The latest issue (#96) of the Performing Songwriter magazine features an article on Elvis' TCB Band in which James Burton, Glen D. Hardin, Jerry Scheff and Ronnie Tutt talk about their memories of working with the King.
From the magazine's website:
August 1970, the Grand Ballroom of the Las Vegas Hilton. The lights are going down. Out of the darkness comes a torrent of drums, a guitar riff, a piano and eight background singers clapping in tent-revival rhythm. Elvis Presley appears from the wings, throws his shoulders around and flashes a photon beam of charisma. The world’s most coveted head of male hair flops across his forehead. As he starts to sing “That’s all right mama,” the crowd goes nuts. It’s more than all right. The 35-year-old superstar has made a triumphant return to live performance.
When he first hit in 1955, Elvis was like an H-bomb on shaky legs. In 18 months, he went from hillbilly singer to the biggest star in America, with a parade of No. 1 hits such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “All Shook Up” and “Jailhouse Rock.” Along the way he upended our entire pop culture—from music to fashion to attitudes about race and sexuality.
By the early 1960s, Elvis was lured to Hollywood as aspirations of movie stardom replaced his desire to be the king of rock ’n’ roll. But he got trapped in a succession of inane films—the result of years-long manipulations of his notorious manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Finally, in 1968, Elvis had enough. In that landmark year, he reasserted himself in the televised ’68 Comeback Special, a new album, From Elvis in Memphis—and his first chart-topper in seven years, “Suspicious Minds.”
“I lost my musical direction in Hollywood,” Elvis told reporters on the eve of his return to live performance in Vegas the following year. “My songs were the same conveyer-belt mass production, just like most of my movies. Now I’m back and on the right road.” His traveling companions on the road to the Hilton were a group of ace musicians, including Glen D. Hardin (piano), James Burton (guitar), Ronnie Tutt (drums) and Jerry Scheff (bass). Dubbed the TCB Band—for “Takin’ Care of Business,” a slogan of Elvis’—they would ride with the king from his initial return to the stage in Vegas until his drug-addled last performances in 1977.