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Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:36 pm


A Publicity Still taken around the time of the movie 'Love Me Tender',
September 1956.

Los Angeles, 1950's


A letter from Steve Sholes to Colonel Parker in relation to the first album.
In the end both 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy and 'Shake Rattle & Roll' didn't make
the second album either,and were first released on the EP EPA830
in September 1956.

Date : August 31st 1956,
On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, Mr. Sholes visited the set of 'Love Me Tender' at 20th Century Fox, and Colonel got him into a broad-brimmed straw hat while donning a fake goatee and mustache himself for a photograph with other RCA executives to commemorate the occasion.

RCA singles division chief, Bill Bullock, Elvis, RCA Producer Steve Sholes.

The September 1-3, 1956 session at Radio Recorders was the first-ever time,that Elvis has visited the studios. Many more would follow in the next ten years.

At 12:00pm Colonel Parker,Elvis and Gene Smith,Elvis' cousin arrived at Radio Recorders in Hollywood,where a large studio about the size of two large living rooms was reserved for Elvis' recording session. The doors were locked on the outside,inside sat a special guard,sitting watch over an "ADMIT ONLY list. After greeting the Colonel, he guided us to a side door.

Elvis walks across the studio,seating himself at the piano,his cousin takes one of a dozen folding chairs leaning against the wall and seats himself just outside the glassed-in sound booth. Colonel Parker enters the booth to greet Mr.Steve Sholes,RCA manager of Specialty Artists and Repertoire,Mr W.W. Bullock,Manager of RCA records Division,Mr Robert Mosley,RCA Victor's West Coast Sales Promotion Manager and Engineer Thorne Nogar ,all the men are dressed in casual denims and sport shirts. Elvis is wearing black slacks,yellow socks,red checked shirt,and black oxfords with red inserts.

Following Photograph's Dated : Saturday September 1st 1956.
Location : Radio Recorders Studio's,Hollywood


(Above and Below)L-R Neal Mattews,Hoyt Hawkins,Elvis at the piano,Hugh Jarrett and Gordon Stoker.The photo's above and below look to be taken just a small time apart,though the microphone that Elvis is using is of different types.


Warming at the piano,Elvis runs his hands idly along the keys.At the sound of the first note,The Jordanaires, led by Gordon Stoker,came in from the hall coffee machine,cups in hand,they join Elvis around the piano.After a few opening bars of the old standard 'Blue Moon' which Elvis plays hauntingly,eyes almost closed,he breaks into a raucous 'Hound Dog',singing playing, and tapping both feet at the same time,the music penetrating the end of the corridor,summons guitarist Scotty Moore,drummer D.J Fontana and Bass player Bill Black from the coffee machine


Bones Howe Recording Engineer : I'd worked with Elvis as an engineer at Radio Recorders back in the 50's and he really ran his own recording sessions. I mean, Steve Sholes,the RCA guy from Nashville, just sat there and ran the clock. (<) So what it boils down to was Elvis produced his own records. He came to the session, picked the songs, and if something in the arrangement was changed, he was the one to change it. Everything was worked out spontaneously. Nothing was really rehearsed. Many of the important decisions normally made previous to a recording session were made during the session. What it was was a look to the future. Today everybody makes records this way. Back then Elvis was the only one. He was the forerunner of everything that's record production these days. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone imitated him. People started doing what Elvis did.<

It was always about the music,he would keep working on a song,and he would listen to it played back, and his criterion was always,did it make him feel good? He didn't care if there were little mistakes,he was interested in anything that would make magic out of the record. The sessions were always fun,there was great energy,he was always doing something that was innovative. It was always about whether you had a feeling for music or not,whether you felt what he felt,that's why he liked Thorne (Nogar) so much.

Thorne was a very genuine, sincere person, and he wanted Elvis to be completely happy with the records. The trick was that there was no trick. Thorne was there, and the studio was there-it was a level playing field. So he could just come in and do what felt good.


