From Tupelo to Memphis 78
Stax Studios. July 1973

Program in Spanish enter the link:

Elvis was back from his successful June tour and as of July 4, he had a few days off. In July 1973 RCA was demanding that Elvis Presley make recordings, in order to have new material to publish and market more records. It was a completely logical request, since artists must continue to promote themselves and offer news to the public. Elvis didn't want to move to Nashville, for convenience and because he had his daughter Lisa Marie these days. 
In this way he asked his friend, Marty Lacker, to look for a suitable studio close to Graceland. Marty, who knew all the studios, chose Stax Studios, because of its proximity and because they were known for their special sound. Everything was arranged for Elvis to record comfortably there, from July 20 to 25, 1973. 
We will talk about these recordings, the studio, the unforeseen, the songs, etc, etc in our next program. Remember that the program is set with the music of the time...
 Because we are living History! 

"Following the Path of the King..."

Sessions Recording July 1973

The Vulnerability of The Artist

Elvis would record in these studios twice during the year 1973, July and December. But the difference between these two dates is abysmal, in terms of Elvis' mood, attitude and interest in doing these recording sessions. Also the technical issues that affected them and as a consequence the realization of the recorded tracks. It was necessary to record songs at this time, RCA was asking for it by contractual obligation and it was clear that whether he wanted to or not, Elvis would have to record in the studio. The initial idea of ​​returning to Nashville for these recording sessions was not well received by Elvis. He was against it and the Colonel disliked his decision but another solution had to be found. Her personal situation had changed and he had her daughter at her house, Lisa Marie, so he surely didn't want to get away from her, the separation could give him that need because he couldn't always have her by his side. her.  So Elvis asked Marty Lacker for advice, his friend who knew the studios there best in Memphis. controlled and also by the fame and conditions of the same. 
By 1973, Stax Studios had stopped renting the studio to outside acts, they usually had their own musicians and that was enough for them. But the opportunity for an artist as big as Elvis to record there was too special to pass up.  
Although they had their commitments, the label's resident superstar, Hayes, even gave up the time she had already booked to let Elvis record. She really gave him all the facilities to record at ease. It was a good moment, Elvis had really come back from his Tour with success and he shouldn't have had anything strange happen. But it was clear that this would not be the case, these sessions would be atypical in Elvis's attitude, in technical conditions and in bad luck.
 The forecast would be to record from July 20 to 23, 1973 and much was planned material in repertoire so that Elvis could choose the most suitable or at least do his best as a singer. Marty Lacer used to say that Elvis' behavior, his performance, was always based on his mood and at this time Elvis was deeply the marital breakdown, simply because his home was broken. The artist is a vulnerable being, sensitive when he sings, when he plays a role or if he plays any instrument or simply recites a verse... He is always a gift of himself, of the most intimate. If he becomes a great performer even more, it's as if he undresses his soul in a certain way, what he feels the most and what moves him.  All this emotion can reach the point of choking his voice or being speechless if you don't know how to control that great feeling that invades you. For this reason, many artists sometimes do not want to show themselves to the public or cannot, because they are so sensitive that they cannot control that feeling. And sometimes they only show it at home, with their friends and loved ones, obviously they could never become professionals, due to their stage fright or they could simply only work without acting in front of the public.  An artist is obliged to do this, because if did not have enough courage, he could never sing on stage, nor be able to record a single album. 
At this time Elvis felt more defenseless, controlled by others due to his habits and possibly felt more vulnerable in his feelings because he had not yet embedded their separation. It is probably for this reason that he did not want to record in a studio yet. Elvis always felt in the recording studios that he could control everything he did but in these sessions he was a little reluctant. In spite of everything, when he dared to sing he was the same again and proved his worth as a singer... but the On the first day of June 20, Elvis arrived at 11:00 p.m., that is, he did not arrive at the recordings as scheduled, he did not feel like singing, just telling stories, doing karate demonstrations, etc. He would not record a single note this day, for what his producer Felton Jarvis already began to be desperate and also the sound engineer Al Pachucki detected in the studio a lack of means that would later cause problems. 
There was also the material chosen for the sessions, despite the fact that Elvis had founded his own editorial, the repertoire remained to be chosen. There were sentimental numbers that little inspired Elvis, even songs that could be more powerful, would be too hard for Elvis. Marty had brought him a beautiful ballad by Troy Seals and Donnie Fritts called "We Had It All." Although he liked it a lot and told Marty, he would even rehearse it four or five times, then he told him that he couldn't sing it, because the story was about a guy singing to his ex-wife and Elvis didn't   would like to offer that to his audience. His musicians had been invited, James Burton and Ronnie Tutt, guitar and drummer from TCB, as well as others with whom he recorded at American Studios such as guitarist Reggie Young, bassist Tommy Cogbill and also some of the Stax, the bassist of MG Duck Dunn, the drummer Al Jackson Jr and also the guitarist Bobby Manuel, as well as the singers Kathy Westmoreland, Mary Greene, Mary & Ginger Holladay, singers with whom he had also previously recorded, Charlie Hodge as always to Acoustics, etc. Everything was prepared properly, except Elvis, unfortunately this was not the best day for him. 
Thus began the story of Stax Studios with Elvis.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Elvis Presley at Stax Studios

Technique and Inspiration

The history of Stax Studios dates back to the mid-1950s, when they began their work in a converted movie theater. The studio that was set up had a particular acoustic, they said it was unique, this would be due to the design configuration of the studio. The curiosity was that they left the floor that was inclined from the original cinema. This gave it a different and special acoustic compared to other studios, for this reason it acquired the particular "Stax sound". The sound quality was in a cruder tone and also the singers felt their voice more distant and elevated, due to the sensation they had of singing above the rest of the instruments. Also the sonority in the brass instruments was unique, special. You had to know how to take advantage of this to find a new sound in Elvis's songs, but it seems that his producer Felton Jarvis was not very interested. What Felton really wanted was to do everything so that the sound of the disc recordings would resemble anything Elvis had done before. It is possible that this was inappropriate, since the novelty was what could shock the public. But Elvis never really questioned Felton's decisions, although in some cases he didn't like the result. The studios also had a quality band of in-house musicians who worked for various artistsBooker T and the MG's (rhythm section) and The Memphis Horns (Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) made Stax an icon. 
Chips Moman even recruited The Memphis Horns to record on Elvis' "In the Ghetto" single. Felton Jarvis wanted to have the band that Elvis felt comfortable with; part of musicians he had been touring with for years up to that point, like James Burton or Ronnie Tutt. And also some of the musicians with whom he had already recorded at American Studios, little of this band at Stax. Traditionally what was done when working at Stax was to present all the recorded parts one layer at a time and then assembled at the end. 
The truth is that Elvis, we know that what he liked was recording live, it's what he always made him feel better, searching in the moment and working with the musicians. He would do a combined recording over and over until he got it right. Chips Moman, with whom Elvis successfully recorded, had insisted on the Stax approach when he helped found American Sound. Elvis was committed enough to accept it, but in 1973, Elvis did not have this interest and Felton Jarvis did not even suggest it. The truth is that in 1973 there were a lot of changes in general, as far as music is concerned. Obviously, each musician had his tastes and preferences and tried to innovate within his possibilities. Elvis wanted to adapt to the time with arrangements to songs that could result in a different style than the original and sometimes he was right and sometimes not. The material that had been chosen for the sessions was from authors known to Elvis, with some exceptions, but finally due to some technical difficulties, only the following songs would be recorded:

JULY 21 1973
"If You Don’t Come Back" by Jerry Leibery Mike Stoller
"It’s Diff’rent Now" by Clive Westlake
"Three Corn Patches" by Jerry Leiber y Mike Stoller
"Take Good Care Of Her" by Ed Warren y Arthur Kent

JULY 22 1973
"Find Out What’s Happening " by Jerry Crutchfield
"I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby" by Tony Joe White
"Just A Little Bit " by Thornton, Brown, Bass y Washington

JULY 23 1973
"Raised On Rock' by Mark James y Screen Gems
"For Ol’ Times Sake" by Tony Joe White , Tennessee Swamp Box

JULY 24 1973
"Girl Of Mine" De Les Reed , Barry Mason

JULY 25 1973
"Sweet Angeline" by Arnold, Martin y Morrow
The rest of the planned material had to be postponed. Elvis would only record again at Stax Studios in December 1973.

 "Following the Path of the King..."

The Artist and His Circumstances
Stax Studios Sessions July 1973

On July 21, 1973, Elvis finally started recording at Stax Studios, since he arrived at 11 p.m. the night before, but he didn't do much, just chat, demonstrate karate and joke around. But the musicians who saw Elvis again after a long time, noticed him differently, not only physically, but also in the way he acted. It had been planned to make some recordings chosen mostly among composers already known to Elvis, also some song that was popular or was a previous success in the voice of other artists. Normally it was the way of working, Freddy Bienstock, he brought music to Elvis and he chose the one he liked the most, there were also other proposals. 
In some cases, Elvis himself chose a song that he wanted to record because he had heard it and wanted that one especially, so some special agreement had to be reached with the composer or the publisher. Again Elvis would be late for the recording sessions, but this time, she had to work on a song that was brought to her by Freddy Bienstock. In his voice we can hear a bit of reluctance, at the beginning of these shots, the song did not seem to excite him enough to throw the usual force, the passion that he always used to put in all his sessions.
 Although music was very important and this would never change for Elvis, like every human being, he could have a difficult time, difficult to get through and this was reflected in his voice, in his actions and in his reluctance. 
Elvis was a man and he was going through a time of exhaustion, of despair, and adding that to his habits, made the situation even more complicated. But since he had to comply, this time he would have to agree to record despite his status and for this he would start recording. The first song chosen "If You Don't Come Back", was a song by the famous Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller , with which Elvis had many successes and that after many years, it had not been possible to sing new songs due to the abusive requests that the Colonel had with copyright.
 This time Freddy Bienstock was able to reach an agreement to be able to record with the new contract. 

"If You Don't Come Back" 
A song composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This song was a hit in 1963 with the voice of The Drifters.

