Looking back on 2008 I have to say it was a pretty good Elvis year. Thinking about it, here are some of my personal highlights:
The Nashville Marathon trilogy released by FTD in their classic album series. I was especially impressed with That's The Way It Is, and positively surprised by Love Letters From Elvis. Maybe Elvis Country didn't offer much in the way of unreleased material, but it made the Marathon complete.
Another nice FTD addition was Elvis Sings Memphis, Tennessee. Also known as The Lost Album, it was intended to be the follow up to Put Luck, and brings together all the songs from the two Nashville sessions in May 1963 and January 1964.
On the bootleg front I have to mention Back With A Bang! This one contains the Las Vegas Midnight Show from March 22, 1975, and is highly enjoyable. Elvis is in high spirit and delivers song after song from his 70's catalogue, such as "Promised Land," "Green Green Grass Of Home," "Fairytale," "My Boy" and "It's Midnight."
A great Elvis moment last year was seeing Glen D. Hardin perform in March at my local theater. He was on stage together with a tribute act called The Cadillac Band, featuring Elvis impersonator Justin Shandor behind the microphone.
The re-issued book Elvis From Memphis to Hollywood, by former Memphis Mafia member Alan Fortas, I remember as a good read. What I liked most about it was that you got an understanding of how it was to be around Elvis Presley and work for him.
So there you have it, some of the things and experiences that made 2008 a good Elvis year for me. Here's to hoping 2009 will be even better. High on my wish list are three albums I would like to see released by FTD: How Great Thou Art, Good Times and Promised Land.
The one thing I thought 2008 didn't offer were some exciting DVD releases. So, while I'm at it, how about an Elvis On Tour - Special Edition? Or maybe that's a wish you could call the impossible dream?