Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

"Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:53 pm

Recorded in Nashville in the wee small hours of the morning of May 28, 1963 at RCA's Studio B. Steve Sholes credited producer with Bill Porter behind the console.
"Blue River" was written by Paul Evans ("Roses Are Red" Bobbie Vinton) and Fred Tobias ("Born Too Late" Poni-Tails).
Released in 1966 flip side of "Tell Me Why".
This B-side barely scraped the Billboard Hot 100 at #95, and reached a somewhat respectable #22 in the UK. The song was also included as a bonus cut for the "Double Trouble" soundtrack in stereo on June 1, 1967. This is one of the few recordings engineer Bill Porter seems to be asleep at the wheel (maybe literally this time due to the time of recording and no producer present), because the vocals sound a bit on the red hot side, reaching the edge before distortion is just starting to be audible. The mastering with the extension only made things worse. That awful sounding vocal microphone distortion and not the fault of Porter, In my opinion. It was due to the mastering. "Steppin' Out Of Line" comes to mind with similar issue.

Ernst Jorgensen "A Life In Music" writes words to the effect of a half written song and unfinished recording.

Having stated all this. I LIKE IT! A lot! Jerry Kennedy's guitar solo is hot (good hot), and The Jordanaires rhythmic voices add to the great double percussion by D.J. Fontana and Buddy Harman. Elvis Presley sounds pretty good as well (LOL), with the fast syncopated delivery he was so great at.

Imageprint screen windows 7

Imagescreenshot windows


Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:00 pm

Crap filler song. However I do like the guitar playing in it.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:07 pm

Not a good song.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Love it, always been a favourite of mine. It sounds the best (no distortion anymore) on the recent ''The Album Collection'' 60 cd

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:32 pm

Cool topic once again, J.L.

There is a superlative mix found on the Double Trouble FTD, taken from a rejected version of the DT album master that was prepared at the time. And it is something of a revelation. It is extremely punchy [virtually bone dry], with a kick and drive, that motors the song along in a fashion that it possibly doesn't merit. It really is an eye-opener, that renders all other mixes as pretty inconsequential.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:43 pm

I have a soft spot for this song because it was one of the first Elvis songs I ever knew.

It's a pretty lightweight track, it sounds like it could be from any mid-60s Elvis movie, but sports a killer, twangy guitar solo.

Never understood why the 60s box set did not include the extended, spliced master, as heard on the original 45 and LP.

By the way, co-writer Paul Evans also co-wrote "I Gotta Know" and "The Next Step Is Love".

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:27 pm

elvisalisellers wrote:Cool topic once again, J.L.

There is a superlative mix found on the Double Trouble FTD, taken from a rejected version of the DT album master that was prepared at the time. And it is something of a revelation. It is extremely punchy [virtually bone dry], with a kick and drive, that motors the song along in a fashion that it possibly doesn't merit. It really is an eye-opener, that renders all other mixes as pretty inconsequential.
Thank you! BTW..some releases have faded ending cause (IMO), it is a weak ending with extra escaped drum hit.
Last edited by Juan Luis on Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:50 pm

Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:52 pm

r&b wrote:Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.


Yes. If Elvis had recorded and released this song in 1865 it probably would have went to #1 on the music charts.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:59 pm

r&b wrote:Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.
It was a B-side. Most B-sides are on the B-side, cause they are not A-side material.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:01 pm

Juan Luis wrote:was written by Paul Evans ("Roses Are Red" Bobbie Vinton) and Fred Tobias ("Born Too Late" Poni-Tails).
Released in 1966 flip side of "Tell Me Why"


They weren't bad songwriters Elvis should have asked them if they had any better rock & roll songs.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:04 pm

It's difficult to know what went wrong with the original mastering of the song. We know the RECORDING of the master take wasn't distorted, as the remix for the 60s box, and the 60CD set from last year don't have that distortion, so it is all to do with the mix for some reason. The master of Steppin Out of Line, always has that distortion, though, and it appears to have never been (able to be?) removed.

The song is a bit of fluff, but it's light and fun, and Elvis attacks it with far more gusto that it probably deserves - and I rather like it, despite it's brevity and its lack of importance. And I'll certainly take it over a number of other songs from the same sessions, such as the rip-off Western Union and the yawn-inducing Echoes of Love.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:07 pm

Mister Moon wrote:By the way, co-writer Paul Evans also co-wrote "I Gotta Know" and "The Next Step Is Love".


And "Something Blue" too.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:08 pm

poormadpeter2 wrote:It's difficult to know what went wrong with the original mastering of the song. We know the RECORDING of the master take wasn't distorted, as the remix for the 60s box, and the 60CD set from last year don't have that distortion, so it is all to do with the mix for some reason. The master of Steppin Out of Line, always has that distortion, though, and it appears to have never been (able to be?) removed.