(Above)L-R Neal Mattews,Hugh Jarrett,Elvis at the piano,Gene Smith,and Steve Sholes.


L-R Steve Sholes sat foreground,Hugh Jarrett stood behind him,Elvis centre,with Hoyt Hawkins and Gordon Stoker look over to Scotty Moore on the right of frame with his 1954 L5 CESN.


(Above)L-R Back Row Gordon Stoker,Hoyt Hawkins,Neal Mattews,Hugh Jarrett.Elvis at piano

(The same photo,though the smaller one is uncropped),L-R Back Row Gene Smith,Gordon Stoker,Hoyt Hawkins,Neal Mattews,Hugh Jarrett,Bill Black.Elvis at piano

Saturday September 1 1956
Radio Recorders - West Hollywood,California

Producer : Steve Sholes
Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Assistant : Bones Howe

1.00pm - 4.00pm 5.00pm - 8.00pm

Guitar : Elvis Presley
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Bass : Bill Black
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Piano : Elvis Presley

Backup Vocals : The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett

1.Playing For Keeps
2.Love Me
3.How Do You Think I Feel
4.How's The World Treating You

Recording notes^
(A) 'Paralyzed' was attempted but the band couldn't work the arrangement properly,the number was abandoned after only one take.

(B) 'I Almost Lost My Mind' was considered but quickly rejected,Original version recorded October 21 1949 on the MGM label written and recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter 10578. Elvis had this record in his collection.

(C) 'I Need You So',was next but the song didn't really work any better than 'Paralyzed'.Originally written and recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter on MGM K10663 - Elvis later recorded the track on February 23 1957


Stan Kesler : 'Playing For Keeps' - I took that to Sam Phillips, Barbara Pittman cut the demo on that for me, we did it over at the Cotton Club on a slow night. I put in a little tape recorder and I brought it to Sam. He liked it and told me he'd get it to Elvis,and that's what happened. At the time it was (biggest song of mine by Elvis) because he was with RCA by then and it was on the B-side of 'Too Much' which was a No.1 record. That record had a million orders before it was released. It was a big one.(*)

Barbara Pittman : Well,Elvis had iintroduced me to Sam Philips,and I went down and did an audition for him. He told me to go out and learn how to sing and then come back,now Marion Keisker told me to go out and learn how to type or get married.

I was really a shy kid,I was shaking so hard that when I'd get around Elvis he'd call me his vibrator 'Hey my back hurts, lean against me' .Elvis and I were close friends,but we were never really what you call lovers.We dated and everything,but I wasn't his type.

So I went back and made a demo for Elvis called 'Playing For Keeps',something that Stanley Kesler had written,in Elvis' key and style and Elvis bought it. I went back with the demo which we made at the Cotton Club.Stanley took the demo over to Sam, Well Sam listened to it and said, 'my Lord who the heck is that?'. He liked what he heard. Just think, and I was told a year earlier that I didn't have enough talent to sing.(**)

Playing For Keeps' - Takes 1-18,spliced from takes 7 &18


Songwriter Mike Stoller Love Me - It was the worst song we ever wrote ! Elvis' version of 'Love Me' became a big hit on the charts and was never released as a singe. It was part of an EP,to be honest when we first wrote 'Love Me' we were thinking of it as sort of a takeoff, a Homer & Jethro type of thing. It's got all these masochistic lyrics.'Treat me like a fool,treat me mean and cruel but love me',it could have been a joke,but Elvis' performance makes it genuinely touching.

Elvis learned both Love Me (and How Do You Think I Feel) from Jimmie Rodgers Snow. Snow released RCA singles of each in 1954 and 1955, and they toured together in early-to-mid 1955.

The original Willie & Ruth version (and other versions prior to Elvis' recording) included one verse that Elvis did not include."Every night I pray,to the stars that shine,above me/ begging on my knees, all I ask is please,please love me".

Takes 1-9,Master is take 9.
Elvis performed the number on the Ed Sullivan Show on the 28th October 1956. The only real difference being that the studio cut was done at a slower pace.

