Songs to Remember
'Santa Claus is Back in Town'On August 4, 1970 Elvis would sing again in the rehearsal held in the Convention Room of the International Hotel in Las Vegas, on the occasion of the filming of the movie "That's the Way it is". Until this day he had only rehearsed with the musicians: James Burton, lead guitar; Glen D. Hardin, on piano; guitar, John Wilkinson; bass Jerry Scheff; Ronnie Tutt on drums and Charlie Hodge, his faithful friend, his voice and guitar. And the last days of rehearsal will finally feature the voices of The Sweet Inspirations,
The Imperials and Millie Kirkham as lead female voice. The clear intention of completing all the work done with the musicians with the voices and finally completing with the orchestra on August 7th. One of the songs that they are going to rehearse 'Santa Claus is Back in Town', a view of the past and a theme that Elvis obviously likes to interpret a lot.
The song composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that Elvis recorded on September 7, 1957, at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, for the first Elvis Christmas Album, released in October of the same year. "Elvis Christmas Album". It reached number 1 for 4 weeks, a Gold record again for Elvis. At the time a game of intentions with the lyrics of this blues so impressive that it was a Christmas song at the same time. Identifying himself as Santa Claus without the sleigh, reindeer or sack of toys, which he promises to arrive in his black Cadillac with the intention of rolling down a young woman's chimney on Christmas Eve. A play on words that meant a scandalous song in the voice of someone who was then a Rock singer... A success and a scandalous song at a time when he received hits and criticism at the same time. But a Christmas classic that in the voice of Elvis becomes a song with an electrifying attraction for his interpretation.
What is interesting in this rehearsal session and this song, "Santa Claus is back in town" is to see how Elvis Presley sings it, taking up this impressive theme again. A pleasure to see and listen to Elvis Bluseando with this song, a little more relaxed in tempo, but absolutely immersed in his lyrics, wiggling slightly and with his left hand also moving the music.
It is clear that Elvis takes this great song, which had such an impact years ago. They all like it. The chorus doesn't do much here, just a faint backing voice, but everyone gets carried away...the piano with Glen D. is also brimming with expression. Everyone struts to his song and the result of a little memory we can witness thanks to these recordings made for the movie."Santa Claus Is Back in Town" has since appeared on many lps, on Elvis Sings Leiber & Stoller, The King Of Rock And Roll, Artist Of The Century and logically on themed releases Memories Of Christmas, If Every Day Was Like Christmas, Christmas Peace and Elvis Christmas, etc, etc... Alternate takes of the song can be found on Tiger Man, the special edition of That's The Way It Is and on the FTD release Let Yourself Go (a rehearsal version for Elvis's NBC TV special that was released prior to broadcast).
Songs that speak to us from the Heart
"Can't Help Falling in Love"
This very special song would become an anthem for his fans forever... A theme that went beyond time... A love song that Elvis took as a declaration for his adoring public and with which he would close his shows ever since. .. The song was composed in 1961 by George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, and performed by Elvis Presley for the movie Blue Hawaii. It was inspired by the classic French composition "Plaisir d'amour" by Jean Paul Égide Martini. The first time Elvis sang this song Elvis already felt it in a special way, a sweet melody that was recorded in a more modest way then.
https://youtu.be/pXhKWWCCdk8 Elvis recorded the song on March 23, 1961 at Radio Recorders. The single spent 14 weeks on the Billboard charts reaching number 2 in the US, and in the UK "Can't Help Falling in Love" was number one for four weeks in the UK. Over time it was a gold record that was certified by the RIIA. In the film it appeared as the melody of a music box with the wonderful interpretation of Elvis. Up close, special, personal...
When Elvis was recording the song, he told the musicians that he would think of a girl named Priscilla, whom he had left behind in Germany. Elvis chose "Can't Help Falling In Love" as a personal declaration of love to his girl at the time she would become his wife.. A song that also sounded like a wedding tune for both of them. A theme that for Elvis meant as his romantic song forever, and that he transferred to his live concerts and as a particular closure of love towards his public. Already starting in 1969 with his new band, the orchestra and the new personal interpretation of Elvis more mature, even different and still with his absolute dedication to this melody... so incredible and close that he adopted it again, but this time with a great meaning for him. His love so great and intense for his audience, unrivaled, that will last a lifetime and will remain in the hearts of all his fans forever.
