Ricky Hanson Video: Elvis Presley If I Can Dream, 1968 Comeback Special
Singer Presents.. Elvis, commonly referred to as the ’68 Comeback Special, is an Elvis Presley concert special that aired on NBC on December 3, 1968. It marked Presley’s return to live performance after a seven-year period during which he focused on his film appearances.
The concert was initially planned as a Christmas special by the network and Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Producer Bob Finkel hired director Steve Binder, who, rather than creating a Christmas special, created a concert that would reflect the musical trends of the time and appeal to a younger audience. Filming took place in June 1968 at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. The special included a sit-down session that showcased Presley in an informal setting, surrounded by fans and a small band.
The special received positive reviews and topped the Nielsen television ratings for the week in which it aired. It became the most-watched show of the television season, earning 42% of the television audience. Later known as the Comeback Special, it relaunched Presley’s singing career.