Billboard C&W Reviews page in 1955


was originally recorded in 1954 by Jimmie Rodgers Snow,Elvis tried cutting "How Do You Think I Feel" at Sun in March 1955.
Takes 1-7,take 7 is the master.


The Studio booth : Elvis do you want to quit now?
Elvis : No,let's do one more.

It was eight o'clock when they began , the record came hard,it was a slow, melancholy tune. Elvis worked hard trying to project the feeling in the song. They went through playbacks and each time Elvis retreated from the bank,listening intently by himself.Playback periods were mostly trying for time because he had to judge and evaluate his own effort. It was here that his all around musical ability and knowledge were made apparent,he pointed out to the engineer that they needed more volume in one spot,discussed a musical bridge with one of the musicians,or lyrics with the Jordanaires,nothing short of perfection suited him.If everybody else was perfect and he himself thought he could do better,he would say,"I would like to try it again.

He was not satisfied with this final number,finally Colonel Parker spoke up from the booth,suggesting,"Elvis,put a tear in your voice." Elvis nodded and gave the sign to begin.The final take was rolling. Immediately after the final note

Thorne Nogar ( with extreme excitement) : That's it,that's it! It sounded good from the start
Elvis : I know,it felt good from the first note, let's hear it.
Elvis : That is sure is a sad song...
Thorne Nogar : It sure is,but it's a great one!
Steve Sholes : That one was very good,Elvis you can really feel it.
Elvis : Yeah, it sure is a sad one, you know I don't think I will ever be a singer.

Dane Bryant son of songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant who co-wrote 'How's the World Treating You' with Chet Atkins : One of the gifts that my father had was that being a trained musician,he had access to that act,he could write for that act. I remember him talking about Eddy Arnold, how Eddy Arnold could say the word 'world' better than most,and that's the reason they wrote 'How's the World Treating You' which he and Chet Atkins wrote,my father co-wrote with a few people and Chet Atkins was one of them. Chet would give him a melody,or they would get something started and then my dad would finish it. He would usually finish it with mum,but it would say Boudleaux and Atkins.A lot of people didn't think Mom wrote songs,they just thought Dad put her name on it,she helped finish 'How's the World Treating You'.>>

Takes 1- 7,Master is spliced from take 7 & unknown
L-R Gene Smith,Gordon Stoker,Elvis at the piano,Hoyt Hawkins,and Neil Mattews


The same image as above,but full frame,revealing both Hugh Jarrett and Bill Black right of frame.


Engineer Thorne Nogar,Elvis and Producer Steve Sholes

Cropped version of the photo above. Thorne Nogar and Elvis



"Hey,that sounds good bill", L- R Bill Black on Bass,Hugh Jarrett,Gordon Stoker(both masked)Elvis,D.J. Fontana on drums in the background.

L - R Hoyt Hawkins,Elvis at the piano

L - R Elvis at the piano, Hoyt Hawkins and Neal Mattews in the background.



L- R Colonel Parker,Elvis,and Steve Sholes.

L- R Elvis,Bill Black and Steve Sholes

Elvis listen's to playback's with Hoyt Hawkins leaning against the piano.

Bones Howe Recording Engineer : We were working on a song, and it was going great until it got to the end and somebody played the wrong chord,Elvis went, 'Oh God, that was perfect. That was exactly the feel I wanted; everything I wanted! So I said, Why don't we just get him to do the last chord, and I'll cut it on.' We did that all the time.Elvis had never seen anybody cut tape before. In those days there were no cutting blocks; you just held the tape in your hand and cut it with a pair of scissors. Elvis was fascinated, and I thought afterwards, 'Oh, now he's going to want to cut every song; he's going to want to fix every mistake.' But he wasn't that way. If it wasn't something really glaringly awful, if it felt right and sounded right, that was it.<>


Following Photograph's Dated as : Sunday 2nd /Monday 3rd September 1956
Location : Radio Recorders,Hollywood


