Elvis Presley Timeline: 1970

A historical Elvis Presley timeline of dates and important events

Here's a handy database of dates and events in Elvis Presley's life during 1970. You can also find out what else Elvis was up to in 1970 and in all the years of his life.

January 5: Elvis rents out the Memphis Memphian theater for another of his many all-night movie matinees, attended only by Elvis, his family, and members of the "Memphis Mafia." Tonight, he views the as-yet-unreleased George C. Scott biopic Patton, which so mesmerizes the King that it becomes his favorite film, edging out the previous titleholder, Dr. Strangelove.

As is his habit with a film he loves, Elvis will memorize every line, especially the famous opening "pep talk" the General gives to his troops.
January 10: Elvis and the band begin rehearsals for the next Vegas engagement at the International.
January 26: Elvis begins his International stint with an invitation-only opening-night performance, wearing, for the first time, a one-piece jumpsuit designed to let him execute his famous karate moves on stage. Critical reaction is positive.
February 16: Recording of the International shows begins for an eventual RCA live album entitled, somewhat inaccurately, On Stage: February 1970.
February 18: Fearing that enough new material hasn't been recorded for the live set, Elvis adds "See See Rider," "Release Me," and "The Wonder Of You" to the set. The latter will become a major hit on the charts, while "See See Rider" will later become his go-to live opener.


February 23: After the closing show, the Colonel, in an attempt to keep the International Hotel on its toes, informs its president that Elvis may not be available for any more engagements. (It's a bluff.)
February 25: Presley flies to Texas for his first stadium show, at the Houston Astrodome. He holds a short press conference and then retires to the stadium's hotel.


February 27: Elvis begins his first stadium gig with an afternoon show at the Texas Livestock Show that leaves him personally and professionally unfulfilled: the concert, held on a weekday, is sparsely attended, and the rotating stage in the Astrodome leaves him, in his own words, "singing to a cow." The evening show, however, would break all attendance records and restore Elvis' confidence in himself fully.
March 17: The Colonel pitches an idea he's had for some time: a live closed-circuit pay-per-view Elvis concert, available in theaters across the US. Elvis is to be paid $1,100,000 for the one-time show; but Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times gets wind of the show through channels and breaks the news prematurely, forcing the Colonel to abandon the idea. Eventually the idea morphs into a regular concert film called Elvis: That's The Way It Is, released on November 11.
May 24: Elvis surprises Priscilla with a 25th birthday party at Graceland.
June 1: Producer Felton Jarvis quits RCA to go under exclusive contract with Elvis, creating a partnership that will last for the rest of the singer's life.
June 7: Having run out of Hill and Range songwriting material to record in his latest marathon session, Elvis decides to start cutting old country favorites of his, which will eventually result in the 1971 album Elvis Country (I'm 10,000 Years Old).


August 4: Elvis begins rehearsals for his next International Hotel engagement in Vegas, as filming begins for the That's The Way It Is movie.
August 14: Patricia Ann Parker, a Los Angeles waitress, files a paternity suit against Elvis Presley, claiming him as the father of her unborn child. Elvis' L.A. lawyer immediately hires a private investigator to look into the matter; Elvis, fearful that his fans will not forgive this sexual indiscretion, nevertheless attempts some damage control from the stage in tonight's performance.
August 26: An anonymous phone call is placed to the International, claiming that a kidnapping attempt will be made on Elvis before the show tonight. Although nothing comes of the threat, security is heightened for the remainder of the engagement. The incident will later inspire the 1988 comedy Heartbreak Hotel.


August 28: Elvis is threatened with an attempt on his life at tonight's show, instigated by an anonymous call to Memphis Mafioso Joe Esposito demanding $50,000 for the name of the attempted assassin. The FBI is immediately called in, as is the rest of the "Mafia" for bodyguard detail. In addition, private security is brought in to beef up hotel security, and a doctor and ambulance are situated backstage just in case. Finally, Elvis himself takes a gun on stage that night. Although nothing happens on stage -- one fan calls out his name, stopping the show cold, but merely requests "Love Me Tender" -- Elvis will be so badly shaken by this incident that he will soon begin purchasing an Elvis-sized arsenal of guns for his own protection.

