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How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:01 pm

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"How's The World Treating You" was written by Chet Atkins and Boudleaux Bryant in 1952.

CHET ATKINS

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Chester Burton "Chet" Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an American musician, occasional vocalist, songwriter and record producer who, along with Owen Bradley and Bob Ferguson, amongst others created the smoother country music style that came to be known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country's appeal to adult pop music fans as well. He was primarily known as a guitarist, but also played the mandolin, fiddle and banjo and earlier the ukulele.

Atkins' signature picking style was inspired by Merle Travis. Other major guitar influences were Django Reinhardt, George Barnes, Les Paul and later Jerry Reed. His trademark picking style and musicianship brought him admirers within and outside the country scene, both in the United States and internationally. Atkins spent most of his career at RCA Victor and produced records for The Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, Perry Como, Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings and many others.

Among many honors, Atkins received 14 Grammy Awards as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, nine Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year awards, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chet_Atkins


BOUDLEAUX BRYANT

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Felice Bryant (born Matilda Genevieve Scaduto, August 7, 1925 – April 22, 2003) and Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant (February 13, 1920 – June 25, 1987) were an American husband and wife country music and pop songwriting team. They were best known for songs such as "Rocky Top," "Love Hurts," and numerous hits by the Everly Brothers, including "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "Bye Bye Love."

Boudleaux Bryant was born in Shellman, Georgia in 1920 and attended local schools as a child. He trained as a classical violinist. Although he performed with the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra during its 1937-38 season, he had more interest in country "fiddling."

He joined Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys, an Atlanta-based western music band. In 1945 Bryant met Matilda Genevieve Scaduto, whom he called Felice, while performing at a hotel in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was born in the city in 1925 to an ethnic Italian family. She used to write lyrics to traditional Italian tunes. During World War II, she sang and directed shows at the local USO.

Bryant and Scaduto eloped two days after meeting. Their song, "All I Have To Do Is Dream," is autobiographical for Felice. She was working as an elevator operator at the Sherwood Hotel when she saw Bryant. She has said that she "recognized" him immediately; she had seen his face in a dream when she was eight years old, and had "looked for him forever." She was nineteen when they met.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felice_and_Boudleaux_Bryant



"How's The World Treating You"

I've had nothing but sorrow
Since you said we were through
There's no hope for tomorrow
How's the world treating you?

Every sweet thing that matters
Has been broken in two
All my dreams have been shattered
How's the world treating you?

Got no plans for next Sunday
Got no plans for today
Every day is blue Monday
Every day you're away

Every sweet thing that matters
Has been broken in two
And I'm asking you, darling
How's the world treating you?

And I'm asking you, darling
How's the world treating you?



The Beaver Valley Sweethearts original version of "How's The World Treating You" was released as a single in the first week of January 1953, on RCA 20-5112 (47-5112), coupled with "You Get What You Pay For (You Pay For What You Get). However, the actual recording was probably made in May 1952. The Beaver Valley Sweethearts consisted of two sisters, Colleen and Donna Wilson.



When you take a look at the Discography of Colleen and Donna as The Wilsons or The Beaver Valley Sweethearts, you'll see that they only made records in 1946 and and from 1951 to 1954. So their recording career didn't last very long.

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The Beaver Valley Sweethearts Colleen and Donna Wilson


Eddy Arnold recorded his more popular version of "How's The World Treating You" in March 1953.




EDDY ARNOLD

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Richard Edward "Eddy" Arnold (May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008) was an American country music singer who performed for six decades. He was a so-called Nashville sound (country/popular music) innovator of the late 1950s, and scored 147 songs on the Billboard country music charts, second only to George Jones. He sold more than 85 million records. A member of the Grand Ole Opry (beginning 1943) and the Country Music Hall of Fame (beginning 1966), Arnold ranked 22nd on Country Music Television's 2003 list of "The 40 Greatest Men of Country Music."


Dane Bryant, the son of Felice and Boudreaux Bryant in the book "How Nashville Became Music City, U.S.A.: 50 Years of Music Row" by Michael Kosser:

"One of the gifts that my father had was that being a trained musician, if 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 one reason they wrote "How's The World Treating You," which he and Chet Atkins wrote. My father co-wrote with just a few people. 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 usually finished it with Mom, but it would say 'Boudreaux and Atkins".
"Mom said, 'Well, it's the good old boy world out there.' At that time, women didn't get the respect they get today."


So the song "How's The World Treating You" was originally written for Eddy Arnold.


Chat Atkins' own version of the song. Published in 1965 on his album "More Of That Guitar Country":




Published in 2011 by Vanguard Records on the album "Beyond The Sun", Chris Isaak:



Through the years the song was covered by many other artists, like:

Alison Krauss and James Taylor
Conny Lee
The Friends
The Skip Rats
Mandy Barnett
Slim Attraction
Hicksville Bombers
Sonny James
The Louvin Brothers
Amber Digby
Victor Costa
Don Gibson


Etc., etc.