Elvis begins to record the song, it seems that little by little, because really the impression it gives when listening is to read the score, more to interpret it. He didn't seem to be very clear of ideas. The song was having a hard time being made, because it had to be done in several takes, Felton finally called him to listen to it. And although the result is not entirely satisfactory or at least it could have been done in another way, it was finished in the ninth take, which is the one that became the master. The result may seem flat or without much life, because you don't feel that Elvis gives himself to the song, as would always have been natural for him. It is true that the song was very repetitive and this didn't help make any merit either, because it seemed repeating the same thing over and over again. But the intention of modernizing this score and wanting to record it still without result would show that Elvis, despite the situation, wanted to do something new, the result was correct, but much more could have been achieved. It was performed in Funky style, a modernized song giving it a more up-to-date style. Nothing to do with the previous one. It is very possible that with a slightly more cheerful rhythm, the song would have had more force and the interpretation would have turned to the score, but it was not like that. It is a sample of these unstable moments in Elvis that should never have been shown during the recordings and it would have been better to postpone to record at another time more suitable for him.
 It was first published on "The Raised On Rock" in late 1973. FTD included an alternate version of the 2006 release "Made in Memphis"; 1998's "Essential Elvis vol 5" has another alternative, and while the 2007 FTD release of "Raised On Rock" features several more. the start of a sessions that should not have been held in this month of July 1973.

 "Following the Path of the King..."

Songs with Feeling
"It's Different Now "

"It's Different Now" Composed by Clive Westlake Recorded at Stax Studios on July 21, 1973,  This song was a huge hit for Cilla Black in 1970. 

There clearly wasn't much interest in this song because it has hardly been included in albums. The track remained unreleased until it was released on "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" in 1996. 2007 on the FTD release "Raised On Rock", etc. Westlake was an author known in his time for songs co-written with Ben Weisman, such as "All I See Is You." "Losing You", co-written with Tom Springfield for Dusty Springfield. "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten", he also co-wrote "Here I Go Again" with Mort Shuman for The Hollies, a no. 4 in 1964, and wrote songs recorded by Shirley Bassey, Vera Lynn, Elvis Presley, Petula Clark, Cilla Black, Tom Jones, etc. Elvis would record more Westlake songs: "How the Web Was Woven", "It's a Matter of Time", "It's Diff'rent Now", "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights" The song "It's Different Now" was recorded only one time. It was really just one take, oddly enough. It's as if the song hadn't been of much interest when it was recorded or hadn't wanted to be perfected and insisted on. 
When these sessions are carried out, it is rare that a first take is taken for granted, unless it was a song that had been rehearsed several times. It was a very emotional song, with vocal accompaniment, with a beautiful melody and very heartfelt. The lyrics were about a farewell, a relationship that has changed. It is clear that Elvis sings it with all intent and it must have been very painful for him, even more so at this time when their separation was irremediable. When you close a door, it is definitely inevitable to ask yourself what you did wrong or if it would have been to continue on the same path so as not to lose someone you loved. 

"Following the Path of the King..."

Elvis at Stax Studios July 1973

"Three Corn Patches"

"Three Corn Patches" A song composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Elvis performed this song that had been a blues hit for T-Bone Walker
Elvis recorded it at Stax studio on July 21, 1973 for the album "Raised On Rock", although not in the peak of his vocal powers. Alternatives have appeared in recent years on "Essential Elvis vol.5" and the FTD album "Made in Memphis". FTD's 2007 album "Raised On Rock" features a remixed original and about a dozen alternates. Leiber and Stoller were a professional couple of American songwriters and music producers active from the early 1950s well into the 1970s. Stoller composed the music and Leiber the lyrics. Starting in 1956 and following the success of "Hound Dog", Elvis Presley would record more than 20 songs by Leiber and Stoller, such as "Love Me", "Jailhouse Rock", "Loving You", "Don't", "King Creole" ,"Trouble" etc. Their first success came with the song "Hard Times", recorded by Charles Brown in 1952. This was followed that same year by "Kansas City" and "Hound Dog". From this, their consecration as the most requested composers of the moment and with Elvis increased their popularity. For two decades they were requested by the best artists to record their music. His last big hit was "Stuck in the Middle With You" in 1972 for Stealers Wheel, featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. In 1985 they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1987 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "Three Corn Patches", possibly his worst score. The band worked hard but got nowhere. Elvis was cursing because he wasn't with the sheet music: "You can't kick this son of a bitch," Elvis concluded. But then he apologized first to Felton for a noise on the microphone and then to the group: "Sorry about my language. But even the care you put into recording it wouldn't have the right effect. They had to do at least 15 takes and it didn't come to fruition." an interesting recording. It was one of the less attractive themes of these authors, but certainly the approach that was given to recording it was not the most appropriate. It is very possible that if this score had been transported to better adapt it to Elvis's vocal range, would have gotten a good deal out of it. And therefore it would have imbued the interpretation with greater enthusiasm. It is clear that it was not like that, resulting in a very forced singing. We do not believe that it was a problem in his voice, but rather in the adaptation to the artist. But Elvis sometimes accepted these challenges, without questioning the situation, which could sometimes be forced as is the case. An appropriate decision or good advice could have obtained a great result .
"Following the Path of the King..."

Here it is:

"Find Out What's Happening"

A more enthusiastic Elvis arrived the following night of July 22, 1973, late since he arrived again at eleven. Everyone appreciated the noticeable change in his mood and in his desire to play. Although he really wasn't in the mood Elvis was trying to accomplish these recordings, as time went on he became more animated. Elvis was always a great professional and he tried to overcome his problems by isolating himself in music, singing, enjoying that great gift with his friends and now he was a little low on enthusiasm, but music always helped him move forward. Although these sessions would be a tough proof that it really wouldn't be very successful, since things would get complicated on the last day of recording"Find Out What's Happening" Written by Jerry Crutchfield and originally released by The Spindells in 1964 1968 it reached to be a great success for Bobby Bare. This song began to be rehearsed the night before, but was left due to technical problems that arose and had to be solved. During the performance, Elvis asked them to turn up the volume on his headphones, but it seems that She still wasn't done with the sheet music because she told the singers, "Okay, girls, whatever you're doing." "I want to find the writer," he teased himself because he still couldn't read the lyrics. In any case the result was much better than expected, the day beforeHe was working on a funky beat. You could tell in his performance that Elvis was already showing his full interest and by the time they got to take nine he was good to go. The songwriter for "Find Out What's Happening" was Jerry Crutchfield, known for his pop music scores and country. He was a publishing and record label executive. He recorded for RCA Victor Records with the vocal group The Country Gentlemen, later known as The Escorts. As a composer he made 150 songs recorded by various artists such as The Crickets, Brenda Lee, Eddy Arnold, Tanya Tucker, Lee, etc. But in reality his most important work was as a producer. The song was included on "Raised On Rock". Vernon and the Colonel chose a version of this song without overdubs for the second volume of "Our Memories of Elvis" in 1979. An alternate take on "Essential Elvis Vol.5" and the 2006 FTD CD "Made in Memphis". Outtakes were also released on the 2007 FTD CD "Raised On Rock", etc.


"Just a Little Bit"

This same day, July 22, Elvis would make another recording, but in a single take. "Just a Little Bit" 
This song was written by John Thornton and was a hit song in 1959 for Tiny Topsy.

Actually written by several authors: John Thornton; songwriter, Piney Brown; Record company executive, producer, talent scout, songwriter, and R&B pioneer affiliated with the Savoy, King/Federal, and Chess record labels. By Ralph Bass, blues singer-songwriter and Earl Washington; jazz pianist and composer. There were 4 songwriters, normally there are not that many contributions to make an inspired song, although Thornton is mainly credited. 
A song initially Rock but in a calm way. and although the origin would be in the 50's, it would be adapted to the 70's. Elvis would record it in one take at Stax Studios on July 22, 1973. A song that seemed written for him, for his intention in the interpretation, insinuating, it is an invitation in the voice of Elvis to get lost on his way. 
It was published on the LP "Raised On Rock", and in the nineties on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", etc. Everything seemed to follow its normal course , the sound deficiency had been controlled and Elvis was already focused on his work."Following the Path of the King"

The unforeseen in studyAnecdotes in the Stax Studios. July 1973

During the recordings that Elvis Presley made in the Stax studios, in July 1973, there were circumstances that hindered them.  It is true that Elvis was not at his most ideal moment to record, but when he finally begins to put all his enthusiasm into it, Al Pachucki, the sound engineer, realizes that there are technical problems that slow down the production.

"Take Good Care Of Her "
Written by Ed Warren and Arthur Kent. Elvis recorded this song at Stax Studios in the early hours of July 22, 1973. This song would be the first that seemed to interest Elvis so far, because it was noticeable as soon as he began recording it, in his voice and in his effort. The song begins with the introduction to the piano by Bobby Wood. Elvis called him "the world's most commercial pianist." Elvis took the lead with the choir to perform his performance. A score suitable for his voice, comfortable, which gives him the ease of performing a song, adorned by the solo voice of Kathy Westmoreland and by the choir. It is curious that Elvis always participates with the choir, regardless of his solo part. Since there are choir parts, which he should not sing, but it is true that for Elvis singing in choral harmony was always one of his greatest pleasures as a musician, because at the beginning of his artistic life he would have liked to be a member. of a quartet Fortunately for all his fans, this never came to be. Stax studios were supposed to be qualified to do the best job, but after making the third track, listening to a playback of this take, Al Pachucki heard a buzz in the organ track and the recording process had to be suspended. The Stax engineer said the distortion was only in the monitoring system, but Al Pachucki didn't know if it would affect the recorded tape. The technicians had to work on this, so that Elvis began to tell his stories, always entertaining the Stamps and Tommy Cogbill, the bass. Until they were finally able to pick up the tracks and finish with the song. 
The song was released as a B-side single to "I've Got A Thing About You Baby" in January 1974. This song was a hit for Adam Wade in 1961. 
In 1973, he also recorded it Johnny Mathis, his version had reached the Billboard Hot 100. The song was included in the album "Good Times". It is included on "Our Memories of Elvis" (without overdubs) and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "The Country Side of Elvis" and on the 2006 edition of "Elvis Country". 
Alternate takes have been released on "Platinum: A Life In Music" and "Today, Tomorrow & Forever", etc. Although this would only be the first glitch to slow down the sessions, Elvis was already on his way. "

Following the Path of the King..."

"Raised On Rock "
Stax Studios   July 1973

Composed by Mark James, who had already worked for Elvis. The song is very special since it revives the experience of a person who grew up as a child with the birth of Rock'n'Roll, grew up with songs like "Hound Dog" and "Johnny B. Goode" that he listened to on the radio. Elvis would record it July 23, 1973 It was released as a single and also gave its name to an LP. The single with the song "For Ol 'Times Sake" as the B-side, in October 1973. The single "Raised on Rock" featuring "For Ol' Times Sake" reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of October 27, 1973. 
The song "Raised on Rock" reached number 27 on the Billboard Easy chart. Listening .In the UK, the single "Raised on Rock" peaked at number 36. 

