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I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:04 am

We have spoken on here a number of times about Elvis's rendition of Blue Moon, trying to come up with suggestions of an earlier version of the song that might have acted as Elvis's inspiration. However, just as mystifying (if not more so) is I'll Never Let You Go. Blue Moon had been recorded many times by the time Elvis got around to it, and so there's always a chance that there was an obscure rendition that acted as Elvis's template that none of us have come across simply because it hasn't made its way to Youtube and isn't available on CD or download (although, as in an earlier thread, I would suggest that Mel Torme's 1948 recording might have been some influence). I'll Never Let You Go was recorded far less often, though.

There are similarities between Blue Moon and I'll Never Let You Go, both in arrangement and vocal. Elvis's voice takes on a kind of haunting ethereal quality, just as it did on Blue Moon, and once again his voice is swamped with echo. But it's the lack of similarity with the previous renditions that is most interesting. Elvis excises the first verse completely, jumping straight into the chorus on his version before singing what (on other versions) is the second verse, and then doing the upbeat chorus with which the record ends. Why was the first verse cut? Time restrictions on a 78rpm would be a possibility, but one would assume it would be the 2nd verse that would go and not the 1st. Also, Elvis sings the main bulk of the song in a way that is drastically slower than previous versions, and of course the switch in tempo seems to be entirely unique to Elvis. And what's with the backing? It sounds almost Hawaiian-influenced at times.

So, is there another version out there recorded prior to 1954 other than the two well-known versions we already know about that Elvis could have modelled his rendition on?





Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:44 am

It would be nice to know which version specifically influenced it, but on the flip side it's entirely possible that your question is moot and there is no one version it was "modeled" after, and honestly I don't think there has to be. Can't we give Elvis a little credit for his own interpretation without expecting there to have been any specific influence? There certainly wasn't precedent for Blue Moon of Kentucky or Blue Moon or That's All Right in regards to how Elvis interpreted them. Scotty & Bill may well just fooling around with it arrangement-wise and Elvis may not have had any specific sound he was looking for. In fact, I'd argue that's why the Sun recordings (and Elvis) are so brilliant: even the bad recordings are stylistically of his own making, without precedent.

I know this is blasphemy but I don't think Elvis' version of "I'll Never Let You Go" is very good. Vocally, he's weak & sounds completely unsure of himself, almost as badly as in his demos. The transition from ballad to pop song is awkward and Elvis is reaching for something he just doesn't have the experience to replicate yet. It's an interesting experiment that just doesn't work as well as some of the other experiments. For history's sake, I'm glad we have it, but I have never once sought this song out to listen on its own, outside the context of a Sun CD or record.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:48 am

GibbersGanfa wrote:It would be nice to know which version specifically influenced it, but on the flip side it's entirely possible that your question is moot and there is no one version it was "modeled" after, and honestly I don't think there has to be. There certainly wasn't precedent for Blue Moon of Kentucky or Blue Moon or That's All Right in regards to how Elvis interpreted them. Scotty & Bill may well just fooling around with it arrangement-wise and Elvis may not have had any specific sound he was looking for. In fact, I'd argue that's why the Sun recordings (and Elvis) are so brilliant: even the bad recordings are stylistically of his own making, without precedent.

I know this is blasphemy but I don't think Elvis' version of "I'll Never Let You Go" is very good. Vocally, he's weak & sounds completely unsure of himself, almost as badly as in his demos. The transition from ballad to pop song is awkward and Elvis is reaching for something he just doesn't have the experience to replicate yet. It's an interesting experiment that just doesn't work as well as some of the other experiments. For history's sake, I'm glad we have it, but I have never once sought this song out to listen on its own, outside the context of a Sun CD or record.


I agree with you that there doesn't have to be a version that Elvis's is based on, but I feel that somewhere there is a sound he's trying to replicate, even if it's not from other versions of these tunes. With regards to That's all Right, I think it's sometimes exaggerated just how much that is altered from the Crudup original - Blue Moon of Kentucky is the eye-opener for me with regards to that first session, it's a complete transformation, but it has been said that Bill Black was behind that.