I recommend you listen to this audio by iVoox!
From Tupelo to Memphis 46 On Stage 2
"Songs that speak to us from the heart"
"The Wonder of You"
One of the songs that Elvis would introduce in the repertoire of his
second season of January-February at the International Hotel in Las Vegas and that would become another of his most iconic songs and much loved by fans, was "The Wonder of You". The song was composed by Baker Night and performed by Ray Peterson in 1959. Elvis took it to the top, reaching number one in England and the Top 10 in the United States.
The version that Elvis made in 1970 was quite free, it was a
very special interpretation, a song very close to the public and very emotional and endearing, performed with a lot of feeling. It would become one of the most regular songs at Elvis concerts.
There is a curious anecdote: The interpreter Ray Peterson, who made this song a success in 1959, tells us: "Elvis asked me if I
It wouldn't matter if he recorded 'The Wonder of You'. I told him: 'You don't have to ask my permission, you're Elvis Presley! '... And Elvis said to me: 'Yes, I know. And you are Ray Peterson' . One more sample of the greatness of Elvis, of his simplicity, of his humility and of his enormous respect for the rest of the artists... Values that always survived in Elvis. It was the pianist, Glen D. Hardin, who asked composer Baker Knight for this song, so that Elvis would perform it. Backer Night was a great admirer and fan of Elvis and was delighted to
that he will perform one of his songs and when he heard him sing it on stage he was absolutely blown away. The song was recorded on February 19, 1970 live at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, for release on the LP "On Stage", which RCA planned to release after the concerts were over and which would be their second album. live. It would also be released in April 1970 as an A-side single, along with Mama Liked the Roses on the B-side. "When no one else can understand me When everything I do is wrong You give me hope and comfort You give me strength to carry on. And you're always there to lend me a hand In everything I do That's the wonderful thing The wonderful thing about you..."
An authentic "wonder" that always excites us when listening to it...
That wonder that you are, forever and ever: Elvis Presley...
"It´s your baby, you rock it"A song with a rather particular anecdote. It has to do with its title. A song composed by Shirl Milete who had already composed "My Little Friend" and had been recorded a year earlier at American Sound Studios, this time signed with the collaboration of Nora Fowler. Nora was Lamar Fike's wife and she wasn't really a songwriter. But the story by which she became co-author of this song is curious.
The history of the song has to do with an anecdote in which Elvis called Lamar Fike on the phone. Shirl Milete had already composed songs since 1966 and Elvis had already noticed his work, and again wanted to count on him for new recordings. for your future albums. In total he would compose 4 songs for Elvis, "It's your baby, you rock it", "Life", "My little friend" and "When I'm over you". This is how Milete met Elvis Presley by phone: Account the author who did not know Elvis in person and who one day was in the Hill and Range office waiting for Lamar Fike who had asked him to collaborate on the songs that were going to be recorded. Lamar Fike had gone out to run some errands, leaving the composer alone for a few minutes. He told Shirl Milete that if the phone rang to please answer it for him. The phone rang and a voice was heard saying: "You fucking son of a bitch", that kind of swear words...
Someone said "I'm going to kill you fat son of a bitch!" , after hearing all these words, he repeated again... "Stop what you are doing, I will kill you if you don't come..." and Shirl Milete who had listened to him patiently said: "I am waiting and I am not Lamar Fike" and he said "Who the hell are you" and the songwriter said "I'm Shirl Milete". He said "Well tell that fat son of a bitch he should be here with Lisa Marie, I need him and I'm going to kill him" and Milete said, "I'm sorry and congratulations on the girl" Then he calmed down and said "I'm so sorry huh, I'm just kidding... I'd like to record your songs..."
