May Sessions  

15 a 21 MAY.  RCA . Estudio B. Nashville.

May 1971

Reflections on the artist and the studio

Elvis Presley would record again at RCA, studio B in Nashville, completing the initial project that would have been done in March. But due to Elvis's health problems, the recordings were made from May 15 to 21, 1971. They wanted to make a great session similar to the Nashville Marathon of June 1970, more than 30 songs had been chosen and 3 would later be published. Lps thanks to them. Elvis Presley was a soul singer, he would give life to his songs at the moment he performed them. His joy was performing in front of the public, enjoying singing in the company of his friends, musicians and people he loved. But from this time, from 1971, he would begin to have a certain aversion to recording his music in the studios. It was a disappointment, if you think about the logic in his case, since Elvis wanted to continue innovating and growing with his songs, he had to do it. But if we observe from now on what is going to start in a timid way, it is the passive or annoying attitude, it is this situation that with time would become intolerable. It was not normal not to record songs in the studio, if you wanted to offer something new to his audience. Since it would be the music that was being worked on and that it would be the new repertoire that the audience would finally enjoy. Elvis would begin to not have much desire to enter the studios, it is as if he had to literally be forced to record. At the moment this would be shy or lazy in 1971, his attitude was somewhat particular, since he was willing to record, but in the studio he only focused on a song that gave him interest and the rest of the songs, it's as if he was forced to do it. The logic was not clear... it is true that in many cases there were obligations that had to be fulfilled with the RCA, with Colonel Parker. But if the repertoire was chosen by him, why didn't he want to record it? Although we know that many of these songs were of his own choosing, he was still "forced" to make others... 
Why record a Christmas album in May? This would go through his head, logically, but it is true that when you have a projection of concerts and obligations you have to carry them out and follow the planned schedule. Elvis was still not feeling well and this was still influencing his mood, he still had the voice touched by a badly cured cold and other health problems due to glaucoma, added to bad habits. All this was evident in these sessions in May 1971, because his voice was not entirely fresh and, on the contrary, it is clear that he was not yet well.
 He should have waited even longer, but Elvis never said no, at least until now he hadn't decided to postpone anything or cancel anything. But over time it would be a real problem, because it was evident that life and future professionally as an artist, it would be questioned if there were no new albums to sell in the future. It was mandatory to do these sessions for everyone. 
The material that was going to be sung was what Elvis was supposed to be choosing, at least he had the opportunity to do it... if so, why didn't he want to do it? In Elvis Presley there were always many contradictions similar to this one and, from 1971 his attitude in the studio was no longer the same, although he had fun at some point when he played with the musicians, improvised... When he was really free to I enjoyed singing, but in some songs it seemed that Elvis no longer liked this. It is clear from these sessions in May 1971, when the material arrived that could be imposed by others ... by the Colonel, RCA and Felton Jarvis ... his attitude changed and he did it in a different way, without desire Unfortunately, every action has consequences and despite being a magnificent artist, with a privileged voice and performance, everything takes its toll. 
The bad habits, the tiredness, the health... and above all the lack of something that he could be looking for, that although he had it around, he did not know how to appreciate, or could not enjoy. All this filled a cocktail that shaken could feel very bad... over time things were about to change...

May 1971.
Nashville Sessions. Studio B


FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 60. 2 Sessions May 1971.

FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 61. 3 Sessions May 1971.