L-R Gordon Stoker,Elvis,Neal Mattews(masked)Hugh Jarrett


Scotty Moore holding his 1954 L5 CESN Guitar > and Elvis

September 2 1956
Radio Recorders - West Hollywood,California

Producer : Steve Sholes
Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Assitant : Bones Howe

1.00pm - 4.00pm 4.30pm - 7.30pm 8.00pm - 11.00pm

Guitar : Elvis Presley
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Bass : Bill Black
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Piano : Elvis Presley (Old Shep)
Piano : Gordon Stoker (Anyplace Is Paradise)

Backup Vocals:
The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett

Paralyzed (Insert)
Paralyzed (Composite Master)
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
Long Tall Sally
Old Shep
Too Much
Too Much (Insert)
Too Much (Composite Master)
Anyplace Is Paradise



The number is fast moving,rhythmic with only a single break. After a brief conversation with Scotty to bring up the guitar background in one spot,Elvis is ready to record.

Mr. Sholes : Ready Elvis?"
Elvis : Once more through,please
Three times the number is rehearsed
Mr. Sholes : Okay now?
Elvis : Okay
Mr. Sholes : We're rolling...
12.30pm First playback
Elvis : Let's do it again
Mr Sholes : What's wrong,Elvis?
Elvis : I was ahead of the Jordanaires for a couple of bars..we have to be in unison
Mr. Sholes : Okay we're rolling
The red light blinks once more
The second playback
Mr Sholes : That sounded good to us,what do you think,Elvis?
Elvis : Sounds fine
The master record was ready for pressing.
Mr. Sholes : Let's take a break..
lighting cigarettes,the Jordanaires and the bandsmen relax where they stand,Elvis dosn't smoke.
Takes 1-10,Master take is 10.
Elvis performed the number on the Ed Sullivan show on the 6th of January 1957,and is very close to the studio version,except when Elvis makes a point of excluding the instrumental break.


A letter from Steve Sholes to Colonel Parker dated August the 24th 1956,with possible material to be recorded at the September Session's,the list may contain some of the number's Elvis listened to and rejected.

From the first list :
1. Anyplace Is Paradise - Recorded by Elvis on September 2nd 1956
2. I' Ain't A Studying You,Baby - Not recorded by Elvis/rejected
3. Naughty Mama - Not recorded by Elvis/rejected.
4. Too Much - Recorded by Elvis September 2nd 1956.
From the second list :
6. Your Secret's Safe With Me - Not recorded by elvis/rejected.
7. Shake A Hand - Not recorded by Elvis at the September 56 sessions,but eventually recorded on March 12th 1975. written by trumpeter and bandleader Joe Morris and originally performed by Faye Adams, whose version hit number one on the R&B chart for nine weeks.
8. I'll Be True - is a 1953 song by Faye Adams. Faye Adams' second R&B chart entry resulted a second number one on the chart,and stayed at number one for one week and was backed by the Joe Morris Orchestra.
9. Playing For Keeps - Recorded by Elvis on September 2nd 1956.
10. I Almost Lost My Mind - Was written by Ivory Joe Hunter and was published in 1950. Hunter's recording of the song was a number one hit on the R&B charts in that year. Not recorded by Elvis/rejected.
11. Ooby Dooby -Recorded by Roy Orbison on the 5th 1956,and RCA Victor artist Janis Martin,not recorded by Elvis /rejected
12. Rock N' Roll Ruby - Recorded by Warren Smith on the Sun label 239,not recorded by Elvis/rejected
13. Rock Around The Clock - Written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (Jimmy De Knight)in 1952. Recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets in 1954.Not recorded by Elvis/rejected
14. Stop Beatin' Round The Mulberry Bush - by Bicley Reichner & Clay Boland,released on Essex Records in November 1952.Not recorded by Elvis/rejected


Studio P.A. : Besides the music you've already picked,we have four more sides to fill in this album,Elvis..and there are some new demos in here you might like,want to hear them now?

