TCB BAND

 Ronnie Tutt, the drummer.
Jerry Scheff, the bassist.
James Burton, guitar.
John Wilkinson, guitar.
Glen D Hardin, pianist since 1970. 

All of them would form the band of Elvis musicians that would be known as the TCB Band.

James Burton. Guitar

Starting in 1969, Elvis Presley had to find his own team of musicians, his own band, to give him the security of being able to do what he wanted with his music. Scotty Moore, his lead guitar for years, and DJ Fontana, his drummer, the legendary musicians of his golden age, had been left behind because they had not been informed in time of everything that was planned from then on. The last time they would be counted on was in 1968 and they could not be part of Elvis Presley's return to the stage in 1969. An oversight and the commitments acquired would do the rest, as a consequence Elvis had to form a new band of musicians with the one that could get along live and be able to tour concerts.
 James Burton, guitar; John Wilkinson, rhythm guitar; Jerry Scheff, bass; Glen D. Hardin, piano and Charlie Hodge, acoustic guitar-vocals.


 James Burton would be chosen as lead guitarist and would come to have a very special relationship with Elvis as a musician. When he met him, he understood him very well, there was a special chemistry, to the point of asking him to look for the rest of the components or advise him regarding the musicians he could choose.
 He would become the mainstay of his gang from then on.
 As a musician, a magnificent artist who has been recognized and admired for years. He was born in 1939 and since he was a child he learns to play on his own, but it is at the age of 13 that he manages to buy his first guitar. Though he would get a better one over time... he set his sights on the '53 Fender Telecaster, which would be his favorite for a long time. His self-taught, original way of playing would make him a regular musician at the age of 14 at the KWKH Radio station, where he would meet up-to-date musicians from whom he would learn, such as Sonny Trammell; Chet Atkins, country guitarist and producer; Muddy Waters, blues genius... he also specialized in playing the dobro (acoustic resonator guitar).
 His style grew apart and became original. Dale Hawkins recorded his famous song Suzie Q. with the riff composed by James Burton that would become legendary, he was only 17 years old...
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wq2f_X_6Nk


 His style is characteristic for the use of the plectrum, as of the fingers and he is known as the inventor of chicken picking, which is a technique of playing the guitar that consists of choosing with a selection and one or more fingers alternatively or simultaneously. . Great interpreter of steel guitar and dobro.
 As of 1958 he moved to Los Angeles and began to work with Ricky Nelson, and from then on as a session musician to work with the great artists of the moment.
 Burton was the guitarist of choice for virtually every major California record label from the '60s onward, playing integral licks and riffs on classics by the Beach Boys, the Monkees, the Everly Brothers and many others. Elvis wanted him to be part of his group and already tried to have him in 1968, but it was not possible because James was accompanying Frank Sinatra at that time.
 From 1969 until Elvis's death, James Burton was part of his group in concert and on recordings. And he also continued to alternate with some other artist. Following Elvis's death he has performed in concert with various members of the TCB Band who were then part of the original Elvis band. He is currently still active.
 As a person James was always very generous, like Elvis Presley, he too would share his success with those most in need. James has his own charitable foundation... The James Burton Foundation supports music education for those in need through donations of guitars, music education to schools, hospitals and community service organizations. His mission, to be able to give away his knowledge and give to those who want to learn to play and cannot do so, in hospitals, schools, children, young people, adults and the elderly.
 An admirable musician and person... James Burton.
 "Following the Path of the King..."


  





