The Sixties - Elvis Aron Presley

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The Sixties


The sixties

  • JANUARY 20, 1960

Elvis is promoted to Sergeant.

  • MARCH 1960

Elvis leaves West Germany on March 1, and is officially discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960. On March 8, he holds a press conference at Graceland.

  • LATEMARCH, 1960

Elvis has his first recording session since being released from the service. On March 26 he tapes a special “Welcome Home, Elvis” version of Frank Sinatra’s ABC-TV variety show.

  • LATE APRIL, 1960

Elvis begins filming and recording for his fifth film, appropriately titled “GI Blues.” Produced for Paramount by Hal Wallis, Elvis’ costar is Juliet Prowse.

  • JULY 3, 1960

Vernon Presley marries divorcee and mother of three sons, Davada “Dee” Stanley, an American whom he had met in West Germany.


Elvis records and films for his sixth movie, “Flaming Star”.

  • OCTOBER, 1960

The soundtrack album for “GI Blues” hits Billboard’s album chart and climbs to number one where it will stay for ten weeks.

  • NOVEMBER 1960

Elvis begins recording and filming for his seventh film, “Wild in the Country” as “GI Blues” opens nationally.


“Flaming Star” opens and receives good reviews but not solid box office returns. It is assumed that because the film is dramatic and contains little music, Elvis fans did not show up in droves.

  • FEBRUARY 25, 1961

Elvis first live appearance since his army discharge is at a Memphis luncheon in his honor. “Elvis Presley Day” is proclaimed by Tennessee Governor Buford Ellington.

  • MARCH 25, 1961

In Hawaii, Elvis performs in a benefit to help fund the building of the USS Arizona Memorial.


Elvis remains in Hawaii to do location filming for “Blue Hawaii” A project for which he has already recorded the soundtrack.

  • JUNE, 1961

“Wild in the Country” opens to mixed reviews.

  • JULY, 1961

Elvis begins production on “Follow that Dream” and also records the soundtrack album. This is his ninth motion picture, scheduled to open in late Spring 1962.

  • OCTOBER, 1961

The soundtrack album for “Blue Hawaii” hits the Billboard chart and remains for 18 months (it will be number one for nearly half a year). The album features the classic Elvis single: “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.


Elvis begins filming “Kid Galahad” and also records the soundtrack album. The picture wraps in January of 62. “Blue Hawaii” opens at number two in box office receipts and eventually becomes Elvis’s most financially successful film. His single “Good Luck Charm” hits number one on the pop charts.

  • SPRING 1962

Elvis begins filming his 11th motion picture, “Girls! Girls! Girls!”. It includes location work in Hawaii and Los Angeles. He also records the soundtrack album. “Follow That Dream” opens nationally, reaches number five in box office.

  • SUMMER 1962

Continuing his breakneck schedule, Elvis begins his 12th motion picture and soundtrack album: “It Happened at the World’s Fair,” which utilizes the backdrop of the Seattle World’s Fair. Also this summer, “Kid Galahad” opens. Although not a hit, and some critics suggested that Elvis was losing his appeal, receipts are respectable. Priscilla Beaulieu arrives from West Germany to visit Elvis.

  • OCTOBER 1962

A riot breaks out in a Mexico screening of “GI Blues” resulting in a ban on Elvis movies in that country.

  • NOVEMBER 1962

While “Kid Galahad” was only a so-so success, “Girls! Girls! Girls!” opens this month and eventually equals “Blue Hawaii” in box office receipts. The soundtrack album features the hit single “Return to Sender”.

  • DECEMBER 1962

Priscilla Beaulieu’s parents give permission for her to visit Elvis during the Christmas holidays.


Priscilla moves in at Graceland and finishes her senior year of high school in Memphis. Elvis begins filming and recording the soundtrack for his 13th motion picture: “Fun in Acapulco”.

  • APRIL 1963

“It Happened at the World’s Fair” opens to respectable box office receipts – the soundtrack album does better, reaching number five on the charts.

  • MAY 24, 1963

Priscilla turns 18.

