Elvis included Ray Charles 'I Got A Woman' in his stage show immediately on returning to live performing on 31 July 1969, and it would remain in the show until the end, and was almost never omitted from the show.
The dynamic of Elvis' setlist went almost full circle within five years, as it started with a rigidity with only a few extra songs performed in late August 69, specifically for RCA who were recording at these shows.
Any setlist change wold usually occur at the beginning of every Vegas engagement, and this would be the setlist that he would then use for tours which followed, but this would change after Elvis aborted the attempt at radically changing the structure of his setlist on 19 August 1974 after just one show. The setlist thereafter would change very little, with Elvis almost always opening with the same three songs and it is possible to almost rhyme off a typical setlist from 1976 and 1977, and the only real deviation from the norm in this period would be the inclusion of a recent single or recording.
Throughout all of this I Got A Woman would be an ever present, to which Elvis would add a rendition of Amen, creating a medley. In time, this would become more and more elaborate, eventually incorporating the J.D. Sumner dive bomber routine.
Elvis' live delivery of the song would also change. In 1969 it's delivery was in keeping with the feel of these shows, but this raw edginess would soon dissipate as the 70's progressed.
Elvis recorded his RCA master of the song in Nashville on 10 January 1956, and performed it in four of the six shows filmed by MGM for That's The Way It Is, but none of them made it into the original movie. The re-edited 2001 version of the movie however, included the first of these from this engagement, filmed during the 11 August 1970 dinner show.
Version One - 26 September 1956, Afternoon Show - Tupelo Fields Fairground
Version Two - 25 March 1961 - Bloch Arena, Honolulu
Version Three - 3 August 1969, Dinner Show, Las Vegas
Version Four - 23 February 1970, Closing Show, Las Vegas
Version Five - 14 August 1970, Midnight Show, Las Vegas
Between 31 July 1969 and 26 June 1977, it was commonplace for Elvis to tease his audiences with one liners from his own back catalogue and even well known songs by other artists but far more often than not this was about as far as Elvis would go away from his pre chosen setlist, although there were some notable exceptions where Elvis would give an off the cuff unrehearsed song.
The sense of what might have been when you consider some of the titles that were given the one liner treatment by Elvis with "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "His Latest Flame", "If I Can Dream" and "Viva Las Vegas" among those that got away.
Sometimes, however, Elvis landed somewhere in the middle with perhaps a few lines or a full verse and one such occasion was during his Midnight Show on 14 August 1970, just over twenty four hours after MGM had wrapped principal filming on "That's The Way It Is". During this show Elvis stuck to his usual routine of singing "I Got A Woman" as the second song of the show but at the usual pause before the song's finale, Elvis decided to give one line of "You Don't Know Me". Glen Hardin can be heard attempting some piano accompaniment which led to Elvis singing the first verse, but whether through his own lack of enthusiasm or the band's inability to follow, Elvis instead sings the conclusion to "I Got A Woman".
Version Six - 21 February 1971, Midnight Show, Las Vegas
Version Seven - 9 April 1972, Evening Show - Hampton Roads Coliseum
The “Elvis On Tour” Version
Version Eight – 4 August 1973, Dinner Show, Las Vegas
As the 70's progressed the Elvis would extend the song by using his 'divebomb' routine which would involve J.D. Sumner sliding up the scale in that distinctive bass voice.
However, during Elvis' Las Vegas dinner show of 14 August 1973 before entering into "Amen", Elvis instead decides to sing Amazing Grace. It is only the first verse and only lasts for around thirty seconds but it is still nice to hear.
Version Nine - 29 June 1974, Evening Show - Kemper Arena, Kansas City
Version Ten - 3 June 1975 - University of Alabama Memorial Coliseum, Tuscaloosa
Version Eleven - 31 December 1976 - Pittsburgh Civic Arena
Version Twelve - 21 June 1977 - Rapid City
Filmed by CBS' cameras in Rapid City during filming of Elvis In Concert although it would fail to make the final edit.
Due to RCA's heavy editing of certain parts of the song for release on the 'Elvis In Concert' album it was necessary to retain some of the original audio.
As with all of these videos, to get the most out of the re-edited audio, I highly recommend you use ear /headphones and turn the volume up as much as you dare!