Musical genius
Glen D. Hardin

Another member and key in the formation of musicians who played with Elvis Presley was his pianist and arranger, Glen D. Hardin. Glen D Hardin was born in Collingsworth County, April 18, 1939, Texas. He learned to play the piano at the age of eight, of innate talent, his ability for music would eventually open doors for him that he had not foreseen in his aspirations, because in his thoughts he was not very clear about reaching to be a professional pianist. In 1959 he joined a well-known country club, The Palomino Club in Long Beach, California. In the year 1962 was when he would enter The Crickets. He would be a singer and song arranger for his group and also for other artists on Liberty Records.
 He first achieved success as a songwriter in 1965 with the song "Count Me In", recorded by Gary Lewis & the Playboys. "Where Will The Words Come From" and "My Heart's Symphony" were also successful songs composed by Hardin for Lewis. As a session pianist, he has worked for major artists from a wide variety of musical genres throughout his long career, including Bing Crosby, Nancy Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Buck Owens, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, etc. In addition to various bands... his name was well known in the media when he was called to play with Elvis Presley in 1969, but he had to turn down due to commitments and again
 he would be in 1970, to join the Elvis group.
 Starting this year, he would not only be his pianist for the group TCB, but also arrange many of his songs for Elvis.
 In the 1970s he would also play on recording sessions with Dean Martin, Gram Parsons and Linda Ronstadt. Later he was part of the Hot Band in the eighties, which was the band of Emmy Lou Harris. He has worked countless times with Jerry Scheff and James Burton outside of working with Elvis...
 He would go on to earn a Gold record as an arranger for Elvis Presley's music.
 A man with a kind character, apparently simple and always with a smile on his face. His way of playing like a teacher, of improvising, his rhythm, his sensitivity as an artist, gave the masterful touch to the musical accompaniment in Elvis's band. Like the rest, he got along and became part of the group, to which he belonged until 1976.
 "Following the Path of the King..."



The Rhythm of the Accompaniment John Wilkinson

Another member who was always faithful to Elvis would be guitarist John Wilkinson, who for years would be part of the TCB Band. John Wilkinson was born in Washington on July 3, 1945 and died on January 11, 2013.
 he was a singer and guitarist, but in addition to Elvis, he also performed with other artists such as Chuck Berry and The Greenwood County Singers in 1964.
 He was called to perform with Elvis on his return to the stage on July 31, 1969, at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, after Wilkinson had once performed on a television show in Los Angeles.
 He played the role of rhythm guitar next to James Burton the soloist, he would continue to perform with Elvis until 1977.
 John also collaborated as a guitarist with the New Christy Minstrels and the Kingston Trio.
 A curious anecdote about John Wilkinson was that he met Presley when he was 10 years old. He was an admirer of Elvis since he was a child and would say on occasion that he sneaked into his dressing room at a performance in Springfield in 1956, when Elvis saw him, John told him: "You don't know how to play the guitar". Obviously this made Elvis very funny because he was always very modest and also had a lot of humor. Elvis asked him if he thought he could do better and John, despite his young age, told him, "Oh, I know I can do it."
 When they met again in 1969, Elvis did not remember this anecdote that he reminded him...
 John would be the musical support on stage, always aware of the rest, of Elvis's performance.
 After his death he was also part of the Band of Emmy Lou Harris and John Denver. Unfortunately he suffered a stroke in 1989 that prevented him from playing the guitar.