I like I'll Never Let You Go, and find the vocal really quite haunting - it's the switch in tempos I'm not fond of, as I think it breaks the spell.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:53 am

poormadpeter2 wrote:
GibbersGanfa wrote:It would be nice to know which version specifically influenced it, but on the flip side it's entirely possible that your question is moot and there is no one version it was "modeled" after, and honestly I don't think there has to be. There certainly wasn't precedent for Blue Moon of Kentucky or Blue Moon or That's All Right in regards to how Elvis interpreted them. Scotty & Bill may well just fooling around with it arrangement-wise and Elvis may not have had any specific sound he was looking for. In fact, I'd argue that's why the Sun recordings (and Elvis) are so brilliant: even the bad recordings are stylistically of his own making, without precedent.

I know this is blasphemy but I don't think Elvis' version of "I'll Never Let You Go" is very good. Vocally, he's weak & sounds completely unsure of himself, almost as badly as in his demos. The transition from ballad to pop song is awkward and Elvis is reaching for something he just doesn't have the experience to replicate yet. It's an interesting experiment that just doesn't work as well as some of the other experiments. For history's sake, I'm glad we have it, but I have never once sought this song out to listen on its own, outside the context of a Sun CD or record.


I agree with you that there doesn't have to be a version that Elvis's is based on, but I feel that somewhere there is a sound he's trying to replicate, even if it's not from other versions of these tunes. With regards to That's all Right, I think it's sometimes exaggerated just how much that is altered from the Crudup original - Blue Moon of Kentucky is the eye-opener for me with regards to that first session, it's a complete transformation, but it has been said that Bill Black was behind that.

I like I'll Never Let You Go, and find the vocal really quite haunting - it's the switch in tempos I'm not fond of, as I think it breaks the spell.


Yeah, like I said, he's definitely reaching for something on that song. Who knows if he even knew? And regarding the tempo shift, I absolutely agree. I think the song would have benefited enormously if they had chosen to take it all the way as a ballad or all the way as a pop/rhythm song. One or the other, but not both!

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:45 am

"Blue Moon," of course, was inspired by a Slim Whitman recording. Interestingly, this is not so for the Jimmy Wakely song.

"I'll Never Let You Go" was featured in a 1949 B-western by Columbia called "Desert Vigilante," starring Charles Starrett. In the film it was performed by the Georgia Crackers. It is quite likely that 14 year-old Elvis, who loved movies and especially cowboy pictures, was captivated by this rendition, and remembered it five years later at 706 Union.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041291/soundtrack
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-georgia-crackers-mn0000649633
http://www.hillbilly-music.com/groups/story/index.php?groupid=12013


Both the outtake and master are wonderful performances from the 19 year-old "Memphis Flash."



poormadpeter2 wrote:We have spoken on here a number of times about Elvis's rendition of Blue Moon, trying to come up with suggestions of an earlier version of the song that might have acted as Elvis's inspiration. However, just as mystifying (if not more so) is I'll Never Let You Go. Blue Moon had been recorded many times by the time Elvis got around to it, and so there's always a chance that there was an obscure rendition that acted as Elvis's template that none of us have come across simply because it hasn't made its way to Youtube and isn't available on CD or download (although, as in an earlier thread, I would suggest that Mel Torme's 1948 recording might have been some influence). I'll Never Let You Go was recorded far less often, though.

There are similarities between Blue Moon and I'll Never Let You Go, both in arrangement and vocal. Elvis's voice takes on a kind of haunting ethereal quality, just as it did on Blue Moon, and once again his voice is swamped with echo. But it's the lack of similarity with the previous renditions that is most interesting. Elvis excises the first verse completely, jumping straight into the chorus on his version before singing what (on other versions) is the second verse, and then doing the upbeat chorus with which the record ends. Why was the first verse cut? Time restrictions on a 78rpm would be a possibility, but one would assume it would be the 2nd verse that would go and not the 1st. Also, Elvis sings the main bulk of the song in a way that is drastically slower than previous versions, and of course the switch in tempo seems to be entirely unique to Elvis. And what's with the backing? It sounds almost Hawaiian-influenced at times.

So, is there another version out there recorded prior to 1954 other than the two well-known versions we already know about that Elvis could have modelled his rendition on?





Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:03 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:"Blue Moon," of course, was inspired by a Slim Whitman recording. Interestingly, this is not so for the Jimmy Wakely song.

