rise of the genre in the 1970s.

Behind the Scenes of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Performance

While the concert was a success, it was not without its challenges. Behind the scenes, there were many obstacles and conflicts that had to be overcome to create the iconic show we know today.

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How Elvis’ 1968 Concert Revitalized His Career

Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker was known for his shrewd business tactics and had complete control over Elvis’ career decisions. However, during the preparations for the comeback special, he clashed with director Steve Binder, who wanted to present Elvis in a different light than what the Colonel had envisioned. Despite this, Binder managed to convince Parker to trust his vision, resulting in a successful and groundbreaking show.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

The concert also faced another obstacle when it came to choosing the setlist. Elvis had grown tired of his old hits and wanted to move on to new material. But Binder and the producers convinced him to mix his classic songs with new ones, resulting in a perfect blend of nostalgia and innovation. This decision turned out to be critical in Elvis’ comeback, as the audience responded well to his familiar hits while also enjoying the freshness of his new songs.

The Significance of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Concert

The impact of Elvis’ comeback performance goes beyond just music history; it also had a significant cultural influence. The special marked the first time a major television network aired an entire concert from a single artist, making it a groundbreaking event in television history. It also showcased a diverse audience, which was rare at the time, with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to celebrate Elvis’ return. This represented a shift in society, where people were no longer divided by race or age, but united by their love for music.

Exploring the Setlist of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Show

The setlist for the comeback special was carefully curated to showcase Elvis’ musical range and appeal to a diverse audience. It featured a mix of old hits, such as “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”, as well as new songs like “If I Can Dream” and “Blue Suede Shoes”. The concert also included gospel and Christmas tunes, adding a touch of variety to the performance.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

One of the most memorable moments of the show was when Elvis sang his emotional rendition of “If I Can Dream”, which served as a powerful message of hope and unity during a time of political and social turmoil in the United States. This song, written specifically for the special, became an instant hit and is still considered one of Elvis’ most iconic performances.

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The Cultural Phenomenon of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Concert

Elvis’ comeback performance not only had a significant impact on music and television but also created a cultural phenomenon. The special, along with the release of the album “Elvis” (also known as the “68 Comeback Special”) and the subsequent live performances, sparked a renewed interest in Elvis and his music. Fans flocked to see him in concerts, and his popularity soared once again.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

The black leather outfit that Elvis wore during the special became an iconic fashion statement, inspiring many artists and fans to recreate the look. The phrase “Elvis has left the building”, which was first used during his shows in the 1950s, became popular again, showing that the King was back and better than ever.

Remembering Elvis’ Unforgettable 1968 Comeback Performance

The legacy of Elvis’ comeback special continues to live on even today, over fifty years after its initial broadcast. It is often cited as one of his most memorable performances and has been referenced in various media, including movies, TV shows, and commercials. It was also the inspiration behind the 2019 biopic film “Elvis Presley: The Searcher”, which explored his life and career from the perspective of those who knew him best.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

As we remember Elvis’ iconic comeback concert, we are reminded of his immense talent, dedication to his craft, and his undeniable impact on music and popular culture. The 1968 special not only revived Elvis’ career but also solidified his place in history as one of the greatest musicians of all time.


Elvis’ 1968 comeback concert was a defining moment in his career and in music history. It marked his triumphant return to the stage after years of absence and revitalized his passion for music. The show’s impact went beyond just entertainment; it paved the way for future artists to explore their musical styles and showcased the power of music to bring people together. As we look back at this historic event, we are reminded of the lasting legacy of the King of Rock and Roll, his unforgettable performances, and his timeless music.

Elvis' Iconic Comeback Concert of 1968

History of Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert

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