The Rhythm of the Bass. Jerry Scheff

Vegas road. To choose a good bass for Elvis Presley's band in July 1969, James Burton thought of Jerry Scheff, with whom he had already collaborated on sessions, and thought that he would be a great signing.
 Jerry Scheff had been a session musician since the mid-1960s, and had recorded on movie soundtracks for Elvis, even though he hadn't met him personally. And as a musician he wasn't very interested in getting into this kind of project. It was at Burton's insistence that he went, but he wasn't too convinced seeing the auditions that were being held for the show.
 Jerry didn't want to join the band, because he was doing black music at the time, jazz, he believed that what Elvis needed was another type of style. He went there on James's advice if only out of curiosity. And there he met a really nice sitting man, the close and friendly image of him, who welcomed him. Elvis whom he finally met in person and whom he considered to be a funny guy. "And then he started singing. He was singing all the stuff that he thought we'd like, blues and stuff like that. And I was absolutely blown away." What Jerry definitely thought was that he had a lot to learn in these sessions with this great professional.
 He treated it like he was learning at a big school and Jerry was so impressed that after he was hired he insisted that his wife go to a rehearsal to see how Elvis would perform.
 Jerry Scheff, born in Denver, Colorado, began playing bass at the age of 15 in jazz clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area. After serving three years in the United States Navy he settled in Los Angeles where he debuted as a bass player at Sands Night Club. However, there was then a high demand for session musicians there in Los Angeles in the early 1960s and this encouraged Scheff to leave the stage and seek work as a session bassist. He made his debut in 1966 with the vocal group The Association with their hit single "Along Comes Mary". From here the demand for Scheff's services increased considerably. Over the next few years, he appeared on recordings with Bobby Sherman, Johnny Mathis, Johnny Rivers, Neil Diamond, Nancy Sinatra, Pat Boone, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Vinton, The Everly Brothers, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. In 1971 he participated as a bassist in the recording of the album L.A. Woman, the last of The Doors before the death of Jim Morrison. In 1973 Scheff participated in the recording of The Golden Scarab, Ray Manzarek's debut album and Bob Dylan's album "Dylan" (1973).
 And from July 1969, Jerry Scheff joined Elvis Presley's band, with whom he toured from August 1969 to June 1973 and from April 1975 until Elvis' last concert, on June 26, 1977 at Market Square. Indianapolis arena. A great professional who was impressed and fell in love with the professionalism of a great performer, Elvis Presley.



Magic and Rhythm. Ronnie Tutt

Ronnie Tutt's first time working for Elvis would be for his return to the stage in Las Vegas. August 1969. Elvis wanted to pick the best drummer and was auditioning. Ron Tutt, an artist with great qualities, began at an early age of three and already had rhythmic and vocal faculties... He came to play the violin, with an orchestra, the ukulele, the trumpet,... and finally he opted for the drums that It would be his great passion.
 When he was called to the auditions no one trusted that a nameless musician like him would be chosen.
 Ronnie explained on several occasions that Elvis was relaxed in tests, he liked to hang out, for his test as a drummer he moved dancing and looking into his eyes to trust in the rapport he could have with his rhythm. . He wanted someone special and he found it...
 Ronnie did not take his eyes off him when accompanying him, his movements, his swaggers, he followed him with his gaze and rhythm, to the point of thinking that he was accompanying a stripper, because of the body vibration that impregnated Elvis, the jumps,... And this is the reason why he was chosen. Since Elvis needed that bodily freedom to move on stage as well as sing to his liking. He immediately liked this drummer who would remain in his band for years...
 Elvis said several times that Ronnie was the only drummer who followed his every move on stage and accentuated the moves on the drums.
 Ronnie is also the first American rock 'n' roll drummer to incorporate double drumming live in concert. After Elvis Presley he accompanied the singer Neil Diamond, with The Carpenters, Roy Orbison and Jerry Garcia, among others.
 But we could always observe this, in rehearsal and on stage Ronnie was a master of rhythm, he didn't take his eyes off him, he followed him in everything he did even if he was joking, since Elvis Presley was an artist sometimes unpredictable and, obviously, in On stage this was even more risky since they would only see him from behind or sometimes he could sing towards the musicians.
 Drummer Ronnie Tutt came to study Karate so he could perform in Elvis shows.
 He was a very intuitive musician and he moved in a frenetic way, with the rhythm, to follow the influence of karate that would give Elvis a particular way of expressing his dance, to the point of becoming characteristic in his show, hence Ronny Tutt would find a way to better follow you and dial in more and accentuate whatever your body wanted to add to your playing.
 Elvis had a special affection for him, he knew that Ronnie was a great professional and although he always gave gifts to all his musicians, he gave him a ring that Elvis wore for years, in gratitude and friendship. Ronnie would wear it as pride, because he knew it was a special detail, as he was. "Following the Path of The King..."



Joe Guercio
Orchestra Director.

The private world of Elvis.