July 23 started again at eleven o'clock with "Raised On Rock", a new tune by Mark James, who was one of Elvis's favorite songwriters. It could have been more rhythmic, although it was a Rock, in this way Elvis was encouraged to sing and focus on the score. But surely if it was made faster, it would have been even stronger. "Suspicious Minds". His biggest success as a songwriter came with "Always on My Mind", a collaboration with Johnny Christopher and Wayne Carson and released as a B-side by Elvis in 1972. A decade later, "Always on My Mind" was covered by Willie Nelson, who made it a resounding success. For this version, James won the Grammy Award for Best Song of the Year and the Grammy for Best Country Song. But the one who would turn it into a song destined to cross the thresholds of time was Elvis, with his recording and the performances in his shows. Since this theme is associated with him as a singer. 
They would lift her even higher, make her mythical. 

"Following the Path of the King...

"I've Got A Thing About You Baby"

The next song "I've Got A Thing About You Baby", a tune by Tony Joe White, the author of "Polk Salad Annie". An author that Elvis liked very much, but in these different times, White had his own recording career, so Elvis was forced to select some song from White's own records. It was recorded on July 22, 1973 at Stax Studios. The realization of the song was going well while rehearsing it, with a real swing. With the play of voices of the choir and the accompaniment. After a take, Elvis protested against himself: “I screwed up in the first part. I was singing 'Heartbreak Hotel'... Hold on. We'll do the tail end later. Mail it. He said these kinds of things when he felt comfortable recording. Above all, he had patience with him and the musicians. The song with a repetitive but catchy melody, with an optimistic tone.
 Actually, what bothered Elvis a lot on these recordings were the technical problems in the studio. Because he understood that they should have lived up to the fame they had and this was not really the case or at least they were not lucky these days. Elvis would say that they were always very slow in Memphis. And in these sessions Elvis complained about this, Al Pachucki, the sound engineer was aware of the problem, but incidents continued to happen. 
Although the recording would be successful, the song was released as a single in January 1974, with "Take Good Care Of Her" on the B-side. 4 to the country chart, selling around half a million copies. Featured on "Good Times", "This is Elvis", "Walk a Mile in my Shoes", and "Platinum: A Life In Music", Essential Elvis Vol.5", etc.

"For Ol'Times Sake"

"For Ol'Times Sake"
It was written by Tony Joe White, who originally recorded it on his 1973 album "Homemade Ice Cream" and would make it a hit. He already had other songs recorded by Elvis Presley: "Polk Salad Annie" and "I've Got a Thing About You Baby". 

This song was recorded at Stax Recording Studios in Memphis, Tennessee on July 23, 1973. Elvis's version was released as a single in 1973 with "Raised on Rock" as the A-side. Both songs were later included on the album "Raised on Rock". on Rock "The single "Raised on Rock" / "For Ol' Times Sake" (classified by Billboard as a double hit) reached number 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of October 27, 1973. 
A heartfelt song in the voice of Elvis, who conveyed an immense sadness in this score. It was one of the subjects in which he became most involved, although at first he seemed sleepy or dazed, but the song struck him and he became enthusiastic about it. 
The result would be a beautiful song, even if it wasn't commercial. It would be included in the albums "Raised On Rock", "Walk a Mile in My Shoes". An alternate take was released on 1998's "Essential Elvis Mol.5", also on the 2007 FTD reissue "Raised On Rock", etc.

“Girl Of Mine”

When Elvis arrived to record the fourth night, Al Pachucki, the sound engineer discovered that someone had stolen or misplaced Elvis' special lightweight handheld microphone. They didn't have any spare equals so they had to have one from the studio. Obviously the quality of it could not be compared to that of Elvis, but nobody told him. In addition, another circumstance was added due to previous commitments, they had to do without the musicians of the American Studios with what they had recorded these days. 
Stax contributed to them by house band Duck Dunn (on bass) and drummer Al Jackson and guitarist Bobby Manuel with songwriter Johnny Christopher on rhythm guitar. “Girl Of Mine” by Les Reed and Barry Mason. Les Reed co-wrote over sixty songs on the charts and is best known for "It's Not Unusual", "Delilah", "The Last Waltz" and "Marching On Together". Two popular authors in the 70's, this song was covered by Engelbert Humperdink and the influence on Elvis is clear. 
It was really a very simple song The song was first included on the album "Raised on Rock", later it would come out without overdubs on "Our Memories of Elvis" 1979, an alternative version in 1998 on the BMG "Essential Elvis vol.5 - Rhythm and Country". Also some alternate version on FTD "Raised On Rock" 2007, etc.

The unexpected end of the recordings at Stax Studios. July 1973

During the recording of "Girl of Mine" for some reason, Elvis sounds a bit nasal and flat. It could really be because of the microphone, but there is a notable difference compared to previous days. Again the technical problems were added, a buzz was heard on the tape that was recorded. When they finished the take that would become the final one, Elvis yelled, “Wait, Pachuck. Man, I sound weird on headphones." Al Pachucki, who was already irritated and overwhelmed by what was going on, let out his frustration and said to Elvis, "You don't just sound funny on headphones, you sound funny, period. He was very given to joking about his work. He asked him for an explanation. Al explained about the loss or theft of the microphone and Elvis didn't answer, he just left and wouldn't return to the studio. All this would have serious consequences, despite Elvis never blaming Pachucki, he was fired and would never work with Elvis again. Tom Diskin, who was in the control room, called the Colonel and he called RCA, who blamed Pachucki and fired him. The sessions ended without Elvis, because Felton Jarvis would record backing tracks for "Sweet Angeline", etc. But the feeling was one of failure, since only 9 songs of the 24 planned for RCA were recorded. 
The situation was complicated and a single had to be published in September and a new album in October. But the worst of all would be for Elvis who was burdened with a feeling of impotence and discouragement and taking into account the new season in Las Vegas that was going to take place.

 "Following the Path of the King...


Listen at the following link: 

Presley would record again at the Stax Studios in Memphis, from December 10 to 16, 1973. His commitment to RCA forced him to record the rest of songs that could not be done in July of the same year. Great songs would come out of these sessions, but unfortunately in time they did not have the success, nor the expected sales. Elvis's repertoire offered songs that could have reached number one on the charts, such as "My Boy", "It's Midnight", "Promise Land", etc. The main reason was the bad production that Elvis' work suffered, the songs were good, but they were embellished in excess and the second reason, but surely more important, would be the commercial mismanagement by Colonel Parker and RCA. Tom Parker did not consider that it was necessary to invest in publicity so that his artist would be well promoted, neither Radio nor TV so that it was difficult for the public to get to know these records. He considered that Elvis sold by name and it was not like that, there was a lot of competition in the musical world and singers much better publicized than Elvis, so this also reduced the chances of success. In this first Stax Studios program, we will talk about on December 10, 11 and 12, songs, musicians, anecdotes, etc. Program presented and directed by Ana Albajara, with a script based on an extensive bibliography.

"Following the King's Path..."


For two months, Elvis had had a respite from his worries, he had rested from his performances after a long time, his forced hospitalization and trying to clean up his additions was vital to be able to continue on his Way, free from ties and free his spirit. to perform his beloved music again. After a two-month break, Elvis seemed to be the same, he would laugh out loud again, he would joke again and for everyone around him it seemed that this hell he was suffering was finally, laying down to one side to be able to continue with his life. December 1973 ends the year with the recordings that Elvis Presley is going to make for RCA, they wanted to complete the forecast they had last July of creating new songs for publication and to add repertoire for their concerts. The main purpose was the new material that was planned and to be able to do it without interruptions, so Elvis would have to return to Stax Studios. Obviously for convenience, for proximity and for Elvis to take enough interest and seriousness as he did in last. But Felton Jarvis was not fully recovered in his health despite being responsible for it, he would not be allowed to take his own sound engineer.
The truth is that RCA wanted to have fired him or replaced him, but they couldn't, and besides, Elvis was very fond of him and wouldn't allow them to leave him without the producer who let him do what he wanted. But in a certain way it would have been a good idea to do without him, because his production was not good and this did affect his work as an artist.

Joan Deary ordered New York recording studio manager Larry Schnapt to find a chief engineer and three assistants to manage the studio. The sixteen-channel portable equipment that had already been used on the Palm Springs recordings would be shipped to Stax, to replace the studio desk in the studios. It was clear that they did not consider that the studio had the capacity to make good recordings or they did not trust the result.
Elvis had changed since the last session, his attitude was positive and collaborative, his mood was already different and everything was planned to make the new recordings. The musicians this time were made up of James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tut on drums, with David Briggs, on piano and Norbert Putnam on bass. The choral voices with the Stamps were going to join: J.D Sumner & The Stamps: Bill Baize Ed Enoch and David Rowland. With Voice: Donnie Sumner, Sherrill Nielsen and Tim Baty
Vocals: Kathy Westmoreland, Mary Greene, Mary Holladay and Susan Pilkington.

The chosen material was what was still being disputed among several members for the choice of these songs, but the important thing is that Elvis was going to pour himself into his music again and it was important for him to do the best he could. In the organization there were things that they would be failing, in the first place Freddy Bienstock, who was in charge of carrying the repertoire so that Elvis could choose freely, had not initially appeared. This was unheard of for him, since he never failed in any session, but the Colonel took it as a lack of interest, the problem is that there was a bit of chaos regarding the election. There were many proposals and many interested in choosing Elvis, but it is true that he always got more songs chosen by others, such as Red West, Felton, his producer, Lamar Fike and even Marty Lacker. From there would come a song composed by Red West, a work from Nashville, songs by the members of Voice and another that the group contributed. Not everyone agreed on the choice of a song by Donnie Sumner like Lamar Fike, but it was Elvis who would finally take the song to record it. Of the Repertoire that was going to be recorded, Elvis was the one who gave his last order and some songs would come out in the that he would pour out his passion and enthusiasm: Elvis would be very inspired by one of the songs chosen from among all the proposed themes. He liked a song composed by Denis Linde entitled "I Got a Fellingin my Body", which was a composition with a Gospel flavor, but with a current and more modern rhythm. It was current and Elvis would sing it strongly, with interest, the result was good, his voice was accompanied by the reinforcement of the choir and it could have been a success. The result was good and it is also clear that he liked the rhythm and could compete with this theme. Elvis would choose another song that had already been widely covered "Spanish Eyes", with a very sentimental tone. Although it is true that some themes of accentuated rhythm, others calmer, Elvis's voice had recovered as well as his health. Understanding that his musical instrument had logically received an impact, he could have resented everything that had happened, but it was not like that after his healing. Although it was not what was really affected, obviously in an artist like Elvis, the voice was a reflection of his feelings, physical and psychic, so if it could affect him and have changed in this time. In any case, it would sound safer than in July, with more force, in many songs with passion. slow and heartfelt songs like "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues", which was a sadder song. Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" with a more refreshing beat or Red West and Johnny Christopher's "If You Talk in Your Sleep"...
Various musical styles and airs, but above all the intention of looking for more commercial music for publication, although in Elvis the only intention was to look for songs that he could feel and enjoy, as was always in his mind.

