The 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's watershed American Studios recordings and his Las Vegas comeback will be celebrated this August. Coming on August 9th, will be the massive, 11-CD, 50th anniversary box set of his performances at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, titled Live 1969. Also out that day is the special two-LP Live At The International Hotel, Las Vegas, NV – August 26, 1969. The vinyl release features Elvis' complete set from August 26th's Midnight show.
Coming on August 23rd is American Sound 1969 featuring 90 rare and previously unreleased outtakes from “The King's” American Sound Sessions in Memphis, including the classics “Suspicious Minds,” “In The Ghetto,” “Kentucky Rain,” “Don't Cry Daddy,” and “Rubberkneckin',” among many others.
According to the press release for the new set:
Live 1969 is the definitive collection of 'The King' at the height of his power. For the first time ever, it features the release of eleven complete sets from Elvis’ August 1969 engagement at Las Vegas' International Hotel. Of these performances, four are being released in full for the first time ever — including two Elvis shows that have remained almost completely unheard for fifty years — August 22nd and 25th.
The package also includes a 52-page booklet with rare photos, memorabilia and an oral history by Ken Sharp curated from historic interviews with Elvis, Colonel Tom Parker, Tom Jones, Jerry Schilling, James Burton, Cissy Houston, Terry Blackwood, George Klein, Fats Domino, and more.
Elvis guitarist and bandleader James Burton, who backed “The King” on every gig he played between 1969 until his 1977 death, remembers that Elvis made a rare early-morning phone call to offer him the gig to become his lead guitarist and assemble a live band for him: “In '69 Elvis called me early one morning, and Elvis normally, he doesn't get up too early in the daytime — if he gets up at all (laughs). But I had a phone call that morning, it was about 9 o'clock, I was in the shower gettin' ready to go to work, and Elvis got on the phone and we talked for three hours, man. I was late for my first session.”
Elvis' drummer, the great Ronnie Tutt, explained that for the most part, taking the stage with Elvis was a blast: “We had a lot of fun. Elvis loved to laugh and make fun of himself and everybody (laughs) else around him. He had his serious side, of course, but we never knew what he was gonna do next, so it made it fun, (laughs) y'know?”