"I'll Never Let You Go" was featured in a 1949 B-western by Columbia called "Desert Vigilante," starring Charles Starrett. In the film it was performed by the Georgia Crackers. It is quite likely that 14 year-old Elvis, who loved movies and especially cowboy pictures, was captivated by this rendition, and remembered it five years later at 706 Union.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041291/soundtrack
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-georgia-crackers-mn0000649633
http://www.hillbilly-music.com/groups/story/index.php?groupid=12013


Both the outtake and master are wonderful performances from the 19 year-old "Memphis Flash."



poormadpeter2 wrote:We have spoken on here a number of times about Elvis's rendition of Blue Moon, trying to come up with suggestions of an earlier version of the song that might have acted as Elvis's inspiration. However, just as mystifying (if not more so) is I'll Never Let You Go. Blue Moon had been recorded many times by the time Elvis got around to it, and so there's always a chance that there was an obscure rendition that acted as Elvis's template that none of us have come across simply because it hasn't made its way to Youtube and isn't available on CD or download (although, as in an earlier thread, I would suggest that Mel Torme's 1948 recording might have been some influence). I'll Never Let You Go was recorded far less often, though.

There are similarities between Blue Moon and I'll Never Let You Go, both in arrangement and vocal. Elvis's voice takes on a kind of haunting ethereal quality, just as it did on Blue Moon, and once again his voice is swamped with echo. But it's the lack of similarity with the previous renditions that is most interesting. Elvis excises the first verse completely, jumping straight into the chorus on his version before singing what (on other versions) is the second verse, and then doing the upbeat chorus with which the record ends. Why was the first verse cut? Time restrictions on a 78rpm would be a possibility, but one would assume it would be the 2nd verse that would go and not the 1st. Also, Elvis sings the main bulk of the song in a way that is drastically slower than previous versions, and of course the switch in tempo seems to be entirely unique to Elvis. And what's with the backing? It sounds almost Hawaiian-influenced at times.

So, is there another version out there recorded prior to 1954 other than the two well-known versions we already know about that Elvis could have modelled his rendition on?







Slim Whitman never recorded Blue Moon, though, and we don't know that the film version of I'll Never Let You Go was similar to Elvis's - or have you seen it?

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:24 am

This is one of my favorite songs that Elvis ever recorded. I never tire of listening to it.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:59 am

poormadpeter2 wrote:
Slim Whitman never recorded Blue Moon, though, and we don't know that the film version of I'll Never Let You Go was similar to Elvis's - or have you seen it?



The only thing that's similar is the echo (of the cave the cowboys are discussing in).

Image
Smiley Burnette (one of the actors in Desert Vigilante), and Elvis.


The complete film (a Durango Kid Episode):


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Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:41 pm

Its not much of a song . I think the tempo shift makes it for me. Im glad he did that and it showed Elvis' uniqueness at the time.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:43 pm

The original version was recorded on 01-07-41 by Jimmy Wakely (Decca 5973).
The version by Gene Autry was recorded on 28-07-41 (Okeh 06360).

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Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:47 pm

Not a song i particularly like except for the uptempo part.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:52 pm

MikeFromHolland wrote:
poormadpeter2 wrote:
Slim Whitman never recorded Blue Moon, though, and we don't know that the film version of I'll Never Let You Go was similar to Elvis's - or have you seen it?



The only thing that's similar is the echo (of the cave the cowboys are discussing in).

Image
Smiley Burnette (one of the actors in Desert Vigilante), and Elvis.


The complete film (a Durango Kid Episode):


.


That's Bronson Canyon (Caves) in L.A.`s Griffith Park. Which was later used as the entrance of the Batcave in the 1960s series, and also features in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, White Zombie, Carson City, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Searchers and Ride the High Country, amongst other movies and television series`.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:20 pm

I always liked this one.The slow ballad part that turns into a Hillbilly Bop number.Kind of what Elvis was all rolled up in 2 and a half minutes.The wanna be ballad singer that becomes the Hillbilly Cat.
I gotta say that I like every single Sun recording that we have.The day I find fault with the Sun recordings that set the trail a blaze by the greatest entertainer to walk the Earth will be the day I stop calling myself an ELVIS fan.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:25 pm

In regards to Elvis' stunning recording of "Blue Moon," I've posted this before:

Slim Whitman's falsetto and the cowboy backing were something he saw first-hand on Friday, July 30, 1954. And "Blue Moon" was cut just a couple of weeks later. Listen to this eerie, late 1954 Whitman single.