"Following the Path of the King..."

The two faces of the myth. Elvis at Stax Studios

Anecdote during the recordings at the Stax studios, December 1973. Norbert Putnam, the bass, with whom Elvis had previously worked, would tell about these days of recording that what caught his attention the most was not in the recordings, but in the times break when they could come over and talk to the rest of the team. As they were eating something, Norbert said to Elvis "I have to tell you something. If it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't be here. I mean...thank God." "Blue Moon of Kentucky, it only had three chords" Elvis, who would listen to him very attentively, laughed and began to tell him his wishes and projects, told him that he wanted to go to England and also to Australia, but acknowledged that the Colonel did not see him likewise. The frustration was evident in him, because he confessed that he was thinking of leaving Colonel Parker. But Norbert thought that it was something that perhaps he did not dare to confess to others, after a brief moment of seeing him thinking, Elvis recover he peró and said: "Okay, I think it's time to be Elvis again!" The double face of the Myth. It was evident that Elvis Presley had an image of himself that he wanted to show to the world and those less close to him who could not be in his most intimate circle. The other was the true one, his authentic self that showed through his music despite everything, his songs if they could make us see how Elvis felt, how he could be internally, since his voice never camouflaged his true self. But it is true that public image was important to him. Elvis knew that everything he did in public was important, how he dressed, how he moved, his statements, his performances and of course his physical condition. For this reason he would always talk about himself, as if he were playing his own character, Elvis. It was not the first time he did it, nor the last time he was going to confess it, Elvis was tired of being Elvis. With this he confessed to Felton Jarvis in previous months, his desire to get out of the character that had trapped him for years and for which he could not do anything he really wanted to do. Although it is true that Elvis always did what he wanted, it is very possible that this desire not to be his double face, he referred to all the obligations that come with being a famous, successful man who cannot fail, who cannot afford to do anything wrong and who could not even artistically do what he wanted. he wanted. But it is true that Elvis as an artist, did not have many proposals to make, new projects, this always left him in the hands of Colonel Parker, who evidently sought more economic benefit than satisfaction as an artist for Elvis. There was a lack of dialogue that was increasing even more since September 1973, since communication between Elvis and Colonel Parker became very difficult, since the few things that excited him and that he could present as something new or that he could want, I didn't tell them anymore. In any case, the main problem is that any news from Elvis was received as something without interest or absurd for Tom Parker. Although Elvis wanted to improve and get out of himself, it was difficult for him because he did not find that collaboration and enthusiasm that they would have to have between artist and manager. This was completely impossible in 1973, so Elvis would follow his line again, closing in on himself. Although these sessions had better results, Elvis would not feel entirely happy, he continued to put on the mask of his character, in front of his own hidden self that was limited to pleasing others.

RECORDINGS December 10, 1973

Elvis's mood had returned, his enthusiasm for these sessions as well, he actually really wanted to record and he showed up in the studio in a very good mood. A total of 28 studio tracks had been planned for RCA, 11 had already been made , so the rest would begin recording at the Stax studios on Monday, December 10, 1973. The first curiosity of these sessions is that when Elvis went to record, he knew that there was a baseball game that was going to be televised in those days. moments and did not want to miss it. He couldn't think of anything else but to buy flat-screen televisions for the study and also some hamburgers for those present. Many were taken and the leftovers would be given away to those in need. That was how Elvis was in his own way, he wanted to do the recordings well, but he could afford to do things his way, because no one would dare to criticize him, for fear that he would turn around and would not come back anymore. If Elvis was in a good mood, everything was done efficiently and they could do some good sessions, but if something happened to upset him, that was it. This happened on the fourth day, that Elvis arrived euphoric and wanting to collaborate, but only one song could be recorded, someone forgot to order the food, so Elvis went home and didn't come back.

" I Got A Feeling In My Body" by Dennis Linde
" It's Midnight" by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Chestnut

"I Got A Feeling In My Body"

A composition by Dennis Linde.
Elvis was experimenting with this song that was modern at the time, it starts off strong and wanting to hit. A score that could impact and with a good accompaniment, with this rhythm and its choir, it was a clear success. But it wasn't like that, the truth is that of all the songs they recorded, this one would have been funky in style and with its catchy melody, the one that could have had more possibilities, but it would have been treated in the wrong way.
The sessions began with this gospel song from the composer of Burning Love. On this song Elvis's enthusiasm was much greater than on the ones he performed in July. Even the sound quality was vastly improved, it was clear that the equipment they had brought was much better than the sound desk in the studios themselves.
Elvis's voice spills over into the performance, sounds cleaner, crisper, and more energetic. But the arrangements and the treatment given to it in the production would not be entirely successful, since they reduced the importance of his main voice, Elvis. The final effect in the song, of all the musical accompaniment and the chorus, makes the voice disappear from afar and it should have been the opposite. The publication was far from the shots that had been made initially because of the production. Take 1. track 6-7

It is true that the lyrics were quite peculiar, it spoke of the liberation of pain, of doubts... but with a spiritual approach. Perhaps a more mundane letter would have given that attraction to the public, the truth is that the music caught Elvis and this is what we heard in the shots.

I have a feeling in my body
This will be our lucky day
We'll release all our pain
leave it on the way

Elvis recorded at Stax on December 10, 1973 this spiritual funky by Dennis Linde. The song was released on "Good Times" in 1974, to which Dennis Linde's overdubbed guitar playing on the original release was added. It has subsequently been included in "Our Memories of Elvis, vol.2", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", the 2000 reissue of "Promised Land", "Peace in the Valley" and "Elvis and The Presleys", " Essential Elvis, vol.5" , "Today , Tomorrow & Forever" and FTD "Easter Special" , including alternate takes, etc.

Dennis Linde, he composed over 250 songs. He is best known for writing Elvis Presley's 1972 hit "Burning Love." He normally used to write the lyrics and music for his songs, with few exceptions. Linde wrote the top 5 US country hits. In 1994, Linde won the "Best Writer Award" from BMI, Broadcast Music.Inc, one of the three largest broadcast organizations on behalf of songwriters and musicians. He also received four BMI Most Performed Titles awards that year. official version.
The recordings at Stax studios begin with great force and with Elvis brimming with vitality.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Songs of the Heart
"It's Midnight"

Composed by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Chestnut A beautiful ballad that Elvis performs passionately and heartily. The score is good and superbly performed, but a simpler accompaniment would have raised it to perfection. Although we believe that there is too much embellishment behind it that makes a song that can be wonderful due to its singing, be excessively recharged. At this time the heartbroken song was what Elvis sang best, with a slow rhythm, Elvis's voice that gets lost with the great melody. Also overload of string instruments that equally overshadow Elvis's work.
It was a song that caught Elvis because of the intensity of the desolate feeling and the description of loneliness at night due to abandonment. The lyrics could perfectly describe Elvis's own feelings and he poured into it.

Elvis recorded this song, written by Billy Edd Wheeler and Jerry Chestnut, at Stax Studios on December 10, 1973. The song was released as a B-side single to Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" in late September 1974. It has been included in several LP Albums like "Promised Land". Later on "Our Memories Of Elvis", "Always On My Mind", "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and "The Country Side of Elvis". The released single would reach number 9 on the Billboard country chart. Elvis sang this song live from the summer of 1974. Versions from these concerts were included on "Live in Las Vegas", the FTD releases "It's Midnight", "Dragonheart", "Big Boss Man" and "Southern Nights" , etc. There are also bootlegs, pirate recordings. Other studio versions have appeared on "Platinum: A Life In Music" and "Made in Memphis".

When these recordings were made, many things were tried, especially considering the choir, with more or less voices and in different verses Elvis's voice was accompanied, but in the final version so much voice would be discarded to make the interpretation easier. and focus it on the voice of Elvis, but the production made the final result a bit cloudy.  Several instruments were also tried with the accompaniment. Elvis worked on the song for hours, though at one point he got discouraged every time he made a mistake. Finally on take nineteen, the high point of the recording, Felton told Elvis that enough was enough, although he was not satisfied, but he reassured him with his usual encouragement. Elvis didn't believe him, but after listening to the playback, he finally accepted that the song was okay. what they had recorded. 

Jerry Donald Chestnut, the composer of this song was known for his country music. He would have several hits including "Good Year for the Roses", recorded by Alan Jackson, George Jones and Elvis Costello and "Trouble", recorded by Elvis Presley and Travis Tritt. In 1968, Jerry Lee Lewis's successful recording of Chestnut's "Another Place, Another Time" was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1972, Chestnut was named Billboard's "Songwriter of the Year" and in 1992 he became a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The songs "Love Coming Down" and "Woman Without Love" composed by him would also be recorded by Elvis Presley.
 Billy Edward "Edd" Wheeler, the other composer was a singer-songwriter and playwright. Wheeler was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001, the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2007, and the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011 and more awards. 
Up to 13 ASCAP Awards, etc. His songs include " Jackson ", winner of the Grammy Award for Johnny Cash and June Carter, " The Reverend Mr. Black ", " Desert Pete ", " Ann ", " High Flyin' Bird ", " The Coming of the Roads", "It's Midnight", etc. 
Billy knew Lamar Fike, to whom he gave the sheet music for Elvis, but when Elvis heard it for the first time, Elvis snapped, 'Are they about me and Priscilla?' Lamar replied: 'Elvis, not all the songs I bring you are about you and Priscilla.'
 On Elvis's initial version of 'It's Midnight,' he stopped after the first verse and told Lamar, "I can't sing this like the demo." Lamar said, "Well, record it how you feel." But Billy says he made it exactly like his show! It is one of the best songs recorded in these sessions at Stax Studios.

"Following the Path of the King..."

December 11, 1973

"You Asked Me To" by  Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver
"If You Talk In Your Sleep"  by Red West and Johnny Christopher

"You Asked Me To" 

A song composed by Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver.
It was a very catchy song in country style, in it, Elvis sounds much better in the free verses but when he is recording he gets distracted by the chorus, this makes it difficult for him to concentrate during the recording. But his voice sounds lively and Elvis also likes the Country style, letting himself be carried away in the song. It was a simple theme and without any type of vocal complication, like almost all country scores, the voice does not require any effort, so it can be recorded by any artist.
Obviously in the case of Elvis it would sound very lucid despite the simplicity of the score.