But to me, this is the best one. Recorded on September 1, 1956 for his second album "Elvis". It took him 7 takes. Keith Flynn writes: "The master of How's The World Treating You is supposed to be take 7, but there is a splice at 1:27 that isn't documented. It is unknown which other take is used for the spliced master, or if Take 7 is just edited".

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

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





Sources
http://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/list4.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtm1BxIruTY
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chet_Atkins
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felice_and_Boudleaux_Bryant
http://hayloftgang.tumblr.com/post/17333923313/the-loyalty-of-the-fans-bordered-on-fanaticism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_Arnold
https://books.google.nl/books?id=DL6gHNXWToQC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=eddy+arnold+chet+atkins+how's+the+world+treating+you&source=bl&ots=Ywg419Lt7L&sig=I4vVp1NpU_ZQTt8vPgzslKp6iPI&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjz777cr9LNAhXDnBoKHczqB8IQ6AEIIzAA#v=onepage&q=eddy%20arnold%20chet%20atkins%20how's%20the%20world%20treating%20you&f=false
http://www.keithflynn.com/recording-sessions/560901.html

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:10 pm

A song this 11 year old thought was very boring back in 1964 when I first got the album. Never really came around to it until listening one time to the Complete 50's Masters and, in a way, I really heard it for the first time. It's an understated beauty. I now wonder where did a 21 year old kid find that level of sadness and plaintiveness to come up with that heartbreaking vocal?

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:42 pm

Great post Mike. How I wish we had outtakes of this and How Do You Think I Feel. Two of the least known (outside the fan-base) of early RCA tracks that Elvis' recorded.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:01 pm

Again a great.. thank you... for a wonderful and insightful posting. Love it !

::rocks

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:02 pm

Thanks Mike, great post!

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:39 pm

Certainly one of my favorite ballads. Those beat ballads of the 50's cannot be beat (no pun intended). They were so different at the time, and to me, along with the other tracks from the LP, showed this man had the most unique & versatile singing voice of the 50's. This song certainly sets a somber mood almost as well as anything he ever did.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:33 pm

This always seemed to me to be a more mature attempt at the types of ballad that Elvis recorded at his first Sun session. There is that same sense of melancholy and longing that you find in Harbor Lights or I Love You Because, but the result of considerably more accomplished and shows Elvis to be a far more experienced singer. It's a shame we don't have a few more example of this type of material from the RCA era during the 1950s.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:48 am

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Thanks for the appreciation y'all!


stevelecher wrote:A song this 11 year old thought was very boring back in 1964 when I first got the album. Never really came around to it until listening one time to the Complete 50's Masters and, in a way, I really heard it for the first time. It's an understated beauty. I now wonder where did a 21 year old kid find that level of sadness and plaintiveness to come up with that heartbreaking vocal?


r&b wrote:Certainly one of my favorite ballads. Those beat ballads of the 50's cannot be beat (no pun intended). They were so different at the time, and to me, along with the other tracks from the LP, showed this man had the most unique & versatile singing voice of the 50's. This song certainly sets a somber mood almost as well as anything he ever did.


poormadpeter2 wrote:This always seemed to me to be a more mature attempt at the types of ballad that Elvis recorded at his first Sun session. There is that same sense of melancholy and longing that you find in Harbor Lights or I Love You Because, but the result of considerably more accomplished and shows Elvis to be a far more experienced singer. It's a shame we don't have a few more example of this type of material from the RCA era during the 1950s.



A 21 yo kid with that heartbreaking vocal, his unique and versatile singing voice of the 50's and the same sense of melancholy and longing that you find in Harbor Lights or I Love You Because. That sums it up for me.

::rocks

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Re: How's The World Treating You

Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:21 pm

This is perhaps Elvis' most haunting song. The only other contender (for me, at least) is First In Line. It's an absolute gem, and one of those Elvis tracks that deserves to be better known (particularly as it's far more emotional than the hit ballads that everyone knows: Love Me Tender, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, etc.).

Re: How's The World Treating You

Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:18 pm

Good post MFH. It's a beautiful ballad. Love it.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:48 pm

Thanks for the entertaining and informative post.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:05 pm

Alison Krauss & James Taylor do a superb version of this song;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDFowaRJVWU

Re: How's The World Treating You

Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:29 pm

Thanks Mike for another informative post. Have always enjoyed this track and Elvis's sad and yearning vocal couldn't be better. What I really enjoy with these type of 50's recordings is the unobtrusive but adequate backing, with no ghastly strings and horns overdubbed to ruin the mood.

I really enjoyed Chris Isaak's version too, I must purchase the album.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:00 am

jbgude wrote:Alison Krauss & James Taylor do a superb version of this song;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDFowaRJVWU


It sure is. Thanks!


.

Re: How's The World Treating You

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:42 am

This is one of very few songs where the exaggerated "soaking wet" reverb really completes the eerie feel to this sad number. It's one of the reasons I've always enjoyed it... haunting!

Re: How's The World Treating You

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:27 pm

This is a great performance by Elvis - i absolutely love it.

I've never rated Eddy Arnold, is singing is too square for my liking.