The title of the song was inspired by an expression of Elvis Presley This would really start when Elvis said to Lamar: "It's ok you're baby you rock it", one day with Lamar who was busy, he had engaged Elvis for something, but he was doing something else. Elvis told Lamar: "it's your boy move it", Lamar Fike stayed with that phrase and later called Milete, calling him one day to exclaim: " I have the best title in the world!" Milete, who finally composed the song in 10 minutes, told him that he would put him as a co-writer of the song for the suggestion and Lamar told him that he had no right to what he did not want, but if he wanted to put to someone who named his wife Nora Fawler and for this Nora became co-author of the song with great enthusiasm on his part. A country-style ballad song, quite particular in the voice of Elvis, and with the curious response harmonica phrasing and guitar solo...Recorded June 5, 1970 at RCA Studio B in Nashville. It was included in Elvis Country, Elvis in Nashville, Walk A Mile in My Shoes, The Nashville Marathon, etc. It's a nice easy song, with a country style accompaniment and also easy. The story of a song where a friend offers support to another in relation to an unhappy relationship with which he had a previous relationship... and his advice. "You offered me a penny for my thoughts..." my thoughts..
From Tupelo to Memphis 48 part 2
"From Young Artist to Myth". Songs to remember
"My baby left me"
El día 29 de julio de 1970 se vuelve a ensayar en los estudios MGM en Culver City. Continúan esta vez a puerta cerrada, sin las cámaras, pero afortunadamente se registraron para poderse escuchar. De nuevo Elvis incluye en estos ensayos canciones del momento y canciones de sus inicios que van a volver a tocar con intención de incluir en repertorio...
Elvis canta con una voz un poco rasgada, diferente a como canta los temas del actual 1970. Realmente parece la intención de poderlo cantar parecido a la grabación original. Pero es imposible tanto vocalmente e instrumentalmente. La canción aunque en la misma línea musical suena tan diré rente, que la intención se pierde en la realidad. Los músicos, evidentemente, con otro ritmo y acompañamiento diferente, también más contemporáneo y la guitarra solista nos llevan a otra interpretación y por supuesto el bajo y la batería igual.
Pero lo más interesante es escuchar el cambio en la voz de Elvis Presley. La tonalidad en la partitura es lógicamente otra, puesto que la canción se ha transportado a otra más grave, un tono por debajo de la original anterior. La maduración vocal de un intérprete siempre va evolucionado y el timbre con el tiempo puede engrosarse o cambiar con el paso de los años...
Es lo lógico, ley de vida... No tiene por que ser algo negativo, sino simplemente la voz de Elvis era más madura, su experiencia y evolución como artista era ya muy grande. Y su grandiosidad con el tiempo se ve reflejada en su actual momento, pero en otro tipo de repertorio. Elvis sabía que ya nunca podría cantar estas canciones con las que inició su rumbo musical o, en cualquier caso, estaba volviendo a rememorar viejos tiempos.
Alguna de estas canciones como "My Baby Left me", por el estilo y por lo antes descrito era ya imposible cantarla igual. Pero es claro que muchos artistas quieren mantener en repertorio canciones de sus inicios o canciones que fueron éxitos y seguirán interpretándoslas de otra manera y es inevitable que el público, con el tiempo, siempre pida canciones de siempre.
La canción fue compuesta por el maestro de Rhythm and blues Arthur Crudup, quien era uno de los grandes autores admirado por Elvis. Su canción "That´s All Right Mama" con la que Elvis registró su voz en un single que por primera vez se escucharía en la radio... Y a partir de ahí, formaría parte de la historia como intérprete de un nuevo estilo musical llamado Rock and Roll.
"My baby Left me" fue grabada en la Rca en los nuevos estudios de New York, el día 30 de enero de 1956 y publicada el 4 mayo de 1956, vendió 1.3 millones de discos, como cara B del tema "I want you ,I need you, I love you".
Era el segundo single para la RCA, pero con el espirítu aún de la Sun Records.
En 1970 fue incluída en estos ensayos para la película "That´s the way it is" y con motivo de los conciertos que se van a realizar en el Hotel International de las Vegas en Agosto- Septiembre. Pero aunque tocaría en ensayo realmente no se llegó a interpretar finalmente en el escenario en esta temporada. Elvis sí la cantaría años después. Se decidiría a incluirla en concierto, en media docena de veces en el año 1974. Pero esta es una futura historia...
"Siguiendo el Camino de el Rey..."
