Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:24 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:A lot of Elvis' early sixties material is overlooked because of the volume of movie soundtracks he was cranking out, and the fact that the quality of the song submissions for his studio sessions accordingly suffered. Yet, many of the tracks he waxed at RCA Nashville between 1961 and 1963 are superbly played and sung to perfection.

"Night Rider," issued on 1962's Pot Luck with Elvis, is a prime example. Submitted by the hit-making team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, they were directly inspired by the many stories of Elvis and his pals riding their Harleys in the hills of Bel Air during the midnight hour. Presley even went to the trouble of trying to create the ideal master for "Night Rider" in two different sessions (October 1961 and March 1962), so he obviously loved their tune.



Image

Elvis on a Harley, "Kid Galahad" location shooting, November 1961



It's interesting that Elvis had soprano Millie Kirkham and the Jordanaires in the studio that night, but made them sit this one out. In the end, take 4 from October 16, 1961 was chosen for the 1962 RCA album. Listen for speedy guitar licks played by Jerry Kennedy, drummer Buddy Harman's gigantic fills, Floyd Cramer's Morse code-like piano notes and Elvis riding over all of it with a great, breezy vocal. And if you want to sing along, the correct lyrics are below.

Elvis was still cool in '62.



Image

Billboard - June 30, 1962




Image

Pot Luck with Elvis (RCA Victor LPM/LSP 2523, June 1962)
Billboard US Pop #4
Image courtesy of this essential site: www.elvisrecords.us | The Elvis Presley Record Research Database



phpBB [video]


Elvis Presley, "Night Rider"
Album master, take 4, recorded at RCA Nashville, Monday, October 16, 1961


Night Rider
Doc Pomus - Mort Shuman
© Cherry River Music, BMI / Chrysalis Songs, BMI

Night rider, night rider
You may think that it's the breeze, whistlin' through the lonely trees
But it's only him a-flying round the bend as the day comes to an end

Night rider, night rider
He came riding into town as the sun was going down
Saw my baby and he smiled her heart away
Now what will I do today?

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me




Musicians:
Guitar: Scotty Moore
Guitar: Jerry Kennedy
Bass: Bob Moore
Drums: Murrey "Buddy" Harman
Drums: D.J. Fontana
Piano: Floyd Cramer
Saxophone: Homer "Boots" Randolph

Unused:
Backup Vocals: Millie Kirkham
Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires (Gordon Stoker, Hoyt Hawkins, Neal Matthews and Ray Walker)




Image

Billboard - June 23, 1962

Thanks Doc!! ::rocks

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:25 pm

Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:A lot of Elvis' early sixties material is overlooked because of the volume of movie soundtracks he was cranking out, and the fact that the quality of the song submissions for his studio sessions accordingly suffered. Yet, many of the tracks he waxed at RCA Nashville between 1961 and 1963 are superbly played and sung to perfection.

"Night Rider," issued on 1962's Pot Luck with Elvis, is a prime example. Submitted by the hit-making team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, they were directly inspired by the many stories of Elvis and his pals riding their Harleys in the hills of Bel Air during the midnight hour. Presley even went to the trouble of trying to create the ideal master for "Night Rider" in two different sessions (October 1961 and March 1962), so he obviously loved their tune.



Image

Elvis on a Harley, "Kid Galahad" location shooting, November 1961



It's interesting that Elvis had soprano Millie Kirkham and the Jordanaires in the studio that night, but made them sit this one out. In the end, take 4 from October 16, 1961 was chosen for the 1962 RCA album. Listen for speedy guitar licks played by Jerry Kennedy, drummer Buddy Harman's gigantic fills, Floyd Cramer's Morse code-like piano notes and Elvis riding over all of it with a great, breezy vocal. And if you want to sing along, the correct lyrics are below.

Elvis was still cool in '62.



Image

Billboard - June 30, 1962




Image

Pot Luck with Elvis (RCA Victor LPM/LSP 2523, June 1962)
Billboard US Pop #4
Image courtesy of this essential site: www.elvisrecords.us | The Elvis Presley Record Research Database



phpBB [video]


Elvis Presley, "Night Rider"
Album master, take 4, recorded at RCA Nashville, Monday, October 16, 1961


Night Rider
Doc Pomus - Mort Shuman
© Cherry River Music, BMI / Chrysalis Songs, BMI

Night rider, night rider
You may think that it's the breeze, whistlin' through the lonely trees
But it's only him a-flying round the bend as the day comes to an end

Night rider, night rider
He came riding into town as the sun was going down
Saw my baby and he smiled her heart away
Now what will I do today?

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me




Musicians:
Guitar: Scotty Moore
Guitar: Jerry Kennedy
Bass: Bob Moore
Drums: Murrey "Buddy" Harman
Drums: D.J. Fontana
Piano: Floyd Cramer
Saxophone: Homer "Boots" Randolph

Unused:
Backup Vocals: Millie Kirkham
Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires (Gordon Stoker, Hoyt Hawkins, Neal Matthews and Ray Walker)




Image

Billboard - June 23, 1962

Thanks Doc!! ::rocks



Had to scroll thru that all again to read thanks, Doc!!! :lol:

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:43 pm

It was on purpose! :lol: ::rocks

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:40 pm

Doc,there you go again!
Thanks indeed for highlighting one of my favorite Elvis albums(if not his best).
Could,or would they do a Legacy release for this?

