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Excerpt From Otis Blackwell Interview

Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:28 pm

Now that BMG is releasing the Otis Blackwell/Winfield Scott composition "Roustabout" on October 7th as a "bonus track" on "Second To None" it might be a good time to look again at what Otis Blackwell said about the song in an interview conducted on the telephone with Jan-Erik Kjeseth on March 14, 1984, as printed in "The Man & His Music" No. 11 (June 1991).

JEK: There are some rumors that Elvis has in fact recorded songs of yours that have never been released . . .

OB: The only song that Elvis recorded which hasn't been released was a song . . . we did a song for a movie, and it was a song we did called "Roustabout". You see, a lot of us would write for Elvis, and Elvis would give us titles to write. And then it would be like maybe 5 or 10 of us writing the same title. They would pick what they considered to be the best title. In some cases they even went so far as to make records to see which one came out the best. So he recorded "Roustabout". Winfield Scott and myself wrote "Roustabout", which was the movie title. We heard that one, but that was not the one that was released, they released another "Roustabout". And that's the only song that we have, that I have, that I know he recorded.

JEK: And have you heard it?

OB: "Roustabout"? We heard the tape of it over at the office, up in the publishing office. They played the tape for us, but they said that this was not going to be the one that was to be released, that they were going to release another "Roustabout" that they had done.

JEK: How did it come out?

OB: It . . . for us, listening to the other one, the one they wanted for the picture . . . The way it came out, it was pretty good. You know, being a writer you sometimes tend to think, "It's not that I find the other record so bad, but my song is better", you know . . . It was a pretty good cut.

. . . .

JEK: So the last song you wrote for Elvis would have been the "Roustabout" number that was never released. What happened?

OB: Like I said, the publishing company, they had a little dispute . . . There were people who owned the company and there were people who worked there. And they had a split. I think Colonel Parker and the Elvis people went in one direction, and some people from the publishing company in another direction. And I think that was it -- one part of the family took the foreign rights, and the other part of the family took the United States rights. "And if you want Elvis, you must come to us", and the other part would say, "If you want Elvis, come to us". So it was hard to see who was recording Elvis.

"The Man & His Music" No. 11, pp. 30-31.
Last edited by MysteryTrain on Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Jun 05, 2003 4:33 pm

Vey interesting, Thanks for that post.
I am looking forward to hearing this track.


Thu Jun 05, 2003 5:27 pm

Thanks Mystery Train.