The last program dedicated to the recordings of the Nashville Sessions from May 15 to 21, 1971, another small marathon of songs that would give rise to three Lps discs, which would be published later: the Christmas album, "Elvis sings : The Wonderful World of Christmas", the gospel album "He Touched me" and the current music, pop, Elvis album "Now". At this time that Elvis was so successful in concerts on tour and in Las Vegas, it is a bit contradictory that Colonel Parker, his manager, handled his publicity in such an absurd way. It is true that he had great successes, years ago... but one of the most important failures of the moment was not to use TV and Radio again to promote interviews, to announce his albums, to announce his concerts, to keep the image alive of Elvis and to renew especially for the new public. In 1971 there was an audience for all styles, artists, groups... and although Elvis Presley was already entering a different period of his artistic life, like other greats, he could perfectly adapt to the present situation and continue to take advantage of the media. This would not be the case, it is difficult to see Elvis on TV in some other program, as a guest or simply for someone to interview him to announce his new albums. TV and Radio were the appropriate means for this, but unfortunately it was not done and it is very possible that the diffusion of his records was not entirely correct. These media were indispensable in 1971 for any musician who wanted to enter the Billboard charts or have popularity and that the public could enjoy his new songs and then buy them.
 The most curious of all is that other artists did not invite Elvis Presley to their TV shows. It could be because Elvis was very special and was not very given to these media, it was evident from what happened years ago, that he was not his favorite medium to move freely. Or possibly this medium did not give him the security that the stage gave him, which was where he felt safe. Regardless of this, the songs that he was recording in these sessions would not have the expected success. Although for example the Christmas album sold 400,000 copies but did not enter the billboard charts... the album "He touched me" reached number 79 in the year 72, but it won the Grammy award for Elvis, although the sales in the At the time they were not as expected either and the Elvis album "Now" would sell 400,000 copies and reach number 43 on the Billboard charts. All of this is significant in terms of the repertoire of songs that Elvis Presley was playing. It was clear that, regardless of his personal taste, Elvis could have achieved much more success with songs that were more modern and focused on the public of the moment. Besides, Elvis liked these folk and pop styles and he was very comfortable recording them, but he also liked Gospel and other songs. 
But the good thing about Elvis was that he liked to learn about new songs and was up to date with music because he listened to everything he was doing. The main fault we believe was that he did not have a band adapted to his tastes, except for James Burton and the vocal group, the performers who accompany him were studio musicians, used to recording in sessions and not live. It is true that they were very good musicians, but they were not his usual companions. 
The rapport, the security, the experimentation, the fun that could be achieved with trust did not come in these study sessions. Another conclusion we reached, since in the recording studio he did not bring the musicians that he did bring live before his audience. This was a clear mistake by Elvis Presley, who also allowed himself to be dragged along by orders from RCA, Felton Jarvis... or Colonel Parker, etc. If Elvis had had his same group on recordings as well as in concerts, he would have come to feel as one, as a group with his soloist, he would have experimented and advanced with the instruments, with the singers... just as he did since he started in his career with Scotty and Bill. We believe that one of the flaws would be to ignore his band as musicians on his official RCA recordings. It was clear that Elvis Presley could be a very great artist in 1971, but the pieces of the game were not being handled well... and like on a chessboard, you have to plan all the moves to win the game. 
All this and much more in our next program... 

"Following the Path of the King..."

Songs of the soul, at Christmas

"Merry Christmas Baby".
On May 15, 1971, several Christmas songs were recorded at RCA Studio B in Nashville. Obviously it was not a very suitable date for this type of songs, but as it was agreed and they would have a very tight schedule due to the concerts that were going to take place, RCA, Colonel Parker and Felton Jarvis decided to include several Christmas songs to be able to make a Christmas album and publish it at the end of the year. Elvis was not very motivated, so the recording studio became a Christmas stage... They dressed up, put up trees with decorations, etc., all with the purpose of making Elvis feel good at all times and there would be no problems.
The song "Merry Christmas Baby" was Christmas Blues, but it was the kind of score that made Elvis loosen up and go with the flow. Elvis was delighted with this song and had such a good time at the recording session that he keeps encouraging all the musicians to give up on the sheet music. Although it was not planned, a recording was made that seemed more like a jam session, even exceeding the agreed minutes in minutes. The composition was by Lou Baxter and originally recorded in 1947 by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, with singer/pianist Charles Brown. There are various versions of this Christmas blues, many artists, including Chuck Berry, Ike & Tina Turner, Otis Redding, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera and Melissa Etheridge, etc. etc.
Originally a top ten blues hit by the Three Blazers with Johnny Moore in 1949. Charles Brown, the blues singer and pianist, would tell about this song being written for money because songwriter Lou Baxter who was a friend of Johnny Moore , had throat cancer and needed money for his operation and treatment. They did a little variation on the original title which was "Merry Christmas Blues" and with the lyrics... he played it on the piano and he would introduce it to Johnny Moore. For them the success was a great surprise.
Elvis's version was an improvisation and genuine enjoyment of everyone who was with him playing during the session. At last we listen to Elvis free on this first day of May recordings and enjoying it to the fullest without thinking about the consequences. The musicians who accompanied him also... because they were the reflection of what Elvis wanted to express, the pattern called a response typical of the blues, is heard at all times in the general improvisation. He was always an excellent singer in this style, of course, because of its origins... the blues originated in the spiritual and tries to convey sensations, rather than tell a story... although the verses could be repeated, the result was a fantastic version of this song. A wonderful interpretation that remains in our memory and obviously one of the best Christmas songs he recorded. It was issued as a single in November 1971 with "O Come, All Ye Faithful". Elvis's version, understandably, failed to chart, selling less than 100,000 copies in two Christmas seasons. It is possible that the reason was the publication in October of the Christmas album in which it was included. Of course on the "Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas" LP and later on various album releases, such as "Worldwide Gold Award Hits Vol.1", "Elvis Sings Mort Shuman & Doc Pomus", "Elvis Sings The Blues". "From Nashville to Memphis", CD reissues of "Elvis Is Back", "Artist Of The Century", "Elvis 2nd to None", "History", and "Elvis R 'n' B", etc.
The master of the song 8 minutes long, with overdubbed James Burton guitar solo, was released on the 1982 "Memories Of Christmas" album
Apart from James Burton, on the overdubs Eddie Hinton would also play. The session version had to be cut down to five minutes, forty-five seconds, because the eight original was uncommercial.
Guitar Eddie Hinton was included in this for the guitar solo, in the version that was included in the Album Lp "The Wonderful World Of Christmas". etc, etc. A sample of what Elvis could do when he liked a song and got into the score... you can hear him at some point... Dig it, James... Wake up, Putt... referring to the musicians... "well, I feel great" he sang... it was clear that Elvis felt great in this moment... And he continues to make all of us who listen to this great song feel good... As an advance for Christmas... "Merry Christmas baby".

