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Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:48 am

An Excellent insight,thanks

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:42 pm

An Elvis version of "Don't Let Go" would have been a great addition to the Elvis cannon, although it would not have had any commercial impact at the time. I love Jerry Lee's version!!!

The comment about Elvis being bored in 1967 and 1977 mirrors what I think most of us know: that Elvis always needed both a mountain and a mountain range to climb, in that he always needed a big event to conquer, and a new field of labor to conquer. I think the best step he could have made was conquering serious acting. It might have kept the man alive for another 10 years.

One wonders what a recording career unencumbered by publishing restraints and squabbling would have sounded like. How many more hits would there have been? How many more classics? Would there have been more sessions in general, and would they have been more like this proposed session list?

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:00 pm

MarkyMark77 wrote:The comment about Elvis being bored in 1967 and 1977 mirrors what I think most of us know: that Elvis always needed both a mountain and a mountain range to climb, in that he always needed a big event to conquer, and a new field of labor to conquer. I think the best step he could have made was conquering serious acting. It might have kept the man alive for another 10 years.

Can't agree with you there. Elvis certainly rose to most career challenges when they were presented, but Elvis simply needed a fulfilling career with various projects in various areas. There was little variety in most eras - hence, the boredom set in. Look at the 50's: vital studio sessions, television performances, movies, etc.

MarkyMark77 wrote:One wonders what a recording career unencumbered by publishing restraints and squabbling would have sounded like. How many more hits would there have been? How many more classics? Would there have been more sessions in general, and would they have been more like this proposed session list?

Yes, with already a pretty remarkable body of work, think of how wonderful it would have been had some of the lackluster recordings been substituted with recordings comprised of quality material and quality production? The possibilities would have been endless had there not been so many restraints put into place by Elvis' management.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:07 pm

Great topic! It reminded me of an interview with Billy Strange in The Man And His Music a few years back. I looked it up, and interestingly he claims that instrumental tracks were recorded...

That was at RCA in Hollywood. I don't remember the exact circumstances that took place, but I do remember that we finally did cut tracks on that session without Elvis. He never put his vocal on them. They're still at RCA in the studio somewhere." ... "We cut some country tracks because Elvis said he wanted to do a country album. We must have cut, let's see ten or twelve songs. It was not just a four song session." ... "


Songs mentioned in the interview are "And I Tell The Sea", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and "Tonight I Won't Be There". It's in issue #76, June 2007.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:17 pm

Nice read! The rumours about those '67 sessions have been around for years in many variations. Anyway, they would have proved a nice handfull to make a real good studio album added to those "Guitar Man" sessions later that year. If only.....

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:06 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:Doc, good post...BUT...

are you sure the "Ramblin' Rose" slated for the sessions was the Nat 'King' Cole song?

I would think a much more likely contender would be Jerry Lee Lewis's 'Sun' track of the same name.

I meant to comment on this a while ago -- this is a very good observation. And the song is terrific. The only reason my initial assumption is the Cole hit is because of how many ballads he was cutting at home on Red West's stereo tape machine in that period.

I've been trying to track down all the loose ends on this, but nothing has come to fruition. Anyone else care to help?

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:38 pm

Is there any other "Ramblin' Rose" song that is different from Nat King Cole version? I mean, with different melody and lyrics?

I think it is the same Nat King Cole recorded.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:12 pm

Renan wrote:Is there any other "Ramblin' Rose" song that is different from Nat King Cole version? I mean, with different melody and lyrics?

I think it is the same Nat King Cole recorded.


Yes, the one noted, by Jerry Lee Lewis. It was cut and released while he was still a Sun Records recording artist.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:49 am

Another interesting question is what happened to those backing tracks that were purportedly laid down in Elvis' absence, according to Billy Strange. From the sounds of it (based on the interview in EMM), he doesn't have them. To me that would leave either RCA (now Sony) has them tucked away somewhere or Felton Jarvis or the engineers Jim Malloy / Al Pachucki have them.

Daryl

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:00 pm

Interesting post John & what an interesting session it would have been & one wonders how different it may or may not have made Elvis' course.

Do you or anyone else know if Billy Strange is the same Billy Strange that recorded the brilliant DIESEL SMOKE, DANGEROUS CURVES in the early to mid fifties??

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:59 pm

Daryl wrote:Another interesting question is what happened to those backing tracks that were purportedly laid down in Elvis' absence, according to Billy Strange.

