Here's a little background on the RCA Hollywood studio session for Elvis Presley that never was, and only revealed by RCA's Ernst Jørgensen
many years after the fact. It was producer Billy Strange
's first shot at revitalizing Presley's recording career. Songs were carefully chosen, hot Los Angeles musicians booked.
Can you imagine how bummed Billy must have felt when he got the news to ... call off the session?
The work set for Tuesday, August 22, 1967 became a very strange, last-minute cancellation. Although the explanation has always been that an incident involving Presley associate Richard Davis
shut down the session date (driving one of Elvis' cars, he hit and killed a gardener who had unexpectedly stepped off a curb), research proves this actually occurred in 1963! So ... it remains a mystery to this day why management told Elvis to immediately vacate his Rocco Place house and fly to Las Vegas.
The song list in Billy's capable hands was prone to change, and did so right up to the August 22 deadline. Elvis submitted tons of suggestions, and many were of a more uptempo nature than the final selections, such as Roy Hamilton
's wonderful rhythmic rocker, "Don't Let Go."
The assembled Los Angeles musicians and vocalists, like Al Casey
, Chuck Berghofer
, B.J. Baker
, Thurl Ravenscroft
and Larry Knechtel
, would eventually pop up at Presley sessions led by Strange in March and October 1968, and for June 1968 sessions in support of Steve Binder
's NBC-TV Special.
The unused titles noted in Ernst's book, JAT's session journals, and elsewhere are:Here Comes Tomorrow (Charles Singleton, Horace Ott)
- unknown song!Ramblin' Rose (Noel Sherman, Joe Sherman)
hit for Nat "King" Cole
in September 1962
- Nat "King" Cole - Ramblin' RoseEDIT:
this selection may actually be a different, rockin' song issued in 1962, and covered again in 1965!Ramblin' Rose (Fred Burch, Marijohn Wilkin)
- a Jerry Lee Lewis
B-side released in January 1962
- very much reminiscent of Ray Charles
' "What'd I Say"
- interestingly, songwriter Fred Burch
placed three tunes on Elvis' 1967 "Easy Come, Easy Go" soundtrack EP
- Jerry Lee Lewis And his pumping piano - Ramblin' Rose(Love Is Like A) Ramblin' Rose (Fred Burch, Marijohn Wilkin, Obrey Wilson)
- stunning uptempo cover released in 1965 by Ted Taylor
and produced by Billy Sherrill
- Taylor was a former member of the Cadets
, the doo-wop vocal group who first cut “Stranded In The Jungle”
- see: http://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/thebookofseth/ted-taylor-im-so-satisfied-love-is-like-a-ramblin-rose
- Ted Taylor - (Love Is Like A) Ramblin' RoseI Tell The Sea (Tom Jones, Gordon Mills)
- waxed by Tom Jones
in 1965 ... Mills was also Tom's manager
- Tom Jones - I Tell The SeaBrown-Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry)
- One of the great rockers, released in 1956 as a B-side
- Elvis sang it at "Million Dollar Quartet" jam that December, all spoke in awe of Berry's songwriting prowess
- Chuck Berry - Brown-Eyed Handsome ManI'll Never Find Another You (Tom Springfield)
hit in 1965 for the Seekers
- British Invasion-era folk-rock tune, very '60s, replete with 12-string guitar, a la the Byrds
- country artist Sonny James
also had a hit with it in 1967
- Seekers - I'll Never Find Another YouTonight I Won't Be There (Arthur Kent, Ed Warren)
- 1961 ballad by r&b singer Adam Wade
- earlier that year made #7
with "Take Good Care Of Her" which Elvis covered in 1973
- Adam Wade - Tonight I Won't Be ThereBaby What You Want Me To Do (Jimmy Reed)
- classic 1959 blues shuffle which hit r&B top ten in 1960
- Elvis performed it at the "Clambake" after-party in April 1967
- cut classic live version during small combo jams taped for 1968 NBC-TV SpecialJimmy Reed - Baby What You Want Me To Do
Pretty cool session, it might have been.
Instead, because of what happened, RCA's Felton Jarvis
won a reprieve of sorts, and was assigned three straight Presley sessions in Nashville in September and October 1967 and January 1968, with some success.
If anyone knows more, please share.
-----This topic was inspired by FECC member Bodie, thanks!
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:51 pm, edited 7 times in total.