Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Memphis ,Tennessee

My friend Tom has been waiting for me to review this LP, so here you go!!  “ Memphis, Tennessee: The Swinging Sixties ” was released on the Audiofon AFNS 67670 label.  The back sleeve of the record dates it at 1971, which is not the case.  The LP was not released by the same group that was responsible for prior Audiofon releases: “ Plantation Rock ”, “ A Dog’s Life ”, “ Leavin’ It Up to You ”, and the fabulous four LP box set “ Behind Closed Doors ”. This LP is not listed in Cotton and Dewitt’s “Jailhouse Rock” reference book, so it is probably safe to say that it dates from the mid to late 1980’s. 

The cover is printed on glossy stock, the front of which has a candid photo of Elvis singing autographs circa 1965-66. The back cover has the familiar photo from the mid 60’s of Elvis sitting on the sofa in the living room at Graceland playing his white fender bass. The LP labels are yellow with black text and are titled and credited as “ Rock Sound Fifty Seven ”. There are no listed take numbers, and the liner notes mention that “ Memphis, TN ”, “ Ask Me ”, “ Ask Me #2 ”, and “ Western Union ” were recorded at RCA studios in Nashville on May 27, 1963.  “ Memphis, TN ” and “ Ask Me ” were rejected and re-recorded also in Nashville on Jan 12, 1964.  “ Plantation Rock ” was recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood in March 1962.  “ Brand New Day (on the Horizon) ” and “ Roustabout ” were recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood February 24-28 ( music tracks ) and March 2-6 1964 ( Elvis’ vocals ).  “ Girl Happy ”, “ Beach Shack ” and “ Got to Find My Baby ” were recorded at Radio Recorders July 7 ( music tracks ) and 8 ( Elvis’ vocals ) 1964.   “ Have A Happy ”, “ Let Us Pray ”, and “ Change of Habit ” were recorded at Universal Studios in Hollywood March 5 and 6, 1969. All tracks are sourced from acetates of varying quality. 

Side 1 “ Western Union ” has excellent frequency range. “ Ask Me ” is in very good quality; however there are two major skips in the playback of the acetate, which are very annoying.  “ Plantation Rock ” is edited differently than the officially released version we are used to and sounds like it comes from a worn source. The story of how this song was originally obtained and released will be featured in the review of the LP of this title.  “ Memphis, TN ” is fine. “ Have A Happy ” is from a very poppy acetate, and has a skip as well.  “ Let Us Pray ” is actually a favorite gospel song of mine…shredding bass line and great gospel feel, but there are a lot of pops in this acetate source. “ Change of Habit ” is an interesting play on words for the title of Elvis’ second to last feature film…given that Elvis encounters Catholic Nuns in the film, and one actually gives up being a Nun, hence giving up her “ Habit ” which is the name of a Nun’s garb. This song is also from poppy acetate…it’s not a great song, but the distorted bass groove that starts and carries throughout the song is interesting at least. 

Side 2  “ Ask Me ” #2 has bad acetate crackle through out. “ Girl Happy ” is at its correct speed as the RCA master that was released was sped up to give the song a more pop tempo resulting with a weird timbre of Elvis’ voice. “ Beach Shack ” is a weak movie song and this source has level inconsistencies. “ Got to Find My Baby ” sounds like it was sourced from a rather worn acetate. “ Brand New Day ( on the Horizon ) ” sounds worn; this song is the same melody as the gospel/spiritual tune “ The Truth is Marching On ”.  “ Roustabout ” is of very good quality. 

All in all, this LP is a nice addition for the serious LP collector. It is not as good as the “ real ” Audiofon releases, and this LP was no doubt labeled as being from Audiofon in hopes of capitalizing upon the good reputation pf the previous releases. The nice packaging is somewhat diminished by the acetate sources ( the track that skips twice is still on my mind as a large annoyance ), and the lack of take numbers detracts significantly but not seriously enough to call this LP worthless, though in all honesty the producers may not have had access to that information. I am sure all of these tracks have been released either officially by BMG or in excellent quality on import CD with proper track identification. However given the time frame and the fact that this release is a product of the “ LP ” era, if you find a copy, it’s worth the time to give a listen to the man from “ Memphis, Tennessee ”!!

Ernie Boyes Jr.