Joe Guercio was the musical director of the International Hotel in Las Vegas when he was approached to direct Elvis in his third season of Las Vegas.
His style had nothing to do with the artistic world of Elvis, so he was a little skeptical at first in relation to his music or the way he interpreted. He had directed for artists like Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Pattie Page, etc.
Composer of songs such as "Distant Shores" or "" I won't cry ", he was also an arranger. Although with Elvis the arrangements were normally in charge of Glen D. Hardin, his pianist.
When he met Elvis, even though he thought he was very talented and a great artist... his way of being had him very confused in rehearsals, because he was a fresh, spontaneous and variable artist. ...
He realized that he made changes according to his thoughts and directed everyone and everything as it came out at the time... It is clear that his musicians followed him every time he proposed something, changing what was said or giving a new indication... For a conductor like him, this was disconcerting.
The best-known anecdote of Joe Guercio occurred in the first days of acting...
Someone asked him what he thought of Elvis, if he liked working with him? So his comment would be: "It's like a marble rolling down a marble staircase"...
The next day when Joe walked in and opened the door to his dressing room, in the dark, he heard a strange noise as he walked in. He turned on the lights and what was his surprise when he saw everything flooded with marbles! The whole floor full of marbles, everywhere, even in the sink... he imagined how the mafia boys, all their slaves... last night buying all the marbles in the world. In addition, he left a sign on the mirror that said: "Follow the marble. Signed: E.P"
Guercio would be the one who inspired the beginning of the show in 1970, a theme of six rising and falling notes, known as the passing notes to the stage, for Elvis Presley to come out before the public. The characteristic entry of him... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhZTTFckux8
Guercio is credited with proposing at the entrance, the theme made popular in the movie "2001 A Space Odyssey." "Thus Spake Zarathustra"
Op. 30 was a tone poem composed by Richard Strauss.
But this was not really the case, his Mafia companions said that the idea was Elvis's. This movie, 2001, he saw it a year before and he liked it a lot. Always a movie buff and enthusiast, they contradict the version by assuring that it occurred to him because he wanted to have an entry that marked something great... and that's how it was. This overture would give way to a grandiose image that would transcend time and would be linked to his own show.
Although Guercio said that his wife gave him the idea when they saw the film ... obviously it could not have been true, simply because the film was released two years before he met Elvis and directed for him.
He worked with Elvis from August 1970 to 1977. His memory of Elvis was that he got to work with a great family of professionals, the musicians, the choir. He always commented that he opened up a completely different musical world to him than the one he was used to.
Over time, Joe Guercio came to understand Elvis and love him like everyone who worked with him.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Joe Guercio, Orchestra Director.


The Admiration of the Myth
Duke Bardwell. Bass.


















Duke Bardwell was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1943. He would be born talented, beginning to play the ukulele at the age of five, but he also tried the piano and found he preferred the ukulele. It wasn't long before he mastered the guitar followed by the trumpet. He also had a good singing voice. He played in some of the best R&B bands in Baton Rouge in the '60s. He has a long artistic career, even playing with his own band called The Greek Fountains.
Duke found himself and his band playing gigs with The Animals, The Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and Sonny and Cher. Duke has also worked with Tom Rush, Kenny Loggins, Emmylou Harris, and more. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he would meet José Feliciano who he played with on his sessions. On one occasion he would play one of these Ronnie sessions to tell him that Emory Gordy was leaving the band and that he would talk to him about the possibilities of replacing him. Ronnie thought Duke was right for the job because he was and he was flying to Los Angeles to audition and in January 1974 he got the job as bassist.
For Duke it was something of a dream to get to work for Elvis Presley, starting in January 1974 until he returned to the Jerry Scheff band in April 1975.
After leaving the TCB Band, he began playing with other bands, although he would stop playing for twelve years to start a restaurant business with his wife. Later he would play again and form his own band, Hubba Hubba.
Duke was a fan of Elvis since he was a child, as soon as he heard his music he was shocked.
In Las Vegas he was on trial as a musician and didn't have much communication with Elvis. Later he gradually adapted to the group and was accepted by all as one of the others, especially he had a relationship with Glen D.Hardin.
Although he really liked working with Elvis, he would have liked him to do more Rock songs, because the comparison with the energy he put into songs like "That's All Right Mama" or "Burning Love" compared to the rest of the songs was very great. This was his point of view, even though he thought Elvis made beautiful songs and they worked very well at big shows. He said that Elvis was demanding when someone like him made a mistake, but it was logical, since he was the star artist and he couldn't afford to look bad because one of his musicians made mistakes. For this reason he would be a little stressed in the beginning because he sometimes had some mistake in songs that he had never played.
It seems that Elvis was not very happy with his way of playing or because of some mistake he had on stage.
Bardwell had to accept one or two rude comments during the year; Elvis would sometimes introduce him as "The guy who sometimes plays the bass." The strange thing is that he wasn't replaced if he really was.
Because Duke was a permanent member of the TCB Band until April 1975.
Despite this, it would be an unforgettable time for Duke.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Emory Gordy 
Bass . 1973