"Following the Path of the King...

Unusual Songs

"Miracle of the Rosary"

Elvis had a special interest in this song called "Miracle Of The Rosary", Milagro del Rosario... He had chosen it himself, it would be the first song to be performed in the May 1971 sessions. They began on the 15th and would be performed 33 recordings, until May 21, 1971, at RCA studio B in Nashville. On the 15th, seven masters were finished, of which five would be included in the next Christmas album. The song that Elvis had chosen, despite not being Catholic, was offered by Lee Denson, its author. It is true that although Elvis was practically cured since he had vision problems and a badly treated cold, his voice still reflected tiredness and was not entirely fresh. His singing is still unstable, he really should have left these recordings for later. Despite this, the song was recorded regardless of the difficulties that it would have when interpreting it, but it was not included in the Christmas album, not even in the gospel album... because it was clear that it was far from being considered gospel. It was eventually included on the pop album which included the songs that didn't fit on the previous two.
Elvis had known Denson, the songwriter for him, for many years. He even said that he had taught Elvis to play the guitar. This would be questionable because Elvis had several "teachers", when he started playing at twelve years old, his uncle Vester taught him chords and also his uncle Johnny, brother of Gladys, later Pastor Frank Smith, a young man of 21 years, would be the one who initially instructed him a little more. But the one he really learned from, albeit in a particular way, observing every gesture, every movement during his performances, would be from Mississippi Slim who was the star of the WELO radio station. He was the brother of his partner James Ausborn, his real name was Carvel Lee Ausborn.
Jesse Lee Denson was a rockabilly songwriter and singer, he had already recorded this song in 1960. Author known for his recording in 1957, "New Shoes", but with the nickname of Jesse James. He recorded songs as a singer like "Climb Love Mountain" or "The Pied Piper". Although he composed various songs from the 70's he would write and record several albums of Christian music for his own label Eternal Rainbow, in addition to recording songs for children. This theme dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, was a special prayer.
Very different from the songs that Elvis Presley could choose, nothing to do with gospel. An experiment or perhaps a new intention to make another type of repertoire. A song in which he put a lot of enthusiasm, because the score had impressed him and he wanted to do it well, with brilliance, but throughout the session it is clear the vocal or physical fatigue that Elvis still had these days. The song recorded by Elvis was included in the album "He Walks Beside Me", "Elvis Now" and in the gospel anthologies "Amazing Grace", "Peace In The Valley", "Ultimate Gospel" in the 2004 edition and Platinum: "A Life In Music" which features the first take of the studio session.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Unusual songs

A special song for its lyrics and its accompaniment, it was one of Elvis's favorite songs. "Father" was also recorded in the sessions of May 1971, on the 15th. The origin of this song was from a French song, titled "Padre Don José..." by Jacques LaRue and Alain Romans.
The version that Elvis knew and loved was sung by Toni Arden in 1958, with English lyrics by Paul Webster.
Curiously, the lyrics would not be religious, but rather it was narrated to the Father, the priest who married a couple... The atmosphere of the instrumentation, the air, in short, the style that accompanies the voice would give another interpretation completely different from the original.
The even danceable rhythm could confuse any original version of the result in that of Elvis. Elvis would be a bit tight at the end of the song. This song was released on the 1973 Elvis album "The Fool". Since his original album, the song has appeared on "He Walks Beside me". An alternate version is on the FTD release "I Sing All Kinds".
Charlie Hodge spoke about the complication in these sessions, Elvis not only had problems with his voice... his lyrics were not written, something absurd and unthinkable in some recordings. The poor man was clearing his throat repeatedly, he had a habit that would not be the most appropriate to take care of his voice, he was dedicated to chewing ice cubes from the glasses of water provided by his entourage.
Another absurd fact was seeing that Elvis made an effort to give his best and Felton Jarvis wanted to speed up the recording process, pushing the musicians so that they did not stop too much in the takes... He believed that with his re-recordings he would solve what It didn't come out in the opening shots. But it is clear that Elvis realized in the interpretation of this song that he liked "Father" so much. Elvis continued to challenge himself, and this time he found that he was not up to the task. But really, if someone had suggested transposing the tessitura only half or one tone, he would have made the most of the song.
This was one of those songs that had some sharpness to show off but with the wrong voice, it was an absurd risk for Elvis. Elvis apologized, which was unusual for him, and even proceeded to curse his own performance. But in any case the version of him so particular of him remains for posterity...