Strange is prone to hyperbole -- just ask Steve Binder.

It's more likely no tracks were cut and the session straight-up cancelled.


mrbthebarber wrote:Interesting post John & what an interesting session it would have been & one wonders how different it may or may not have made Elvis' course.

Do you or anyone else know if Billy Strange is the same Billy Strange that recorded the brilliant DIESEL SMOKE, DANGEROUS CURVES in the early to mid fifties??

That is the same guy -- Strange was a talented songwriter/guitarist/session man before he got into production.

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Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves / Almanac Song (CAPITOL 2032, 1952)

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:38 am

Here's the Jerry Lee Lewis SUN single:


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I've Been Twistin' / Ramblin' Rose (SUN 374, Jan 1962)

It's too bad we can't figure out which version Billy Strange had lined up in August 1967.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:56 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Daryl wrote:Another interesting question is what happened to those backing tracks that were purportedly laid down in Elvis' absence, according to Billy Strange.

Strange is prone to hyperbole -- just ask Steve Binder.

It's more likely no tracks were cut and the session straight-up cancelled.


I think you are wrong Doc. Musicians don't get paid for just showing up without doing something. Three prime examples are the March 1971 cancelled sessions due to Elvis' eye problem. In this instance the musicians worked on James Burton's solo album. In 1969, when Elvis came down with laryngitis, the musicians continued recording backing tracks. In July 1973 when Elvis walked out due to his microphone disappearing, the musicians continued recording three backing tracks. A fouth instance would be in June 1966 when Elvis didn't go into the studio so he sent Red West in to vocalize so that backing tracks could be laid down. In January 1977, Elvis was supposed to record in Creative Workshop and when he didn't appear, backing tracks were laid down in his absence according to Buzz Cason.

Daryl

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:28 am

MC5 also perform the Jerry Lee Ramblin' Rose as the first track of their classic LP Kick Out The Jams.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:22 am

Daryl wrote:I think you are wrong Doc.

Based on what?

Daryl wrote:... the March 1971 cancelled sessions due to Elvis' eye problem. In this instance the musicians worked on James Burton's solo album.

This was done with Elvis' blessing.

Daryl wrote:In 1969, when Elvis came down with laryngitis, the musicians continued recording backing tracks.

This was because Chips and the band wanted to, not because of a financial impetus. They also cut backing tracks while Elvis was hanging around in the engineering booth with Chips.

Daryl wrote: In July 1973 when Elvis walked out due to his microphone disappearing, the musicians continued recording three backing tracks.

In this example, everyone hoped Elvis would return.

Note: when Presley stormed out of a Nashville session in June 1971, no one stuck around to cut more tracks because they knew he was not coming back, much like August 1967.

Daryl wrote:In January 1977, Elvis was supposed to record in Creative Workshop and when he didn't appear, backing tracks were laid down in his absence according to Buzz Cason.

Yes, and like the Aug 1967 "tracks," no one has ever heard or seen a single one.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:21 pm

Wrong again Doc.

Note: when Presley stormed out of a Nashville session in June 1971, no one stuck around to cut more tracks because they knew he was not coming back, much like August 1967.

The purpose of the June 1971 session was to try to improve on the May versions of "Until It's Time For You To Go" and "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" and flesh out the gospel album. They also worked on "My Way" as a future single release. That's why nothing else was planned and that's why no backing tracks were recorded. They had practically achieved their agenda with the exception of "My Way" which is the day he walked out. If you'd like you can elaborate on what exactly Elvis wanted to do after "My Way" but I seriously doubt you can. The June 1971 session is very similiar to the September 1970 session in that Elvis during that session was looking to flesh out the country album and record a future single, which he did. One of the reasons Elvis was upset during the June sessions is that Elvis requested the Jordanaires and was only able to get 3/4 of the group sans Neal Matthews. Neal Matthews purportedly was working on his garden when the phone call came and he never returned the call so Bergen White subbed in for him instead. It's a bit of a sore point that the Jordanaires don't speak too much about. I think Neal Matthews regrets not answering that phone call because that was the last time the Jordanaires (3/4's of them) worked with Elvis in the studio. If you read the liner notes to the CD reissue of Bergen White's LP "For Women Only" even he doesn't go into detail about this. He just says that Elvis came into the studio, threw headphones against the wall for some reason, shook hands and left with the entourage.