A new member in Elvis Presley's group who joined his band in April 1973 Emory Gordy joined Elvis's TCB group in April 1973 for new concerts, replacing bassist Jerry Scheff who had left the group. Gordy played in Elvis's band until 1974 and was asked to study around 600 songs for repertoire. He was really surprised because of all these songs, only about 50 would be played regularly, changing from one concert to another, without innovating.
 He was an excellent musician, since he came to play several instruments: the piano, the trumpet, the banjo, the euphonium, the guitar and the ukulele, the French horn and, obviously, the bass. Over time he played in string bands, dixieland, Top 40 garage band and also learned to arrange music. He became a studio musician beginning in 1964 and worked with major artists, including Neil Diamonds, working alongside Roe, Razzy Bailey, Mac Davis, and Freddy Weller, as well as touring with Lou Christie, Rufus Thomas, and The Impressions.
 In 1972 he would record with Elvis Presley, playing bass on "Separate Ways" and "Burning Love". When he met Elvis and the band, he was impressed and really enjoyed working with him. The atmosphere, the complicity, the rapport as artists, everything came to him and left a mark on him. When the proposal of the 1973 tour with Elvis was made to him, he didn't have to think and agreed, but he was really a little disappointed even though the work they did was well done. He really didn't see anything new, the songs were played over and over again and he didn't find much enthusiasm, although the relationship was still good with the musicians and with Elvis.
 It was clear that things had to change...
 "Following the Path of the King..."



David Briggs .
A genius at the piano

David Paul Briggs, born March 16, 1943 in Killen, Alabama, United States, is a keyboardist, record producer, arranger, composer, and studio owner.
Since he was 14 years old he already recorded in studio sessions, he was an exceptional musician who accompanied many successful artists of the time including Elvis Presley.
He could accompany various styles Pop, Rock, Country, etc.
He would become well known as part of Nashville's elite studio musicians "the Nashville Cats".
His name has been featured in a major Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit in 2015.
With Elvis he started almost accidentally in 1966, when he replaced Floyd Cramer in one of the recording sessions for the album "How Great Though Art".
Floyd was running three hours late and caused an immediate decision to find a quality little piano.
Elvis really liked his playing and wanted him to play piano on his recording of "Love Letters" as well. He was so impressed with Floyd's style and versatility that he was asked to stay on and play organ for the rest of the sessions after Floyd returned to piano.
Later, David recorded with Elvis in many of his recording sessions and the possibility of playing in his shows was even proposed to him, but due to scheduling reasons he could never be there until now.
In Concert, he would join Elvis' band of musicians in Las Vegas in March 1975 and although he played keyboard he subsequently replaced Shane Keister for all performance dates from 1976 through February 1977.

At the same time, he always had his own work, and since the late 60s he opened Quadrafonic Studios with Norbert Putnam. There They worked with great musicians until 1976. David later opened House of David. He did many commercial spots and also did musical direction.
In 1999, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
He was always a highly valued artist and sought after by great artists of the moment, but especially appreciated by Elvis Presley.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Tony Brown
"The voice of the piano"



















