What Johnny Carson really said about Elvis Presley on ‘The Tonight Show’

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Elvis Presley, a bona fide Greek God at age 34, flashes a lovely smile while taking questions from the press corps after his return to live performing at the Las Vegas International Hotel, August 1, 1969. Photography possibly by Terry O’Neill / Colorization by FECC Elvis-Collectors member Rizzy56
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Johnny Carson headlined in mid-October 1969 at the Sahara Hotel’s Congo Room in Las Vegas. A vacationing Elvis Presley visited backstage with the master monologist in the only photo unearthed thus far of the pop culture phenomenons together, albeit in a colorized rendition. Image Credit: Elvis World Japan
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The undisputed King of Late Night is caressed by affectionate second wife Joanne Carson circa 1966. Married in 1963 and divorced nine years later, she played a key role in her husband’s ascension to television icon status. Photography by Jack Stager / Globe Photos
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A cigarette brandishing Johnny Carson and Muhammad Ali playfully debut their musical combo backstage at “The Tonight Show” when it was originally located in New York City, February 10, 1967. Incidentally, Elvis Presley greatly admired both men and personally presented a robe emblazoned with “The People’s Choice” backstage in Las Vegas to Ali on February 14, 1973. Image Credit: Associated Press
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Behind his legendary desk, Johnny Carson is at home and ready to hold a free-wheeling conversation on the Burbank set of “The Tonight Show,” circa 1974. Image Credit: Carson Entertainment Group
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Although a bit heavier four months after his 40th birthday, Elvis Presley enjoys himself immensely during a sold-out show at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 2, 1975. The white two-piece suit with blue shoulder ornaments, sadly worn sporadically, fit his physique much better in lieu of the oft-gaudy jumpsuits. Photography by George Hill
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Elvis Presley captured during a short residency at the Sahara Hotel in Lake Tahoe on October 12, 1974. It was perhaps the first time the superstar wore the Mexican Sundial jumpsuit that would be featured in his pitiful 1977 CBS television special, “Elvis in Concert,” which aired less than two months after the “Kentucky Rain’s” balladeer’s passing. Photography by Sue McCasland / taken from “World’s Best Kept Secret: Elvis Live at Del Webb’s Sahara Tahoe”
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Johnny Carson headlined in mid-October 1969 at the Sahara Hotel’s Congo Room in Las Vegas. A vacationing 34-year-old Elvis Presley, two months after conquering Las Vegas’s International Hotel, visited backstage with the master monologist in the only photo unearthed thus far of the pop culture phenomenons together. Image Credit: Elvis World Japan

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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