It has been 42 years since that fateful day in Memphis, when “The King” ascended to rock ‘n roll Heaven. Fans can never forget Elvis Presley’s untimely death on August 16, 1977, at Graceland, his fabled manse in Memphis, Tennessee. To those of us old enough to remember, it’s a shock to realize that if Elvis were alive today, the icon of our youth would be ninety-four. This Saturday, August 17th, Lonely Street Productions will pay tribute to The King at Prescott’s Elks Theatre in “Heartbreak Hotel: A Salute to Early Elvis,” with Robert Shaw.
In a critically acclaimed concert production fans will have a chance to relive the King’s on-stage magic and his mega hits from the mid 1950’s and early 60’s. The show kicks off with Elvis’ first hit recordings from Sun Records in Memphis (“That’s All Right, Mama,”, “Good Rockin’Tonight”) thru his chart topping years at RCA (“Don’t Be Cruel”, “Hound Dog”), and continuing thru the hits from his first movies (“Jailhouse Rock”, “Love Me Tender”).
The show is named for Elvis’ first breakthrough single for RCA, “Heartbreak Hotel”, one of the most haunting and enduring hits in the Presley catalogue.The story of the making of Heartbreak Hotel is the stuff of pop music legend.
In January 1956, Elvis had just turned 21 when he had his first recording session with RCA in Nashville. He was still a relative unknown, but he must have sensed he was on the cusp of fame. He seized the moment.
Elvis had no formal musical training, could not read music and played only by ear. But he knew instinctively what he wanted. He insisted on 23 takes of Heartbreak Hotel, spent hours listening to the playbacks and kept the recording crew in the studio all night. The result was a song that, once heard, is never forgotten. Heartbreak Hotel propelled Elvis to stardom and rock ‘n roll immortality. Four decades after his death, he remains the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music.
Lonely Street Production and Robert Shaw’s tribute to Elvis features the music, the costumes and top notch musicians in an evening of “hip-swiveling, toe-tapping fun!”. It all happens this Saturday night, 7pm, at the Elks Theatre. Tickets can be purchased by calling 928.777.1370, or at Prescott Elks Theatre.