Synopsis by Dan Harvey
This video is notable for two reasons. For one, it offers viewers a chance to see Elvis Presley performing in an unaccustomed setting while employing an uncharacteristic format. For another, it provides a look at Elvis at a pivotal point in his career. Filmed in a studio before a small audience, the relaxed set finds Elvis sitting in a cozy circle with old friends and band members, performing acoustic versions of some of his most famous songs. Parts of the performance were originally aired on network television, as a segment of the Elvis: '68 Comeback Special. The video includes the entire performance -- muffed lyrics, musical mistakes, and all. Joining Elvis are Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Alan Fortas, and Charlie Hodge. The relaxed ambience is a stark contrast to the later, gaudy stage shows, and it allows Elvis and friends to share memories and indulge in self-deprecating humor. Dressed in the famous black leather outfit he wore only once, Elvis runs through a song list that includes "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Are You Lonesome Tonight," "That's All Right," and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." The video also represents a significant archival find -- the footage not used on the 1968 TV special was long thought to have been lost. But it was later found and restored, shown on HBO, and subsequently made available on video.