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1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:54 am

My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin, both songs on an acetate for Gladys. I assume Most of us know this, but which song was recorded first. I always thought he recorded My Happiness first, but now here are a few things that make me doubt this.

1. They're in alphabetical order My Happiness->That's When Your Heartaches Begin
2. There's no receipt (to my knowledge) existing of the recording
3. I have heard Ms. Keisker cut the first song short, and then let the other one finish out. That's When Your Heartaches Begin seems to cut off at the lyrics, "That's the end..."

Any ideas? Maybe The answer is well known and I'm just not aware of it.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:15 am

According to legend, Ms. Keisker taped the second half of My Happiness and all of the second song, so she could play them for Sam later. That taping had nothing to do with the recordings on the acetate. I see no reason to doubt the legend of My Happiness being first.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:21 am

It's pretty well established now that the first acetate was really not for Gladys. He probably wanted to see how he sounded on record and he hoped that Sam would hear him and be impressed. It took awhile, but his plan worked.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:33 am

stevelecher wrote:It's pretty well established now that the first acetate was really not for Gladys. He probably wanted to see how he sounded on record and he hoped that Sam would hear him and be impressed. It took awhile, but his plan worked.


That is interesting to note, stevelecher. I have always thought for years that he recorded the song "My Happiness" as a gift for his mother. Thanks for the clarification.

rlj

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:39 am

rlj4ep wrote:
stevelecher wrote:It's pretty well established now that the first acetate was really not for Gladys. He probably wanted to see how he sounded on record and he hoped that Sam would hear him and be impressed. It took awhile, but his plan worked.


That is interesting to note, stevelecher. I have always thought for years that he recorded the song "My Happiness" as a gift for his mother. Thanks for the clarification.

rlj


Yeah, me too. Thank You.

Yet, it seems that That's When Your Heartaches Begin Was.....well....incomplete.

http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/24338303/file.html
Click Play and listen when he says, "that's the end...."
Heck. Maybe she thought he meant it was the end of the actual song?

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:31 am

Actually, I think it is a good ending to the song. Interesting that in the Million Dollar Quartet sessions, he speaks of That's When Your Heartaches Begin, thinks it could be a hit record if sung by a guy with a deep voice, but doesn't mention anything about singing the song on that first record.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:43 am

emshicks321 wrote:My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin, both songs on an acetate for Gladys. I assume Most of us know this, but which song was recorded first. I always thought he recorded My Happiness first, but now here are a few things that make me doubt this.

1. They're in alphabetical order My Happiness->That's When Your Heartaches Begin
2. There's no receipt (to my knowledge) existing of the recording
3. I have heard Ms. Keisker cut the first song short, and then let the other one finish out. That's When Your Heartaches Begin seems to cut off at the lyrics, "That's the end..."

Any ideas? Maybe The answer is well known and I'm just not aware of it.


As noted, the disc was not cut for his mom's birthday, as it fell on April 25, and the visit to 706 Union was on July 18, three months later.

What you might be misunderstanding about the story is that Marion Keisker was so surprised by what she heard from young Elvis as the acetate was capturing "My Happiness," she quickly found some recording tape and managed to get about half of it. Then she got all of "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." So that's why the first song was "short."

It also explains why Sam Phillips was not as thrilled by Elvis when he heard the tape -- Elvis was better on the first one, more assured.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:58 am

It is a remarkable thing how many key events are still disputed. No one can definitively name the day he slipped into the studio and recorded this demo.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:52 am

Rumour, untrue, has it that Elvis recorded the first acetate (in July 1953) for his mother's birthday (in April 1953).
Is there any rumour or reason as to why he recorded the second acetate in January 1954?

It is because Ed Leek supposedly paid for the first acetate that it ended up at his house.
Why did the second acetate end up in someone else's collection?
Why did Elvis not keep both acetates or buy them back when he made enough money to buy cars and houses?

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:40 pm

Doc, funny thing about opinions. I like That's When Your Heartaches Begin better than My Happiness. Maybe Sam wasn't as impressed because he didn't see Elvis performing those songs. It's possible Marion got a dose of that Elvis charisma, even though it was in its infant stage.

Why did Elvis go back in 1954? To see if he could perform and be heard by Sam this time. You would think Elvis and The Colonel would have done a lot to get those acetates back after fame hit. They both seemed to hoard things and there was always curiosity about those first acetates. Another mystery. What a miracle they turned up after all those years.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:54 pm

Alright. This may sound like a rediculous question....but do you think the tape still exists? Or probably recorded over/destroyed/trashed is my guess. Are the releases off 2 songs from the actual acetate or off the tape? Please Explain.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:34 pm

Never say never but it's so doubtful the tape exists. It probably didn't even survive 1953. The RCA releases definitely come directly off the acetates. When Ed Leek first showed up with it, had anyone in all of Elvis fandom ever heard of him before?

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:37 pm

stevelecher wrote:Never say never but it's so doubtful the tape exists. It probably didn't even survive 1953. The RCA releases definitely come directly off the acetates. When Ed Leek first showed up with it, had anyone in all of Elvis fandom ever heard of him before?


No. Same with some girlfriends, like June Juanico.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:59 pm

Most of us, when we hear ourselves on tape, don't like what we hear and think we sound different than we thought. Do you think Elvis had that same reaction? Do you think he listened to his record and thought he didn't sound as good as he thought he did?

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:01 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:
stevelecher wrote:Never say never but it's so doubtful the tape exists. It probably didn't even survive 1953. The RCA releases definitely come directly off the acetates. When Ed Leek first showed up with it, had anyone in all of Elvis fandom ever heard of him before?