Tony Brown, born December 11, 1946, pianist who worked for Elvis Presley, became a record producer and, in addition to accompanying pianist for great artists, a session musician in Nashville. He is primarily known for his work in country music, also for his work with the Stamps Quartet. Starting in 1980 he would begin to work as a producer with artists such as. Reba McEntire, Vince Gill and George Strait. In the last two years of Elvis Presley's life she accompanied him as a pianist during his concerts and in the last recording sessions at Graceland. As a producer he released more than 100 number one singles and has sold more than 100 million copies of his productions. For years he continued to make hits, in 2002 he co-founded Universal South Records, a company linked to Universal Records. He would have artists such as Joe Nichols, Matthew West, Allison Moorer, Rockie Lynne, Shooter Jennings, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Bering Strait, Katrina Elam, Holly Williams and Matt Jenkins on his label. To his credit he has the most successful albums during the year 2012, with the artist Lionel Richie achieving fame and other artists such as Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw, Jimmy Buffett, Little Big Town, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, etc. He has been awarded four Grammy Awards, four Academy of Country Music Awards, also the famous ACM Producer of the Year Award. In 1994, with numerous gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums under his belt, he was honored with a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year. He is often named as a founding father of the American alternative country movement, for his productions with genre artists such as Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Lyle Lovett, Kelly Willis, Todd Snider. , Allison Moorer, The Mavericks, Shooter Jennings, etc.


 Tony Brown met Elvis in 1969 at the International Hotel through JD Sumner, later in 1975 he worked as a pianist on the recording of the song "Bringing it Back" that would be published on the "Today" album. From April 21, 1976, until Elvis passed away in August 1977, Tony would replace Glen D. Hardin, to stay permanently with Elvis. Tony told Glen that if one day he stopped playing for Elvis, he should let him know because he wanted to replace him and that's what happened. In 1969 Tony was struck by the artist, his image, his attractiveness and his way of being, his charisma, He really saw him as a great artist and a great man. Also his spiritual part would be very important and notable in him, in addition to his humility. Although he noticed a great change in the time in which he was part of the TCB Band, starting in 1976, with respect to his first impression in 1969, he would comment that Elvis had his good moments and humor. 
On one occasion Elvis introduced him on stage as Monty Rock the Third, then Tony stood up and bowed, to which Elvis replied: "You are not Monty Rock the Third." On another occasion Elvis disconnected David Brigs' keyboard while he was playing the piano. While he was singing he unplugged it which caused the rest to laugh. For Tony it was something very special to work with him, he played on several occasions with the "Voice" Trio when they sang with Elvis at Graceland and they had very pleasant moments. Elvis once gave him a ring that he would wear with pride and which he later gave to his son. The last time he saw him was on June 26, 1977, when they were playing the overture of the concert, Elvis called Tony, but he really didn't. Nothing happened afterwards but for him it would be something very special, since Elvis later passed away. 
"Following the Way of the King..."

Larry Muhoberac

He was Pianist for Elvis in the soundtrack of some of the Elvis movies, such as "Frankie and Johnny". She was also his pianist in 1961 at Elvis' benefit concerts in Memphis. At that time his stage name was Larry Owens. Larry Muhoberac, in addition to being a pianist, was a producer and composer. James Burton called him to work again for Elvis, in 1969 upon his return to the Concerts at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Although he was later replaced by Glen D. Hardin, in 1970 As a pianist he would also play with other artists such as Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Al Martino and Tina Turner, .

Larrie Londin, Drums








1943-1992) He was a drummer session in Nashville where he was highly respected. She started playing the drums by accident, since he wanted to sing, but he didn't have the quality for this and he definitely dedicated himself to the drums. Her first recording contract was with Atlantic Records as a singer imitating Elvis's voice, without success. She had great influence from Rock 'n' Roll. Her first professional job was as a drummer at Motown, working with great artists such as Hank Snow, The Everly Brothers, Neil Young, B.B King, etc. She also with Chet Atkins who claimed he was the best. drummer she had worked with.
She subsequently worked for 13 weeks on the Tennessee Ernie Ford Television show. She then went to Nashville where she became the top drummer in Country music studio, Motor City to Music City. She also worked on several Television shows in Nashville, on the Porter Wagner show, also on the Grand 01'Opry and Hee Haw.

