February 25, 1961
Elvis appears in Memphis at a luncheon in his honor, and numerous recent awards Elvis has received are shown to those attending, including the press. A press conference follows. Then there are afternoon and evening shows at Ellis Auditorium to benefit around thirty-eight Memphis-area charities. Other than the Sinatra television show, this is, so far, Elvis's only live performance since his army discharge. "Elvis Presley Day" is proclaimed by Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington.
Every year after this, Elvis donates money to a list of Memphis-area charities, eventually reaching fifty or more, usually around Christmas time.
March 25, 1961
Elvis arrives in Hawaii for a press conference, then an evening concert at Bloch Arena at Pearl Harbor. He is there to perform a benefit to help fund the building of the USS Arizona Memorial. Hundreds of fans mob the airport as he arrives. His show raises around $65,000 for the memorial and, beyond that, also helps bring publicity and public awareness and support to the project.
The fund-raising efforts, for the most part, had been difficult up to that point. The rest of the needed funds are soon raised, and the memorial is completed a year later. Elvis receives numerous official honors in appreciation for this benefit. This turns out to
be Elvis's last live, non-movie performance until his 1968 television special.
Late March/Mid- April, 1961
Elvis remains in Hawaii to do location filming for his eighth motion picture, "Blue Hawaii". He has already done soundtrack recording. Later, there is additional filming to be done back in Hollywood for this film. From this time on, Elvis will have a great affection for Hawaii, its culture and its people.

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June, 1961
"Wild in the Country", co-starring Hope Lange, Millie Perkins and Tuesday Weld, opens nationally to mixed reviews. Like "Flaming Star" it is a melodrama with limited singing by Elvis. It, too, does not set the box office on fire.
July, 1961
Elvis records and films for his ninth motion picture, "Follow That Dream". Filming includes some location shooting Florida.
Non-movie-related hit records and recording session have continued through this period.
October, 1961
The soundtrack album for "Blue Hawaii" enters the Billboard chart for a year-and-a-half run, staying at number one for twenty weeks, second only to "GI Blues" as the biggest album of Elvis's career on the Billboard charts. It also yields a number two single destined to become an Elvis classic, "Can't Help Falling in Love".
October/November, 1961
Elvis records and films for his tenth motion picture, "Kid Galahad", completing it in January.
Late November 1961
"Blue Hawaii" opens nationally to warm reviews and gets to number two on the box office charts. It becomes the top-grossing
film of Elvis's career thus far. Its characteristics of a non-cerebral plot, lavish scenery, lots of songs by Elvis, and lots of pretty girls become the basis for the "Presley formula" movies of the sixties, though most of them will not be nearly so well done.


Late March/Late April, 1962
Elvis records and films in Hollywood, and does location filming in Hawaii for his eleventh motion picture, "Girls! Girls! Girls!".
May/June 1962
"Follow That Dream" opens nationally and gets to number five on the box office charts. It is warmly reviewed and does pretty well in sales.
Late August/September 1962
Elvis records and films for his twelfth motion picture, "It Happened at the World's Fair". Shooting is both in Hollywood and on location at the World's Fair in Seattle.
"Kid Galahad" opens nationally does relatively well with a brief stay in the top ten on the box office chart.
October 1962
In Mexico, riot behavior in a theater showing "GI Blues" prompts the Mexican government to ban Elvis movies. Torn seats, broken windows, and other damage is reported.
November 1962
"Girls! Girls! Girls!" opens nationally and rivals "Blue Hawaii" in box office success. This is the second film to use the "formula", and it works. The soundtrack album goes top five and yields the hit single "Return to Sender".
December 1962
Priscilla Beaulieu had flown from West Germany to visit Elvis in Los Angeles in the summer for their first time to see each other
after his army discharge. In December her parents allow her to spend the Christmas holidays with him at Graceland in Memphis. She returns to her family briefly, then moves to Graceland in early 1963, finishing her senior year of high school in Memphis. She turns 18 on May 24, 1963. It will be nearly four years before she becomes Mrs. Elvis Presley.


Late January/February 1963
Elvis records and films for his thirteenth film (another "formula" movie), "Fun in Acapulco".
April 1963
"It Happened at the World's Fair" opens nationally and does relatively well at the box office, though its plot is the most frivolous
of any Elvis film so far. And the soundtrack album goes top five.
Non-movie recordings and hits continue through this period.
July 1963
Elvis records the music, then, on location in Las Vegas and in a Hollywood studio, he films for his fourteenth motion picture, "Viva Las Vegas", co-starring Ann-Margret. (It would be his fifteenth movie to be released as "Kissin' Cousins", which he would shoot next, would actually be released before "Viva Las Vegas".)
October 1963
Elvis records and shoots for his fifteenth motion picture, "Kissin' Cousins".
Late November 1963
"Fun in Acapulco" opens nationally and quickly goes to number five at the box office. The soundtrack goes to the top five on the pop chart.


