JUNE 1970

The Nashville Marathon 1970 

The aura of the artist
On June 4, 1970, Elvis Presley began recording again at the Nashville studios. Some sessions that would result in thirty-six songs that would be part of three albums that would also be memorable in Elvis's discography. Many of these songs considered average in appearance, in Elvis's voice will become great songs and some excellent for his mastery.The musicians were a little skeptical at the beginning of these sessions because of the songs that were going to be performed, but as soon as Elvis entered the studio they spoke of a special aura, his presence, his kindness, his way of dealing and above all an angel in his being that made everyone who knew him fall in love with him. 
When Elvis began to sing, no one had any doubt that these sessions would be incredible, they recognized him as a star. Many musicians are extremely technical and give more importance to technique than to feeling. Elvis was not a technician, he was above all a perfectionist but absolutely dedicated, passionate musician and his feeling prevailed in every interpretation giving those initially average songs the master touch to turn them into great songs difficult to forget. 
His way of approaching the scores with all the strength, claw, feeling made any interpretation a culminating moment, essential and this caught every musician who accompanied him regardless of technique. Since the improvement of the technique without feeling does not make the artist. And Elvis Presley was always a master in the art of singing, unlike other singers who have great voices, are very technical but do not have that gift of conveying the essence of music to the viewer. It would be a few days of enthusiasm, encouragement and of complicity with the musicians....

Nashville Marathon. June 1970. 

Left to right: Jerry Carrigan, Al Pachucki, Elvis, Norbert Putnam, and David Briggs. Bottom: James Burton, Charlie McCoy, Chip Young, and Felton Jarvis.

June 1970

The Nashville Marathon

50 years of the Nashville Marathon. June 1970. 

From June 4 to 8, 1970 Elvis Presley would record again at Studio B, Nashville RCA with his new producer Felton Jarvis. The Nashville Marathon. After a long time and with Felton Jarvis as Elvis Presley's personal producer since he had resigned from RCA.
 The intention with these sessions was to modernize and update Elvis's musical repertoire, all this was going to be done with several changes with respect to what was done in previous years in these studies.
 On the one hand with the new 16-track team and For the choice of musicians Felton Jarvis would combine with a new Rhythm Section through Muscle Shoals and some previous musician who indirectly he had worked for Elvis. 36 songs that would finally make up 3 lps that would be released on the music market in the future.
The old and modern air in combination would result in 36 songs and most of them would be included in the albums "Elvis Country" "Love Letters from Elvis" and "That's the way It is". Songs so well known and loved by their fans as "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Just Pretend", "You don´t have to say you love me", "Patch it Up", etc. Below we put the links of the Four programs that we carry out to know these sessions and everything that happens at the moment


The Nashville Marathon


The four programs we dedicate:
From Tupelo to Memphis 48. Part One.
From Tupelo to Memphis 48. Part Two.

From Tupelo to Memphis 48. Part Three

From Tupelo to Memphis 48. Part Four.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Elvis Presley's pro team

Felton Jarvis. "From the cradle to the grave"

Elvis Presley worked with many good professionals throughout his artistic life. Some of them remained faithful in his way, others disappeared or were occasional and few refused to work with him. But all of them always admired the artist and would witness his growth and evolution. Elvis had the luck and the opportunity to choose those who would share his path with him. Felton Jarvis would be an example of this. He would become his producer from the year 1966 and would be linked to his artistic path until the end of his days. Felton was born in 1934 in Atlanta, he died at the age of 46 from a stroke. He was a cheerful, fun young man with a dependable manner. Like all young people of the time, he was influenced by a singer who became known from the mid-1950s, named Elvis Presley. The first time Felton saw Elvis was in 1955, when he was doing his military service for United States Marine Corps in Norfolk.
Elvis sang as part of Hank Snow's "All Star Jamboree." From that very moment and like all those who were able to witness his concerts, he was impressed by his voice and his performance. Elvis was a future promise and it was his beginnings in concert, he was not quite famous yet, but it was the beginning of his rise.
Felton liked his music so much that curiously enough he would begin to learn to play the guitar at this time and was encouraged to record as a singer, his desire was to sing and become successful like Elvis. His admiration was so great that even at the beginning in 1959 he recorded a song called "Don´t Knock Elvis". He recorded several singles as a singer, "Dimples / Little Wheel", "Ski King / Be-I-Bye", etc