"Following the Path of the King...

Songs from the heart.

"Help Me Make It Through The Night

A song that would get the Grammy award for Sammi Smith, singer and for its author Kris Kristoffer are. It was a Country ballad that would become the best and most commercially successful version and also the best known in the US, due to sales, popularity, etc.
The original lyrics of this song deals with loneliness, the longing for sexual intimacy in men, so when it was covered for the first time by a woman, Sammi Smith, it would give a lot to talk about. Songwriter, singer, actor Kris Kristofferson became known as a songwriter as well as a singer for songs like "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Help Me Make It". Through the Night", all of which were hits for him and other artists.
Kristofferson wrote his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters like Shel Silverstein. He would tell about this song that he performed when he was working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, a very lonely place. When he received the news that Elvis Presley would sing his song, and after hearing it, he felt very proud and happy. These May sessions would have planned to make some songs for the Christmas album and other songs that would give rise to two other albums, one of Gospel and another varied of Pop music. Most of the material that had been proposed was imposed by Hill & Range, as was customary and some were proposed by Elvis himself. One of these propositions would be the theme of Kristofferson, who had a very popular portfolio of compositions in the early 1970s, therefore difficult to negotiate.
Felton Jarvis hoped to break the monopoly on repertoire imposed through Hill & Range by the powerful Colonel, so the song could be obtained. At Elvis's insistence, there were pre-session discussions to get an acceptable deal. When the proposal was made to include it on the May 1971 recordings, they would have to negotiate to reach an agreement. Elvis was very interested so he insisted, as it had been a long time since he had fought over an issue. He liked this song a lot, so he personally took it upon himself to complain in order to record it. A song that was not very complicated, the musical line of the score was very simple, easy to sing and of course the Elvis version was wonderful. A song that he would like to perform.
Although Elvis was striving to do these sessions well, he was under pressure from Felton Jarvis and Rca, as they wanted to do everything very quickly. Felton hoped to be able to quickly finish the Elvis recording in no time and save all the details for later. But in this case, they did up to 16 takes, because Elvis was excited and wanted to record the song properly. It was finally possible to record on May 17, in these sessions at studio B, in Nashville. Elvis's version of the song was released as track one on the 1972 album "Elvis Now", later also included on the LPs "Welcome to My World" and "The Country Side of Elvis". Rejected studio outtakes have appeared on the 1996 album "Great Country Songs" and the 2007 FTD release "I Sing All Kinds". A studio essay prior to the documentary "Elvis On Tour" was published in 2004 on the FTD album "Elvis On Tour" The Rehearsals. The song was perfect for repertoire since it did not pose any vocal challenge to sing in concert and it was also to his liking, so Elvis also included it in his concert portfolio in the seventies. From these performances would come official publications at the FTDs, ""Takin' Tahoe Tonight", "Closing Night", "Southerm Nights", "Dinner At Eight" and "Tucson '76".

"Following the Path of the King... "

Soul Songs

"Lead Me, Guide Me"

This song was included in the recording sessions, on May 17, 1971, at RCA Studio B, Nashville. A song of faith, close, the search for spirituality through music. A Gospel song that would be composed by Doris Akers in 1954. Singer, composer and arranger of gospel music. Very popular and recognized for her work with the Sky Pilot choir, her compositions, etc. She was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, as well as being honored as a Gospel Music Composer in 1960 and 1961, also by the Simthsonian Institution, etc. Songs performed by her like, "You Can't Beat God Giving", "I Cannot Fail The Lord", "Lord Keep My Mind On Thee", "I Was There When The Spirit Came", "Sweet Sweet Spirit", etc. . Most of her scores were choral and with the soloist part, to show off the artist. In this case the theme "Lead Me, Guide Me" would be a choral writing, with the solo part for Elvis. An example of the kind of music that Elvis Presley enjoyed from an early age. We know that he always wanted to be part of a gospel quartet and luckily fate didn't want it to be that way.
At any time in his life, spiritual music was something very special for Elvis and on recordings or at home, when he sang with the choir after concerts, he always looked for these scores that he felt so close to his heart and soul. In these gospel songs, Elvis always sought vocal rapport in the parts that he did not logically play as a soloist and they were moments of enjoyment for him and the Imperials who accompanied him as a choir.
Gospel would always be one of the pillars in his music and these sessions included several songs that would be part of the Gospel album "He Touched Me" that would be published in 1972 and that would win the Grammy Award for the best inspirational interpretation for Elvis. Presley. During rehearsals there was always a somewhat peculiar atmosphere, because there were many people in the studio. The musicians, the choristers, the production and the members of the mafia, apart from some guests.
This made Elvis used to tell stories about him, show his plates, talk about karate, etc... in a moment of rest. Terry Blackwood, a tenor in the Imperials, asked Elvis about self-defense. If, for example, someone threatened him with a gun, what would he do? Elvis called out to Red, who was obviously carrying a gun, which luckily they unloaded.
On the demo Elvis said, "Hold that gun for me." Red then pointed at Elvis and Terry looked at all the guitars that were propped up against the drum kit. There were James Burton's guitars... Terry started to say... "let me move..." but before he could say anything, Elvis, with a karate move, had already hit Red's hand, and the gun went through the studio flying and stuck in the back of a guitar. It was evident that this episode closed the recording of this day with the astonishment of all, but although Elvis offered to replace the guitar, the session ended with this song. "Lead Me, Guide Me" was included on Elvis's 1972 gospel album, "He Touched Me", later on the albums, "Ultimate Gospel", "Amazing Grace" and "Peace In the Valley". The last two gospel anthologies also feature Elvis singing the song with the group "The Stamps" backstage during the filming of the 1972 documentary "Elvis on tour", etc. Elvis Presley, genius and figure...

