Elvis Presley Sings “Unchained Melody” During Final Recorded Concert

YouTube/Peter Hunya

Taking the stage for what would be his last recorded concert performance in July 1977, Elvis Presley drew crowds of thousands to an arena in Rapid City, South Dakota, and poured out his heart and soul into “Unchained Melody.”

While Elvis appeared at a few more concerts following this CBS Elvis In Concert special, this was one of his last and most notable performances before his untimely death in August 1977.

At this concert, he sang one of the most performed and recorded songs in the 20th century, “Unchained Melody.”

“Unchained Melody,” a timeless ballad, emerged in 1955 as a lesser-known track in a little-known movie, Unchained. Composed by Alex North with lyrics by Hy Zaret, its soulful, longing tones initially catered to the film’s narrative about a prisoner yearning for freedom. However, the song gained significant traction when The Righteous Brothers recorded their iconic version in 1965, imbuing it with emotive depth and soaring vocals. Its haunting melody and heartfelt lyrics struck a chord, becoming a staple in pop culture. Over the years, it’s been covered by numerous artists, solidifying its place as an enduring classic synonymous with love, longing, and timeless romance. Later on, Heart, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, LeAnn Rimes, and of course – Elvis have also recorded the song.

Presley’s version of the song became one of the most notable in music history, selling millions of copies and forever etching his recording as a classic piece of the rising era of rock and roll.

Arguably one of the most popular Elvis concert videos, this recording shows that The King wasn’t feeling well.

He appeared to struggle to catch his breath as he spoke to the crowd before he sat down at the piano to accompany himself. But, once he started singing, Elvis’s rich voice was strong and beautiful as he delivered the familiar tune.

The 2021 film Elvis perfectly replicated this performance to close out the movie, and it switched over to actual footage pretty seamlessly.

Watch this must-see final recording of Elvis singing “Unchained Melody” in the video below.

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