Elvis recorded this country hit by Waylon Jennings (co-written with Billy Joe Shaver) at Stax Studios on December 11, 1973, originally for his release on his "Promised Land" album. In time it would be included in other LPS like "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", "Great Country Songs" and "The Country Side Of Elvis". Felton Jarvis's 1980 remix of Elvis's Stax recording appeared on the "Guitar Man" album and reached No. 8 on the Country chart as a single (with "Loving Arms") in 1981. Outtakes were included in " Essential Elvis Vol.5" and FTD "Made in Memphis". Of the Guitar Man remixes, "Too Much Monkey Business", etc, etc, were included on the FTD.
This song was originally recorded by Waylon Jennings, one of the two authors, on his album "Honky Tonk Heroes" from 1973, with which he reached number 8 on the charts. . And his other author, Shaver, recorded his own version in 1977 titled "You Asked Me To" in the past tense for the "Gypsy Boy" album.
Billy Joe Shaver was an outlaw country singer-songwriter as well as an actor. Shaver is also known for the hit "Live Forever," co-written by his son EddyWaylon Arnold Jennings, also a singer, songwriter, and actor. He was a pioneer of the Outlaw Movement in country music, this was a subgenre of American country music created by a small group of iconoclastic artists active in the 1970s and early 1980s, known collectively as the Outlaw movement, was they would gain their creative freedom outside of Nashville, which dictated the sound of most country music at the time. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and David Allan Coe were among the most commercially successful members of the movement. Jennings was known for his powerful voice, his phrasing and his "spanky-twang" style of guitar playing. To create his sound, he used a modulation effect to blend his thumb and fingers during rhythm parts and while using picks for lead parts.
Billy says that the lyrics were inspired by her wife, he loved her so much that if she decided she didn't love him, he would let her walk away. Elvis would listen to the song and he liked it a lot, the version he heard was that of Waylon Jennings, whom he admired and for this reason he decided to record it.

Elvis was interested in contemporary country and this song was interesting for him, in any case the evolution of it during the recordings is particular. The result, as always, is satisfactory in his interpretation, but it is true that this style of music, despite being liked, did not usually give him success.
Elvis would sing it lively on the second recording, but although he was satisfied, Felton Jarvis wanted to get more out of the musician, he wanted more takes. Normally she would always push him, encourage him, etc, because from time to time, Elvis would mess up so she would take his frustration out on his producer. But Felton continued to support him and wanted to get the best of himself.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"If You Talk In Your Sleep"
11 December 1973
The next recording was a new song by buddy Red West and Johnny Christoper. Nothing to do with the country song that was recorded e same day December 11, in country style,
"You Asked Me To",
Elvis always wanted to get up to date in terms of music, his approach, regardless of the styles he liked more or less, in his way of being was the desire to know more, curiosity, news. For this reason Elvis also wanted to accept other styles that could be the ones that were worn at the time, such as the Funky style. He wanted to try new things and always showed the ability to adapt to time. Even his old music shaped her differently so that he could bring out new sensations, experiment with his music and convert her to his new self.
The song "If You Talk In Your Sleep" was a song in a current Funky style, with a bold orchestral arrangement, it turned out to be a different song. Elvis enjoyed recording this song, because it was so different from what he was singing and it was something new.
The curiosity was precisely the novelty and the challenge in this song. Red West knew Elvis very well and knew how to capture his attention with the lyrics, which reflected life, infidelity, the secrets kept in dreams, everything that inspired him in the lyrics. The accompaniment arranged for the music with the boost of the bass and drums, topped with Funky guitars and with the electric piano at the bottom end would adorn the voice.
Elvis as usual sings this score like all styles, magnificent, with a powerful voice and sure in his performance. The choir with an appropriate intervention and in this case the musical accompaniment, too.

Elvis recorded this song, written by Red West and Johnny Christopher, at Stax Studios, Memphis on December 11, 1973. The song was released as a single in May 1974 (with "Help Me" on the B face) and reached number one 17 on the Billboard Top 100 chart, but it is true that even if it aired occasionally, it would not become a sales hit.Elvis would sing it in concert from the year 1974 and in one of his shows, he announced to the audience that the full title of the song was "If you talk while you sleep, don't mention my name, and if you walk while you sleep, forget where you came from." The song was released on "Promised Land" , "Elvis ' Gold Records Vol 5," "Walk a Mile in My Shoes,","Hitstory," etc. An alternative to the Stax recording session is on "Today, Tomorrow & Forever." The live recordings were included on "Live in Las Vegas" and the FTD record "It's Midnight". Also on FTD "Too Muck Monkey Business" which includes remixed versions of the song, etc, etc. The song was also versioned by Little Milton and reached number 34 on the April 1975 Billboard soul singles chart.
The other author Johnny Christopher , had composed " Mama Liked the Roses " and " Always on My Mind ", both recorded by Elvis. He was a singer, guitarist and session musician as well as composer.

The session ended with corrections and improvisations. Elvis was singing with the group lines from "Find Out What's Happening," before recording and while Norbert Putnam reworked his part.In the production they improved on the sound they had gotten on "I Got A Feeling In My Body" the previous night. But it all ended when Elvis discovered there was no food available, the session ended early; apologizing to the group, canceled the rest of the evening and was pissed off.

"Following the King's Way..."

December 12, 1973
Stax Studios

"Mr. Songman" by Donnie Sumner
"Thinking About You" by Tim Batty
"Love Song Of The Year" by Chris Christian
"Help Me" by Larry Gatlin


"Mr. Songman" by Donnie Sumner.
This song had been chosen by Elvis Presley, because he had already listened to Donnie. But the rest didn't seem to like him. He surely liked it because it was a representative story, the character sings of loneliness and broken dreams. It is a simple score with a nice melody, as well as a catchy chorus. Sung perfectly by Elvis, but it is true that there was no more. Vocal accompaniment and it was not a challenge. Elvis As Always Sings It Nicely Elvis recorded this choral country song by Donnie Sumner in Nashville on December 12, 1973. It was first included on the album "Promised Land" and was released as a single in 1975, the B-side of " T-R-O-U-B-L-E." It was later included on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and on editions of "Elvis at Stax". Composer Donnie Sumner was a singer and joined the Stamps gospel quartet in 1965 not only for his voice, but also as an arranger and composer. He was nominated for a Grammy for his compositions. He sang with Elvis as part of Stamps from 1971 to 1973, in this year he would leave the group to form his own He would work with Elvis again, when he hired his group "Voice". Elvis recorded two of his compositions "Mr. Songman" and "I Miss You."
Sumner continued to perform with Elvis and sing with him at home, on recordings, etc., until the end of 1976. Donnie would explain how his group changed its name: Elvis changed our name to "Voice", the reason had to do with the your friend's book Larry Geller, entitled "The Voice".
One night after they were in the living room, Elvis looked at that book and said, "The Voice? You're not the Rangers anymore, you're the Voice." About the song Donnie, he was going through a very difficult time in his life. He was hooked on drugs. he had lost his home, his family, he felt like a homeless man. He was in a restaurant in Nashville where there was a jukebox.
Donnie was depressed playing his guitar and thinking about the jukebox, when he came up with the lyrics the whole song is about the voice coming out of that jukebox. "In your ivory-covered home, safe behind your glass walls, you keep staring at me like a memory from the's another dime for you, Mr. Songman."
Elvis Presley - Mr. Songman (extended master) - YouTube

"Thinking About You"
by Tim Batty.
A folk/country song, very different from the songs that Elvis sang.
The lyrics about lost love, but with an optimistic tone, also with a catchy chorus.
Elvis's interpretation nuanced while remaining caught up in the moment.

This country ballad , written by Tim Baty and recorded at Stax Studios on December 12 , 1973 .
It was issued as a single as the B - side of the " My Boy " single in January 1975 .
It was also included on the "Promised Land" album, later on "Our Memories of Elvis", in a version without overdubs. It later appeared in the "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" anthology. Alternative versions can be found in "Essential Elvis, vol.5" and in the FTD "Made in Memphis", etc.

An upbeat ballad song, which Elvis also likes. With rhythm and chorus in the central part. Although vocally nothing risky, but with a pleasant flavor in his voice.
A simple simple melody, in which Elvis did some experiment with the voice, since he did not treat it as he usually sang, but played with the voice in some fragment.
It is true that possibly more could have been obtained but the score does not give for more. Perhaps with more percussion or clapping it would have been impregnated with more rhythm.
During these recordings,
Elvis wanted to hear gospel songs that he knew, but sometimes he wanted to hear something different. If he liked one he would find a meaning and a way to do a good job with it.
This song caught his attention and he immediately wanted to record it
Tim Baty would explain that Elvis started singing that song and the choir started following him. He sang it two or three times with the choir and said, "No, that's not it." Then he called him and Tim played the song on his guitar again to give him the reassurance he needed.
He felt that his song was special,. Because it would be released as a single, he was also very happy with the final result of the song.
Elvis' vocal performance is described as great because it was so stylistic and individual.
Elvis had a habit of listening to the song over and over again, after taking the recording for granted.
Elvis was a magnificent professional with his voice, because of his ability and because of his handling as an artist.
His instrument, his voice had a range up to almost four octaves.
Tim Baty said that "he had a God-given talent. Elvis did everything right. Not only did he have the vocal ability but his acting ability was as much a gift as his voice. After Elvis finished singing a song It was his."
In short, the result of his interpretation was even better than the composer himself would have imagined. He was a very creative artist who enhanced the work of the composer
"Following the Path of the King..."

 The Value of the Artist. Elvis at Stax 1973   "Thinking About You"

"Thinking About You"
by Tim Batty.
A folk/country song, very different from the songs that Elvis sang.
The lyrics about lost love, but with an optimistic tone, also with a catchy chorus.
Elvis's interpretation nuanced while remaining caught up in the moment.

This country ballad , written by Tim Baty and recorded at Stax Studios on December 12 , 1973 , was issued as a B - side single to the " My Boy " single in January 1975 .
it was also included on the "Promised Land" album, later on "Our Memories of Elvis", in a version without overdubs. It later appeared in the "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" anthology. Alternative versions can be found in "Essential Elvis, vol.5" and in the FTD "Made in Memphis", etc.