"Following the Path of the King..."

Songs that are not forgotten.

"Fool's Rush In"

Elvis included in his May sessions, a song known by the public and a hit from the sixties. It was recorded on May 18, 1971 at Studio B in Nashville. Elvis liked this song, his interpretation is good, but it is a song that would not add anything new to his discography, although it is easy to listen to and can be remembered due to its pleasant melody. In these sessions the recorded songs failed to capture the interest of record buyers or radio DJs, unlike those recorded in 1969. The choice of this theme could be more of the same, that is, nothing new. Unfortunately Elvis did not have personal composers who wrote especially for him, only an isolated case to be able to release songs that the public could not know and to give something fresh and new to impact the music market. But the chosen songs had already been successful for others, recently or from previous years, and the novelties in these sessions were not many.
What was recorded two years earlier was somewhat more modern, with a new sound and despite the good intentions of Felton Jarvis, his producer, of the new team at RCA ... really the portfolio of songs was not very interesting. Fortunately and despite the circumstances, Elvis tried to sing these songs giving of himself and trying to sing and show the greatest interest, despite everything.
He was interested in singing some of the songs that he had favorites but that were nothing that could attract attention and unfortunately the push of the producer would not force the situation to do something different. This song was an example, although very well sung, it is a song that is based on an earlier version by Ricky Nelson. It does not provide any musical innovation, neither does the accompaniment and the arrangements were the same, the result was not very commercial for the year 1971.
A song composed in 1940, by Rube Bloom, music and Johnny Mercer, lyrics. It would become very popular, since it has been covered a lot and also because it is a song with a catchy melody. Among the artists who would interpret it would be Brenda Lee, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Etta James or Glen Miller, etc... But it would be in 1963 in the voice of Ricky Nelson when his version would become even more popular and famous among the public. It would be included in his Ricky Nelson Lp and would have a very big success, reaching number 12 on the Billboard charts and number 24 Hot R&B Singles.
The songwriters collaborated together on another song "Day In-Day Out". But of the two, Johnny Mercer stands out as one of the most popular authors among the public of the time, from the mid-1930s to the mid-50s. Songs like "Satin Doll", "PS, I love you", "Goody goody"... Mercer wrote the lyrics for more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for the cinema and for the theater on Broadway.
He was a co-founder of Capitol Records. He would be recognized at the time on many occasions, two Grammy Awards and received nineteen Oscar nominations, winning four of them. The first Oscar for the song "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" and "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe." In addition and in collaboration with the Genius of music, Henri Mancini for "Moon River", "Days of Wine and Roses", with whom he would work for the lyrics in more films. The song recorded in this session would be included in the release of the album "Elvis Now". Later on "Today, Tomorrow & Forever" and on the FTD "I Sing All Kinds". There is a version of the year 1966, with a slower air, it would be recorded at his home and was included in the album "In A Private Moment". With an interpretation closer to the versions of the fifties. Guitarist James Burton played solo on the Elvis recording and on which he played Ricky Nelson. A very charming song.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Peculiar songs

The improvisation of the artist
"A Thing Called Love"