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wanted to be a star too, but deep down he always thought he couldn't really sing. He knew that as a singer he wouldn't be successful and decided to focus his future in another field. He took a different path but that obviously had to do with music. Felton began work printing sheet music at the National Recording Corp in Atlanta. His aspirations at this time led him to want to work in a recording studio and enter the recording world, so he went to work in a recording studio.
Felton wanted to be a promoter and producer and had the opportunity to replace a sound engineer, from that moment a very different field would open up in his profession. Starting in 1962, he began promoting future artists such as Vince Everett, Sheila... In 1963 he moved to the city of Nashville, then working for ABC Paramount Records and in 1965 he managed to enter RCA as a producer. From 1966 he would have the opportunity to produce for Elvis until 1977. Firstly as a producer for Rca and from 1970 directly for Elvis, as his own producer. Felton always said that it was a true honor and pleasure for him to work for Elvis Presley. Felton was more successful as a producer than as a singer and always felt lucky next to Elvis Presley.
He is obviously linked to the figure of Elvis Presley forever, for being his producer. He would carry out the production of other artists such as John Hartford, Tommy Roe, Fats Domino, Jimmy Dean, Charlie Pride, Carl Perkins, etc. In 1970 Felton Jarvis resigned from RCA as a staff worker, because Elvis asked him to be his own. producer of it. It was an important change for him since he would be working full time and with the independence that this gave him.
Elvis liked the flexibility that Felton offered him, first because he knew him well, he was a cheerful man, he was malleable... he didn't usually object to anything. It is true that they also understood each other very well because Felton was also a bit of a joker like Elvis and he understood him very well in the studio and then he needed a producer who would work exclusively for him. He would not only be his personal producer, but also his co-producer and manager of his schedule of concerts to be held from that moment.
For Elvis it was important to have a great sound and for this reason he wanted Felton Jarvis by his side. Although sometimes what Elvis wanted, it was not the result that Felton finally gave him with his re-recordings and in the subsequent edition of the records. Obviously the point of view of the producer and the singer was sometimes not the same. Felton sometimes reloaded the tracks initially recorded by the singer, this sometimes provoked Elvis's annoyance, who sometimes did not share the taste of the final realization of what he had sung. But this is part of another story... In any case, the figure of Felton Jarvis will always be linked to that of Elvis Presley, as his personal producer

"Following the Path of the King..."

The Nashville Marathon

In June 1970, recordings were scheduled to be made at RCA Studio B in Nashville. They wanted to have songs for a new repertoire, but the main reason was commercial. The Rca and Colonel Parker had forecast to release new albums to launch the market and promote their star. Elvis and his musicians are going to record more than 35 songs in these sessions that would give rise to three Lps that were later published: "Elvis Country", "Love letters from Elvis" and "That´s the way it is".
A variety of themes of different styles and intentions. A few days of exaltation, enthusiasm for the new repertoire of songs, but also disappointment.
The reason is that the themes were not faced with total dedication at the time of recording, everyone knew that the result of these days of effort would have another intention after the subsequent re-recording, the production days later by Felton Jarvis The songs could have been done with absolute perfection, but unfortunately everyone had the feeling that it could have been done even better. Both Elvis Presley and the musicians who accompanied him these days at Nashville's Studio B believed that everything could have been done differently. With all this they gave their best as artists. tas and from there great songs would come out that would go down in history in the voice of Elvis.

Musical equipment and production. the Sessions for RCA

 June 4–8, 1970 RCA Studio B, Nashville:


Producer: Felton Jarvis.
Sound Engineer: Al Pachucki.

Guitar: James Burton, Chip Young.
Percussion: Jerry Carrigan, Farrell Morris
Organ: David Briggs.
Acoustic guitar: Elvis Presley.
Vocal and Acoustic Guitar: Charlie Hodge.
Steel Guitar: Weldon Myrick.
Bass: Norbert Putnam.
Banjo: Bobby Thompson.
Drums: Jerry Carrigan.
Organ, Harmonica: Charlie McCoy.
Violin: Buddy Spicher.
Piano: David Briggs.

As Vocals: The Imperials, The Jordanaires.
Female Vocals: Millie Kirkham, Mary Greene, Mary & Ginger Holladay, Temple Riser, June Page, Carol 'Sonja' Montgomery, Dolores Edgin Male
Vocal: Joe Babcock.
And string and wind accompaniment.

1970 The change of style and musical repertoire

One of the most surprising and notable changes since 1970 is the radical change in style and repertoire in Elvis Presley's artistic career. June 1970. These sessions clearly begin a period of change and musical style. It seems that Elvis's artistic interests or tastes have changed. Although some Rock, Blues songs are still sung, they will be faced with a different air, just like Gospel, Country has more interest from now on... And they would begin to include great sensitive ballads and songs that are easy to listen to or that could be hits by other artists adopted for him. The reason could be the search for a different type of listener, a different type of public.
Elvis fans would mean a radical change and he would turn into another artist from 1970. It is evident that the direction of his path had found other doors. And although some were by choice, others were assimilated, as before, without protest by him. 
It was a set of factors, what Elvis wanted and what he was offered and accepted. In any case, his background was evident.
 Elvis had also changed and needed to express another way of singing or felt differently and therefore his music was going to develop accordingly. This change would also give him another public that would follow him from then on. now, and logically, the current modern songs would bring him some updating of his repertoire, but all this was even more complex. his voice could dare anything. 
For the faithful fans of before 1970, Elvis had changed, but they would follow in his footsteps with his new repertoire and for the new ones who had discovered a new idol this one would be as great as his previous stage. 

