The year was 1968. Elvis Presley, once the undisputed king of Rock and Roll, had found himself in a period of transition. After years focusing on Hollywood films and commercially safe music, his career momentum had waned. It was amid this landscape that the NBC television special simply called “Elvis” (later known as the “Comeback Special”), aired on December 3, 1968. This historic event marked a pivotal moment in Elvis’s career, showcasing his raw talent and serving as a potent reminder of his electrifying stage presence.

The special’s opening sequence stands as a powerful testament to Elvis’s musical reawakening. It features a dynamic medley of “Trouble” and “Guitar Man,” two songs that capture the essence of his early rock and roll sound. While both songs were originally released years prior (“Trouble” in 1957 and “Guitar Man” in 1960), their inclusion in the “Comeback Special” served as a deliberate statement of intent.

The medley kicks off with the bluesy intro of “Trouble,” composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song’s lyrics, filled with themes of loneliness and heartbreak, perfectly set the stage for the raw emotion that would follow. As the music builds, Elvis enters, clad in a sleek black outfit, his eyes radiating determination. His charismatic presence immediately electrifies the atmosphere, leaving no doubt that the “King” had returned.

The energy quickly shifts as the medley transitions into the pulsating rhythm of “Guitar Man,” written by Fred Wise and Eldo Bryant. This song serves as a powerful showcase of Elvis’s musical roots, with its driving beat and prominent guitar work. Throughout the medley, Elvis’s vocals crackle with passion, demonstrating his mastery of both soulfulness and rock and roll swagger.

More than just a song performance, the “Trouble/Guitar Man” medley serves as a symbolic rebirth of Elvis Presley. It marked the beginning of a renewed energy and a return to the raw energy and unbridled passion that had first propelled him to stardom. This electrifying opening sequence cemented the “Comeback Special” as a landmark moment in music history, reminding the world why Elvis Presley would forever be known as the King of Rock and Roll.