  • JULY 1963

This month Elvis begins recording the soundtrack and filming the location work for “Viva Las Vegas,” featuring a hot new female star: Ann-Margaret. Although this is his 14th motion picture, it would not be released until after his next film.

  • OCTOBER 1963

During this month, Elvis begins recording the soundtrack and filming his 15th motion picture: “Kissin’ Cousins”.

  • NOVEMBER 1963

“Fun in Acapulco” opens late this month and performs much better at the box office than “World’s Fair,” eventually reaching number five. The album also reaches number five on the pop chart.

  • WINTER 1964

A pivotal season in Elvis’s (and the nation’s) musical world: the Beatles make their first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show”.
Elvis fears his career has become stagnant. Also during this winter, Elvis buys the yacht of President Franklin Roosevelt: the “Potomac.” In February, he gives 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.

  • MARCH 1964

“Kissin’ Cousins” opens and is instantly recognized as one of Elvis’s worst films — both critically and financially. Despite this, he begins his 16th film: “Roustabout.”

  • JUNE 1964

Elvis begins recording the soundtrack for his 17th film, “Girl Happy,” as “Viva Las Vegas” opens nationally. Receipts for this picture are far better, and the soundtrack album does as well.

  • SUMMER 1964

Elvis films “Girl Happy” on location in Florida.

  • OCTOBER 1964

In a cost-cutting move, Paramount creates a motion picture project (Elvis’s 18th) based around songs the star had already recorded. Entitled “Tickle Me”, the project has failure written all over it. Despite bad feelings about this film, Elvis jumps into an even busier production schedule.

  • NOVEMBER 1964

This month “Roustabout” opens to solid box office receipts, eventually hitting number eight. The soundtrack features some of the best music Elvis has done to date — and fans respond by making it a number one hit on Billboard’s pop album chart.

  • SPRING 1965

In a flurry of activity, Elvis records the soundtrack and films his 19th film: “Harum Scarum” as “Girl Happy” opens – both film and soundtrack album do respectable business. Immediately after he wraps on “Harum Scarum,” Elvis begins his 20th film project entitled “Frankie and Johnny”. However, this will not be released until after the next project: “Paradise, Hawaiian Style.”

  • JULY 1965

In this month, “Tickle Me” opens nationally to ho-hum box office, and Elvis donates $50,000 to the Motion Picture Relief Fund.

  • AUGUST 1965

Elvis quickly records the soundtrack music for his 21st motion picture, “Paradise, Hawaiian Style”, and then leaves for location shooting in Hawaii. He then returns to Los Angeles to complete interior shooting on 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 does only respectable business at the box office. The soundtrack reaches number eight before it quickly disappears.

  • FEBRUARY 1966

For his 22nd motion picture, Elvis records the soundtrack music and films “Spinout”.

  • MARCH 1966

After delays by the studio,”Frankie and Johnny” opens to lackluster box office and record sales.

  • JUNE 1966

“Paradise, Hawaiian Style” opens and perform almost as poorly as “Frankie and Johnny.”

  • JUNE - OCTOBER 1966

Undaunted, Elvis records the soundtrack album and begins shooting his 23rd motion picture: “Double Trouble” and then proceeds directly to recording and filming his 24th picture: “Easy Come, Easy Go”.

  • NOVEMBER 1966

This month, a favorite time for the studio to open Elvis films, “Spinout” is released and performs poorly, both at the box office and in album sales.

  • DECEMBER 1966

On a date this month that is still debated, Elvis formally – and officially – proposes marriage to Priscilla.

  • FEBRUARY 1967

Elvis buys a ranch in Mississippi, a short distance across the Tennessee state line from Graceland. Called the Circle G, the ranch was bought expressly to take care of the horse he purchases for Priscilla, and the other horses he and his friends buy as they all become enamored of horseback riding.

  • MARCH 1967

The film “Easy Come, Easy Go” opens and flounders. This disappointment is offset by the release of Elvis’s second gospel album, “How Great Thou Art”. The album gets excellent reviews, healthy sales, and earns Elvis his first Grammy Award, ironically enough, for Best Sacred Performance.