Slim Whitman, "Cattle Call" (Imperial 8281, December 11, 1954)
Billboard U.S. Country #11, January 15, 1955

Does that falsetto sound familiar? Yup. And Elvis remembered Slim's "Cattle Call" while rehearsing at Culver City in July 1970.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:08 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:In regards to Elvis' stunning recording of "Blue Moon," I've posted this before:

Slim Whitman's falsetto and the cowboy backing were something he saw first-hand on Friday, July 30, 1954. And "Blue Moon" was cut just a couple of weeks later. Listen to this eerie, late 1954 Whitman single.


Slim Whitman, "Cattle Call" (Imperial 8281, December 11, 1954)
Billboard U.S. Country #11, January 15, 1955

Does that falsetto sound familiar? Yup. And Elvis remembered Slim's "Cattle Call" while rehearsing at Culver City in July 1970.


Good job doc. Elvis also remembered it as part of the 1972 on tour rehearsals as heard on The Complete On Tour Sessions Vol.1 on the vicky label

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:42 pm

It is fair to say that this song is nothing more than an experimentation, as you can hear, the song is incomplete and hasn't reached any potential - the lyrics are a bit messy (probably due to what Elvis could remember at the time), it starts off a bit strange. The speeded up bit is the only exciting part of the song. Its an interesting piece because it gives you a good insight to what the trio were trying to do and working hard to try and come up with something different to see what worked and what didn't. Experimentation was the name of the game at Sun Records. Sam Phillips, and probably Elvis too, thought the song had no potential and so it was shelved.

I certainly don't hear any traces of Hawaiian music in the song!

As for Elvis' inspiration its hard to say. Whichever version he heard, its just his interpretation of the song.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:38 am

Davelee wrote:
I certainly don't hear any traces of Hawaiian music in the song!



Then you have clearly never paid any attention to the tremolo guitar work in the song and compared it to that used in the Hawaiian vogue during the 1930s and 1940s.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:30 am

poormadpeter2 wrote:
Davelee wrote:
I certainly don't hear any traces of Hawaiian music in the song!



Then you have clearly never paid any attention to the tremolo guitar work in the song and compared it to that used in the Hawaiian vogue during the 1930s and 1940s.

Nope! If the guitar work sounds nothing like Hawaiian influenced then i've no need or bothering comparing it to Hawaiian music of the 30s and 40s. This style of guitar picking is used in many genres of music. In the case of Scotty, he is simply playing what he feels fits the song - in fact, he plays this tremolo guitar picking on two other Sun tracks I Forgot To Remember To Forget and Tryin To Get To You and i doubt if those two would remind people of Hawaiian music either.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:48 am

Greystoke wrote:
MikeFromHolland wrote:
The only thing that's similar is the echo (of the cave the cowboys are discussing in).



That's Bronson Canyon (Caves) in L.A.`s Griffith Park. Which was later used as the entrance of the Batcave in the 1960s series, and also features in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, White Zombie, Carson City, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Searchers and Ride the High Country, amongst other movies and television series`.


I indeed read that while searching for an online version of the film. A famous cave. And who knows the echo was an inspiration :wink:

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Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:28 pm

This appears to be one of several songs that Elvis, Scotty, and Bill tried in search of a follow-up to "That's All Right". Along with "Blue Moon" and "Tomorrow Night", this song has a sparse arrangement and is not much more than a demo. The uptempo ending makes it unique, just as the falsetto on "Blue Moon" makes it unique. "Tomorrow Night" is even more sparse. Many takes of "I'll Never Let You Go" were recorded and ultimately handed over to RCA, which may mean that Sam saw some potential in the song. These songs, taken together, show the variety of Elvis' Country and R&B influences, but none of these sounded like a releasable record to Sam Phillips.

One other note: In the Jerry Hopkins biography, Marion Keisker remembered Elvis singing this in the Sun studio and looking at her as he sang.

Re: I'll Never Let You Go

Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:45 pm

Rtn 2 Sndr wrote:

One other note: In the Jerry Hopkins biography, Marion Keisker remembered Elvis singing this in the Sun studio and looking at her as he sang.


Here it is:

Jerry Hopkins - I'll Never Let You Go.png


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