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March 18, 2016  -  Elvis Express Radio
Elvis Express Radio News
Last week we highlighted an issue regarding the Rock N Roll Hal of Fame has on display a gold suit which we were informed was the gold suit from the 1968 TV Special. Our News
Hound, Tony Stuchbury found the post about the suit and we shared it with you asking the question, 'What Now? What Next? WTF?'

Also on our last edition of the EER Show we brought up the question of the suit which we said we felt Elvis would never wear such a thing and did anyone have an idea of the back
story surrounding this suit? One of our oldest listeners and contributors Tony King had an idea to find out more about this odd suit and contacted a friend of his in Cleveland who
kindly agreed to pop along to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame to investigate for us.

Below is the transcript of the information which is in the display next to the suit.

Elvis Presley Suit, 1968
Designed by Bill Belew
Collection of Elvis Presley Enterprises

By 1968, after years of starring in commercially successful but artistically unfulfilling movies, Elvis Presley needed to reinvigorate his career. 'ELVIS', later known as the '69
Comeback Special' was originally planned as a Christmas-themed television special. The show reestablished Presley as the preeminent performer in music by presenting him
onstage alone or in jam sessions with his early bandmates. It was broadcast on December 3, 1968 and scored the year's highest rating for NBC.

Bill Belew designed Elvis' famous jumpsuits of the 1970' as well as much of his personal wardrobe. He designed this suit for the '68 Special, but it was not worn onscreen. Peter
Guralnick writes in Careless Love: "Elvis listened, nodded and agreed to virtually every suggestion that Belew made... The one subject about which they had any disagreement was
the gold suit that Belew designed to symbolize success, in homage to the suit that Colonel (Parker) had had made up for Elvis in 1957. Elvis never explained his opposition but was
clearly embarrassed by it, and in the end they worked out the same compromise solution that he had agreed to in the Fifties:  he would wear the gold jacket with a pair of black
tuxedo pants." This is the first gold suit Belew designed for the special before he and Elvis agreed upon the gold jacket/black pants ensamble.

So there we have it, just another "Would-a, Should-a, Could-a" item. Designed for but never worn or used by Elvis Presley.

Elvis Express Radio would like to say a special thank you to Jeff Gaff for being so very helpful and for allowing us to use his photo's of the Elvis suit that never was.

See Our Original Article