“THE FINAL CURTAIN” – by Des Kelly
“And now, the end is near, and so I face, the final curtain”, My way, was a song written by Frenchmen Claude Francois & Jacques Revaux who also recorded it in 1967, to no big success, but then Paul Anka, another Showbiz legend and songwriter rearranged the song for Frank Sinatra, who recorded it in 1969 and turned it into a huge hit, but not before he met, and personally acknowledged ELVIS as one of the BIGGEST STARS EVER, to come.
Unfortunately, Elvis Presley became the KING OF ROCK N ROLL, whose reign did not last, as it should have done, yet who will never ever be forgotten, forever and a day.
I will now return to the ” post” sent to me recently, by Charles Schokman, recalling the tragic passing away of who would be, without a doubt, the biggest LEGEND in Showbiz, ELVIS AERON PRESLEY.
Awesome. Simply awesome. Sad but beautiful!
He was only 42, but years of prescription drug abuse and horrifying dietary habits had left him bloated, depressed and near death.
He had an enlarged heart, an enlarged intestine, hypertension, and incredibly painful bowel problems.
He was barely sleeping and should have been in the hospital, but he was still a huge draw on the concert circuit and the money was too good to turn down. It had been over a year since Elvis last released a studio album, and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was determined to get more product into the stores.
Despite Elvis’ horrid shape, Parker arranged for a camera crew to film the June 19th show in Omaha for a planned TV special and live album. It eventually did air on CBS two months after Elvis died, but has yet to resurface in any official capacity. Of course, this is not the image of Elvis that his estate wants the fans to remember.
Two days later (21 June), the cameras were still rolling when the tour hit Rapid City, South Dakota. It was another weak and sad night until Elvis sat down at the piano near the end of the show to deliver what was a spellbinding rendition of “Unchained Melody.”
As guitarist Charlie Hodge held a microphone, Elvis dug deep and poured his heart into the song. His body was falling apart, but his voice remained as powerful as ever.
Without any doubt, it is the last great moment of his career. The tour limped along through five more shows, wrapping up June 26th at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. He died less than two months later. Here is that great performance.