In 1967, there was always the possibility that Elvis could go into a studio at a later date and lay down vocals to those backing tracks. In fact he did the same thing in 1968 during the "Live A Little, Love a Little" sessions which Billy Strange oversaw. During that session they recorded the backing track to "Almost In Love" and a few days later Elvis laid down the vocal.

Just because you have never heard something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or that it didn't exist. Tapes get lost, erased, destroyed, etc; especially when we are talking about events that happened 30-40+ years ago. Just because you have an issue with Billy Strange doesn't mean that he is lying. You can't fool me Doc. You believe what Steve Binder has said negatively about Billy Strange in EMM and it clouds your judgement. Bottom line is that has nothing whatsoever to do with the August 1967 sessions. If I recall correctly, I believe Steve Binder responded to the article in EMM about Billy Strange. Why? What purpose does it serve? A year after the article in EMM, Steve was writing his own book about the '68 televsion special --> "'68 At 40." If he wanted to address the issue about the discrepancy between his opinion and Billy Strange's, that is the place to do it; not in a fan magazine.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:46 pm

Daryl wrote:Wrong again Doc.

Don't think so. Please, though, let us know when the August 1967 tracks surface.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:55 am

Please let me know what Elvis had planned on recording after My Way during the June 1971 sessions.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:43 am

Here are the two versions of "Ramblin' Rose":


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MC5 - "Ramblin' Rose" (1970)


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Nat "King" Cole - "Ramblin' Rose" (1962)


Which one was slated for Elvis' session? They are very different songs.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:25 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Here are the two versions of "Ramblin' Rose":


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MC5 - "Ramblin' Rose" (1970)


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Nat "King" Cole - "Ramblin' Rose" (1962)


Which one was slated for Elvis' session? They are very different songs.


I would bet money Elvis was going to cover Nat King Cole's ''Ramblin rose'' instead of any of the other songs with the same name.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:01 am

If what Elvis recorded in the studio prior to this aborted session has any weight, then I would have to think that the Marijohn Wilkin-Fred Burch version has a very good possibility of being the version Elvis was considering. Given that he had previously recorded a few other songs written by Fred Burch for the Easy Come, Easy Go soundtrack ("Sing You Children" "The Love Machine" and "Yoga Is As Yoga Does") Now, granted they aren't the greatest songs Elvis ever recorded, but I would think that Fred Burch started submitting songs to Elvis' camp around that time of the aborted sessions and "Ramblin' Rose" was just another submission. Also note too that those three songs from "Easy Come, Easy Go" came from one of Elvis' publishing companies. Also note that Elvis didn't ever record a Joe Sherman-Noel Sherman penned song. I'm not saying that it's definitely the Wilkin-Burch song but I think you could make a good argument for their version as well.

Daryl

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:29 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Here's the Jerry Lee Lewis SUN single:


ImageImage

I've Been Twistin' / Ramblin' Rose (SUN 374, Jan 1962)

It's too bad we can't figure out which version Billy Strange had lined up in August 1967.

Well ... my vote now goes towards Elvis covering the version we hear by Jerry Lee (and later, by the MC5).

Just found -->


Jerry Lee Lewis - "Ramblin' Rose" (Sun 374, Jan 1962) <-- (click this)


It's very close to the R&B tracks Elvis DID cut in Nashville in September 1967, like "Big Boss Man."

A tip of the cap to KingOfTheJungle, who was the first to mention that the Fred Burch and Marijohn Wilkin song might be the one Billy Strange had slated for Elvis that summer.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:50 am

The song list is interesting in that none of those tracks listed were recorded at the session less than a month later.

This would suggest that they might have been a "bienstalk" wish list rather than a firm intention by Elvis.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:19 am

KiwiAlan wrote:This would suggest that they might have been a "bienstalk" wish list rather than a firm intention by Elvis.

This is incorrect. Please revisit the opening post.

Re: A Strange Session --> August 22, 1967

Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:48 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
KiwiAlan wrote:This would suggest that they might have been a "bienstalk" wish list rather than a firm intention by Elvis.

This is incorrect. Please revisit the opening post.



Well your post is wrong!

If Billy Strange and Elvis were so keen on recording these tracks...then how they didn't do so just a few weeks later.

I contend that they were possibilities that Elvis rejected. What other explanation can there be.