January/February 1964
Elvis purchases the "Potomac", former presidential yacht of Franklin Roosevelt, for $55,000. He intends to donate it to the March of Dimes for use as a national shrine (FDR suffered from polio, the main disease fought by the March of Dimes). Costs of maintaining the yacht would be prohibitive, so the March of Dimes declines to accept the gift. Elvis attempts to give it to the 7th Coast Guard District Auxilliary in Miami, which also doesn't work out. Finally, on February 13 he presents the yacht to Danny Thomas as a gift to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis for them to use to raise funds as they see fit. The ceremony takes place in Long Beach, California.
During this saga of trying to donate the yacht, the Beatles make their first appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and Sullivan reads on the air a congratulatory telegram from Elvis and the Colonel. American music and pop culture soon change dramatically with the "British invasion", much as it had after Elvis hit it big in the fifties Elvis has become bored and frustrated with his film and recording career. It will only get worse.
March 1964
"Kissin' Cousins" opens nationally. One of the poorest quality films of his career, it still quickly hits number eleven at the box office (then quickly falls) and the album goes top ten.
Elvis begins filming for his sixteenth motion picture, "Roustabout", co-starring Hollywood legend Barbara Stanwyck. He had recorded the music during the previous month.
June 1964
Elvis records music for his next film, "Girl Happy".
"Viva Las Vegas" opens nationally and goes to number eight at the box office. It's one of the better Elvis movies of this period, and the songs are better as well.
July/August 1964
Elvis shoots his seventeenth motion picture, "Girl Happy", which co-stars Shelley Fabares and former "Miss America", Mary Ann Mobley. This involves some location shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
October 1964
Elvis begins shooting eighteenth motion picture, "Tickle Me". The soundtrack has no new recordings. Instead, previously released non-movie recordings are used, apparently to keep production costs to a minimum.
November 1964
"Roustabout" opens nationally and hits number eight at the box office. The soundtrack, which represents some of the best Elvis movie music in a while, goes to number one on the Billboard pop album chart.


March/April 1965
Elvis records the soundtrack and does the filming for his nineteenth motion picture, "Harum Scarum", which co-stars Mary Ann Mobley.
April 1965
"Girl Happy" opens nationally and does relatively good business. The soundtrack album goes top ten.
Non-movie record releases have continued during this period. Some do well.
May 1965
Elvis records music and does filming for his twentieth motion picture (to be released out of chronology as his twenty-first), "Frankie and Johnny", co-starring Donna Douglas.
July 1965
"Tickle Me" opens nationally.
Elvis donates $50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, reportedly the largest single donation the organization had ever received. Accepting for the organization are Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Sinatra.
August 1965
Elvis records soundtrack music for his twenty-first motion picture, "Paradise, Hawaiian Style", (which will be released out of
chronology as his twentieth) then goes to Hawaii for location shooting. During a break in filming, he visits the USS Arizona Memorial. The visit is covered by the press and prompts Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye to have the visit recognized in the Congressional Record. Elvis returns to Hollywood for more shooting for the film.
August 27, 1965
The Beatles visit with Elvis for several hours at his home in California and have an informal jam session.
November 24, 1965
"Harum Scarum" opens nationally and hits number eleven at the box office, then falls, as has been the pattern for most of Elvis's movies during the past few years. (Hit fast, burn out quickly, but make a sizable profit and sell some records.) The soundtrack album goes to number eight.


February 1966
Elvis records the soundtrack music and shoots his twenty-second motion picture, "Spinout", co-starring Shelley Fabares.
March 1966
"Frankie and Johnny" opens nationally and doesn't do particularly well. The soundtrack album goes to number twenty.
June 1966
"Paradise, Hawaiian Style" is released and doesn't do well. The soundtrack album peeks at number fifteen.
June-September 1966
Soundtrack recording and shooting for Elvis's twenty-third motion picture (to be the twenty-fourth released), "Double Trouble".
September 1966
Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-fourth motion picture (the twenty-third to be released), "Easy Come, Easy Go".
November 1966
"Spinout" opens nationally and doesn't do well. The soundtrack album goes to number 18.
December 1966
Elvis formally proposes marriage to Priscilla.