An upbeat ballad song, which Elvis also likes. With rhythm and chorus in the central part. Although vocally nothing risky, but with a pleasant flavor in his voice.
A simple simple melody, in which Elvis did some experiment with the voice, since he did not treat it as he usually sang, but played with the voice in some fragment.
It is true that possibly more could have been obtained but the score does not give for more. Perhaps with more percussion or clapping it would have been impregnated with more rhythm.
During these recordings, Elvis wanted to hear gospel songs that he knew, but sometimes he wanted to hear something different. If he liked one he would find a meaning and a way to do a good job with it.
This song caught his attention and he immediately wanted to record it that same night. Tim Baty would explain that Elvis started singing that song and the choir started following him. He sang it two or three times with the choir and said, "No, that's not it." He then called him and Tim played the song again on his guitar to give him the security he needed.
He felt that his song was special,. Because it would be released as a single, he was also very happy with the final result of the song.
Elvis' vocal performance is described as great because it was so stylistic and individual.
Elvis had a habit of listening to the song over and over again, after signing off on the recording, he would normally feel dissatisfied or complain that he hadn't done a good take, so he would want to re-record it, but many times Felton Jarvis told him he made her listen to convince him that her work was good.
Elvis was a magnificent professional with his voice, because of his ability and because of his handling as an artist. His instrument, his voice had a range up to almost four octaves.
Tim Baty said that "he had a God-given talent, because he said that Elvis did everything right. Not only did he have the vocal ability but his acting ability was as much a gift as his voice. After Elvis finished singing a song, it was hers".
In short, the result of his interpretation was even better than the composer himself would have imagined. He was a very creative artist who enhanced the work of the composer
"Following the Path of the King..."

Quirky songs. Elvis at Stax 1973

"Love Song of The Year"

 "Love Song of The Year" by Chris Christian.
Chris Christian wrote this song, which Elvis recorded at Stax in Memphis on December 12, 1973.
A peculiar song, it is a ballad with lyrics about love, punctual that leaves behind a relationship that leaves no trace and the intention of wanting not to do the same. But it's true that Elvis gets wrapped up in the music and gets sucked in, possibly because it's about lost love. Again the theme of the feeling of guilt, but with a rather particular and special strange letter. The melody is very nice and the vocal accompaniment adorns Elvis' interpretation very well,
I sing it from him, very committed to him. A poetic accompaniment in the voice of the violin that adorns this ballad from behind.
It went on sale in 1975 album "Promised Land".
Chris Christian, the song's composer was also a record producer and executive for an American record label. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Olivia Newton-John, Hall and Oates, Natalie Cole, Sheena Easton, The Pointer Sisters, Al Jarreau, The Carpenters, etc.
He was the winner of four Grammy Awards, for albums produced by him
He has also been nominated for seven Gospel Music Association Dove Awards for artist, songwriter and producer, winning five. He has also released sixteen other solo albums.

Chris Christian would comment on the song that Tony Brown sat down at the piano and performed his Song for Elvis, who was shocked that he burst into tears. Elvis told him that lyrics were his story with Priscilla and he wanted to record it.
He then he was a budding songwriter trying to make his way in the music business. Everyone knew each other in Nashville and with this recording he entered through the front door.
He was excited about this opportunity Elvis gave him because of his song that he knew struck a chord with him.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Songs with Heart. Elvis at Stax 1973
"Help Me"

Help Me" by Larry Gatlin.
A beautiful melody in some moments as a duo and with choral accompaniment. It's a country song with religious lyrics that suits Elvis very well.
It gives the number a nice relaxed feel with a very heartfelt performance.
You can tell that Elvis likes this song even though it's a calm, restful song, he sings it splendidly, since it doesn't represent any vocal effort either.
Elvis recorded this spiritual version on December 12, 1973 at Stax Studios in Memphis.
It was released as a B-side Single to "If You Talk in Your Sleep" in May. 1974.
Written by Larry Gatlin, the song was first a success for Kris Kristofferson, who published it earlier, even though Elvis had already recorded it, but the commercial failure delayed its success and it would only reach number 6 on the Billboard country list. .

Elvis added the song to his live repertoire throughout 1974 and continued to sing it, to a lesser extent, during his later years.
A live version appears on "Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis". ; The studio version on the "Promised Land" album, and on "5Amazing Grace", "Ultimate Gospel" and "Elvis Inspirational". Also in 2000 "Peace in the Valley". Live versions on "Live in Las Vegas" and on the FTD albums "I Found My Thrill", "Live in LA", 'Southern Nights', "Tucson '76" and "Spring Tours '77", etc.

Help Me" was composed by Larry Gatlin, a member of the Imperials in 1971, after he turned to his career as a country and southern gospel singer-songwriter. He formed his own group with his two brothers, Steve and Rudy under the name "Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers." He achieved considerable success within the country music genre.
Known for his songwriting from 1970 to 1980. Some of Gatlin's biggest hits include "Broken Lady", "All the Gold in California", "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)", "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby" and "Night Time Magic".
During this time, country music was trending strongly toward pop music arrangements in a style that came to be known as Countrypolitan.
As a solo artist in 1973, Gatlin secured a solo recording contract with Monument Records.
Broken Lady" their song by him won a 1977 Grammy Award for Best Country Song.

Larry Gatlin: He would meet Elvis in Vegas, he was very nice to him and they sat in his suite and Elvis talked about philosophy and religion. I wrote 'Help Me' when I was wondering why I was here.
Larry Gatlin would say that Donnie and JD played "Help Me" for Elvis and he loved the song and recorded it that same night.
He recorded it singing on his knees, absorbed in the music and feeling the full weight of the lyrics, as if praying. The interpretation was such that only one take was made, because Elvis turned all his interest and his feeling singing the song.
He was touched that Elvis recorded "Help Me" it was one of the most amazing things in his life.
When he got the call from JD Sumner, who played the Elvis version for him, it was a big deal for him.
"Following the Path of the King..."

You can now listen to it at the following link:

Elvis Presley would record again at Stax Studios in December 1973. Unlike the sessions in July of this year, there were many changes regarding these sessions that fortunately gave better results. The commitment with RCA to publish new material for their public was finalized. Conditions in the studios had changed, this time new equipment was provided to ensure sound quality. The team of sound engineers would also be changed, so that there would be no obstacles or unforeseen events as happened in July.
But the most important thing would be that Elvis would be interested in recording again and find himself again, in the studios. Music was always the answer to all his concerns, his ups and downs and Elvis had gone through a very big personal crisis, his health had also suffered from everything that had happened and also his divorce had been signed two months before .
The decision to want to move on and enjoy his life again, his music, was in himself, at least he wanted to record again and his spirit would be poured into these songs.
The material for the sessions was going to be chosen and everything had been planned to be able to do a good job.

In this second and last program dedicated to Stax Studios, we continue from December 13 with the sessions.
As always when there was work, it was a new challenge for Elvis Presley, for this reason he was very animated, optimistic. All the members of the team saw in him a very big change, with respect to the previous sessions and also to the concert days in the last Season in Las Vegas. Elvis had rested for two months and had also been treated at the Hospital so that he could change his addictions and improve his health. His humor and his former joy would return again, but regardless of these sessions, something else had to be found, a new project, something different so that he would regain his full energy.
Apparently everything was fine and normal, but it was not like that, since when these sessions ended, Elvis would be in low spirits again and ended the year somewhat depressed. He continued to have a lot of insomnia and other common health problems. The year had passed quickly and above all unstable, it would be one of the most complex years in his artistic life, because there would be many ups and downs.
The year 1973 began with one of the biggest successes of his life, the program "Aloha From Hawaii", broadcast worldwide, but during the same year there were again ups and downs in his performances, good and bad reviews. But the truth is that Elvis had not been used to being criticized for many years and in his way of being, his sensitivity, surely they would not be very well accepted by him. It was also physically difficult for him to regain his adequate physical shape, he could not lose weight as easily as on previous occasions, this would also be annoying for him, because it affected his image, which was very important in front of his public.
But his songs were the hope, the acceptance of the public, the result of his work and obviously what could also be considered as his success. Unfortunately, these sessions were not fully completed and the promotion of his songs would not be the most successful either, so they would not be fully known. Despite the good work and effort made by all, they would not become successes, so in the future Elvis would not have much hope to record again in the studios.
"Following the Path of the King..."

On December 13, 1973
Stax studios.

"My Boy" by B. Martin and P. Coulter
"Loving Arms" by Tom Jans
"Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" by Danny O'Keefe

The Truth of the Heart. "My boy"

"My Boy" composed by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter
The first song of this day, "My Boy", would give the best sample in Elvis's attitude, in his vocal warmth, his delivery.
Of the majority of songs chosen for the sessions at Los Stax Studios, some of the scores were chosen with great sensitivity, for their meaning, their identification with the artist. This would be one of the clearest cases and would also be one of the songs that the viewer most remembers in the voice of Elvis in these sessions. One of the most interesting songs on these recordings and one that easily remains in the memory as a great song in the voice of Elvis and representative of the 70's.
"My boy" one of the most inspiring songs for Elvis Presley and a great success, since here he pours all his passion and feeling. Surely because of the lyrics that could actually say a lot to Elvis, but the music is also magical, sensitive and with fragments that stick unconsciously.
A song composed by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, which the great actor Richard Harris would record on his second album, in 1971. Elvis was based on this version, which he liked so much. Elvis could not resist the lyrics of this song that talks about divorce and the love he has for his son.
A wonderful song with a melody that stays and a heartfelt and great performance despite all that you could say about his performances in season 9 in Las Vegas, where he started performing it. The public would recognize the usual Elvis in this song and rewarded him with his applause, because Elvis would devote himself to his interpretation, on the recordings as well.
My Boy is certainly melodramatic, because of the lyrics, but Elvis had sung songs of this style before. But it can certainly influence the accompaniment as well, since the strings are a bit overloaded, perhaps exaggerated with the brass. The truth is that it would not have been necessary to recharge the music, since Elvis's voice alone says it all, the rest could be left over that way. It is very possible that he would have changed the final result of the song a lot if they had not added such an accompaniment, there is a huge difference between the takes he made in the studio where a clean voice was heard to the final result with everything else.

However, it was a significant success in several territories outside the US, where it would only reach number 20 on the billboard. It really was a song worthy of success,
The song was based on a French theme by Jean Claude Francois and Jean Pierre Boutarye entitled "Parce que je t'aime mon enfant"
Although Elvis first presented it in Las Vegas, Elvis later recorded it on December 13, 1973 at Stax studios.
It was included on the "Good Times" album, also released as a Single in January 1975, with the track "Thinking About". The single reached number 20 on the charts, sold around 200,000 copies, but in the UK it would be a huge success. However, he would reach number 14 in the Country Singles.
It was later included on "Walk a Mile in My Shoes", the 2000 reissue of "Promised Land", "Hitstory", and various live versions including "Live in Las Vegas", FTD's "Big Boss Man" and "Dixieland E Rocks", many in pirated versions, etc.

