In a performance that could have a subtitle of "Black Leather Elvis" the late King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley sings his hit, "Heartbreak Hotel." The video clip actually comes from the Dec. 3, 1968 NBC special simply titled, '"Elvis," which is know more informally referred to now as the "Elvis Presley Comeback Special," that seemingly revived the singer's career.
'It was career salvation'," said Todd Morgan, director of media and creative development for Elvis Presley Enterprises. "Of course, who could possibly know what would have happened if the TV special hadn't come along. Maybe there would have been another way to reboot his career. But who knows?"
The informal jam-session style of the performance came as an idea of director and producer Steve Binder while watching the performer casually play with friends in his dressing room. He battled with the singer's legendary controlling manager Colonel Tom Parker, who simply wanted the NBC show to be a Christmas special. The intimate, informal style, striking black leather wardrobe and the singer's ability to penetrate the camera with his charisma proved a winning combination.
"Basically, I told him I thought his career was in the toilet," Binder said about first approaching the singer with how the special must capture greater attention. Following the broadcast, Presley enjoyed new interest in his career, starting a string of Las Vegas performances and working steadily until his death in 1977.