The song is a bit of fluff, but it's light and fun, and Elvis attacks it with far more gusto that it probably deserves - and I rather like it, despite it's brevity and its lack of importance. And I'll certainly take it over a number of other songs from the same sessions, such as the rip-off Western Union and the yawn-inducing Echoes of Love.
The recording is not as distorted but the vocals are on the brink of distortion to my ears. As soon as mastering was done it easily distorted cause it was too loud to begin with.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:22 pm

Mediocre catchy song....but I must confess I don't skip it while listening :D
Wish he have recorded JC's Big River instead....that would have been great

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:32 pm

Always liked it as it was one of a handful of Elvis records we had while i was very young and it was played a lot along with do the clam which i also have a soft spot for

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:33 pm

Blue River. Blue is how fans felt after hearing this filling a river with our tears. As mediocre as mediocre gets. Elvis was lost.

Re: "Blue River"

Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:35 pm

An original review from 1966, published on the day Elvis turned 31 :


660108 a.JPG



660108 b.JPG

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:21 am

brian wrote:
r&b wrote:Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.


Yes. If Elvis had recorded and released this song in 1865 it probably would have went to #1 on the music charts.


If you are going to make fun of me, at least use correct grammar.

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:26 am

r&b wrote:
brian wrote:
r&b wrote:Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.


Yes. If Elvis had recorded and released this song in 1865 it probably would have went to #1 on the music charts.


If you are going to make fun of me, at least use correct grammar.


Your comment seemed clear enough: a song like "Blue River" might have been OK if released at the time (1963) but, nearly three years later, the industry had changed so much that it now sounded like a throwback to a bygone era. And that is hard to argue for anyone who knows what was popular when the Presley single was released in December 1965.

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:30 am

The wonder of Elvis! A simple song, a simple and catchy delivery, good voice ... I like it! :smt020

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:33 am

bajo wrote:The wonder of Elvis! A simple song, a simple and catchy delivery, good voice ... I like it! :smt020
So do I! If it was three years too late then. Don't matter 53 years or so later to still enjoy it! The magic/wonder of Elvis, indeed. :)

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:41 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
r&b wrote:
brian wrote:
r&b wrote:Crap piece of music and horrible single choice in 1965. Elvis music seemed like it was from another century with this release.


Yes. If Elvis had recorded and released this song in 1865 it probably would have went to #1 on the music charts.


If you are going to make fun of me, at least use correct grammar.


Your comment seemed clear enough: a song like "Blue River" might have been OK if released at the time (1963) but, nearly three years later, the industry had changed so much that it now sounded like a throwback to a bygone era. And that is hard to argue for anyone who knows what was popular when the Presley single was released in December 1965.


Doc, you just had to be there to know how embarrassingly out of touch Elvis seemed with a single like this in the 60s. One side recorded in the 50's, one side 3 yrs earlier, but the music scene had changed so much it seemed much older. Its easy to think differently when you discover songs like this after he died , or thru the magic of CD boxsets, but to live it, you knew Elvis had sort of given up with the studio work, and it seemed like he & The Col didnt care as long as the next travelog came out with its accompanying paltry soundtrack. But even looking at this single now, Tell Me Why is good, but I dont even think good enough for a single back in the 50's when compared to the other stellar work he did. An LP track at best. As for Blue River, its a bad song, and a robotic performance by Elvis who puts absolutely zero effort into his vocal. You can almost tell he knew it was garbage.

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:47 am

''Blue River....It can be found on any map that i know''

Re: "Blue River"

Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:51 am

r&b wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
r&b wrote:If you are going to make fun of me, at least use correct grammar.


Your comment seemed clear enough: a song like "Blue River" might have been OK if released at the time (1963) but, nearly three years later, the industry had changed so much that it now sounded like a throwback to a bygone era. And that is hard to argue for anyone who knows what was popular when the Presley single was released in December 1965.


Doc, you just had to be there to know how embarrassingly out of touch Elvis seemed with a single like this in the 60s. One side recorded in the 50's, one side 3 yrs earlier, but the music scene had changed so much it seemed much older. Its easy to think differently when you discover songs like this after he died , or thru the magic of CD boxsets, but to live it, you knew Elvis had sort of given up with the studio work, and it seemed like he & The Col didnt care as long as the next travelog came out with its accompanying paltry soundtrack. But even looking at this single now, Tell Me Why is good, but I dont even think good enough for a single back in the 50's when compared to the other stellar work he did. An LP track at best. As for Blue River, its a bad song, and a robotic performance by Elvis who puts absolutely zero effort into his vocal. You can almost tell he knew it was garbage.



That "Blue River" is better than some of the other material at the May 1963 session, not to mention in the past year or two of studio work, speaks volumes to why his career was trending downward. I'm not sure how much he thought of the tune, but it was basically the last song of the all-nighter, and he barely had time to cut one full take, running through a false start and then a 1:31 second take. Afterwards, Steve Sholes had engineer Bill Porter append a copy of the back half of this take to make the song run over two minutes. It's certainly not the RCA session for "Hound Dog" we're speaking of here.