Road of the King..."

June 1970

The intention with these sessions was to modernize and update the artist's musical repertoire, all this was going to be done with several changes with respect to what was done in previous years in these studios.
On the one hand, with the new 16-track equipment, new technology still with a bit of ignorance of its handling but with the help of Al Pachuki as sound engineer and with great expectations and with subsequent dubbing sessions that are going to be carried out. Also with the choice of a new repertoire of songs from the Portfolio of Carlin.
Carlin was the British company that had bought Bienstock and that would give a European and modern touch with its English composers. And in combination, on the other hand, with the themes also chosen by Freddy Bienstock and Lamar Fike, with authors who had already worked for Elvis in previous years but with compositions that already had a new, more current approach.
For the choice of Felton musicians Jarvis would combine with a new Rhythm Section through Muscle Shoals and some previous musician who had indirectly worked for Elvis.
Muscle Shoals were a group of studio musicians, masters at creating a combination of southern, R&B, soul and country sound. and they were known as "Muscle Shoals sound"....The intention with all this was to modernize the sessions. It would also have James Burton guitar from the recent formation in Las Vegas and some previous session musician. The old and modern air in combination would result in 36 songs.
Most of them would be included in the albums "Elvis Country" "Love Letters from Elvis" and "That's the way It is". Elvis was in an exceptional moment, in voice, physically and mentally ready to give everything. His desire to do something special was so great that despite not being convinced of some of the songs he was going to record, he would ignore and accept again the conditions for these sessions.
Although his regret for accepting unfelt songs would take its toll on time... Again the same stone that he couldn't avoid on his way.
Despite this, there are great songs that will become eternal in these sessions. Evidently the sound was no longer that of the Alma characteristic of years ago, since the instrumentation and rhythm would give rise to another musical air impregnated with a more country background due to the influence of these new musicians. Even so, Elvis' particular interpretation with his characteristic versatility would once again give greatness to these scores to make them unforgettable.

"Following the path of the King..."

Reflections on the music performed by Elvis Presley.


When you write a score, the music, the lyrics, as a composer you always have something inside that makes you feel and hear a clear idea of ​​what the listener could receive. Especially the sense and sensitivity of what you want to convey. Every musician has his own vision of the result of what could be achieved in a performance and in a recording with its subsequent orchestration etc. You can hear it inside yourself even if you only write a voice line or a piano accompaniment.
Sometimes the result of that arrangement, of that accompaniment, makes the score itself lose its original freshness, its intention and transparency... And, in some cases, the one who makes the orchestral arrangement can lose the original meaning of the score even though the singer performs a masterful interpretation... But it is clear that when you give your score to someone else, he experiences it in a different way.
It is the magic of music that turns his own interpretation into the voice of an artist like Elvis and, ultimately, turns it into his own creation. that were chosen for their repertoire would be very different songs and, above all, the passing of the years must logically be taken into account. More than two decades... Elvis clearly knew how to sing all styles of music, but it's very interesting to stop and observe the type of songs he chose over the years or what he was offered and couldn't refuse...
In any case, it's incredible, and in particular, that real songs about pure and sincere love really were very rare. Of more than 800 songs, few songs could be counted that have been written like this. Really, those of true love, those of pure, sincere love, clean love, selfless love, there are very few examples... And happy love even less ...
In Elvis Presley's discography there are many themes of heartbreak, passion, oblivion, loss... the composers who made scores for him didn't really offer him songs of pure and true love, but rather heartbreak , of disappointment, of different intentions... they didn't go clearly to the sexual level either, but hinted at the subject.