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:57 pm

Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:A lot of Elvis' early sixties material is overlooked because of the volume of movie soundtracks he was cranking out, and the fact that the quality of the song submissions for his studio sessions accordingly suffered. Yet, many of the tracks he waxed at RCA Nashville between 1961 and 1963 are superbly played and sung to perfection.

"Night Rider," issued on 1962's Pot Luck with Elvis, is a prime example. Submitted by the hit-making team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, they were directly inspired by the many stories of Elvis and his pals riding their Harleys in the hills of Bel Air during the midnight hour. Presley even went to the trouble of trying to create the ideal master for "Night Rider" in two different sessions (October 1961 and March 1962), so he obviously loved their tune.



Image

Elvis on a Harley, "Kid Galahad" location shooting, November 1961



It's interesting that Elvis had soprano Millie Kirkham and the Jordanaires in the studio that night, but made them sit this one out. In the end, take 4 from October 16, 1961 was chosen for the 1962 RCA album. Listen for speedy guitar licks played by Jerry Kennedy, drummer Buddy Harman's gigantic fills, Floyd Cramer's Morse code-like piano notes and Elvis riding over all of it with a great, breezy vocal. And if you want to sing along, the correct lyrics are below.

Elvis was still cool in '62.



Image

Billboard - June 30, 1962




Image

Pot Luck with Elvis (RCA Victor LPM/LSP 2523, June 1962)
Billboard US Pop #4
Image courtesy of this essential site: www.elvisrecords.us | The Elvis Presley Record Research Database



phpBB [video]


Elvis Presley, "Night Rider"
Album master, take 4, recorded at RCA Nashville, Monday, October 16, 1961


Night Rider
Doc Pomus - Mort Shuman
© Cherry River Music, BMI / Chrysalis Songs, BMI

Night rider, night rider
You may think that it's the breeze, whistlin' through the lonely trees
But it's only him a-flying round the bend as the day comes to an end

Night rider, night rider
He came riding into town as the sun was going down
Saw my baby and he smiled her heart away
Now what will I do today?

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me

Cautioned my baby to stay at home, not to leave mama's side
She laughed when I told her take care, take care
Or you'll share in his midnight ride

Night rider, night rider
Since he stole her out of sight, I ain't had a peaceful night
Night rider won't you let my baby be?
Come on, send her back to me




Musicians:
Guitar: Scotty Moore
Guitar: Jerry Kennedy
Bass: Bob Moore
Drums: Murrey "Buddy" Harman
Drums: D.J. Fontana
Piano: Floyd Cramer
Saxophone: Homer "Boots" Randolph

Unused:
Backup Vocals: Millie Kirkham
Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires (Gordon Stoker, Hoyt Hawkins, Neal Matthews and Ray Walker)




Image

Billboard - June 23, 1962

Thanks Doc!! ::rocks


Agreed!

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:18 pm

MORERO wrote:'Something Blue' is one the prettiest ballads Elvis ever recorded. Should be a single, or at least a b-side.


'Kiss Me Quick' / 'Something Blue' was indeed a UK single here in 1963 reaching a high of Number 14 in the charts.

Andy

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:23 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote: ...I don't rank the 1960-62 studio LPs as highly as you.

Of the three, only Elvis Is Back! finds Presley at the peak of his powers. Taken together, the slow decline in the quality of the material is evident.


I think that is a fair statement that the material was starting to decline. That would have been especially true if "For The Asking" from the May 1963 sessions had been released by RCA in 1964. Elvis' performances were pleasant enough, but the song quality is definitely a cut below the earlier albums. Things wouldn't look up agian until May 1966.

I agree with some of the other posters that "Pot Luck" may be a little stronger album than "Something For Everybody". The rhythm side is pretty tame compared to "Elvis Is Back" and the ballad side was almost mainstream country music.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:13 pm

Doc, thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable post! I'd like to see more posts of this nature spotlighting the underappreciated/overlooked tracks from the early 60's. Also, some tunes from the army period deserve attention.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:41 pm

Another wonderful post and very interesting by dear Doc,love the scans too, Thank you Doc
always loved POT LUCK and Night rider....that POT on the cover makes me hungry..yammy :lol:
sincerely
Lior :smt006

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:22 pm

I think he is still at the peak of his powers on Pot Luck but the material is not up to the standard of EIB. His powers (which he was still at the peak of) are what makes this such a darn entertaining listen, nearly 50 years later.

Steve Lecher

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:13 pm

Great post and great song. I remember when it was released...songs such as this kept me going as an Elvis fan during the movie years. Tonight I'm going to do a shootout and compare the takes on the "Such a Night" and "Studio B Nashville Outakes" CDs with the Pot Luck version. Anyone have an opionion on whether they picked the right one for release?