February 1967
Elvis buys a 163-acre ranch in Mississippi, minutes across the Tennessee state line from Graceland. He and his entourage and their wives had become interested in horseback riding after Elvis purchased a horse for Priscilla as a gift. The hobby had outgrown the pasture at Graceland. Over the months to come, Elvis and the gang would enjoy spending a lot of time at the Circle G. It becomes a happy diversion for Elvis as his frustration and unhappiness over the state of his career reaches its
March 1967
"Easy Come, Easy Go" opens nationally and doesn't do well.
RCA releases Elvis's second gospel album, "How Great Thou Art", which was recorded in mid-1966. It is gets very good reviews and goes on to earn Elvis the Grammy Award for Best Sacred Performance, his first Grammy.
February-April, 1967
Soundtrack recording and filming for "Clambake", Elvis's twenty-fifth movie. It is the third of three movies to co-star Shelley
April 1967
"Double Trouble" opens nationally. Better than some of his recent screen efforts, it doesn't do well at the box office.

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May 1967
On May 1, Elvis and Priscilla are married in a private ceremony amongst a small group of family and friends at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, just after 9:30 AM. A press conference and breakfast reception follow. The couple honeymoon for a few days in Palm Springs. Elvis wraps up some over-dubbing on "Clambake". Then they return to Memphis.

May 29, 1967
Elvis and Priscilla dress in their wedding clothes and have a second wedding reception in the trophy room at Graceland to accommodate family and friends who were not in Las Vegas for the wedding.
June-July 1967
Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-sixth movie, "Speedway", co-starring Nancy Sinatra. During the production, news of Priscilla's pregnancy is released.
September-November, 1967
Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-sixth movie, "Stay Away, Joe". He plays a half-breed Native American in this western themed comedy. It's a real departure from the virtually interchangeable plots and characters in most of the films over the past several grueling years. He has fun with this one.
December 1967
"Clambake" is released nationally and goes to number fifteen at the box office. The soundtrack album goes to number 40.


February 1, 1968
Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley nine months to the day after her marriage to Elvis. It is a time of great happiness.
March 1968
"Stay Away, Joe" opens to mixed reviews and doesn't do well at the box office, though like all of Elvis's films, it makes a profit.
Soundtrack recording and filming for Elvis's twenty-eighth movie, "Live a Little, Love a Little". It is a sexy, more adult kind of
comedy/melodrama. It, like "Stay Away, Joe" is a real departure from the typical Presley film. It is yet another breath of fresh air.
June 1968
"Speedway" is released nationally and doesn't do very well. The soundtrack album goes only as far up the chart as number 82.
Mid-to-Late June, 1968
Elvis rehearses for the taping of his 1968 television special. A press conference is held on June 25th. Videotaping is done June 27, 28, 29, and 30. This is Elvis's first performance before a live audience since the U.S.S. Arizona benefit in March 1961. The name of the show is "Elvis", but it would come to be known as the "'68 Comeback Special".
In the '68 special, Elvis is reunited with two of his original fifties band members, guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana (Bill Black had died.). They sit together on stage in the round, along with several other friends and associates of Elvis for an informal jam session. Parts of this session are woven throughout the special. There are also sequences of Elvis taking the stage alone and performing many of his greatest hit rock and roll songs and ballads, such as "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel",
"Jailhouse Rock", "All Shook Up", "Love Me Tender", and "Can't Help Falling in Love" Along with singing the old hits, Elvis introduces a new song that would become another classic, "Memories." One can speculate that he poured years of frustration into the performance of these songs, along with the nervous energy of appearing live for the first time in so long. His natural talent, charisma, and sensuality had not been diminished by Hollywood or by the passage of time. In fact, he looked, sounded,
moved, and grooved better than he ever had. At 33, he was better than he had ever been. Better than anybody in the business.
For most of the show Elvis wears a two-piece black leather outfit specially designed for the special, a look evocative of the era of James Dean, of Marlon Brando type motorcycle films of the fifties, and of Elvis' early days, the era when he had first been proclaimed the "king of rock and roll."
In the jam session segment, Elvis speaks of the gospel origins of rock and roll. This segues into the gospel music portion of the show, which has Elvis wearing a two-piece burgundy suit, singing "Where Could I Go But to the Lord" , "Up Above My Head", and "I'm Saved", backed by the black female group, The Blossoms, and accompanied by a troupe of dancers - all of this for a rousing gospel production number.
Toward the end of the special Elvis appears in a lengthy production number that, through song, dance, karate, and various situations, traces a young man's journey from a struggling guitar player, through all the challenges, dangers and compromises on the path to his dreams of success and superstardom. Something is lost along the way. Once the dream is achieved, the man realizes that he remains unfulfilled, that he has abandoned his true self. He decides to return to his roots, where he was happiest.
The parallels to Elvis's own life are clear and deliberate, and his doing the '68 special represents his own return to his true self, to his roots.
At the end of the special, Elvis appears alone, wearing a simple white two-piece suit, standing in front of the towering backdrop of red lights that spell Elvis, and sings a brand new song, specially written for the show, called "If I Can Dream". The writers had created the song based on conversations with Elvis about his own thoughts about what was happening in the turbulent sixties, his feelings about life, and his hopes for mankind. It represents one of the few times Elvis would sing a "message" song, and it stands as one of the most brilliant moments of his singing career. It is yet another classic, and the lyrics are as timely today as they were in 1968.
July/August, 1968
Elvis records the theme and does filming for his twenty-ninth movie, "Charro!", a dramatic western, again a very different kind of role. Elvis grows a beard for this. The theme song will be heard over the opening credits, but there will be no other Elvis songs used. This will be the first and only film in which Elvis does not sing on camera.
October-November 1968
Elvis records the soundtrack and does filming for his thirtieth movie,"The Trouble with Girls". He sings in this one, but in very natural situations for a change. It is quite a bit different from the typical Elvis films.
"Live a Little, Love a Little" opens in the U.S. in October and doesn't do very well.
"If I Can Dream", from the soon-to-be aired '68 special hits number 12 on the pop singles chart in November, making it Elvis's biggest single since 1965.
December 3, 1968
"Elvis", the 1968 television special first airs on NBC-TV on December 3, 1968 and is one of this biggest television hits of the year, receiving rave reviews from the public and the critics alike. The soundtrack album will go to number eight on the pop chart. Elvis' career is to take a dramatic and exciting turn.
December 1968
Elvis wraps shooting on "The Trouble with Girls".


