In the life of an artist like Elvis Presley, music was a part of himself. When he heard something he liked, he perceived it in a special and natural way for him. For that reason he was able to feel and assimilate different styles and adapt them to his own singing. When Elvis sang he not only gave interpretation to the scores, he gave them body and soul with his sensitivity. He made them his forever and this is the reason why he would be so great, so eternal and special.
There are very few artists who are capable of to be able to make us feel that the music belongs to him and impregnate us with his notes. And this was Elvis Presley! But it is true that Elvis did not compose the songs and he always needed composers to be able to execute his magic. They are great professionals who capture in their scores the experiences of his soul. Without them, the creation of Elvis would be non-existent unless he had started to compose, but thanks to them we can enjoy his songs at all times and associate them with fragments of our existence. Many of them were successful through Elvis Presley, with own interpretation or by other artists.
It is clear that if Elvis sang any of his songs, a door to eternity was opened that many cannot even dream of. The Composer lives on his effort and in some cases manages to achieve success. But the truth is that music sometimes does not it sustains a way of life for all artists and songwriters, despite the talent and haphazard successes of the day. Music requires willpower, tenacity and above all soul. Because without it the score will never convey anything. Although the Magic of someone like Elvis can convert it.
"Following the Way of the King..."
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Two greats of music
The Song "Hound Dog" would be a scandal for the audience when it was broadcast on the TV program "The Milton Berle Show", on June 5, 1956. It would be a contradictory moment between two very different worlds, the new and the old. The mature and customary society faced with something very different that prompted the youth to cry out for their own freedom and confront the established. Leiber and Stoller's score did not want to go that far, it was Elvis's interpretation that made the break and tear in the schemes of society. Youth would take as a symbol the figure of Elvis Presley, who in a natural and improvised way danced to a song that he simply wanted to interpret, it is true that it was a new style, with strength and soul and that he managed to make people jump from their seats. But Elvis would always defend his music as something he wanted to sing, without dragging anyone in a rebellious way, even with all this, the youth woke up to shout to the world their discontent and their desire to change customs. The song had been composed by two authors who had already had great success up to now, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had already had it with the song "Hard Times", recorded by Charles Brown in 1952 and with the song "Kansas City", but with Elvis Presley they would reach fame and his heyday of hits starting with Hound Dog.
They weren't really fans of Elvis at first, in fact when they were named they said... "Elvis who?" and also he started singing, they didn't like the way he interpreted in this song. They said it had nothing to do with its origin, that it was about a woman who wants to throw a freeloader out of her house... Leiber would confess this years later, at the time they obviously said nothing, because they were musicians and wanted to live of his music. Although over time they began to appreciate his way of singing, especially when they met him personally. But starting with "Jailhouse Rock", they did enjoy all of his performances. and above all the benefits. Jerry and Mike were two children of Jewish origin, during the Second World War, their family migrated to California, where they grew up in environments related to black culture and its influence was clear in their compositions.
They met in Los Angeles in 1950, Stoller played piano in a jazz band, and Leiber works in a record store. Both were united by their taste for black music, which is why they decided to compose together. Although they founded their own label in 1953, they became independent songwriters so they could do their work freely and for whomever they wanted, they collaborated closely with Atlantic Records. When Elvis performed his song "Hound Dog," Leiber and Stoller weren't entirely happy. for the performance, but they were pleased nonetheless by the royalties they received from their cover and its success would change the course of their careers. Suddenly they were responsible for the music that commercially revolutionized the American market and was categorized as Rock and Roll.
Rock became a new vein in the music industry, turning Leiber and Stoller overnight into the great composers of Rock and Elvis into its main figure. Curiosity of the moment was that Mike Stoller was traveling on an ocean liner, when "Hound Dog" hit number one... Mike Stoller was sure he would die when the liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish Stockholm collided in the fog off the coast of Massachusetts at 11:10 p.m. on July 25, 1956 and sank 11 hours later on July 26. Unfortunately, 51 people died, but fortunately he was saved and when he reached land he was phoned by Jerry Leiber who announced that they had reached number one, thanks to a young white man named Elvis Presley. His songs were famous and Elvis would interpret several composed by They, like "Love me", "Don't", "King Creole", "Jailhouse Rock", "Loving You", over time due to copyrights they left their collaboration for economic reasons. Elvis came to appreciate his songs, his company and demanded that they be in the recordings, in the filming, he had them as his lucky charm. But Colonel Parker made the mistake of wanting to hire them with a blank contract, asking them to sign it without reading the conditions, offending the two musicians, who promised not to work with him again. Elvis always wanted to collaborate with them again, but could not because of the monetary demands imposed by Colonel Parker to which they never submitted again. As songwriters they would go on to write more than 70 hits on the charts and be included in the Hall of Songwriters Fame in 1985 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Two music greats...
