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Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:33 pm

Or 36 takes of Do Not Disturb or 38 takes of Shake that Tambourine.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:22 pm

I don't know all the record companies that bid for Elvis' contract, but I know that Atlantic and Columbia were two of them. Jerry Wexler wanted Elvis on Atlantic but their bid wasn't high enough. Wexler and Sam Phillips were allies in the music business and had a good relationship. One can only speculate what it would have been like had Elvis gone there. He probably would have been put on Atco like Bobby Darin was in 1957. He would have had access to Leiber and Stoller and would have undoubtedly recorded material with a strong R&B flavor. But how successful would it have been? Atlantic, like Sun, was small and had limited distribution in early 1956.

If he had went to Columbia, Mitch Miller would have had him record pop undoubtedly. With distribution as big as RCA, it may have been successful, but I doubt it would have been for as long as it was on RCA.

More to come...

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:02 am

I must apologize for that last post. I blindly assumed that had Elvis signed with Columbia, he would have automatically been placed with Mitch Miller. Since he was considered a country act, it is musch more likely he would have been assigned to Don Law in Nashville, just like Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Lefty Frizell, etc. Law was not an enemy of R&B (indeed it was he who recorded Robert Johnson), so Elvis may have recorded much the same kind of material that he did for RCA.
Last edited by tarobe on Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:34 am

I don't know about that.

It seems to me that any label that signed Elvis would have tried to get hits on the pop charts.

If for some reason Columbia couldn't get pop hits out of Elvis then maybe they would have put him in the Country division.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:23 pm

brian wrote:I don't know about that.

It seems to me that any label that signed Elvis would have tried to get hits on the pop charts.

If for some reason Columbia couldn't get pop hits out of Elvis then maybe they would have put him in the Country division.

But he was considered a country act. RCA signed him to their country division, not their pop division. When RCA signed him they reissued his latest Sun release "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" which was beginning to hit. (They shortly thereafter reissued all of his previous Sun singles as well). The record hit #1 on the country charts. When "Heartbreak Hotel" was released, it too was promoted as country and also hit #1 on the country charts. But national TV exposure led to Top 40 radio picking it up, and very soon it was a big pop hit as well. This established Elvis as a pop star. RCA certainly was not going to refuse to promote him to the pop market. So henceforth, he was considered pop.

I think it might have been a similar situation for Columbia.
Last edited by tarobe on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:09 pm

Maybe you are right.

It's just that for someone that was considered a country artist he didn't record very many country & western songs at that time.