In the 1970s, there was an innovation that was about to take place and it was satellite broadcasting. And while it wasn’t anything new even at that time, what would take place on January 14, 1973, would be immortalized in the histories of both music and television.
On that day, Elvis Presley headlined a concert at the Honolulu International Center (now the Neal S. Blaisdell Center) in Hawaii. It was broadcasted by NBC, and was viewed by an estimated one billion viewers, in over forty countries, including those in Europe and Asia. The show followed two previous shows held in Honolulu in November 1972, which were originally planned for satellite broadcasting, but because it clashed with the release of the documentary film Elvis on Tour, it was moved to January 1973.
On the day of the satellite broadcast, Presley was dressed in an “American Eagle” jumpsuit, created by costume designer Bill Below (now on exhibit at Graceland). The songs performed during the concert included “All Shook Up”, “Suspicious Minds”, and “Blue Suede Shoes”. Proceeds of the concert went to the Kui Lee Cancer Fund, a foundation named in honor of the songwriter who died in 1966, and whose song “I’ll Remember You” was performed by Presley. The soundtrack album was released almost a month later, as a two-record set. It knocked Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon from the top of the charts, becoming Presley’s final number one album during his lifetime. The Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite concert remains one of the pioneering events in entertainment history,