A song composed by Jerry Reed. Elvis recorded it on May 19, 1971, at the RCA Nashville sessions. In this song Elvis experimented with singing in a lower vocal range than usual. Elvis was a baritone and this score was written in a very low vocal line, so he wanted to try, as he had tried songs that could be for tenor. To sing it, he would wrap himself up with the bass voice of the group the Imperials, Armond Morales, and decide to sing it in unison. As an experiment it was fine and the song was catchy, but in some parts his voice was not audible, obviously because the bass voice could cover it. Although the result is fine and it is an interesting but strange song in his repertoire.
Elvis's musical vision was somewhat special because he liked to try new things, but he didn't have a commercial projection. In any case, he would like to record this song because for him it was fun. The song was written by Jerry Reed, who had written other songs that Elvis would record such as "Guitar man", "Talk about the good times" and "U.S male". This theme was recorded by Reed himself in 1968 and other artists such as Jimmy Dean, Dave Dudley... but the version recorded in 1971 by Johnny Cash would become a national success, reaching number 1 in Canada. The record was Cash's biggest hit in Europe, charting in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Songwriter Jerry Reed who was also a guitarist, singer, and actor. As a singer, he is best known for "(Who Was the Man Who Put) The Line in Gasoline", "Amos Moses", "When You're Hot, You're Hot", for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Performance. Male Vocal in 1972, and "East Bound and Down", the theme from the movie Smokey and the Bandit, in which he also co-starred. Jerry admired Elvis from the first time he heard him sing. He would be called by Felton Jarvis who told him that Elvis wanted to record this song.
On some occasion Jerry would say that the lyrics of the song would be inspired by a need to seek a throwback to youth and the old days as opposed to the bad news that he could see every day on television. He was once asked how he would define Elvis... Jerry Reed said that if he could answer this question he would somehow define him as "the king of the world", Elvis appears once every millennium, I don't know if there will be someone in the next hundred years to do what Elvis did in terms of taking a culture and changing it. To become what it is today from a seed, it would be the seed itself..." The song "A Thing Call Love" was included on the album "He Touched Me" and later on "Amazing Grace", "Peace In The Valley" and "Elvis Inspirational".
A rehearsal take is featured on "Today Tomorrow & Forever", the first take of the Nashville session is from the FTD label release "I Sing All Kinds" Elvis had a wonderful voice, a that without a doubt would make him the greatest singer in history, but it is clear that the commercial vision of the songs that were being chosen in these sessions in May 1971 was null or a total mistake, which could have been changed if Elvis He would have intervened. But it was not like that, on the contrary, he would add his grains of sand to the immense desert that could be around him...

"Following the Path of the King..."

Songs that transport us to the past

"I Will be True"
A song with a special and classic flavor, which brings us back to the Elvis of the 50s, that somewhat special boy who one day found fame almost without realizing it, losing himself in an artistic world so big that it would be difficult to assimilate. A sincere, close and simple interpretation, through his accompaniment on the piano, with which Elvis immersed himself in his own interpretation. A lyric that gives hope, of yearning, of reunion... The truth is that Elvis Presley would record many songs in which he believed and others that by choice of others he felt compelled to sing. This song was a clear example of how he could interpret a song with all his heart, even if it was not a commercial song, nor current. But Elvis didn't really have a commercial vision for his music, he just wanted to sing songs that he could feel and share. As of this year, 1971, his vision would focus on the public, it was where he would really rediscover his beginnings. All this could be different if Elvis had taken full control of his artistic life, choosing his own repertoire, but over time the weight of his fame would prevent him from advancing as a musician and all this would be very difficult for him."I Will Be True" composed by Ivory Joe Hunter. Recorded at the May 1971 Sessions in Nashville, RCA Studio B. Hunter had his own KFDM Radio show in the 1940s and became a program manager. He started writing songs around this time and his first song would become a hit, "Blues at Sunrise". He would dedicate himself to recording R&B hits and topped the charts in the 50's with the song "I Almost lost my mind", his songs would be recorded by singers of the moment, such as Elvis or Pat Boone, "Since i met you Baby ", "I need you so". Elvis invited him to his house in Graceland, in the spring of 1957, they spent the day together singing songs of his that he liked. Hunter would know a little about the spiritual, courteous, approachable Elvis... and saw him as a great artist. Elvis recorded several of his songs, including "I Need You So", "My Wish Came True" and "Ain't That Lovin' ' You baby". In these sessions he recorded this song and also included his song "It's Still Here". Elvis's admiration for Hunter was clear, over the years he recovered two songs that he could have recorded throughout his career. It is possible that inside of him he searched and looked back, although he liked the songs that were being made in the present, folk, pop, he kept turning his gaze to Gospel and country. The variety of themes made one think that the future to follow was not very clear... Hunter, pianist, singer and composer, with a solid reputation, would come to compose more than seven thousand songs, but unfortunately at the end of his life, ill, he did not he would have a lot of financial means... When Elvis found out that Hunter was sick in 1974, he sent him $1,000 to help with the hospital bills. In the accompanying letter, Elvis wrote: "Joe is a great talent and has been an inspiration to many artists. It pains me deeply to hear about his situation." The song would be included on the album "The Fool". Later on "Elvis Aron Presley" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes". An earlier home recording from 1959 appears on "Platinum: A Life In Music" (as part of the Bad Nauheim medley), on the FTD release "In A Private Moment". An alternative to the Nashville recording session is on the FTD release "I Sing All Kinds". A song that takes us back in time. "Following the Path of the King..." FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 61 3 Sessions May 1971 at this link:

