50th anniversary of Elvis’s ‘Aloha from Hawaii’, the first concert broadcast via satellite in history

Exactly 50 years ago today, on January 14, 1973, Elvis Presley held the first concert in history broadcast via satellite to the world in the so-called “Aloha from Hawaii”. It was seen on television in 36 countries around the world with an estimated audience of 1.5 billion viewers. A milestone not only in the history of music, since its broadcast surpassed in audience that other great moment in which viewers could see how Neil Amstron stepped on the Moon for the first time on July 16, 1969.

With the songs from the concert, a double LP was published, ‘Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii via satellite’, which sold a million copies in 30 days and was his last number one on the Billboard Hot 100 while he was alive (in 1977 he would achieve it consistently). posthumous with ‘Moddy Blue’).

‘Aloha from Hawaii’ was the first solo concert to be broadcast via satellite and is considered the most watched one-person show in music history. And the demonstration that despite having just turned 38, he was involved in divorce proceedings and the brightness of his star was diminishing due to the push of young people who had changed the musical scene from Europe such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, he He was still The King.

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The recital starring Elvis Presley took place at the Honolulu International Center and was broadcast via satellite to audiences in Asia and Oceania on January 14, 1973. In Europe it was done with a time difference. And, in the United States, to avoid coinciding with the Super Bowl final, NBC opted to broadcast a 90-minute television special of the concert on April 4 of that same year.

50 years ago today: Elvis arrives at Honolulu Airport, in Oahu, for the

Elvis Presley upon arrival at Honolulu Airport, Oahu, in January 1973

Third parties

‘Aloha from Hawaii’ was one of two benefit concerts Elvis performed in 1973 to raise funds for the Kui Lee Cancer Foundation. That was great for his image as a generous monarch of Rock. As if that were not enough, the then mayor of Honolulu, Frank Fasi declared January 13 as “Elvis Presley Day” as a compliment to the artist due to his contribution to the Kui Lee Foundation.

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Queralt Uceda

Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson in August 1994

The singer was aware of the importance of the appointment and its impact that he did not want to leave anything to chance. Although the transmission was scheduled for January 14, 1973, the previous week his musicians arrived on the island to rehearse and, two days before the event, the king and his band offered a recital as a rehearsal. As would happen at the main concert, admission to the Honolulu International Center Arena was priceless and depended on the will and generosity of the attendees.

Finally, on January 14, 1973 at 00:30, the bars of ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, the famous introduction to Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space OdysseyThey started the concert. Then, as the beginning of ‘See See Rider’ played, Elvis entered the scene dressed in his famous white jumpsuit to which you could add a cape with the silhouette of a beaded eagle, and the rest is history.

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50th anniversary of Elvis’s ‘Aloha from Hawaii’, the first concert broadcast via satellite in history

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