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Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:40 am

RED WEST: SONGS FOR ELVIS

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Elvis, Red West - Saturday, December 5, 1970, Las Vegas, NV


Elvis' Memphis-born friend, Robert "Red" West, knew the singer from 1952 to 1976, contributing companionship, camaraderie, protection, football, stunt man work, music jams, good humour and advice. Of course, when that advice included a discussion of his friend's increasing and detrimental use of pharmaceuticals, he was soon out of the inner circle forever. A controversial, and much misunderstood, "tell-all" book -- and August 16, 1977 -- came all too soon.

West soldiered on, expanding on his acting career, and is still active today at 76, having recently been praised for his work in Ramin Bahrani's 2009 film, "Goodbye Solo."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye_Solo

And ... Red wrote several terrific songs for his friend, two of which are Presley's only legitimate songwriter credits.

In case you wondered what they are, below is a complete listing.*

This list is in chronological order by date of recording, and the credits are as they appeared on the original labels.

Thanks, Red, for the music -- and more.


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THE SONGS



That's Someone You Never Forget (Red West-Elvis Presley)
Pot Luck (1962) + Single (1967)

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You'll Be Gone (West-Presley-Hoage)
Note: Charlie Hodge's name was misspelled on the original labels!
Single (1965) + Girl Happy (1965)

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If You Think I Don't Need You (West-Cooper)
Viva Las Vegas EP (1964)

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If Every Day Was Like Christmas (Red West)
Single (1966)

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I've Been Blue (Red West)
It's No Fun Being Lonely (Red West)
Mary Lou Brown (Red West)

These are 1966 home demos, taped at 10550 Rocca Place in Los Angeles.
The Home Recordings (1999)

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Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (West-Spreen)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas (1971)

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Seeing Is Believing (Red West-Glen Spreen)
He Touched Me (1972)

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Separate Ways (Red West-Richard Mainegra)
Separate Ways (West-Mainegra)

Single (1972) + Separate Ways (1972)

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If You Talk in Your Sleep (Red West-Johnny Christopher)
Single (1974) + Promised Land (1975)

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All label scans come from this simply amazing, very informative website -->

www.elvisrecords.us | The Elvis Presley Record Research Database
http://www.elvisrecords.us/


Thanks to Dixieland Rocks for the inspiration.


* If I am missing anything, please let me know.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975

Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:45 am

Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas (1971)
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (West-Spreen)


One of my favorite Christmas songs and recordings by Elvis...
I assume Glen Spreen was credited more for the arrangement of the songs than the music or lyrics... is that the case?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975

Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:00 am

Thank you Doc, just what I was looking for.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975

Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:53 am

Dixieland Rocks wrote:Thank you Doc, just what I was looking for.

What made you get interested in Red's songwriting for Elvis?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:58 am

I agree, Doc, Red wrote some fantastic songs. I like them all, but “Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees” is my favorite.

In regard to Red being Elvis’ friend, would a friend be part of writing a "tell-all" book? I don’t think so. IMO you don't do that to a friend, no matter how angry you are.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:08 am

EPA4368 wrote:I agree, Doc, Red wrote some fantastic songs. I like them all, but “Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees” is my favorite.

It is probably mine as well, by far the best original track on the 1971 Christmas album.

EPA4368 wrote:In regard to Red being Elvis’ friend, would a friend be part of writing a "tell-all" book?

That issue is far more complex than this topic is meant for -- this is about Red's contribution to Elvis' recording legacy.

Suffice to say, I do not share your view. Red was definitely one of Elvis' very best friends.

Check out my post on this topic for more:
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=45106&p=616453&#p616453

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:15 am

Thanks. Now tell us about "Just Relax" that ultimately was recorded by Rick Nelson included on his 1964 Decca record. Did Red offer the song to EP first ?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:52 am

Red was one of, if not THE good guy in Elvis' entourage, and I like his writing skills a lot... a multi-talented person. :smt002
Last edited by JimmyCool on Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:52 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Dixieland Rocks wrote:Thank you Doc, just what I was looking for.

What made you get interested in Red's songwriting for Elvis?



I saw the clip of GK & Red on another thread. Red started to name all the songs he wrote (that Elvis recorded), but never finished the list. It just got me thinking about it.

Thanks again for all the info,
Dixieland Rocks

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:03 am

Red West has 136 song titles registered with BMI.

He won a BMI Music Award for "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:22 am

Separate Ways and Holly Leave And Xmas Trees...are my faves..

Thanks,..John..great posting.

::rocks

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:25 am

Thanks for the thread, doc!
My favorite Red West' composition is If Everyday Was Like Christmas.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:44 am

Great posting, fantastic as usual.

Thank you, Doc!

I must admit I liked "I've Been Blue..." :oops:

Did some other artist record that song (in its entirety)?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:21 am

Doc,Did Red carry on writing songs past the 1970s?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:37 am

Here is some songs Red wrote that other artists recorded.

You got to wonder if Red offered these to Elvis first.

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Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:22 am

I believe Red West's actual first name is Bobby not Robert

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:25 am

He wrote some very good songs. I like most of them.


I believe he did know him until 1977...
drjohncarpenter wrote:Elvis' Memphis-born friend, Robert "Red" West, knew the singer from 1952 to 1976

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:33 am

jacob wrote:Doc,Did Red carry on writing songs past the 1970s?

If so, I've not heard them.


brian wrote:I believe Red West's actual first name is Bobby not Robert

No, his full name is Robert Gene West. His nicknames are "Bobby" and "Red."


Scarre wrote:I believe he did know him until 1977...

Of course, but not as a friend.

Red never saw Elvis after July 1976, and they last spoke on the phone in October 1976.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:00 pm

I have always admired Red for not completely relying on his association with Elvis for personal gain over the years.He's proven himself a very multi talented individual.He strikes me as a person who wants to get by on his own merits.Surely one of the best,if not the best friend Elvis ever had.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:21 pm

Great info on Red!

If You Talk In Your Sleep has always been a favorite of mine, but I'm curious about the lyric. Elvis' version starts with "I know you're a lonely woman, but I love you". I heard a version by Little Milton that starts, "I know you're a married woman, but I love you".

I like Elvis' version much better than Milton's, but "married woman" makes more sense in this song. Was Elvis self censoring himself? What is the original lyric?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:29 pm

Somehow Elvis does not look like he did just a few months earlier. Things had visibly changed. I wonder if the death threat of the previous Vegas stint is an underestimated factor in the development of the psyche and habits of Elvis.
Gone is that innocent, natural confidence, replaced by something i have no words for yet.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:33 pm

Red was one of the good guys around Elvis, despite the feelings of some who believe he wronged him. A talented actor and songwriter, Red has lived a pretty interesting life.

And, without question, he was one of Elvis's best friends.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:50 pm

He did some very good songs for Elvis. Wish Presley would've done some more
Red also wrote this one:

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Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:02 pm

Red has always been my favorite of the "Mafia" guys. Everytime I read of the firing in 1976, I can't help but wonder how much in royalities he's collected vs the menial pay thay were given at the time of separation.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:03 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:I've Been Blue (Red West)
It's No Fun Being Lonely (Red West)
Mary Lou Brown (Red West)

These are 1966 home demos, taped at 10550 Rocca Place in Los Angeles.
The Home Recordings (1999)

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Great thread, Doc. I didn't realize there were 3 other songs written by Red West that are home recordings. Will need to check them out.