January/February 1969
Elvis records in Memphis for the first time since 1955. He has all-night marathon sessions at American Sound Studio. His work here will become regarded as some of the finest music of his career, his best work since the innovative days at Sun and the exciting early days at RCA before he went into the army. Elvis has excellent material to choose from and pours his heart and soul into the sessions. He works with a lot of top-notch Memphis musicians. The sound is fresh and gutsy. On every track one can sense his creative excitement and energy. This is joyful work after years of movie boredom. Two albums will result from these sessions. The sessions will also yield four hit singles to be released over the coming year: "In the Ghetto", "Suspicious Minds", "Don't Cry, Daddy" and "Kentucky Rain". ("Suspicious Minds" becomes his first number one single since "Good Luck Charm" in 1962, and will be his last number one pop single, though he'll have many big hits.)
March/April 1969
Elvis returns to Hollywood to film and record the soundtrack music for his thirty-first, and what will turn out to be his last, acting role in a motion picture. It is "Change of Habit", co-starring Mary Tyler Moore. Elvis plays a hip ghetto doctor in a Northern city, having come from Tennessee. Mary Tyler Moore and two others play nuns who go "undercover" into the ghetto to assist with health and societal troubles in the community. The theme, though serious and timely, is not particularly well carried out by the script in the opinion of many, and the title is frivolous. But, Elvis looks magnificent, and gives a natural, easy, understated performance that is a refreshing pleasure to see after the silliness he endured in his films through most of the sixties. The few songs in the movie are good and they're performed in natural, rather than the usual badly contrived, situations.
March, 1969
"Charro!" opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
July 31 - August 28, 1969
Elvis is booked for a four-week, fifty-seven show engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, which has just been built and has the largest showroom in the city. Elvis puts together top-notch rock and roll musicians, an orchestra, a male gospel back-up group, and a black female soul/ gospel back-up group for his show. They rehearse for several weeks and open on July 31, 1969. (Barbra Streisand has just closed her show the night before, having been the first headliner in the new showroom.) The show is a delightful mix of fresh arrangements of classic Elvis hits, exciting new material he has recorded, a few covers of current and past hits of other artists, and charming on-stage antics and sharing of personal recollections of his career.
A press conference follows the first of his two opening night shows.
This engagement breaks all existing Las Vegas attendance records and attracts rave reviews from the public and the critics. It is a triumph. Elvis's first live album is recorded during this engagement and is soon released.
For the shows a lean Elvis in top physical form, wears simple, unique, karate-inspired two-piece outfits in black or white. These
are designed by Bill Belew, who had done the wardrobe for the '68 special. These are the predecessors to the famous one-piece jumpsuits which will be simple at first, then become flashier and more elaborate over the years.
September 1969
"The Trouble with Girls", Elvis's thirtieth movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.
November 1969
"Change of Habit" , Elvis's thirty-first movie, opens in theaters and doesn't do much at the box office.

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