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This Month, Elvis’s Memory Revisits Hawaii

At this time of each year, Hawaii dips into a spell of Elvismania. 36 years ago this month, Elvis Presley broadcast live from Honolulu in a concert that was watched by more than a billion people around the world. “Aloha from Hawaii” was the first-ever such performance to be broadcast live via satellite.

Elvis loved Hawaii, and Hawaii loved Elvis. From his first visit in the late 1950’s until his final vacation in March of 1977, Elvis was here in the Islands of Hawaii on many occassions. He made three movies here: “Blue Hawaii,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” and he performed several times here.

He fell in love with the beauty of the islands and the hospitality of their people. Hawaii would become Elvis’s favorite vacation destination and he enjoyed a number of vacations here. Elvis Aloha From Hawaii

During his landmark 1973 concert, Elvis performed a vast array of old and recent hits such as “Steamroller Blues,” “See See Rider,” “Early Morning Rain,” “Burning Love,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “A Big Hunk o’ Love,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” He showed his vocal range and strength with ballads like the Beatles’ “Something,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “It’s Over,” “Welcome to my World,” “I’ll Remember You,” and especially “What Now My Love.” The show is probably most remembered for his performance of “An American Trilogy.”

Two years ago, a life-sized, 1,100-pound bronze sculpture of Elvis Presley was unveiled on the grounds of the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, the site of the “Aloha from Hawaii” concert. The 6’2” music icon is depicted atop a pedestal, commemorating his 1973 “Aloha from Hawaii” concert. The statue was donated by the TV Land network.

If you’re in Hawaii on vacation this month, and if you’re listening to the radio, you’re likely to hear a surprising number of Elvis songs, regardless of the station’s format. It happens every year.

Posted by: Jamie Winpenny on Jan 12, 2009