Irish actor Richard Harris was not a great singer but he knew how to sell a song, proof of this would be his success with 'MacArthur Park' in 1968. He knew the songwriting/production team, Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, and they adapted a song by Claude François, 'Parce que je t'aime, mon enfant', making it 'My Boy'. Bill Martin recalls: “On the demo only Phil played and I sang. We gave it to Richard Harris, who thought it was phenomenal. Richard was getting divorced and this song was about someone who was thinking about getting a divorce. The song was submitted with Richard Harris to Radio Luxembourg's Grand Prix Music competition in 1971 and won. That was possibly how Elvis came to know her.
The authors Bill Martin and Phill Coulter knew that Elvis had performed it in Las Vegas in August of the same year and it occurred to them to write to him so that he would be interested in recording it.
Bill Martin asked his secretary to start writing the letter saying, 'Dear Elvis.' She said, 'Elvis who?' to which Bill said: 'Elvis Presley'. She said
"You can't write to Elvis Presley."
This not only did not discourage him, but he wrote several letters to him, hoping that he would record them. Fortunately I would get to Elvis who would decide to record it, Bil met the recording engineer who told him that Elvis heard the playback over 30 times. It's what he usually did when a song excited him and this one did.
In these moments in which Elvis had focused on the love for his daughter, leaving the woman behind due to the divorce and prioritizing above all her dedication to the circumstances, it would be the reason why this letter would cause an impact on his spirit. In it he told his son how much he loved him and the obligation of separation was what came to Elvis, the Truth of the Heart.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"Looking Back" Elvis Presley at Stax Studios."Loving Arms"

The second song recorded on December 13, 1973 at Stax Studios, would be the song "Loving Arms". A somewhat bittersweet theme, a ballad with a moderate rhythm in the style of Country, folk, but with an indisputable beauty in its melody.
A simple song, written in the central register in which Elvis could show off his voice without complications and where he can pour out all his feelings.

"Loving Arms" by Tom Jans
Elvis recorded this song at Stax on December 13, 1973.
  It was first published on the album "Good Times". Later on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", the 2000 reissue of "Promised Land", and on "The Country Side of Elvis". An alternate take came out on "Essential Elvis, vol. 5". An arrangement for the 1980 "Guitar Man" album, also on the FTD "Too Much Monkey Business" re-release, etc.

It was published as a Single, on the B side in some edition with "My Boy". And as the second single from it, with "You Asked Me To" on the B side.
In the United States, the single charted as a double A-side ("Lovin' Arms"/"You Asked Me To") on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. reaching number 8.

The song's author, Tom Jans, was a folk singer-songwriter and guitarist. His best known song was "Loving Arms" which was heavily covered by artists like Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, and later by artists like Dobie Gray, Elvis Presley, Dixie Chicks, Natalie Cole, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, etc. .

The musical accompaniment with more care and effort than in other recorded songs, but certainly with the voice of Elvis, not much more was needed. The Choir as always adorns his voice and supports this ballad that is a bit sad.

But sung by Elvis with intense regret, at some point very passionate about the interpretation, since it is a song that makes him look back and want to redo what he did wrong.
A score that in the voice of Elvis makes one think of the separation from him. Elvis sings it masterfully and the song is simple and pleasant.
The incredibly descriptive lyrics recount a feeling of guilt, looking back and undoing steps, looking back longing for freedom from their chains...
Despite not having proved to be a loyal and understanding husband with his ex-wife, it was clear that Elvis was still anchored somewhere, in another time that he unfortunately had not known how to take advantage of.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Elvis and the folk song.
"Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues"

"Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" by Danny O'Keefe.
This folk song, ballad, an evocative song, with a relaxed air and the lyrics that bring us closer to a future and natural truth, the abandonment to search for something new and different.
With a clear and wonderful melody in the voice of Elvis, with a catchy and easy to remember chorus. Elvis' interpretation is sure and with a crystal clear voice. The support of the strings on the guitar and the rest of the orchestration that gives rest to the voice, means that the rest can have their moment to show off. The choir as always accompanying Elvis, in a sweet and leisurely way. A theme that remains in the memory, despite not being a shocking song due to its writing, but sometimes simplicity is attractive.
Elvis's voice is safe, he is heard in one of his best moments, in addition to being identified with the song, this gives him greater confidence in his interpretation.

Elvis recorded this song at Stax Studios on December 13, 1973.
It was released on their album "Good Times". Elvis sang the song live in concert in the summer of 1974. An alternate studio take came out in 1998 on "Essential Elvis, vol 5". It was also included on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", the 2000 album "Promised Land", and on BMG's 2006 album "Elvis Country", etc.
Elvis' version revealingly left out a verse that included the lyric "I take the pills to ease the pain/Can't find anything to ease my brain," but the final take is still impressive and closed out the night with a bang.

Danny O'Keefe a folk singer and songwriter, although he would not have much success he would be the composer of several songs, such as "The Valentine Pieces", "The Road", "Along for the Ride", "Quits", etc.
This song would be the only success of the writer of it Danny O'Keefe. It was first recorded by O'Keefe in 1967, although it was not released at the time. It was recorded by The Bards and released in 1968, The song was later recorded by O'Keefe for his self-titled debut album in 1971. The following year he re-recorded it (with a slower, more downbeat arrangement) for his second album, O'Keefe. The song was also covered by Mel Tormé.

Danny commented that someone sent him a copy of the Elvis album shortly after its release, his impression of the song was not entirely satisfactory, because he felt a bit tired and uninspired. But the truth is that the composer although he was very honored that Elvis recorded his song, he was disappointed because he expected it to be published as a single and when he realized that it would not be, this left him frustrated. He realized that the record company was not particularly interested in promoting him. In addition to not being a favorite song in Elvis publications.
He said it sounded a bit forced being a concept album of songs on the "Good Times" album. The truth is that he would comment that it was a shame that Elvis did not leave Colonel Parker, since he believed that he had returned to his roots and the vitality of the good times. Despite his opinion, his admiration for Elvis was very great.
Like any songwriter, being covered by Elvis made his score an important target, regardless of whether it was released as a single. It was always a guarantee of being on the list of composers to choose from and a great advantage.
Because despite not composing, Elvis created on top of the written score, turning it into a better version of itself.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Fun and Optimism at Stax Studios
"Talk About The Good Times" Elvis Presley

The song "Talk About The Good Times" composed by Jerry Reed, would be the only song that was recorded on December 14, 1973 at Stax Studios.
A country-gospel song, happy and fun, that Elvis surely enjoyed a lot when recording it, because there were really few songs in this tone that he would get to record at the time. With an accompaniment also at a good rhythm and supported by the musicians, the result would be optimal and powerful.
The lyrics were a review of the past, the good times, the friends, when someone shakes hands. But above all, what he conveyed was the joy and enjoyment of thinking of good and happy moments, with a positive and optimistic thought in the Elvis version.
The song is obviously based on that of its composer Jerry Reed, but really the instrumentation and the tone of it change compared to that of its author. Reed sings flat and leans on the strings with his transparent country-style instrumentation. Elvis's includes some embellishment and improvisation on the piano as well as the strings that give it another air and his voice, richer in intonation, which is reinforced with the accompaniment of the choir, this gives it more verve and makes it different from that of the composer.
It was recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis on December 14, 1973. It would be released on the album "Good Times" and later on "Walk a Mile in my Shoes", the 2000 reissue of "Promised Land", "The Country Side of Elvis", etc. An alternate version was published in "Essential Elvis Vol.5", etc.

Composer Jerry Reed, who had previously worked with Elvis, was a country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter, as well as an actor in several films.
His song "Guitar Man" fascinated Elvis while he was listening to the radio and was recorded in 1968 for the NBC TV show Comeback. He had also recorded Jerry's song "U.S Mail" and later a very different kind of song "A Thing Called Love". In addition to being a composer that Elvis clearly liked, his raspy voice and his type of interpretation would attract a lot of attention for what he would receive at this time a curious influence in the interpretations he made in 1968. Elvis would always try new things and At that time he made some songs with a more torn tone of voice than usual, possibly due to this influence. Jerry would also record as a session musician with his guitar for Elvis.
Jerry Reed had great admiration for Elvis, because he always considered that when he appeared in the middle, he totally changed music forever, for this he called him "King of the world". He said that characters like Elvis only appear once a millennium and he was obviously right.
About the composition of his "Talk About The Good Times", Jerry would say that it was just a memory of his youth, of the old days and how simple life was then. As a child he lived in a foster home and often visited a small Methodist church in the wild woods. There he listened to this type of song and shared with other families the dinners in which everyone brought their prepared dishes.

The song in the Elvis version has an accelerated rhythm and is very strong, the air is a little faster than the author's, everyone seems to be having fun singing this song and this shows in the result. The curiosity is that in the final publication of it, it was reduced by half a minute compared to the recordings, this gives the impression of falling short compared to the original shots.
The important thing was the fun and cheerful tone with which he had started this day of recording, which promised to be productive. But at break time Elvis asked what they had brought to eat and someone had forgotten to do his job, that is, to order food, this would bother him a lot to the point of getting angry and leaving the studio.
When Elvis felt offended or disappointed, he took it very seriously, because obviously food and being supplied were also important to him because you never knew when they left the studio, this made him go home and not come back until the next day. .
A failure that could not be allowed before the King! Elvis, genius and figure.
"Following the Path of the King.."

December 15, 1973. Sessions Stax Studios 1973

"Promised Land" by Chuck Berry
"Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming" by Rory Bourke
"There's A Honky Tonk Angel" by Troy Seals and Danny Rice

A look back in time. "Promised Land"

"Promised Land" by Chuck Berry
A classic Rock and Roll that Elvis could have sung perfectly in the 50s, although it would be written later in 1964. Elvis no longer played classic Rock at this time, but made music for his movies, which was far from his style. previous. Evidently Elvis evolved musically in a different way and his songs changed over time and the songs that he had sung in his beginnings were already interpreted in a different way.
This Rock would be impressive in his voice, with rhythm and with success, although adapted to modern times. But it is true that Elvis's voice style changes a lot from the songs of yesteryear. Denser, more mature with a different intention but no less effective for this. A lively and forceful song, although it is true that the ending of it, as always, was overloaded with instrumentation. The intention in the interpretation of Elvis sounds with a tendency to Rock Country, more than a pure Rock. The pace is a bit faster than the original. Obviously his desire and his intention were to find songs that were also animated for these recordings and get out of the dramatic tone that he had in recent times, and this song achieves it.

It was issued as a single in September 1974, along with "It's Midnight" on the B-side, the single peaked at number 14 on the charts and stayed for 13 weeks. Although it sold less than a third of a million copies. Curiously, in the United Kingdom it reached number 9.
Elvis included it in the repertoire for his concerts between the summers of 1974 and 1975.

