Elvis Presley / YouTube
As the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley had fans all around the globe. But despite his worldwide popularity, Elvis never toured outside of North America. Most of his concerts were in the U.S., but he did perform five shows in Canada.
For decades fans have wondered why Elvis never held a concert elsewhere, and after much speculation, the truth finally came to light.
In November 2016, a previously forgotten document of Elvis’ from 1976 surfaced during an auction, which detailed his plans to travel to England and Japan. Unfortunately, Elvis never had the chance to carry out his plans, since he passed away the following year.
So why was it that Elvis never made an effort to tour outside of North America before 1976?
As it turns out, Elvis was excited about the possibility of touring in other countries, but was held back by his manager Colonel Tom Parker.
Tensions between Elvis and the Colonel were high for many years. Elvis had a strong desire to tour in other countries, but the Colonel kept him busy with an extensive U.S. tour instead. Elvis’ cousin, Billy Smith, spoke to the Elvis Information Network about the conflict with the Colonel.
“I know that Elvis loved Colonel, but he also had resentment toward him for holding him back on certain things that he really wanted to do. One thing was to tour Europe. He talked about it many, many times, and we all looked forward to the day that happened. Unfortunately, it never came to pass.”
The fact that Elvis never toured outside of North America weighed heavy on his mind. His good friend Lamar Fike once said “The biggest disappointment for Elvis in his life was not touring outside the U.S.“
Although Elvis never got the chance to go on tour in other countries, he still continues to have a strong fan base around the world, particularly in Europe. He had a wealth of number one hit songs in the UK over the course of his career, including and perhaps most notably, “The Wonder of You.”
What are your thoughts on the reason why Elvis never toured outside of North America? We’d love to hear from you.