Elvis : Okay
The first demo is played

Gordon Stoker : We didn't rehearse much, when he came to a session you'd had demo's to listen to. He didn't know, and we didn't know what we were going to do at a recording session until he got there. Freddy Bienstock brought in a stack of demo's and we'd listen to them for hours before he'd decide which ones to record.

Hugh Jarrett : He used us on everything that required vocal backing. We worked on almost every side he cut during those years. Not everything because some things didn't require a vocal group, but we were on most of his records from that time.We had been doing a lot of studio work and these were 'head' sessions - somebody would say 'Let's try this here' we'd run through it, he'd sing the song and we'd contribute what we felt. If we liked it,we did it, and if we didn't, we didn't, and of course if he did't like it, nobody did it. He was very acceptable to our ideas as far as the vocal background was concerned,but at the same time he did not hesitate to let us know if he had an idea that he wanted to try out. He was the boss.~

Scotty Moore : If the band wasn't able to do it the way he wanted,he'd just say,well, do whatever you can do,then.

Thorne Nogar : He ran the session,he would be right in the centre of everything,like with the Jordanaires when he sang,we would set it up with a unidirectional mike,so he would be standing right in front of them,facing them,and they would have their own directional microphone,and they would be singing to one another. He could spend two hours on a tune and then just throw it away.


Songwriter Otis Blackwell : I had the chance a couple of times (to meet Elvis) I was invited down by the Presley people. But, things were going so well, I was - considered one of the top writers and was doing a lot of records. I figured that if I split, I might've lost' it, so I didn't go anywhere.(Why 'Paralyzed' was never released as a single)The story I got was that, because of the word 'paralyzed' a lot of organizations got down on the thing, so they wouldn't release it as a single. At least that was the case here in the US - in Europe. It didn't hurt anybody.I used to sing all my own demos, and I thought that (he) did justice to the songs,and put the kind of feeling into it that I felt.

The number would continue to be pushed,such as on the forthcoming Ed Sullivan appearance's
From Colonel Parker -"Regarding the ballad for your next show,I would like to make the following suggestions. At present we plan to use the other side of the new record titled "Any Way You Want Me" and also the new novelty tune "Paralized"."The songs for the Sullivan Show will be "Anyway Way You Want Me","Paralyzed",and "Love Me" You can check with Hill and Range,Mr Freddy Bienstock for further details."

A wonderful insight into Elvis' thoughts on the number can be found on the BMG The Complete Million Dollar Quartet CD ,with Elvis introducing the number whilst talking about 'Billy Ward and the Dominoes' version of 'Don't Be Cruel' recorded on December 4th at Sun Studios,Memphis.

Elvis : What key did I do that 'Paralyzed ' end?...You know Carl?(Perkins)....All I got do is stand there Paralyzed...that's that's the way I thought about recording it,after it came out,I thought about doing it,the same way he done 'Don't Be Cruel' you know..."It says errr .....When you looked into my eyes,Slow you know," . This may have been how Elvis approached the various live versions during 1957.


Take 1-4,take 4 is the master.

Art Rupe - Long Tall Sally I produced out here in Los Angeles,the version that came out,what they had done in New Orleans wasn't acceptable and the title of it then was called 'The Thing',there was a horror movie out at the time,and Richard called it 'The Thing'. When I told them I didn't like that,they came up with 'Bald Head Sally and then we came up with 'Long Tall Sally'.

Writer and A & R man (for Specialty Records) Robert Blackwell, and Little Richard's dismay, the song "Tutti Frutti" was covered by pop crooner Pat Boone who took the song higher on the pop charts (#12) than their original version had. They then decided that their next single would have faster-paced lyrics that Pat Boone couldn't replicate. Around this time, popular disc jockey Honey Chile introduced Robert to a young girl named Enortis Johnson who had the notion of writing a song for Little Richard to record to raise money for an operation needed by her Aunt Mary. The "song" was actually a piece of paper which read: "Saw Uncle John with Long Tall Sally, they saw Aunt Mary coming so they ducked back in the alley."

