One Night With You in 68

Elvis, Charlie Hodge, Scotty, Alan Fortas and D.J. at NBC-TV Studios June 27, 1968

Hey Scotty...  I've admired you and your work since you, Elvis, and Bill started at Sun Records. You are the sound of the early Elvis music.  I briefly met Charlie Hodge one night at Memories Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and I told him I would love to have walked in his shoes for a while.  But that goes double for you.

By the way, I was in the audience for one of the tapings for the "Elvis Special" in June 1968 in Burbank, California. Got to see you in person. What a magical night that was.  I got to see Elvis do his first version of "Tiger Man."

I'm ashamed to say I have nothing from that night in Burbank.  The ticket stubs disappeared many years ago.  And, you were not allowed to take photos or use a recording device in the studio.  The session my ex-wife and I were at was an 8 PM taping of one of the sit-down sessions on the boxing type stage.  Col. Parker picked females out of the audience to sit around the stage.  Had my wife's feet not been swollen from standing in line (she couldn't get her shoes back on) she would have been one of the ladies sitting down there with Elvis.  As the tapes show, Elvis started out with his acoustic guitar, and then switched with Scotty.  I have to admit, I had no idea Elvis could play a guitar like that.

Elvis with his J200 before switching with Scotty

I lucked out getting tickets to the taping.  I happened to see in TV Guide that Elvis was going to do a television special on NBC.  I wrote to NBC and asked how you might get tickets to this event.  Two or three months later I received two tickets in the mail.  When we were standing in line outside the studio, an NBC page, who was trying to impress a couple of young girls in front of us, told them that NBC had sent out around 50 tickets.  When the Colonel found out, he blew a gasket and told them this was to be for invited guests only, and told them not to send anymore tickets out.  I don't know if this is true, but it's what the page told the girls.

Also standing in line with us that night was Arthur O'Connell, who co-starred in "Flaming Star" and "Kissin' Cousins" with Elvis.*

Anyhow, it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.

Al McGill
Knoxville, TN
February 22, 2003

*Arthur O'Connell actually costarred in "Follow That Dream" not "Flaming Star" in addition to "Kissing Cousins"


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