I´m Leavin

Heart songs
"I’m Leavin"

On May 20, 1971, Elvis recorded the song "I'm Leavin'". A sensitive, moving song that you would really like from its author Michael Jarrett, who wrote it with Sonny Charles. Composer Michael Jarrett had offered another theme for Elvis to be recorded on the 16th of these May sessions, the Christmas song "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day." Jarrett's own recording would be the one that Elvis heard and for this reason it would be chosen for these recording sessions. If we make a comparison between the original and the one made by Elvis, the version is very similar, since he would make a copy of it. The only thing that changes, obviously, is the interpretation of Elvis. This song could have been a success but the mistake of the promotion, without almost radioing the song, no intervention on TV, etc...
The mismanagement that was being carried out with the songs that were published both as singles and as LPs would be insufficient . The song would be chosen for publication as a single, with the theme "Heart of Rome" on the B side.
It would be one of Elvis's favorites and he wanted to make it more carefully with a more sensitive, heartfelt interpretation, although it lacks a bit of Body. But the result is a close song that is easy to remember due to its catchy melody. Although the voice is not at its best, it is very possible that it gave another tone to the different interpretation and, for this reason, being different would be a song that the public likes. The single reached number 36 on the Billboard charts, although on the Easy Listening list, it would reach number 2. Elvis included it in his concert repertoire at the end of 1974, which is why it appears on many bootlegs, bootlegs and on several official releases. "Southern Nights", "It's Midnight", "Southern Nights" and "Takin' Tahoe Tonight" FTD, as well as on the BMG release "Live in Las Vegas". The studio version was included on "Elvis Aron Presley", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "Artist Of The Century" and "Burning Love". And alternatives on FTD "I Sing All Kinds". Author version: watch?v=fb4eTR6YOZA
A song that comes to us and within the repertoire that he would record in May 1971, a song that comes out of what was chosen, different and original.

"Following the Path of the King..."

SESSIONS June 1971

RCA . Studio B. Nashville. 
PRODUCER: Felton Jarvis 

Back at RCA's Nashville Studio B, June 8-10, 1971, for some recordings, after earlier May sessions. Elvis returns to pick up and re-record some songs and add new songs. In these times Elvis is in a period prior to the concerts, which will begin in a short time, the publication of his work in the music market ... a time that he takes advantage of to spend good times with his friends and have fun before back on stage. 
Elvis was beginning to have more health problems besides glaucoma...his married life is already moving toward what will inevitably come at the end of the year. 1971 would be the beginning of the end.

"My way"

"My Way" a song adapted into English by Paul Anka, but originally composed by Claude François, Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibaut, with the title "Comme d'Hatitude". The English version only keeps the melody of the song, since the lyrics were rewritten by Paul Anka and it is totally different from the French original. This song was first published in France in 1967, but Paul Anka covered it and thought that it would go very well for Frank Sinatra, so he offered it to him. He had asked her for some material to record and Anka had seen this song on TV in France so he decided to adapt it to English. Singer Frank Sinatra recorded it on December 30, 1968 in one take, and it was released in 1969. Although it never reached number one, it would become a legendary song for Sinatra. His version sold a million copies in the US and stayed on the UK charts for two years. Since then, for many followers of "la Voz", this song would be a theme associated with him forever. For this reason he was always asked to sing it in concert and, curiously, he would come to hate her for this reason. 
This song has been widely covered ever since by Paul Anka himself, Shirley Bassey, Il Divo, David Bowie, Robbie Williams... and of course by Elvis. The recording took place at RCA Studio B in Nashville on the day June 10, 1971. Elvis, who heard it, felt very identified with the lyrics and was very interested in getting to record it. 
For this reason it was included in the last day of the session. The studio version would be included in the album "Walk a mile in my shoes", but there are many live versions since Elvis would include it in his repertoire to sing in front of his public. The first version in the "Aloha from Hawaii" via satellite , and in the summer of 1972 in Las Vegas, "My Way" was Elvis's first posthumous single, with "America The Beautiful" on the B-side. It would be a song that his audience also identified as something very personal for Elvis Presley. On release, it peaked at number 22 on the Hot 100 and sold over a million copies. 
Alternate live versions of official releases include The Alternate Aloha, Elvis in Concert, This Is Elvis, Elvis Aron Presley, Platinum: A Life In Music, Elvis By The Presleys and Elvis Live; it is also in the concert themes of FTD Summer Festival, New Year's Eve, Unchained Melody and Spring Tours '77, etc. From the first moment this song had been obsessing Elvis, because the lyrics reflected his thought, his life, his path ... Making the recording would take a lot of effort for him because he wasn't quite right, for five hours they did takes, but for some reason Elvis couldn't find himself with the song. 
The interpretation was a little slower than what he would do on stage, so it must have been a bit heavy for him and, when he heard it, he literally forbade its publication. A master was completed, but Elvis was not satisfied with it and ordered it shelved. He really thought that this song was like a musical biography of his life. Elvis promised himself to perform it again in all its greatness, with all the feeling, so he logically left it to sing on stage and he would do so. His song "My Way" says much more about him than many of his emblematic songs, so performing it in public would become an exciting moment. His passion and his experience were total in front of the public and with this song Elvis would reach all hearts. Beyond all understanding, there are songs that identify the man...