She worked for Elvis Presley in Concert in March 1976 and subsequently in the last three concerts that Elvis performed in 1977.
She was also a drummer in sessions for Elvis on his 1970 Christmas album. For Larrie, she would be a very big emotion because she admired Elvis, she was his idol, so much so that she burst into tears when she was summoned to the sessions. .
Larrie met him working for him and described him as a good man, generous, moody at times, she liked to give gifts, please people. When she started playing with him, Elvis stopped her on stage and asked her that when she played the drums she look at him and let herself go, she said she worked a lot.
An anecdote during a concert in Nebraska, she would say that while Elvis was giving away handkerchiefs at the foot of the stage, there was an elderly couple who looked like farmers and who couldn't get close to him because of the people pushing. Elvis saw them, and asked one of his bodyguards to bring them to the stage to give them a gift. From their way of dressing he understood that they were people without resources and gave them a folded handkerchief, which he wore inside a diamond ring.
When they left the city and during the bus ride Elvis was very excited when he told them that he had put a ring in their scarf worth approximately ten thousand dollars that could possibly help them in their lives. He was happy with this, he truly enjoyed this kind of thing.
On stage he liked to be at the same height as the musicians and asked that the drums always be behind him, so he could control the rhythm and movement on the scene.

THE VOICES OF THE SOUL

THE SWEET INSPIRATIONS




The Sweet Inspirations was the group of female voices that accompanied Elvis Presley in concert. Excellent Soul and Gospel singers, although they sang all kinds of styles. His way of singing was the vocal complement that Elvis was looking for to start his shows in Las Vegas after so many years. This group had several singers who were changing, Cissy Houston, Doris Troy, Dee Dee Warwick, Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell and Myrna Smith. It started in the 50's, initially calling itself The Drinkard Singers. In 1967 they would change the name to "Sweet Inspirations". This year Atlantic hired them to accompany big stars but they stood out for their tours with Aretha Franklin. They had their own hits until 1969, when they began to sing with Elvis. At that time the group was made up of Cissy Houston, Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith and Estelle Brown. But Cissy will leave the group to start her solo career, she would be replaced by Ann Williams in 1970.

Elvis would listen to their recordings and hired them without knowing them personally for their return to the scene in 1969 and they would continue until his death. Their peculiar way of singing and accompanying him would play Elvis's voice in the show. Ann Williams also left the group and finally Sylvia, Myrna and Estelle would remain. Elvis always appreciated their way of singing because he got involved in a special way with them, in 1969 he would say that they helped him feel and reach his soul.
"Following the Path of the King..."

THE IMPERIALS
The Voice of the Gospel

The Imperials, a Gospel quartet founded in 1963 by Jake Hess, already a Southern Gospel legend. Elvis admired him from a young age because he was the lead singer of the Statesmen Quartet. The Imperials have been active for over 55 years. It would be a pioneering group of contemporary Christian music deserving of many awards, four Grammys, seventeen Doves awards. and a place in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Of course they are also known as Elvis Presley's accompanying vocal group.

The first time they worked for Elvis Presley would be in May 1966, in the recording sessions that Elvis was going to do to record his LP "How great Thou Art". When he couldn't record with the Jordanaires, they suggested Jake Hess and The Imperials.
In 1969, before his return to the stage, Elvis proposed to them for a male vocal group, but Jake Hess was ill and had to be replaced by Armond Morales, who took over the group. Elvis would also have the "Sweet Inspirations".
His last recording session with Elvis was the gospel album "He Touched Me" in Nashville in the early summer of 1971.
Elvis had the group for their performances in Las Vegas and in concerts until November 1971, they had big projects as well as economic aspirations that were not satisfied and the group decided to leave it because they took a different path.

