Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 7 – Anniversary of That’s the Way It Is

Elvis: That’s the Way It Is was Elvis’ first non-dramatic film, a documentary chronicling live performances from The Elvis Summer Festival at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. The film features shows Elvis performed on August 11, 12, and 13, 1970. Who would have imagined that, seven years later, he would be gone? He was so vibrant and sexy and alive at the time that it is mind boggling to think about. 

One of the things I loved about the film was that it not only showed some amazing concert performances, but it showed the ‘behind the scenes’ Elvis hanging out with his entourage, rehearsals, fans commenting on what they love about him, and celebrities such as George Hamilton, Cary Grant, Juliet Prowse, and Sammy Davis, Jr. arriving for opening night. 

I was only nine years old when the film released, and I remember watching it, enthralled. At the time, I had never been to an Elvis concert, and it was a thrill to see him perform. And, to see glimpses of the ‘real’ Elvis in how he interacted with his friends and the people who worked with him. 

That’s the Way It Is featured some fabulous songs, some that people who aren’t true Elvis fans aren’t all that familiar with, such as How the Web Was Woven. Here is a brief clip of him singing part of the song in rehearsals as he plays the piano. Watch what he does at the end: 

Here is a recording of the entire song: 

One of my very favorite songs from the performances is Just Pretend. I love it so much, I named my first romance after it (I wrote it when I was eleven). I also named my hero Lonnie Beale after Elvis’ character in the movie, Tickle Me. And, I described him as looking like Elvis. 🙂 I still have the story, written mostly in pencil with the first page missing from the tattered spiral notebook. At the end, my heroine thinks Lonnie died in a plane crash, but as it turns out, (Spoiler alert!) he’d taken a different flight and he comes to her where she’s crying on the beach, and he sings Just Pretend (which has a line, “I’ll come flying to you again.” – see how I cleverly wove that in?) It was a riveting moment, LOL. 

Here is his concert performance of Just Pretend: 

Wasn’t he so sweet to his fans? Lucky, lucky woman. 

I was excited to learn that the re-mastered version of That’s the Way It Is will be showing in select theaters this month. It is coming to Oklahoma City, and I must go. So, I’m off to check on tickets. Until next time…  

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 7 – Anniversary of That’s the Way It Is

  1. Linda Trout

    What a great tribute. Absolutely loved the way he influenced your writing at such a young age and how you incorporated Elvis and his songs into your stories.

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  2. There was no one like him before or since! Regards Thom.

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  3. Ashantay Peters

    I hope you enjoy seeing the film on the big screen!

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  4. Well, we writers were born writing and, sigh, we HAVE to write. Keep up the Elvis blogs–I was awed by his presence and still feel his spirit!

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  5. Darn, A.D., you never showed me that *first* story. 😦

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  6. Aw! Nice post, Alicia. I love reading about your early writing years. I too have my tattered creations I was unable to sell for a dime on the playground 😉 Thank you for sharing more about the love of your life, Elvis. He still captivates the eye and the heart.

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  7. Although I’ve always liked and admired Elvis, I wouldn’t say I was a fan in the sense that you are. I like to hear you talking about him, though. Whenever anyone shares anything they are passionate about–whether that be playing washers or jogging or shoe shopping or whatever–even if it’s not something I enjoy, I love to watch their face light up and hear the energy in their voice. And even though I can’t do that with you, your excitement comes through in the way you write. Thank you for sharing yourself with us in this way.

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    • Thank you so much! I’m glad to know my excitement comes through in my writing. I’m also very glad you’re interested in reading my posts, even though you’re not an Elvis freak…er…fan, like I am! I appreciate your support.

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