Elvis Presley, the man, the myth...the King!

Remember... we are living history..."Following the Path of the King..

"Bosom of Abraham"

On June 9, 1971, Elvis would record again at RCA Studio B in Nashville. One of the songs he would most enjoy on these recordings would be the song "Bosom of Abraham" by William Johnson, George McFadden and Ted Brooks. A well-known traditional African-American spiritual, which in many cases is also known as "Rock O'My Soul". The first time he was documented was in the year 1867 by William Francis Allen. There are many versions of it because it has become a spiritual classic. One of the earliest recorded versions was done in 1937 by the Heavenly Gospel Singers, the Jordanaires released a version in 1954, it was also performed by Louis Armstrong, Lonnie Donegan, Peter Paul & Mary, etc. But Elvis's June 9, 1971, Nashville recording was based on one of the favorite versions of him by the Golden Gate Quartet (originally released as "Rock My Soul").' version was included on the 1972 Grammy-winning gospel album "He Touched Me." In February 1972 it would come out as the B side of the single, with the same title.
The documentary "Elvis On Tour" includes a medley of this song with songs like "Lead me, guide me", from the rehearsals held on March 31, 1972. It is also included on the albums "Amazing Grace", "Peace In The Valley" and "Ultimate Gospel". Alternate takes from this session are included on "Platinum: A Life In Music" and the FTD's "Easter Special" and "I Sing All Kind".
On occasion, Elvis would sing it live, at one of the shows over the years. seventy.  Although the song dates back many years, the song was credited for its adaptation to William Johnson, George McFadden, and Ted Brooks, who had sung with Elvis as part of the "Jubilee Four" in the early 1960s. . The songwriters credited here (William Johnson, George McFadden, Ted Brooks) were three of the four members of the gospel group The Jubilee Four, who appeared in the movie "Viva Las Vegas" accompanying Elvis in "The Climb" at that time. dance hypnotist with Ann Margret.
Other Gospel songs are credited, such as "I John", which was also recorded in these sessions in June 1971. It was the kind of song that Elvis liked sing with the Gospel group, in their usual group meetings, when they sang after the concerts, or also at home. Elvis enjoyed music performed in quartets, groups or Gospel solos since he was young.
For him they were very special, his vision, his feeling and his way of being elevated him with these themes that he carried so deep within himself. Elvis lived the Gospel, the spirituals were part of his particular chemistry, the essence of him as a musician and he always enjoyed it both in public and in private. Charlie Hodge always explained that Elvis was lost in another place when he sang these songs, it was like witnessing a kind of musical vision ...  the feeling of the artist.

"Following the Path of the King..."

"Reach Out To Jesus"

Spirituality and the Soul

"Reach Out To Jesus" Ralph Carmichael.
Another of the songs that were included in the new Gospel album that would be made. Elvis recorded this spiritual Gospel song on June 8, 1971, at RCA Studio B, Nashville. It was included on the album "He Touched Me". It was later included on "Amazing Grace", "Peace in the valley" and "Ultimate Gospel". Another spiritual of those who liked to sing Elvis. Author Ralph Carmichael was a composer and arranger of secular pop music and contemporary Christian music. He was considered the father of this style and its pioneer. He would write many works, particularly did many experiments within the music of the day, during the 1970s and 1960s, bringing to his contemporary Christian style themes that would initially be pop or rock. He founded Light Records in order to be able to spread this style to a larger public.
But the curious thing is that it was the object of many controversies on the part of the church, due to its unconsidered and somewhat daring adaptations for the classic of always. He supported other artists and composers like George Beverly Shea, Andraé Crouch... he would even collaborate in a popular musical about God, "Tell It like It Is". He was included in the Hall of Fame for his Gospel Music in 1985 and received the Dove Award for "Instrumental Album of the Year" in 1994.
A calm song with great participation of the Choir that at all times makes the replicas to the voice of Elvis, very inspired as always in this style of music.  Although it is not a Gospel song but, as we have mentioned, Christian music style, which varies a bit from the spiritual classic because, if it weren't for the lyrics, it could be a pop song of the moment... the lyrics are religious. In the 70's this type of song became fashionable, also adaptations of others that were pop...
Elvis was a great interpreter in all styles, his voice in 1971 had reached maturity and experience. And in this case Elvis, as he demonstrated in this song, he was fine this day and he put on a good performance.
"Following the Path of the King..."

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