Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:55 am
Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:21 am
Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:30 am
Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:26 pm
Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:00 pm
Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:18 am
Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:33 am
Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:41 am
Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:16 pm
KiwiAlan wrote:The Rivers version is much better. It does have more punch and when released suits the music scene at the time.
There is the problem of comparing studio versus live...Rivers being live does have the excitement factor.
Elvis version is low key...almost a ballad Perry Como laid back ballad reading of what should be a driving rock number.
bollocks perry como no no no
Had it been released as a single the comparison between Chuck Berry and Lonnie Mack versions would have made "The King Of Rock And Roll" title a little sick.
For a guitar drenched version have a listen to The Beatles live rendition.
Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:30 pm
Fri Mar 30, 2007 8:20 pm
JerryNodak wrote:I've always preferred the Johnny Rivers version over Elvis. I'n sorry, but my "radio" ears just don't hear "hit" in Elvis' version. Of the Elvis versions I like the '63 session better.
Love the "Live" Whiskey A Go-Go albums by Rivers.
Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:30 am
Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:54 am
Matthew wrote:I find it laughable that anyone could be considered to have stolen the song from Elvis
Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:11 am
Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:38 am
Sat Mar 31, 2007 8:47 am
Pete Dube wrote:If the raucous, excellent Ain't That Lovin' You Baby couldn't crack the top 10 during Beatlemania the solid but unexceptional Memphis wasn't going to do it.
Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:23 pm
minkahed wrote:Pete Dube wrote:If the raucous, excellent Ain't That Lovin' You Baby couldn't crack the top 10 during Beatlemania the solid but unexceptional Memphis wasn't going to do it.
I was always under the assumption that split airplay and sales of that great 1964 45rpm, ASK ME/AIN'T THAT LOVING YOU BABY, is what essentially held both those titles back from gaining higher chart positions on the billboard chart
A peak chart position of #16 for an already 6 yeard old record would certainly qualify the song as a legitimate and respectable "Hit" for any era ...
Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:05 pm
Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:14 pm
Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:10 am
TkoTzer wrote:In Guralnick's Careless Love, he mentions that Elvis expected his version of Chuck Berry's Memphis to be his next big hit until Johnny Rivers apparently stole it out from under him and release it. I just heard it again recently and I must admit I think River's version is better because I believe it packs a little more punch. I am interested to hear everyone else's opinion. Does anyone think this could have been a big hit for Elvis?
Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:18 am
Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:09 am
What Johnny Rivers did is steal the idea that the Berry tune could be attractive to a 1964 radio audience, an idea propagated by hearing Presley play the January 1964 acetate over and over again. Elvis thought he was sharing something he was proud of with a friend, but Rivers was much less than that.
Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:32 pm
Dr. Carpenter and The Fool still don't account for one important aspect about "Memphis."
That being that if Elvis felt so strongly about the January '64 recording, why didn't he put it out as a single before Johnny Rivers' version even dented the charts in May '64.
Elvis had nearly a 5 month window to put it out as a single, but yet he didn't.
Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:06 pm
Dr. Carpenter and The Fool still don't account for one important aspect about "Memphis.", That being that if Elvis felt so strongly about the January '64 recording, why didn't he put it out as a single before Johnny Rivers' version even dented the charts in May '64. Elvis had nearly a 5 month window to put it out as a single, but yet he didn't. Do yourselves both a favor by getting a copy of Tunzi's "Elvis #1, The Complete Chart History of Elvis Presley." On page 57 of that book is the Billboard chart for June 13, 1964 at which time Johnny Rivers' "Memphis" had just entered the Top 40 at #31 and had been on the charts for 3 weeks. During that same week of June 13, Elvis' "What'd I Say" and "Viva Las Vegas" had reached their peaks at #21 and #29 respectively. To reiterate what I said before, Elvis released three singles between the January '64 session and the time Johnny Rivers' version hit the charts, let alone two in the month of April. In Alannah Nash's book "Revelations Of The Memphis Mafia" it quotes Marty Lacker as follows:
That happened in '64. Johnny was up at the Perugia Way house one day, and Elvis played him a dub of his cut on the song. Not too long after that, we were coming home from the studio in the Rolls, and we were listening to the radio and they started playing "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers. Naturally, we all got upset. I turned around to Elvis and I said, "If you put yours out real quick, that'll kill his." And Elvis said, "No, let the little bastard have his hit record. I wish him luck, but I never want to see him again.
About two Saturdays later, Johnny came up on his motorcycle because he used to go riding with the guys on the weekends. Alan (Fortas) and I happened to be in the courtyard out front, and we both started calling him a no-good thief. He acted real innocent. He said, "What did I do?" I said, "Johnny, if you don't realize what you did, that's your problem. But you've got five seconds to get off this property, or we're going to throw you over the wall." He never came around again. But Elvis could get cruel. And he'd burn into you. (page 202)
Doctor John, you wrote that a "quality studio recording of Elvis Presley singing "Memphis" as opposed to yet another piece of soundtrack crap, would've been welcomed by all, and likely a good-sized pop hit."
While I'll concede to you that it would have been welcomed by all, that doesn't automatically mean that it would have been a hit for Elvis. Especially compared to Johnny Rivers' version. Where you compare Elvis' "Memphis" to other "pieces of soundtrack crap" the real comparision should be between Elvis' version and Johnny Rivers version. Johnny Rivers wins hands down. And I believe Marty Lacker is wrong that Elvis never saw him again, as I said before in Hopkins' first biography he mentions Johnny Rivers coming backstage to see Elvis at the International Hotel.
Dr. Carpenter, you also wrote:What Johnny Rivers did is steal the idea that the Berry tune could be attractive to a 1964 radio audience, an idea propagated by hearing Presley play the January 1964 acetate over and over again. Elvis thought he was sharing something he was proud of with a friend, but Rivers was much less than that.
So are you saying Dr. Carpenter that Elvis stole the idea that the Berry tune could be attractive to a 1964 radio audience from Lonnie Mack who scored a major instrumental hit with "Memphis" in August '63. If anyone "propagated the idea that "Memphis" could be a hit on radio in '63 or '64" it would have to be Lonnie Mack, as I'm sure both Elvis and Johnny Rivers heard Lonnie's version on the radio.
Dr. Carpenter, why would Elvis' own label have to dig into older recordings such as "Kiss Me Quick", "Suspicion", "Ain't That Loving You Baby", "Such A Night", "Never Ending", "You'll Be Gone", "Crying In The Chapel", "(Such An) Easy Question", "It Feels So Right", "I'm Yours", "(It's A) Long, Lonely Highway", "Tell Me Why", "Blue River", "That's Someone You Never Forget", "There's Always Me", and "Judy" for the next few years in the hopes of pulling out a hit in the midst of Beatlemania. And yet all along they had this supposedly "killer" version of "Memphis" that they relegated to the "Elvis For Everyone" LP in '65. And none of these songs were initially recorded for use in any motion picture.
It is my opinion that Marty, Lamar and Billy are all biased against Johnny Rivers because of their dislike of Larry Geller, who was Johnny Rivers hairstylist before becoming Elvis'. And to be truthful, if Elvis had done as Marty Lacker supposedly suggested and put out his version of "Memphis" to compete with Rivers' version, Elvis would have had his hat handed to him. It's that simple. Maybe that's why he didn't put it out at all. He knew it wasn't good enough for radio in '63 or '64.
Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:01 pm
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