Elvis 1967: Season’s Greetings From Elvis

As part of The Mystery Train Blog’s year-long celebration of 1967, below is a repost of a feature I wrote last year about Elvis’ first Christmas special.


While Elvis’ 1968 Christmas special is legendary, nearly lost to time is Elvis’ Christmas special from the previous year. His 1967 Christmas special no doubt inspired the original concept of the ELVIS (’68 Comeback) special.

Exactly 44 years ago today, on Sunday, December 3, 1967, a special called Season’s Greetings From Elvis aired on over 2,000 stations across the United States. Why is it mostly forgotten? Season’s Greetings From Elvis was a radio special.

Season's Greetings From Elvis flyer (1967)

Season's Greetings From Elvis flyer (1967)

The special contained no new numbers by Elvis, but instead featured previously released Christmas and religious music. The songs in the half-hour show included:

  • Here Comes Santa Claus (1957)
  • Blue Christmas (1957)
  • O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1957)
  • Silent Night (1957)
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1957)
  • I Believe (1957)
  • If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1966)
  • How Great Thou Art (1966)
  • His Hand In Mine (1960)
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1957)

The special’s finale, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” contained a new voice-over by Elvis: “Thank you for listening. I’d like to wish you a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.” Oddly, this 1967 audio was later placed on top of “Silent Night” on 1982’s Memories Of Christmas and re-released on 1994’s If Every Day Was Like Christmas. However, the beginning music of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and not “Silent Night” can still be heard in the background on those releases as Elvis speaks the lines.

Exactly one year later, on December 3, 1968, the more famous Elvis Christmas special aired for the first time. Colonel Tom Parker’s original concept for the ’68 special sounded like little more than a TV version of Season’s Greetings From Elvis. The eventual show turned out much different, of course, and changed everything.


Image Source
Thank you to Holger Bock at Rare Elvis for providing the original image of an RCA promotional flyer for the 1967 radio special. Please do not reproduce this image without obtaining permission of Holger at Rare Elvis.

Research Sources

  • Careless Love: The Unmaking Of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick, Little, Brown And Company, Boston, 1999 (page 282).
  • Season’s Greetings From Elvis, Elvis In Norway, 2010.
  • Elvis: Word For Word by Jerry Osborne, Harmony Books, New York, 2000 (page 204).
  • Elvis: The Biography by Jerry Hopkins, Plexus, London, 2007 (page 205).
  • ELVIS: His Life From A To Z by Fred Worth and Steve Tamerius, Wings Books, New York, 1992 (page 560).

Throughout 2011, The Mystery Train Blog has been commemorating the 44th anniversary of 1967. Find out why here. Surf in again next week for the exciting conclusion to this series.

4 thoughts on “Elvis 1967: Season’s Greetings From Elvis

  1. I remember listening to Elvis’ 1967 Christmas special when it first aired. After the special aired, some DJs took calls wanting to hear what people thought and the responses were awesome! All Elvis fans and non-fans loved it! At the time we were hearing rumors that Elvis might actually tour again. Many asked if Elvis would take a break from movies, release a non-movie album and tour again. Although fans didn’t say it, you could hear many fans were becoming tired of the same old thing and didn’t care for the movie soundtrack albums. One DJ said, “Elvis recording new non movie albums, touring again in ’68 would be GREAT news not only for Elvis fans but for non fans that really don’t know the real Elvis.” You could hear the excitement in his voice just talking about it. When a fan called in and said, “it would be awesome to hear, have you heard the news? Elvis is touring in ’68 and is gonna rock all our blues away.” I couldn’t have agreed more, that would have been GREAT news!

    Like

    • Great story, Joe. Thanks for sharing this with us. While it may not have turned out exactly like the rumors you heard on the radio back in 1967, it was actually pretty close to what would occur in the span of 1968-1972, if you think about it. What a great time to be a fan! To witness the redemption, the comeback!

      Like

Comments are closed.