Elvis Presley Timeline: 1973

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 1973. You can also find out what else Elvis was up to in 1973 and in all the years of his life.

January 9: Elvis arrives in Hawaii and begins rehearsal for his upcoming Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii special.
January 10: Longtime producer Felton Jarvis, still recovering from his recent kidney transplant, arrives to conduct the full orchestra and band rehearsal.


January 12: Elvis is present at one final "stage" rehearsal at the International Convention Center where the concert is to be held. At 8:30 pm local time, he plays his first concert, billed as a free rehearsal before an audience. $25,000 is raised for charity from suggested donations at the door.
January 13: After midnight, the "late show" concert is broadcast to Asia, the "worldwide" satellite broadcast that would be taped for an album and American TV special entitled Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii. The show receives rave reviews, breaks all ratings records in Japan, and prompts a congratulatory, heartfelt letter from the Colonel. Four songs are taped onstage after the concert for the US broadcast.
January 24: Elvis begins rehearsals for his next Vegas engagement.
January 26: Elvis begins his first Hilton engagement of 1973, and from the very beginning, it is clear that something is wrong: Presley, usually so concerned with professionalism and performance, seems disinterested and eventually cancels five shows due to what he insists is a case of the flu.


February 2: In Vegas, Elvis meets Muhammad Ali, in training for an upcoming defense of his title, and presents him with a boxing-style robe featuring the words "The People's Champion." Ali presents the singer with a pair of golden boxing gloves signed "You're the greatest" and "To Elvis, my main man, Muhammad Ali."
February 13: The Colonel writes Elvis, reminding him to turn down any offers to record new music until he secures a new publishing deal.


February 15: Elvis walks off the stage during the early show at the Hilton, again blaming the flu.
February 18: Four men climb on stage during Elvis Presley's show in Las Vegas, ostensibly to shake his hand. Fearing a threat to his life, Elvis and bassist Jerry Scheff immobilize the men using karate moves. No charges are filed. Elvis tells the audience: "I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen. I'm sorry I didn't break his goddamned neck, is what I'm sorry about."
February 19: Still brooding over the "attack," an increasingly paranoid Elvis becomes convinced that his former karate instructor Mike Stone, the man now sleeping with his ex, Priscilla, is trying to have him killed. Grabbing an M-16 rifle from the closet and handing it to Memphis Mafioso Red West, he orders Red to go to Los Angeles and kill Stone, saying, "He has no right to live. Red, find someone, somebody to wipe him out." West agrees in order to calm him down, but after talking to a mutual friend, actor Robert Conrad, he decides to wait this storm out. When, a few days later, he informs Elvis that such a job would cost around $10,000, Elvis lets the matter drop.
February 23: At tonight's Hilton show, Elvis spots Ann-Margret in the audience and instructs Lamar Fike, operating the spotlight, to leave it on her.


March 1: The Colonel sells all of Elvis' back catalog recordings to RCA for a lump sum of $5.4 million, forgoing all future royalties, in an apparent attempt to garner the King some quick, much-needed cash. Parker also renegotiates Elvis into a 50-50 split on new royalties, and lands another seven-year, fourteen-album deal with RCA for $3.5 million.
March 19: Elvis' paternal grandfather Jessie D. Presley, a wandering laborer, dies in Louisville, KY of a heart attack. Elvis does not attend the funeral, as "J.D." had not maintained close ties with Elvis' father Vernon.
April 2: Elvis is promoted to sixth-degree black belt in the International Kempo Karate Association.
April 4: The taped Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii concert is telecast on NBC and proves to be a huge success. The total worldwide audience for the show amounts to over a billion people.


April 8: Elvis attends the Kempo karate championships at the request of sensei Ed Parker, but when Elvis realizes his name has been used to promote the event, he and his entourage turn around and head home.
May 2: Priscilla re-opens her divorce, having been assured she can get a larger settlement than the one agreed upon.
May 19: After a critically-savaged debut at the Sahara resort on Lake Tahoe, and several more cancellations due to "illness," the Colonel and Vernon plead with Los Angeles lawyer Ed Hookstratten to look into Elvis' prescription drug use and identify his main suppliers. With Elvis unwilling to cooperate, however, the investigation dies a slow death.

June 19: Elvis has minor foot surgery at a Memphis podiatrist's.
June 29: RCA informs Elvis that he must begin work on new recordings within the next month, although it leaves the location up to the singer.
July 17: Priscilla formally re-opens divorce proceedings.
July 20: Elvis begins his new sessions at Stax Studios in Memphis, using many of the same musicians from his triumphant recordings at American Sound back in 1969. The band is silently shocked at Elvis' new appearance, specifically his weight gain and obviously drugged behavior.
July 24: Upon learning that his vocal mike has apparently been stolen, Elvis walks out of the Stax studios, ending his sessions before even half the required amount of material has been completed.
July 31: Presley begins rehearsals for the next round of Vegas shows.
August 6: Elvis opens his latest series of Vegas dates and is again slammed by the critics for his lackluster performance.
August 19: After tonight's show, Elvis gives an impromptu karate demonstration in his hotel suite, accidentally breaking the ankle of a female guest.
September 3: In a bizarre performance, Elvis ends his current Vegas engagement by singing from an onstage bed, wearing a toy monkey around his neck, and upbraiding the Hilton Hotel for what he sees as unfair treatment of one of his favorite employees. The Colonel, naturally, is furious, and in a backstage screaming match, Presley fires him.
September 4: Despite the verbal break of their contract, both the Colonel and Elvis proceed with already-laid plans, with Elvis flying in a new gospel quartet he wants to present to singer Tom Jones. When Jones feels they're not right for his act, Presley redubs them "Voice" and adds them to the show.
September 7: Red West is accused of assaulting one of Elvis' suite guests outside the Vegas Hilton, but the matter is dropped for now; however, West's heavy hand with the general public soon becomes a sore point with the King.
September 8: Elvis and girlfriend Linda Thompson attend Tom Jones' new Vegas opening.
September 16: Through a phone call Elvis has placed by Sonny West, Elvis and the Colonel resolve their differences.
September 19: Elvis sees an orthopedic doctor for a broken finger sustained the week before during another karate demonstration.
September 22: RCA sends a mobile recording studio to Elvis' Palm Springs home in order to get vocals for four songs recorded without him during the abortive Stax sessions. Only three will be completed.
October 9: Priscilla's new divorce settlement is finalized, giving her $14,200 a year in support, $725,000 in cash now, half of the sale of the couple's Palm Springs home, and five percent of all new recordings. The ex-couple leave the courthouse holding hands.
October 15: Having experienced respiratory problems for the past four days, Elvis is admitted to Memphis' Baptist Memorial Hospital, where Dr. George Nichopoulos, Elvis' personal physician, discovers his patient's addiction to Demerol.
December 25: Elvis gives a mink coat and fox coat (with matching purse) to Linda Thompson at today's Graceland Christmas festivities.