No. Same with some girlfriends, like June Juanico.

He had a lot of girlfriends at all times.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:36 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:Rumour, untrue, has it that Elvis recorded the first acetate (in July 1953) for his mother's birthday (in April 1953).
Is there any rumour or reason as to why he recorded the second acetate in January 1954?

It is because Ed Leek supposedly paid for the first acetate that it ended up at his house.
Why did the second acetate end up in someone else's collection?
Why did Elvis not keep both acetates or buy them back when he made enough money to buy cars and houses?

stevelecher wrote:Doc, funny thing about opinions. I like That's When Your Heartaches Begin better than My Happiness. Maybe Sam wasn't as impressed because he didn't see Elvis performing those songs. It's possible Marion got a dose of that Elvis charisma, even though it was in its infant stage.

Why did Elvis go back in 1954? To see if he could perform and be heard by Sam this time. You would think Elvis and The Colonel would have done a lot to get those acetates back after fame hit. They both seemed to hoard things and there was always curiosity about those first acetates. Another mystery. What a miracle they turned up after all those years.


As noted, Elvis did not create another two-sided acetate in January 1954 because of Ed Leek. Rather, he wanted to be heard and noticed by Sam Phillips. In fact, Elvis had the 1953 disc placed on the jukebox at at The Blues Shop (AKA " Charlie's") at 286 North Main Street in downtown Memphis, near his home. It was where all the kids found the music they liked. Only later did it somehow end up with his friend Ed. And though Leek fronted the money for the first acetate, it was a gift, not a loan. He actively encouraged Elvis to make it, from at least the moment they graduated from Humes High on June 3, 1953. It only took Elvis six weeks to gather up the courage to go down and do it.

The second visit clearly did not go as well. Elvis was less assured, and his guitar was out-of-tune on both numbers. At least he got some face time with Sam, and it paid off five months later. This acetate was found at an early '90s auction in St. Louis by collector Sean O'Neal. His wife was traveling through that city and saw an ad for Elvis items going to auction, saw lots of rare stuff and called her husband. He told her to bid, and flew out there immediately. All kinds of photos and rare items were in the lot, including the January 1954 acetate. A possible explanation for these materials is they fell into the hands of Elvis' paternal grandfather, Jesse Presley, who spent most of his life in Louisville, KY, which is about 7 hours from Kansas City.

Why did Presley or his management retrieve these discs after the fame hit in 1956? They likely never even discussed them, as they would not be seen as at all viable commercially.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:46 pm

emshicks321 wrote:Alright. This may sound like a rediculous question....but do you think the tape still exists? Or probably recorded over/destroyed/trashed is my guess. Are the releases off 2 songs from the actual acetate or off the tape? Please Explain.

stevelecher wrote:Never say never but it's so doubtful the tape exists. It probably didn't even survive 1953. The RCA releases definitely come directly off the acetates. When Ed Leek first showed up with it, had anyone in all of Elvis fandom ever heard of him before?

zolderopruiming1 wrote:No. Same with some girlfriends, like June Juanico.


Marion Keisker's tape is very likely long gone, perhaps as soon as fall 1953. All official releases of the demos come directly from the acetates, and the definitive mastering of all four sides (involving countless hours of restoration work) may be found on last year's absolutely essential Follow That Dream release, A Boy From Tupelo, as revived by dedicated engineer Sebastian Jeansson. Some grey-market products used a cassette dub of the Ed Leek disc, from back when it was being auditioned by RCA and others.

Leek may have been one of many Elvis friends interviewed in magazines at the time Presley's career took off, but he was not a known figure in fandom until the late 1980s. On the other hand, June Juanico was mentioned and photographed in both press articles and fan magazines in 1956-57.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:10 pm

In 1956 even up to the early seventies, the USA was a long, long distance from Europe and especially The Netherlands a.k.a. Holland.
The first time you could hear "teenage music" on the radio was one hour friday late afternoon from the end of September 1959 onwards.
Music Magazines were mainly aimed at crooners and jazz.
All that changed when The Beatles hit the scene as well as pirate radio stations, broadcasting from ships in the Northsea.
Only then we got a pop radio station.
There is a book "pop on TV" which indicates there was not much pop on TV and the teenage orientated artists appeared in silly shows aimed at parents.
The shows that featured Elvis were not shown here. Not even the Frank SDinatra Timex Special!
News about Elvis came from RCA newsbulletins and Colonel Parker's Office newsletters sent to fanclubs.
Fanclub magazines were primitive, not those glossy paper colour printed magazines you have these days.
Further prove of the long distance between Europe and the USA was the fact that in 1960/1961 a Dutch magazine published an article about Colonel Parker, the long lost brother who vanished to the USA long before. It was not picked up in the USA. Not even when a Dutch fanclub published about it some time later in the early sixties........

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:28 pm

stevelecher wrote:Actually, I think it is a good ending to the song. Interesting that in the Million Dollar Quartet sessions, he speaks of That's When Your Heartaches Begin, thinks it could be a hit record if sung by a guy with a deep voice, but doesn't mention anything about singing the song on that first record.

"It's... it's... when I come in here and to made that little record when I first started out y' know. That's when I record it."

That's the way I understood it... :D :wink:

Source: "The Complete Million Dollar Quartet" - Track 38 from 00:06 to 00:10.

Does anybody understand what Elvis is saying at the very beginning of this track?

Listen to Track 36, there he also says something about "a song I recorded". And I don't think he talked about "Is It So Strange" in the first place.

Re: 1953: Which Did Elvis Record First???

Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:49 am

Thanks Luckyjackson1. I'll give that another listen. Sometimes the memory plays tricks on you.