Not wanting to upset this influential DJ, Robert took the song to Little Richard. They decided, after experimenting with the lyrics, that the phrasing could be sung rather quickly which would suit their purposes. Between Robert and Little Richard, they finished the song and recorded it for their follow-up single. Although the working titles used for the song included "The Thing" and "Bald Headed Sally," they went with "Long Tall Sally" as the title and it became his biggest hit to date, scoring a #6 hit on the Billboard pop charts .Little Richard recorded his version on February 10th 1956,and released in March 1956.

Note : Elvis is said to have performed this number live as early as April 13th 1956,in Texas.RCA released a live version from Las Vegas Venus Room, New Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas,on May 6th 1956.


Elvis was back at the piano,rehearsing again,They worked for half an hour cutting one record after another,but,each time Elvis reached the middle of the song,he burst out laughing,"I can't help,those words reminds me of my dog back home,"They tried a third and fourth time,but each time,halfway through Elvis broke up the song,finally,he disciplined himself,and the song was finished.

Take 1-5,Take 1 is the master,take 5 was used by mistake on 'Elvis'.


Scotty Moore remembers recording 'Too Much',with a description of it being "ancient psychedelia" : We did several takes,but I got lost on that one,but back in those days you didn't have multi-track,you didn't go back and fix somethin',and you did't stop until they stopped you from the control room - you kept goin' . I just kept chunking away, I didn't make any mistakes,but it wasn't the same solo I played on the other takes,somehow I came out of it exactly where I was supposed to be. I forgot what key the thing was in,an oddball key for guitar to begin with,and I got absolutely lost and just kept on playing and finally recovered somehow or another..I have never been able to duplicate it exactly,I've come close,but not to the exact notes,that must have been the take they liked,it felt better than the others,so they released it. If someone missed a note or somethin' back then it wasn't a big deal - it was the feel that was important,if it feels good it's fine. I can listen back to that stuff and find bunches of clinkers,y'know - Bill would be playin' in one key and we'd be playin' in another.

He (Elvis) knew I had gotten lost,but he loved the way it turned out,when the song ended(playback), he raised up and said,'That's it', and he did it for damned meanness. He knew I had gotten lost and he knew damned well I would have to live with it.*

D.J. Fontana : Too Much is a classic, it really is. The overall track was really good,Scotty wasn't happy with the guitar solo,and still isn't. Scotty got to his guitar solo and said he got lost completely and didn't know where he was. He couldn't get back and he tried to get Elvis to do it again. Elvis said 'Aw no, we're not doing that ever again'(laughs). He said 'That was too good, Scotty we're not gonna do it again'.**

"Too much" was first recorded by Bernard Hardison in 1954 and released on the Republic label,possibly used in the studio for demo purposes.

Takes 1-12,take 12 is the Master.
Take 1-2,(Insert) take 2 used for composite.master
Composite - Spliced Master
Note : Elvis performed the number on the Ed Sullivan Show on 6th January 1957. This version is completely different in the order of the lyrics and the structure to the studio version. Scotty Moore's guitar solo was reduced from 22 seconds on the studio version to 15 seconds on the Sullivan version.


Takes 1-22,Take 22 is the master


Billboard Feb 2 1957


Love Me Tender publicity still taken at the 20th Century Fox portrait studio around the 20th/21st of September 1956.

September 3rd 1956
Radio Recorders - West Hollywood,California

Producer : Steve Sholes
Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Assistant : Bones Howe

2.00pm - 5.00pm 5.30pm - 8.30pm

Guitar : Elvis Presley
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Bass : Bill Black
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Piano : Elvis Presley (First In Line)
Piano : Gordon Stoker (Reddy Teddy)
Backup Vocals:
The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett

Ready Teddy
First In Line
Rip It Up

Note : Elvis brought two Hollywood friends with him
to the studio on this day,Nick Adams and Natalie Wood

Nick Adams,Natalie Wood and Elvis at a screening of the 'Friendly Persuasion',
September 10th, 1956,Hollywood. From a newspaper article dated September 12th 1956.
"Elvis And Natalie"
Who do you think Elvis Presley,the wiggly one has been secretly and quietly dating young actress Natalie Wood no less. He took her to dinner in the Terrace Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel,he brought her an ice cream soda at Wil Wright's,he took her to see 'Bus Stop' and 'The King and I'.