Since the 1970s, there have been many changes and more singers continuing with their Gospel recordings and garnering four Grammys, seventeen Doves Awards and a place in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
The components that would form the group and sing with Elvis would be Roger Wiles, Jim Murry, Terry Blackwood and Armond Morales. Joe Moscheo would later join.
The need for Gospel music in Elvis was something that he wanted to be around and enjoy and usually when the performances were over, the members of the Imperials with more musician friends, etc., were invited to enjoy the music until the wee hours of the morning in the Suite available in the Hotel.
They were unforgettable moments for everyone that they would always remember as something very special.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Voice



























Group formed by Donnie Sumner in 1973.
In September 1973, Elvis wanted to do a favor for his friend Tom Jones, who was in need of a backing group for his performances at the time. Elvis wanted to help him by auditioning the new group from Nashville consisting of Donnie Sumner, Sherrill Nielsen and Tim Baty. By the time he introduced them to Tom, he had already solved his problem, but Elvis, who was so excited about the group, finally hired them to record with him and for his performances.
Donnie had recently left the Stamps, Sherill was a member of the Imperials, and Tim Baty was bass. The peculiarity of the group was the contrast between high and low voices, which impressed Elvis in such a way that he was so excited and decided to hire them.
The curiosity was that Elvis improvised his contract on toilet paper, he hired them for 100,000 dollars. Elvis was very excited because at last he had his own group, for when he wanted to record and he told his father. The Colonel did everything possible to convince Elvis to drop that idea, but of course it was not possible, not even for him to pay less, because he was already engaged and they had accepted it.
The truth is that Elvis wanted to have a group especially for when he wanted to sing in private, to record or whatever he wanted and he also gave his word, which for Elvis was law.
Although they say that the group was formed by Donnie Sumner, curiously Elvis would choose the name, inspired by doing something new, initially the name was New Age Voice, but since it was too long it was shortened to "Voice".
The first time they recorded with Elvis was in September 1973 in some home sessions for RCA, with the songs: "I Miss You" and "Are You Sincere". Later in the recording sessions held in December of the same year at the Stax studios. On this occasion they were joined by pianist Per Erik "Pete" Hallin.
In 1974 Tony Brown joined in the fall tour, etc. They were working for Elvis for 3 years.

"The Magic of the Voice in Harmony"
Elvis Presley and The Jordanaires.








A magical choral group, with a nostalgic air, which would result from perfect harmonies that would become essential for Elvis Presley in his songs and in his live performances during the early years and later in his films.
With them he would feel safe and the possibility of harmonizing masterfully in his songs. Their union would be legendary for years to come because they actually teamed up with Elvis to give him vocal support in inspiring him. They were the accent in his music and the perfect union in many inspirational moments, because Elvis enjoyed singing with them.

Elvis Presley was a fan of choral groups and would have liked to sing in a quartet. In 1955 when he was still singing for Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Elvis introduced himself to the Jordanaires in 1055, after singing with Eddy Arnold in Memphis, he spoke with them for a while, although he had really started his artistic life, he was already very clear about what he wanted to do and with whom he wanted to sing.
He told them that if he ever got famous, he recorded with a big company, he would like to record with them. But it would be a year until they met again, this time it would be on January 11, 1956, when Gordon Stoker was called by Chet Atkins to do a session with a young man who was new, probably wouldn't be around for long, named Elvis Presley.
On this first occasion Gordon Stoker would call Ben and Brock Speer to record. But Elvis wanted the entire Jordanaires and he told Gordon Stoker. Then a collaboration would begin that would last for years.

The formation that accompanied Elvis for many years was made up of Gordon Stoker, Tenor soloist, Neal Matthews, Tenor, Hoyt Hawkins, Baritone and Hugh Jarrett, Bass.
It was this lineup of Stoker, Hawkins, Matthews, and Jarrett that formed the group that backed Elvis on most of his sessions in the mid-'50s. They also appeared in his movies, and in some of his historic television appearances. of the. Hugh Jarrett left in 1958 and was replaced by bassist Ray Walker. This lineup was maintained for the next 24 years. As a vocal group they accompanied more artists and they usually did it from Nashville, for this reason when Elvis returned to the stage in 1969, they decided not to go to Las Vegas and continue with other commitments.

This would be the reason why Elvis had to find another vocal group to sing at Las Vegas International and follow another path.
But the name of the Jordanaires would remain forever linked to that of Elvis Presley.
"Following the Path of the King..."

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