Making a surprise appearance on stage at the National Quartet Convention, in the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, (very late) on Saturday, October 7, 1972

Thanks to Evan for the last photo and the Doc at FECC for the date and details

From the Doc:

After reviewing Presley's whereabouts in the fall of 1972, and locating a news report, the mystery is solved!

Elvis is seen making a surprise appearance on stage at the National Quartet Convention, in the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, (very late) on Saturday, October 7, 1972!!

Run by legendary gospel bass singer, and member of the Presley show, J.D. Sumner, the NQC had most often been held in Memphis for many years, before moving to Nashville in 1970. He always accommodated Elvis whenever the star wanted to watch the quartets.

The first two capture Elvis addressing the crowd (he did not sing), and the third shows him, girlfriend Linda Thompson and others leaving the Municipal Auditorium as a few of the participants wave good-bye.

In about a month "Burning Love" would top charts and MGM's "Elvis On Tour" hit cinemas in all the major cities. Two months after that, Elvis would be on stage at Honolulu International Center, delivering a live concert on TV to various parts of the world via satellite.

The future looked bright. So very bright.

The Best Came Last at 6-Day Quartet Meet - Nashville Tennessean - Monday, October 9, 1972


An estimated 700 people walked down the aisles at Municipal Auditorium in an emotion-packed worship service yesterday morning to pledge their faith anew.

It was the closing day of the 15th annual National Quartet Convention that ran six days during which gospel music was the big thing in Music City USA.

FIVE THOUSAND people came to the auditorium for what was to have been an hour and a half worship service. But it ran three hours.

They heard the Rev. Carl Hatch relate the story of his life and of his redemption from an earlier life of alcohol, drugs and crime including a prison sentence.

The Baptist evangelist, who has been official chaplain of the convention since it was started in Memphis, told how he started his ministry in a room at the Buick plant, Flint, Mich., a thing that resulted in his getting kicked off the job.

"I NEVER HAVE been able to understand," he said, "how I could work there so long when I was half drunk and nothing was said, and then got fired for trying to lead people to accept Christ."

He declared that a revival is needed "that will shake this country and w'e might start it right here." Perhaps the people that jammed all the space in front of the big stage were responding to the call.

Many said it was the highlight of the week's activities.

"AND TO THINK," said Ralph Smith of Cincinnati, "that my wife and I almost took off for home early this morning. I'm glad we didn't because we would have missed the best thing that happened all week long."

The convention closed yesterday afternoon with the groups that had appeared on programs during the week.

Ticket sales hadn't been totaled yesterday, but it was estimated that attendance during the week would reach 30,000.

PRACTICALLY all the big-name gospel groups appeared on at least one of the programs during the week, and some of the less known.

It was a week of highlights.

Saturday night, or shortly after midnight yesterday, Elvis Presley, who had been listening to the program backstage, was introduced by J. D. Sumner.

Presley didn't sing but came out on stage for a bow to the wild cheers of the crowd.

Also appearing after midnight was the Happy Goodman Family. This group flew in by chartered jet after singing in a gospel concert m Harrisburg, Pa., earlier in the night.

A NUMBER OF popular country artists appeared to sing gospel during the week, including Skeeter Davis, Dottie West, Stu Phillips and Connie Smith.

People attended from 40 states, many from Canada and one couple from Switzerland.

All convention visitors registered in local hotels found a copy of the Tennessean at their door each morning, compliments of Martin Norcross and Canaan Records.

Many reservations were being made for next year's convention which appears to have found a permanent home in Nashville.

SUMNER is president and director of the event, which he organized in Memphis and where all sessions were held except two, one in Birmingham and one in Atlanta, until it was moved here two years ago.

It was a week in which the Gospel Music Association presented Dove Awards in 14 categories to groups and individuals for outstanding achievements in the field of gospel music during the past year.

GMA also elected a new president -- Brock Speer -- and other officers.

It was a week of gospel music at its best.