Just before Elvis died, he recorded this absolutely incredible performance of "Unchained Melody"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/24/just-before-elvis-died-he-rec.html


I was playing putt-putt golf in Myrtle Beach, SC when he died. A hot sunny blue sky day. I’ll never forget it. The announcement came over loud speakers 15 feet over our heads. It was like the heavens saying, well, you know … Elvis has left the planet.

Regardless of how many feel about the guy, his politics, his racism?, his addictions, etc. he left behind some good music and inspired others to do the same.


Geez, just listening to him struggling to breathe makes me feel like i’m suffocating.


I find it a hill too steep to climb on these points. Were he alive today he’d probably be a Trump supporter/apologist. I do indeed appreciate his talent but i don’t have a real reason to listen to his music… i’d prefer to listen to stuff from artists that stand by something i can respect and people whose story inspires me. Elvis gives me none of these things.


Right there with you. If you squint real hard he did leave behind some things good.


Totally i won’t deny him his talent or legacy, but there’s nothing there for me is all i mean.


Pop stars metamorphosize into soda pop stars
You saw the video
You heard the soundtrack
Well now go buy the soft drink
Well, the onla cola that I support
Would be a union C.O.L.A.(Cost Of Living Allowance)
On television


It must have been a constant chemical rollercoaster ride for his body in those last months. At the start of the video it looks like he needs to be on an oxygen tank, but then when he hands over the mic and sips his Coke at 1:05 he transforms. He performs like a pro as he descends into a sweaty mess before standing and returning to tired old man mode.


Was Elvis a racist? I remember this anecdote from BB King: https://www.elvis.com.au/presley/the-definitive-truth-about-elvis-presley-and-racism-according-to-b-b-king.shtml

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I’d like to think that BB was right. Thanks for the link. I’ve never heard that side of the coin.

The perception probably had a little something to do with optics:



He wasn’t an anti-Semite:


Then there are the lyrics in Public Enemy’s hit song “Fight the Power”:

Elvis was a hero to most but he
Elvis was a hero to most
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne

I never saw any evidence that put him in the same category as John Wayne when it came to racism.


Disposable Heroes is not something I expected to see referenced today… thank you.


I keep hearing about “his racism” but nobody could ever provide a single anecdote of Elvis being racist. Now everybody knows he was extremely anti-left but a racist, no I really don’t think he ever was, although I know for fact many of his fans were, but then again, many weren’t. I wasn’t, for starters, that I’m sure of.


This version is very nice but in my mind the Righteous Brothers still sounds better


You can definitely hear him on the mic, but was the recorded version also playing at the same time? The lips, singing, hands, and piano music all diverge from each other right at the end (starting at 4:09 and ending with hands banging the keyboard at 4:20 but actually hearing a slide).


Same. Growing up in the South black NASCAR t-shirts, Winston cigarettes, Elvis, Merle and rusty pickup trucks blazed with confederate flag stickers were considered sure signs.

I hear his music today and don’t hear any of that.


so tired of the debunked rumor that elvis was a racist.
but i will leave it to b.b. king to have the final word.

‘Let me tell you the definitive truth about Elvis Presley and racism’, The King of the Blues, B.B. King said in 2010. ‘With Elvis, there was not a single drop of racism in that man. And when I say that, believe me I should know’.


I really doubt Elvis was racist. It is a well known fact that he attended churches whose members were primarily black. And this is where he developed his voice to be a blend of white/black. Now that is definitely a first and I have never heard another singer that has the Elvis sound. Sad he was so ill at the end of his life.


Seeing him in that video gave me the same sensation as seeing King Kong fighting the aircraft atop the Empire State Building. So sad to see a lumbering, befuddled creature pecked to bits.