After spending the 1960s starring in Hollywood movies, Elvis Presley made his big musical comeback in the famous 1968 comeback special. A year later he signed a deal for a Las Vegas residency at the newly opened International Hotel with its president Alex Shoofey and wife Joanie Shoofey, who dated Elvis a decade earlier. Now the former Miss Nevada has revealed what Elvis’ incredible first concert at the International was like on July 31, 1969.
The International’s showroom was largest in Las Vegas at the time, holding 2000 seats.
Elvis would perform a dinner and midnight show in a 57 concert run over a month, accompanied by a 30-piece orchestra, five-man combo and a chorus of seven.
The King always preferred the midnight show as people were in a drinking mood, rather than the dinner show where guests would be tucking into a choice of steak or lobster.
Now in a new interview, Joanie Shoofey revealed how it took a while for Elvis to re-establish himself as a singer, as he was better known a movie star then, which is why Barbra Streisand was higher up the bill at the International at the time.
The former Miss Nevada added: “It was exciting, it was very exciting.
“He came out in a white leather outfit.
“And he was gorgeous in it.
“I was sorry I didn’t stay with him longer!”