Elvis walks to the corner of the studio,picking up his guitar and tuning it,returning to the microphone. At this moment his hands move across the strings,his expression changes. Singing or playing,his body is in tension. Elvis is completely wrapped up in his delivery. It is like an aura about him,and it isn't something that he turns on for his audiences.Elvis the perfecttionist is dissatisfied with one arrangement after another,he stops frequently, replaying a phrase,saying to the group at large,'Here listen to this' adding a new variation. As Elvis practices matching his singing to the guitar,the rhythm is so infectious that the Jordanaires clap hands in the background,accentuating the beat,no one has suggested they do this.

Takes 1-12,take 12 is the Master.
Elvis Performed the number on September the 9th on the Ed Sullivan Show,just under a week from the studio recording,and unsurprisingly is very close to the studio cut. It's worth noting that Gordon Stoker can be seen playing the piano on this performance,therefore the conclusion would be that Mr.Stoker also played the piano on the studio version. No piano player had been booked,and the duties were shared between Gordon Stoker and Elvis.

Elvis was the sole producer of his recordings, and he made the decisions. The producers names that are on those recordings..they just sat there in the control room.



At the piano Elvis sits,feeling his way through the new number,a slow and melancholy tune,none of the music is written out,Elvis and his group play everything from memory and by ear,sometimes the other musicians will read a portion of the score,but Elvis,never.Elvis plays through the number for almost an hour but is never satisfied,time after time something goes wrong.When halfway through,Elvis throws up his arms,his sign for everything to stop,then turns to discuss with the band the effect for which they have been trying.

'Okay' says Elvis finally, 'this sounds better' just then one of the instruments goes flat,Elvis has perfect pitch. He throws up his hands again exclaiming, 'Oh,no!'

Takes 1-27,Take 27 is the Master.


Takes 1-19,take 19 is the Master.

After the session Thorne Nogar had this to say : Real nice to work with him,no problem with him, I wish all clients were as nice to work with, lets say it that way, he is one of our better artists as far as technically working with him.(He was an) awful nice kid-he came in there were no pretensions,just a kid off the street.


LPM-1382, October 19, 1956

1. Rip It Up - Robert Blackwell/John Marscalco
2. Love Me - Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller
3. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again - Wiley Walker/Gene Sullivan
4. Long Tall Sally - Enotis Johnson/Richard Penniman (Little Richard)/Robert Blackwell
5. First In Line - Aaron Schroeder/Ben Weisman
6. Paralyzed - Otis Blackwell/Elvis Presley

Side 2:

1. So Glad You're Mine - Arthur Crudup
2. Old Shep - Writer: Red Foley
3. Ready Teddy - Robert Blackwell/John Marscalco
4. Anyplace Is Paradise - Joe Thomas
5. How's The World Treating You - Chet Atkins/Boudleaux Bryant
6. How Do You Think I Feel - Walker/Pierce


Too Much - Lee Rosenberg/Leonard Weinman
Playing For Keeps - Stanley A. Kesler
Original 78 rpm release: RCA 20-6800,
Original 45 rpm release: RCA 47-6800
Released January 4 1957


I have included this card here,as I have been unable to locate the original photograph,and as far as I'm aware this image can only be found on this original card. The original would have been in black & white. There is alternative angle 'Elvis listen's to playback,Hoyt Hawkins leans against the piano.


Previously seen in smaller size above,this is obviously larger in size,and clearer,but alas,I only have this with the watermarks.It's worth noting that the very small images came from an e-bay auction,and are slightly stretched.


