Thanks to eBay I'm now the proud owner of Fort Baxter's CD A Hot Winter Night In Dallas, featuring Elvis' concert in Dallas, December 28, 1976. And, after listening through it, I can understand why it is one of the most popular import records around.
I already knew Elvis was in great shape during the five show tour he did in the final month of 1976. After all, what fans haven't heard of or listened to the classic concert in Pittsburgh on New Year's Eve? And, if further proof was needed, we got that with the release of the import CD Burning In Birmingham, recorded on December 29.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Elvis delivers the goods in Dallas, too. That, together with great sound quality, makes A Hot Winter Night In Dallas pure listening pleasure. From the first notes of "See See Rider" where he practically throws himself into the song, to the falsetto ending of "Unchained Melody," it’s Elvis at full blast.
"No Teddy Bear, forget that," he says at one point and delivers an emotional rendition of "My Way" instead. Then it's right into high gear and "Polk Salad Annie." It's that kind of show. You can read some reviews here and here.
When you think about it, it's hard to understand that this is the same guy that eight months earlier stood in front of the crowd in the City Auditorium in Omaha giving an average performance (featured on the recent FTD release America) and that, eight month later, would be dead.
I don't know if new girlfriend Ginger Alden was the reason for Elvis transformation, or if it was the pills speaking (or maybe a combination of both). What I do know is that the tour in December was the last time audiences saw Elvis performing passionately and full of energy.