September 7: For the final night of Presley's latest International engagement, the hotel presents him with a gold, faux-championship boxing belt for "World's Championship Attendance Record." Elvis will wear the belt at engagements off and on for the rest of his life.
September 9: Elvis flies to Phoenix for the beginning of his first proper American stadium tour, made up of several dates secure by several different promoters. Tonight's show is again filmed for the Way It Is film.
September 21: The Sheriff of Memphis, Roy Nixon, makes Elvis an honorary deputy, starting the King on his near-obsession with collecting official police and government badges. Presley would later use this badge to pull over cars on the street, mainly just to converse with the driver.
September 24: Having viewed a rough cut of That's The Way It Is, Colonel Parker writes a scathing three-page memo to the studio, MGM, claiming that there are too many edits in the live footage, detracting from spontaneity. His main objection, however, is what he sees as the film's mocking attitude towards two of Elvis' more popular movies of the Sixties, Blue Hawaii and G.I. Blues.
October 9: At a Pontiac dealership in Los Angeles, Elvis spies a new Stutz Blackhawk, the first of its kind in the city. Despite the fact that the car is being held for Frank Sinatra, Presley convinces the dealer to let him have it instead.
October 17: While attending the Gospel Quartet Convention in Memphis, Elvis indulges himself in a lifelong passion by singing backstage with members of the legendary Blackwood Brothers and the equally notable Statesmen Quartet, both major early influences on the singer.
October 19: Working from a design sketched out by Priscilla and Elvis, the King orders a dozen 14-karat gold pendants from a Beverly Hills jeweler featuring the letters "TCB" set around a lightning bolt. Designed as totems for the Memphis Mafia (and also for security issues), the symbol stands, in Elvis' words, for "Taking Care of Business in a Flash." They would eventually come to symbolize the '70s Era for Elvis Presley.
On the same day, just across town, Pat Parker gives birth to her son, which she names Jason Peter Presley.
November 14: Between tonight's two shows at the Forum in Los Angeles, Elvis is served a subpoena in the ongoing paternity suit by a process server posing as a fan.
November 18: Elvis meets famed voice actor Paul Frees, who shows the King his official badge from the US Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (a predecessor to today's DEA). Presley becomes determined to get one of his own.
November 21: Vacationing in Palm Springs, Elvis seeks out Vice President Spiro Agnew, also vacationing at the same resort, and begins to ingratiate himself.
December 3: After secretly donating $7,000 to the LAPD, Elvis is rewarded with a commissioner's badge. Later, he visits a local gun store and buys over $20,000 worth of guns over a three-day period, some for random strangers.
December 9: The Colonel, not having heard from Elvis for weeks, sends a memo to him reminding him that his TCB slogan "only works if you use it."
December 16: Elvis countersues Patricia Parker in her paternity suit and views the final cut of That's The Way It Is while in L.A.
December 19: Back at Graceland, and echoing the sentiments that have caused Presley to stay away from the Colonel, Priscilla and Elvis' father Vernon attempt to corner him to express disapproval over his lavish spending habits. Infuriated, Elvis flies to Washington D.C., then Dallas, then Los Angeles, where he contacts Mafioso Jerry Schilling and essentially disappears from his wife and family. Later, fellow Mafioso Sonny West will be allowed to tell his family that he is safe, but no more.
December 20: Flying back to Washington, Elvis finds himself sharing the commercial flight with senator George Murphy of California. The two begin to talk about the tumult in American society, and Elvis composes a hand-written letter to President Richard Nixon, essentially asking for a Bureau of Narcotics badge. Murphy delivers the note when he lands.
December 21: After futile attempts to contact the BNDD director in Washington, Nixon's deputy counsel Egil Krogh calls Schilling's hotel, as Elvis instructed in the note; Elvis meets Nixon in the Oval Office a mere forty-five minutes later.

The meeting is short but productive; The King presents the President with a Colt 45 pistol of WWII vintage (complete with silver bullets), and Nixon gives Elvis his coveted BNDD badge, essentially giving him official permission to report to the US Government on drug-related activities (although the badge is officially more of a goodwill effort to reach the "young people" through the singer).
December 28: Elvis is best man at Sonny West's wedding in Memphis.
December 31: Back in Washington, D.C., Elvis tours the FBI headquarters and attempts an abortive meeting with Director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover promises to get back in touch with the singer, but never does. That night, back in Memphis, Elvis once again entertains the entourage at the hangout T.J.s, once again featuring music by house headliner Ronnie Milsap.