Canciones para el recuerdo
"I was the one"On July 29, 1970, it was rehearsed again at the MGM studios in Culver City. They continue this time behind closed doors, without the cameras, but fortunately they registered so that they could be heard. Once again, Elvis includes in these rehearsals songs of the moment and songs from his beginnings that they are going to play again with the intention of including them in the repertoire... Elvis sings with a slightly scratchy voice, different from how he sings the songs of the current 1970. Really it seems the intention of being able to sing it similar to the original recording. But it's impossible both vocally and instrumentally. The song, although in the same musical line, sounds so rente, that the intention is lost in reality. The musicians, obviously, with a different rhythm and accompaniment, also more contemporary, and the solo guitar lead us to another interpretation and of course the bass and the drums are the same. But the most interesting thing is listening to the change in Elvis Presley's voice. The tonality in the score is logically different, since the song has been transposed to a more serious one, one tone below the previous original. The vocal maturation of a performer is always evolving and the timbre over time can thicken or change over the years... It's logical, law of life... It doesn't have to be something negative, but simply the voice of Elvis was more mature, his experience and evolution as an artist was already great. And his greatness over time is reflected in his current moment, but in another type of repertoire. Elvis knew that he would never be able to sing these songs with which he began his musical journey or, in any case, he was reminiscing about the old days. This is the link to the recording from 1956. https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=WR8sxX0GoFoThis is the recording that was made on July 29, 1970.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hK5H9-AvegSome of these songs like "My Baby Left me", for the style and for what was described above it was already impossible to sing it the same. But it is clear that many artists want to keep songs from their beginnings or songs that were hits in their repertoire and will continue to interpret them in a different way and it is inevitable that the public, over time, will always ask for traditional songs. The song was composed by the master of Rhythm and blues Arthur Crudup, who was one of the great authors admired by Elvis. His song "That's All Right Mama" with which Elvis recorded his voice on a single that would be heard on the radio for the first time... And from then on, he would become part of history as an interpreter of a new musical style called Rock and Roll. "My baby Left me" was recorded on the Rca in the new studios in New York, on January 30, 1956 and published on May 4, 1956, sold 1.3 million records, as the B-side of the theme "I want you, I need you, I love you". It was the second single for RCA, but still with the spirit of Sun Records. In 1970 it was included in these rehearsals for the movie "That's the way it is " and on the occasion of the concerts that will be held at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in August-September. But although it would play in rehearsal, it was not really performed on stage this season.
Elvis would sing it years later. He would make up his mind to include her in concert, half a dozen times in the year 1974.
But this is a future story...
"Following the Path of the King..."
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
On March 15, 1971, the song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was included in the recording session that took place at La Rca studio B in Nashville. A song written by Ewan McColl for his wife Peggy Seeger in 1957, which would be included in his repertoire. A folk song that became well known for various versions in the sixties, with the rise of Folk. Elvis heard it for the version made by Peter, Paul and Mary, in the mid-sixties. But Elvis really liked to watch Clint Eastwood movies, so surely this song would also be heard in a different style, in the voice of Roberta Flack, in Eastwood's movie "Play Misty for me" in 1969. The singer would win the award Grammy for this song three years later, but with a recording with a different feel to the first one. Elvis liked folk songs and wanted to perform this song accompanied by another voice, as a duo... And Joyce's opinion would also influence him Bova, the relationship he had at that time, which suggested including it in his repertoire.
The intention was to record accompanied by Ginger Holliday during the session, but it would not be to his liking and he would try it with Temple Riser, but the idea was finally discarded because nobody liked it. It may be due to the annoyance that Elvis had at that time, although it would be more likely that listening does not blend the voices as it should in a duo of this type, which would lead to discarding these duos and thinking only of Elvis's voice. Felton Jarvis, the producer of Elvis, would opt for a solo vocal dub for his release. Obviously in concert it would be done in a different way with the support of Charlie Hodge and the choir accompanying the main voice...
An example in concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhd1etlvj3s
The version recorded in the studio that performed Elvis, has since appeared on "Elvis Aron Presley" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes." Elvis added the song to his live concert repertoire in 1973. The FTD release "Closing Night" features a live version of this song, while 2004's "Elvis On Tour-The Rehearsals" contains a studio rehearsal of the year previous. FTD's 2006 release, "I Found My Thrill," features an early 1974 performance dedicated to his then-girlfriend Sheila Ryan. Other live versions are on the FTD release "An American Trilogy". An endearing theme, a very romantic song that talks about the first time, the birth of a feeling, a moment that remains in the memory as something special." the Way of the King..."
(the duets performed with Ginger Holliday and Temple Riser