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."
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.
That's Someone You Never Forget (Red West-Elvis Presley)
Pot Luck (1962) + Single (1967)
You'll Be Gone (West-Presley-Hoage)
Note: Charlie Hodge's name was misspelled on the original labels!
Single (1965) + Girl Happy (1965)
If You Think I Don't Need You (West-Cooper)
Viva Las Vegas EP (1964)
If Every Day Was Like Christmas (Red West)
I've Been Blue (Red West)
It's No Fun Being Lonely (Red West)
These are 1966 home demos, taped at 10550 Rocca Place in Los Angeles.
The Home Recordings (1999)
*Later research showed "Mary Lou Brown" was originally recorded by the By Liners in 1961, with writing credits to Gerald Nelson and Charles Hodge.
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (West-Spreen)
Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas (1971)
Seeing Is Believing (Red West-Glen Spreen)
He Touched Me (1972)
Separate Ways (Red West-Richard Mainegra)
Separate Ways (West-Mainegra)
Single (1972) + Separate Ways (1972)
If You Talk in Your Sleep (Red West-Johnny Christopher)
Single (1974) + Promised Land (1975)
All label scans come from this simply amazing, very informative website -->
www.elvisrecords.com | The Elvis Presley Record Research Database
Thanks to Dixieland Rocks for the inspiration.
* If I am missing anything, please let me know.