On June 27, 1968 Elvis stepped on an intimate stage on a Burbank studio lot to film 4 one hour segments that would be used for the special. He was clad in head to toe black leather. These sessions were jam sessions where Elvis could get comfortable in front of a live audience again. He had minimal band around him and he would sit and play guitar along with them. As the shows went on, Elvis became more comfortable with the audience.
Elvis recorded several different large scale numbers that would be incorporated into the final product. These numbers were some of his largely popular songs. Elvis ended the show with a powerful vocal number, If I Can Dream. It was as if he was telling the world that his hopes were all pined to the special and his comeback.
On December 3, 1968 the Elvis NBC TV Special aired. Elvis was extremely nervous and concerned with how the public and the critics would receive it. He had worked so hard on creating something he was proud about and had put a lot of heart into the performances. If the special wasn't welcomed by the public then Elvis would be at a standstill on his career. Fortunately for Elvis, the critics and fans loved it. The critics noted that Elvis sounded and looked better than ever. Younger audiences tuned in and were immediately captivated by his charm, music and charisma. Coincidently, the only Christmas song that Elvis sang during the special was Blue Christmas.
The 1968 special put Elvis back on the music map. The special led to Elvis touring and his Las Vegas residency shows.