The rapport between musician and composers. Elvis, Leiber & Stoller
The initial idea that Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had of what Elvis Presley was like, made them initially defensive about new projects and especially having to work with him more closely when the movie "Jailhouse Rock" was made. They thought that Elvis was a spoiled and spoiled child, but as they got to know him, they realized that he was a great professional who just wanted to make his music to his liking and that he repeated over and over again, until he reached the recording perfection. They came to understand him so well that Elvis would ask them for a song and they would compose it on the fly. The rapport between artist and composers was maximum and their approach as friends would also be important. Elvis enjoyed his music, because it seemed made for him. They both witnessed how Elvis gave himself body and soul to the music, focused on one song and looking for perfection, until his feeling was the true reflection of the music performed.
Of many authors that Elvis Presley would know throughout his career, these two authors would be loved and chosen by him, until finally the relationship with Colonel Parker spoiled their friendship. Tom Parker wanted to financially take advantage of the composers by demanding money that was a shame for the authors, who lost their rights in the face of his demands. When Leiber and Stoller found themselves humiliated by these demands, they severed all ties with the world of Elvis, to carry on with their music without abuse. Unfortunately, Elvis couldn't do anything with this, because he didn't carry the commercial part and couldn't choose in many cases, but it is true that if he had prevailed before the Colonel, everything would have changed.
"Following the Path of the King..."
Kris Kristofferson singer, writer and actor, had become a successful artist in the 70's with hit songs that would give him fame and introduce him as one of the best-known singers of the moment for his compositions such as "For the Good Times" , "Me and Bobby McGee", "Sunday Morning Coming Down", "Help Me Make It Through the Night", etc. Kristofferson has won three competitive Grammy Awards out of thirteen nominations. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Of him, Elvis would record this song and "For The Good Times" and "Help Me Make It Through The Night". When he heard Elvis for the first time, Kris was shocked, he could never have imagined that years later he would record his songs, so that he would feel honored and grateful, proud that his youthful idol could perform his compositions.
Claude Demetrius. Elvis Presley
Claude Demetrius American composer. He was known for his rockabilly songs. His life changed when in 1956 he began writing for Gladys Music, Inc.
Newly formed by Jean and Julian Aberbach, the company held the exclusive publishing rights to the music of Elvis Presley. . He would begin to earn much more money due to the recordings that Elvis Presley would make of his songs. In 1958, Demetrius scored the biggest hit of all for him with his composition "Hard Headed Woman." The song became the first rock and roll single to earn gold record designation from the RIAA. Demetrius wrote it for Presley's 1958 film King Creole. Both songs were part of the record album, but "Hard Headed Woman" was also released as a 45 rpm single which went to number 1 on the Billboard charts. Working for Gladys Music, Demetrius co-wrote a song called "I Was The One " which was the B-side of Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel". In 1957 he also composed "Mean Woman Blues" for the soundtrack to Presley's 1957 film, Loving You. The Jerry Lee Lewis hit song "Great Balls of Fire" on London Records. Demetrius capped off a successful year when he co-wrote with Aaron Schroeder the song "Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me)," which appeared on Elvis' 1957 Christmas album. A talented songwriter, too bad Elvis didn't use more songs to record.
"Following the King's Path..."
Aaron Schroeder . Composer
Aaron Schroder . Song composer. During his lifetime as a composer he created over 1,500 scores alone or in collaboration with other composers. He became a member of ASCAP The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in 1948. He would have his first hit with "At a Sidewalk Penny Arcade", with Rosemary Clooney. He wrote seventeen songs for Elvis Presley, including five that reached number one. Tracks like "A Big Hunk o' Love", "Good Luck Charm", "I Got Stung", "Stuck on You", "It's Now or Never", etc. With over 500 song recordings to his credit, he has been covered by dozens of artists including Roy Orbison, Duane Eddy, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Pat Boone, etc.
In the early 1960s, Schroeder was the founder and president of Musicor Records. He discovered, managed, and directed the career of Gene Pitney and produced "Town Without Pity," which was nominated for the 1961 Academy Award for Best Song. With Hal David and Burt Bacharach he conceived the marriage of Pitney's sound to David's songs and Bacharach, producing a string of recording hits including "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance", "Only Love Can Break a Heart", and "24 Hours from Tulsa". With his wife they discovered new artists, composers like Barry White, Randy Newman, Al Kooper, Jimi Hendrix, etc. He would be one of the great composers who worked with Elvis, as well as knowing him and having the privilege of seeing him record. Aaron Schroeder said he was present when Elvis recorded the song "Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)." He was very impressed with his attitude. His impression would be as for Elvis, that he wanted everything to work out. He saw him focused and even sensitized to the point of tears in his eyes because, Elvis, he felt that he was striving for the result he had in mind. What is clear is that Elvis threw himself into the songs as he usually did in the ones he chose. He was a true professional and music always conveyed something so special to him that is why he brought his magic to all of us. The song had rhythm, energy and could seem like a commercial song of the moment, a Christmas rock rather than a classic song, this would be due to the good interpretation of an animated Elvis, who in this song finds another incentive in an initially Christmas score. "Following the Path of the King..."