"Promised Land" was included on the album of the same name and was later included on the 1981 RCA album "This Is Elvis" and the anthology "Walk A Mile In My Shoes". Also found in "Artist Of The Century", "Elvis 2nd to None" and in "Hitstory", et. Live versions are included on "Live In Las Vegas" and on the FTD albums "Big Boss Man" and "Southern Nights", etc. Alternate Takes have appeared on Platinum: "A Life In Music", "Essential Elvis Vol. 5", "Today, Tomorrow and Forever", etc, etc.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, known artistically as Chuck Berry, was an American songwriter, performer, singer, and guitarist.
He is considered one of the most influential musicians in the history of Rock and Roll and one of its pioneers. His songs were covered by others or by himself as well known as "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Rock and Roll Music", "Johnny B. Goode", etc... One of the best artists in History and Like the greats, he has received all kinds of awards and honors. Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Also included in the Rock Hall of Fame, Kennedy Center Honors Award, etc, etc.
"Promised Land" is a song with lyrics written by Chuck Berry is based on the melody of "Wabash Cannonball", an American folk song. The song was first recorded in this version by Berry in 1964 . Released in December 1964, Chuck Berry wrote this song while he was in jail and it tells of a journey across the United States, a poor boy heading to the promised land.
A Song that could have easily opened a return to the past, but it would not be like that, because Elvis always looked to the future with his music.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"Your Love's Been A Long Time"

"The Longing for a Past Love".

"Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming" by Rory Bourke
Again a song about love and the taste of the past, the good times that are remembered, which could inspire a good performance in Elvis.
It is covered by Elvis in a slow and calm way, a ballad that once again shows his wonderful voice, accompanied by the choir. Although perhaps with too much accompaniment, which could have been reduced for his showcasing.
The duet song initially, with a quiet catchy chorus and chorus throughout, Elvis's work is on point. Well interpreted by the artist who at some point accentuates his intensity.
In some of the versions it is heard more clearly as a duet:
A country ballad that Elvis recorded at Stax Studios on December 15, 1973. It was released in 1975 on the album "Promised Land".
A version without overdubs on "Our Memories of Elvis Vol. 1". Alternate takes were included on "Essential Elvis Vol. 5", "Today Tomorrow & Forever, etc, etc.
Rory Michael Bourke was a country music publisher and songwriter.
His greatest success was achieved with the song "The Most Beautiful Girl", co-written with Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson. Recorded by Charlie Rich, it managed to reach number one on the charts in 1973.
Other hits "A Little Good News", "You Look So Good in Love", "I Know a Heartache When I See One", etc.
Many of his songs were written in collaboration with other composers.
Bourke was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989. He received three ASCAP Awards, in the "Songwriter of the Year" category (1975, 1979, 1983) and three Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Country Song. His interpretations of his songs also accumulated 11 awards from BMI and 45 from ASCAP.
Although we don't know who Elvis might dedicate it to, it was clear that for him it was a better time.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"There's A Honky Tonk Angel"

"The replacement for love"

"There's A Honky Tonk Angel" by Troy Seals and Danny Rice
Elvis recorded this country ballad on December 15, 1973.
A No. 1 country chart hit for Conway Twitty in 1973.
Elvis would sing this song in a calm, relaxed way, in an intimate way. He really longs for a love that does not return and that is why he turns to another type of affection that is less dedicated, that of a prostitute. Elvis did not mind singing songs that gave rise to other interpretations, because in his ideals he had no criticism for anyone, like other artists. And this song is sung beautifully, although like Country ballads it doesn't normally pose any vocal challenge, just performance. And at this, Elvis was a master!

,It was included in the album "Promised Land". Later in "Our Memories of Elvis", "The Country Side of Elvis", in 2006 "Elvis Country"
An alternative take was included in "Essential Elvis.Volume 5- "Rhythm and Country", etc, etc
It was issued as a posthumous single in 1979, reaching number 6 on the country chart.

The song was written by Troy Seals and Denny Rice and originally released on Troy Seals' 1973 debut album Now Presenting Troy Seals.
Troy Harold Seals was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. He made songs that were hits like
"Seven Spanish Angels", "Lost in the Fifties Tonight", "If You Ever Have Forever In", etc... Songs nominated for the "Song of the Year" award from the Country Music Association and known for the song "LA Lady" .

A curious anecdote about this song:
Cliff Richard Producer
Bruce Welch heard the song and thought it would be a good Single for his comeback.
Cliff Richard recorded it but thought the lyrics were about
about a Chinese lady from Hong Kong, known as "Honky", not knowing that the phrase "honky-tonk angel" was an American slang term for a prostitute. He was very religious and strict and when he realized his He made a mistake, he wanted to withdraw it from the market, but it had been published in several countries, and he had even sung it on TV.
EMI eventually agreed to withdraw the single at his request.
By Cliff Richard

Elvis was not so scrupulous because trivial love for him could sometimes be defined as a game.

"Following the Path of the King..."

A peculiar love story.
"If that is not love" Stax Studios

"If That Isn't Love" by Dottie Rambo
A modern Gospel composition written by Dottie Rambo that Elvis recorded at Stax Studios on December 16, 1973.
The song was included on "Good Times" the following year. It was subsequently included on albums such as "Amazing Grace", "Peace In The Valley", the 2000 re-release of "Promised Land", "Christmas Peace" (Elvis: My Christmas #1) and "Elvis Inspirational". Also the alternate takes on "Essential Elvis, vol .5" and FTD "Easter Special", etc.

Dottie Rambo was the songwriter, also a Gospel singer. She was a Grammy Award-winning and multiple Dove Award-winning solo artist. In 1991, Dottie was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, in 1997, the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame, etc, etc.
Along with ella's ex-husband Buck and ella's daughter Reba, she formed the award-winning southern gospel group, "The Rambos." He wrote more than 2,500 songs, including the most notable, The Holy Hills of Heaven Call Me", "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need", "We Shall Behold Him", and "I Go To the Rock", etc.

Her music is known for its poetic, cross-genre lyrics that speak to themes such as heaven, Christian sacrifice, wounds, and the born-again Christian experience.

If That Isn't Love" was inspired by a passage in the Bible, which he considered a love story, about Jesus on the cross and the two thieves hanging on either side of him. They were crucifying two thieves who deserved to die. One of the thieves complained to Jesus, but the other said:
We deserve to die on a cross, but this man has done nothing wrong." This thief said to Jesus, "Will you remember me when you enter your kingdom?" And Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise," which it's heaven.
Dottie saw it as a love story and reflected it in her song, obviously this can lead to various interpretations. Apart from the biblical and religious sense, in an earthly sense about sacrifice and loving delivery, this can also be interpreted.

Elvis became his friend and in his later days he was planning to record a tribute album made up of 12 of his songs, things like "He Looked Beyond My Faults", "Tears Will Never Stain The Streets of That City" and "Remind Me Dear Lord". Until the contract was signed but Elvis passed away by then.

He loved Elvis' version of this song, he would say he came alive. Elvis put a soulful sound on it but kept it sweet. She used a quartet and female singers in it. The first time she heard the recording, she cried for hours because she nailed it.
Elvis and Dottie talked about the song many times.

They first met at the Memphis Quartet Convention. Elvis had a small tent set up backstage between the curtains so no one could see him except those on stage. He would sit there and they would bring out boxes of cheeseburgers and fries. He ate and enjoyed the show.
Elvis loved his music. He would share with him many moments in Las Vegas.
He loved him like a brother and they would get together to sing after performances. They talked about the bible and shared
passages, lyrics and poetry. He gave her his Bible and wrote a prayer on a red piece of paper and said, "Now every morning we will pray together on the phone.

Elvis sings this song slowly and with feeling, he liked these types of songs. A letter that reached him, with a tone of longing that Elvis must have felt in this time in a more personal and intense way. Due to his personal circumstances.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"Spanish Eyes"
El sabor de lo exótico

"Spanish Eyes" by B. Kaempfert, C. Singleton, and E. Snyder.
Like all songs that become well known and are widely covered, it is always a pleasure to hear the difference in Elvis Presley's voice and in a performance that makes him famous as an artist deserve. Elvis really liked this song that he would perform on many occasions and that he would often sing at gatherings of his friends. He would also perform it before audiences as a soloist and a duet with Sherill Nielsen. A wonderful song that leaves a special flavor when you hear it in the voice of Elvis.
The song was recorded by Freddy Quinn in 1965, it would originally be written as an instrumental piece by "Moon Over Naples" Bert Kaempfert, before Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder added the lyrics and gave it the name "Spanish eyes".
Al Martino took it to #15 on the Hot 100 in 1966.

Elvis recorded it at Stax on December 16, 1973, for publication on the "Good Times" album. Home recordings of the song made earlier that year by Sam Thompson have appeared on bootlegs such as "Elvis, Live & Unplugged" and on the FTD release "Made In Memphis'. Alternate takes of the Stax session have appeared on " Our Memories of Elvis" and later compilations such as "Essential Elvis, vol.5". The song also appeared on the 2000 reissue of the "Promised Land" LP, etc. Elvis performed the song live in 1974, it was included on "It's Midnight", "I Found my Thrill", in which he duets with Sherill Nielsen, etc.

Although it has been recorded by many artists Elvis always has something new to offer in the feeling of him singing this song. Only his voice already reaches us with pleasure because it was a subject of his choice and it was noticeable.
"Following the Path of the King..."

"She Wears My Ring"
La Golondrina

"She Wears My Ring" by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant
Elvis recorded this track on the album "Good Times" at Stax Studios on December 16, 1973.
This song was sung by Elvis very often at his house, since the 60's. From then there is a home recording that can be heard on the album "In a Private Moment".
The song is an English version of the original name, "La Golondrina" by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant.
A version without overdubs was included on "Our Memories of Elvis", the 2000 expanded reissue of "Promised Land", and the 2006 "Elvis Country", an alternate take on Essential Elvis Vol.5", etc, etc.

Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant both married, signed a country and pop music songwriting team. They were best known for songs like "Rocky Top", "We Could", "Love Hurts", and numerous Everly Brothers hits, including "All I Have to Do Is Dream", "Bye Bye Love", "Wake Up Little Susie ", etc

A slower version of the original "La Golondrina". Elvis loved this song that he interprets with a clear vintage flavor, without changing the intention or modernizing this classic, which clearly reminds us of Elvis from the 60's. It is another well-known song that in the voice of Elvis wins with its own magic the melody that stays with his interpretation.
"Following the Path of the King..."

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