It is true that the image and reality about Elvis went from being sexual and defiant, over time, to maturation, although his intense image and magnetism would also follow, but it is evident that his image, despite its eternal beauty, was not that of a faithful lover or a lover and the passing of the years towards his physical growth, gave him another maturation... But although his music also evolved in style, it changed over time, his songs followed that line getting lost in heartbreak and loss. Curiously, his pure songs and his great love turned to the Gospel, his spirituality, his faith and without forgetting his mother, who was another dimension of love.
The songs about love that Elvis sang were in an intermediate plane, they could be between averages of love and sex, on that other side that doesn't get to be a little dark and not entirely happy, that doesn't reach absolute and happy surrender... There are very few examples of songs that were made in such a way. sweet and sincere as the theme that was performed for these great sessions in Nashville, the song "Sylvia" composed by Geoff Stephens and Les Reed.
Even the orchestration of this song made it lose its initial purity, which can be enjoyed in the takes made on June 8 for a simpler and more progressive accompaniment in its authorship. A sensitive song written with hope, which could give rise to other interpretations. But only composers could tell us about that, because we don't know who Sylvia was, invented or real... In any case, the reflection that remains to us could be that of the artist who continues to search for his true love over time through his singing. , without being able to reflect it on someone special with whom to share their destiny.
The authors, who had already composed two songs for Elvis Presley "Heart of Rome" and "This is our dance" for these sessions, gave a different point of view with this composition to express a love song. But Geoff Stephens, one of the two songwriters, curiously believed that Elvis never really understood his writing. What he says is that the arrangement was not focused in an adequate direction... And this would make the score lose its direction and meaning.
Although he thinks that he sang it masterfully, he believes that the final result that was given no longer corresponded to its initial intention. In any case, the reality is that the interpretations that Elvis did would make the composition his own and, what was done with this accompaniment, is already part of the production and the arrangement that may or may not distort the composition and interpretation of the musicians in their final result.
Ana Albajara

"Following the Path of the King..."

"Elvis Country" (I’m 10,000 Years Old).

Elvis Presley would make very few themed albums throughout his artistic life. The album "Elvis Country" published in early January 1971 would be one of these examples. His taste changed and evolved logically, but the roots were always there with him, of course, with spirituality. Fortunately, Elvis showed that he could sing all kinds of styles and this would place him in the first place of the chosen ones. peculiar. His interpretations could be approached from a different point of view, they were country songs, country accompaniment with a current touch and with an interpretation very much his own. His songs could be considered as another style called "ElvisCountry", since they were different.
But, as always, Elvis made the songs special and different from their origin, or from his first intention and appropriated them to make them his own. was born about ten thousand years ago "which may have been intended to convey a message with this.
Elvis always liked country as a style, but it is clear that when he began to sing he deviated into another terrain and another rhythm than It radically changed his evolution as an artist. It is clear that Elvis always gave his "masterful touch" to every song he performed so that no one would confuse who was singing.
It was his natural way of singing that made him special and magical. This album brings together songs that could make one think that he would return to his origins, even the photograph on the cover with a child Elvis, but it would not be like that at all. country style and this could be the reason for putting this song ... "I was born about 10,000 years ago" ... It could be his special way of bringing this style closer to those who don't like country and making music reach them in another way.
The truth is that at this time, the covers of the artists were made with other intentions, or to give other types of messages and making a fusion of songs was also something that had been done previously by other artists, focused in another way. . Experimentation was the trend of the moment so we thought that Elvis really just wanted to sing his country songs, because that was the style he had in mind at the time. country style at least in interpretation and mood, for example the song "Tomorrow never comes"... any resemblance to its origin is far from being able to confirm the natural and special difference in an artist as chameleonic as Elvis Presley who makes the simple great , he makes the bland rhythm... But most importantly... he makes music from a handful of notes that sometimes go unnoticed in the voice of other artists.
The recordings were made at the famous Marathon in June 1970, a few months before in some sessions in which he combined even more themes from other styles and in September of the same year. It was recorded at RCA Studio B in Nashville and reached number twelve on the US Billboard 200 list and e l six in the UK.
Over the years it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1977. The songs that were included in this lp: Side A: "Snowbird" by Gene MacLellan, "Tomorrow Never Comes" by Johnny Bond and Ernest Tubb ,"Little Cabin on the Hill" by Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Dave "Curly" Williams and Sunny David, "Funny How Time Slips Away" by Willie Nelson, "I Really Don' t Want to Know" by Howard Barnes and Don Robertson, Side B: "There Goes My Everything" by Dallas Frazier, "It's Your Baby, You Rock It" by Shirl Milete and Nora Fowler, "The Fool" by Naomi Ford and Lee Hazlewood,"Faded Love" by Bob Wills and Johnnie Lee Wills, "I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water" by Joe Babcock and ","Make the World Go Away" by Hank Cochran. , unified by a common theme, which can be instrumental, narrative, in the composition or in the lyrics, but the truth is that chance caused them to be recorded so many country songs and the reason for unifying with this song "I was born about ten thousand years ago" was precisely to unify something that really had no real reason. In any case, this album is one of the favorites of Elvis fans, of course at the time of the 70's.
Elvis genius and figure...

"Following the Path of the King..."

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