  • FEBRUARY 1967

Elvis begins the soundtrack recording and location filming for his 25th motion picture: “Clambake”.

  • SPRING 1967

“Double Trouble” opens and flounders. On May 1, 1967 (at 9:30 am) Elvis and Priscilla are married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, followed by a honeymoon in Palm Springs. On May 29th, they hold a second reception at Graceland for friends and family unable to be at the Las Vegas ceremony.

  • SUMMER 1967

Despite poor performance of his films at the box office, and his own personal doubts about the projects he is starring in, Elvis records the soundtrack and begins filming his 26th movie, costarring with Nancy Sinatra in “Speedway”. News of Priscilla’s pregnancy is released.

  • FALL 1967

Elvis immediately begins work on his 26th film, a project he feels more confidence in. He records and does location filming for “Stay Away, Joe”. In this comedy-western, Elvis plays a halfbreed Native American, surrounded by veteran character actors who help raise the performance levels in the picture.

  • DECEMBER 1967

Hoping for better holiday box office, “Clambake” is released and does only respectable business as both a film and soundtrack album.

  • FEBRUARY 1, 1968

Priscilla gives birth to Lisa Marie Presley.

  • MARCH 1968

“Stay Away, Joe” opens but receives mixed reviews and performs poorly at the box office. In an effort to find more suitable projects for Elvis, the studio has him begin work on his 28th film, an adult comedy-drama called “Live a Little, Love a Little”.

  • JUNE 1968

For summer release, “Speedway” opens and doesn’t perform, either as a film or a soundtrack. As the nation’s tastes change during this turbulent period, the formula films cranked out by the studios perform poorly for all stars. In particular, Elvis is hurt by the scathing reviews and the title “has-been.”

  • JUNE 27 - 30, 1968

Elvis rehearses for the taping of his 1968 television special — his first performance before a live audience since March 1961. This production has been called the 68 Comeback Special. The show features original songs, classic Elvis tunes, dance numbers, and special segments of Elvis performing in the round and in front of a live audience with guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana. The show is scheduled to air on December 3rd.

  • SUMMER 1968

The studio tries something different, once again, for Elvis’s 29th movie. Entitled “Charro” the dramatic western features an Elvis who doesn’t sing (except the opening song) and who wears a beard.

  • FALL 1968

Elvis immediately begins work on his 30th film, recording the soundtrack and acting in “The Trouble with Girls”.”Live a Little, Love a Little” opens to poor receipts. But the single, “If I Can Dream”, from the comeback special reaches number 12 on the pop singles chart.

  • DECEMBER 3, 1968

The 1968 television special airs on the NBC network this evening. It is not only a ratings winner, but a critical success and with a soundtrack album that reaches number eight on the pop charts.

  • DECEMBER 1968

Elvis completes his shooting on “The Trouble with Girls”.


Elvis throws himself into all-night recording sessions at American Sound Studios in Memphis – his first recording work in Memphis since 1955. These sessions produce what is considered some of his finest work, and produce two albums with hit singles like “In the Ghetto”, “Suspicious Minds”, “Don’t Cry, Daddy” and “Kentucky Rain”.

  • MARCH/APRIL 1969

Elvis returns to Hollywood to film and record the soundtrack music for his 31st and last dramatic film: “Change of Habit”. Elvis plays a doctor serving the poor in a Northern city, assisting by three nuns, one of whom is Mary Tyler Moore.

  • MARCH, 1969

“Charro!” opens fizzles at the box office.

  • JULY 31 - AUGUST 28, 1969

The newly built International Hotel in Las Vegas featured the largest showroom on the strip and they wanted a big star to headline after Barbra Streisand closed. They booked Elvis for a four-week engagement which ends up breaking the city’s attendance records. It is so successful, RCA jumps at the chance of recording Elvis’s first live concert album.

  • SEPTEMBER 1969

The studio holds its breath, releases “The Trouble with Girls” and then watches as the money fails to roll in.

  • NOVEMBER 1969

“Change of Habit” opens. Ditto. The rumor that Elvis has lost his audience start circulating.

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