Where Studio description's have been used, these have been taken from Trude Forsher's diary,and have been edited,adapted to and condensed to maintain a structure to the story of the recording sessions.

Where I have compared live version's to studio version's of the same number,I acknowledge that there will be many other live version's,but this isn't really the intention of this topic.and have kept this to a minimum.

Thank you to DJC for his contributions and support
and thanks to the following

^Notes from Elvis Presley: A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions By Ernst Jorgensen
>More info here
*"From "Last Train To Memphis" by Peter Guralnick:
(<)The Elvis Mag No. 64 Ken Sharp talks to Bones Howe
<Jerry Hopkins' 1971 book, Elvis, A Biography.
*From the book 'That's Alright,Elvis' by James Dickherson,and from ETMAHM No. 10 interview with Scotty Moore by Trevor Cajiao

**Ken Sharp interview with D.J. Fontana Record Collector magazine April 2006.
+Interviewed by Brandon Harris & Ralph Newman Time Barrier Express Magazine - July 1979
(*)Interview with Stan Kesler by Trevor Cajiao and Alsion Hilbourne ETMAHM No. 5
(**)Taken from
***Interview with Hugh Jarrett by Trevor Cajiao ETMAHM No. 52.
*<*Interview with Gordon Stoker by Trevor Cajiao ETMAHM No. 25
>>How Nashville became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 years of Music Row By Michael Kosser
Last edited by davide on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:14 am, edited 16 times in total.

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:02 pm

Cool! I added it to the list in the Photo section

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:06 pm

Another superb and totally enjoyable topic!

Elvis in 1956 was ON FIRE.

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:27 pm

Davide fantastic thank you very much

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:29 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Another superb and totally enjoyable topic!

Elvis in 1956 was ON FIRE.

Thanks,this one has taken a bit of time to put together,.and thanks James for putting it together with other topics,and the identification on Scotty's guitar.


Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:58 pm

Great post. Enjoyed it a lot.

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:59 pm

Great post, thank you Davide!


Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:33 pm

Thanks, Davide!

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:53 pm

Very, very nice ! Thanks !!

You may want to add that it was probably Gordon Stoker playing the piano on "Anyplace is paradise"

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:43 am

Simply great! Thanks for sharing! :)

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:03 am


Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:40 am

Great thread! I wonder if FTD will cover these sessions in a similar fashion to "King Creole".

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:47 am

You guys are FANTASTIC... I enjoy every piece of info and luv the quantity of non seen photos. CHEERS MATES!!!!

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:27 am

Rocker wrote:Very, very nice ! Thanks !!

You may want to add that it was probably Gordon Stoker playing the piano on "Anyplace is paradise"

Thanks for your suggestion,have updated the post.


Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:17 am

Thanks, Davide!
It was very interesting reading :mrgreen:

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:03 pm

Simply sensational ! Thanks, Davide.

Steve Morse

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:05 pm

Incredible! Thanks again Davide!

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:12 pm

What a great reading ! really fantastic job friends
Thank you so much for sharing
I loved it !
Lior :smt006

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:41 pm

Incredible stuff, thank you for the work put in! Elvis was the coolest cat ever! 8)

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:41 pm

Thanks Davide, very interesting post to read. This is what these forums are for.

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:45 pm

kurzah wrote:Thanks Davide, very interesting post to read. This is what these forums are for.

Thanks everyone - already started the next one! (1957)

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 am

davide wrote:Image

Los Angeles, 1950's

Small point Davide, and not that it detracts from the thread but I just noticed that this is not LA in the '50s, this is the '60s

here's some from 57 Image

and 55

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:45 pm

How on earth could i've missed this fantastic topic .....

Well done Davide, as always fabulous !!!!


Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:34 am

I just read the whole thing again. It's even better the second time through!

Re: Inside the 1956 September 1-3 Recording Sessions

Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:45 am

I love posts like these .I can read them all night long! :D