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:14 pm

Thanks Doc, for a fantastic piece of background information on this particular song. Very nice to know that this song actually is rooted in Elvis's habit and hobby.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:54 pm

Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Some comments:


George Smith wrote:Nice article (and well presented), thank you.

I like the song: it's perhaps just a tad too mannered but beautifully played and perfectly recorded.

The most fascinating bit of the recorded history is that 15 second clip of the "Jam" ending that first surfaced on "Studio B Nashville Outtakes" on FTD.

That shows just enough of a rough edge to make me wonder how those first unpolished un-recorded rehearsals sounded.

George, as usual some nice observations. That "jam" is from the March 18, 1962 sessions, but is indeed a window into a somewhat less-mannered arrangement, and one which might have been a bit more exciting if released in 1962. As it is, Elvis returned to the October 1961 master for the LP release.


dark moon wrote:Doc

I command you to write a song by song Elvis book....what a wonderful tome that would be

I'll pre-order it....

That is a very kind thought, thank you.

I might have some trouble with 1965, 1966, 1971, 1973 and 1976, though.


Chris Roberts wrote:Great post,Doc. It's good to highlight various tracks, through out his career, like this. It is only too easy for us to become so familiar with his work that we don't re-valuate it enough.

Pot Luck was the first Elvis album that I purchased, my elder siblings had purchased all previous ones, but they now had other commitments (college, marriage) that it was now (1962) down to me to keep the Elvis light burning in our home.

My personnel favourite from Pot Luck is 'Gonna Get Back Home Somehow' followed closely by 'Night Rider'. The early '60's was certainly a great period, its such a shame that it wasn't to last.

"Gonna Get Back Home Somehow" is another Doc Pomus - Mort Shuman number, and an amazing production, a huge sound with every singer and musician involved from the first moment. Apparently this "wall of sound" emulates the demo made by fledgling producer Phil Spector. I wish we could hear that one.

Elvis' recording also betrays more than a hint of Del Shannon's "Runaway," perhaps the most amazing single of 1961. It's almost an "answer" song to "Runaway."


stevelecher wrote:I think he is still at the peak of his powers on Pot Luck but the material is not up to the standard of EIB. His powers (which he was still at the peak of) are what makes this such a darn entertaining listen, nearly 50 years later.

Everyone at the sessions is great, but the material is uneven. To rank a period where Elvis is at his peak, the songs must be up to snuff.


docweswebb wrote:Great post and great song. I remember when it was released...songs such as this kept me going as an Elvis fan during the movie years. Tonight I'm going to do a shootout and compare the takes on the "Such a Night" and "Studio B Nashville Outakes" CDs with the Pot Luck version. Anyone have an opinion on whether they picked the right one for release?

There are three full takes from 1961, two from 1962.

Of these, the 1961 master (take 3) reveals Elvis at his most confident and commanding, and this must be why he chose it as the RCA master.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:38 am

Great posts Doc, and I don't think we're quibbling about much, but I think he as at his peak still on World's Fair or Fun In Acapulco, though the material is far below even POT LUCK standards.

Steve L.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:55 am

That was a great read, Doc!

I do so love those early sixties Nashville sessions, even though there was a noticeable decline in the quality of material cut between 1960 and 1963.

During this period, Elvis and that stellar cast of musicians and singers could take average (at best) songs like For The Millionth And The Last Time, Echoes Of Love and Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers and turn them into something special. That the recordings sound fabulous certainly helps, thanks to Bill Porter.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:01 am

stevelecher wrote:... he as at his peak still on World's Fair or Fun In Acapulco, though the material is far below even POT LUCK standards.

Vocal peak, yes -- creative peak, no.


londonflash wrote:That the recordings sound fabulous certainly helps, thanks to Bill Porter.

Yes, Bill Porter's engineering work on the Nashville recordings, 1960-1963, is stunning.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:08 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
stevelecher wrote:... he as at his peak still on World's Fair or Fun In Acapulco, though the material is far below even POT LUCK standards.

Vocal peak, yes -- creative peak, no.

+1

It's amazing to listen to outtakes from World's Fair and listen to his professionalism and enthusiasm. The disillusionment was still a soundtrack or two away and is very evident on Girl Happy outtakes.

Steve L.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:10 am

this thread reminds me that I need to start a poll asking which is better "Knight Rider" or "my mother the car".. :wink: ..I actually like "night rider" I think it's an underatted Elvis song..

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:11 am

if you're talking tv shows..."My Mother the Car" wins in my opinion.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:26 am

Great song,great post Doc.Elvis had so much going on with the movies and soundtrack albums it's
a relief he was still hungry at that point in time to cut good tunes in the studio,just a pity the sales didn't match the soundtracks which led to lesser effort and importance to quality studio albums for
the rest of the 60's.

norrie

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:53 am

Doc, You hit another home run with this post! Night Rider is a fantastic song and Pot Luck is one of my favorite albums. The album cover artwork is fantastic too.

::rocks

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:07 am

Boy, I've gotta say the album artwork is pedestrian at best. Elvis with a drawn steaming pot?

Steve L.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:24 am

stevelecher wrote:Boy, I've gotta say the album artwork is pedestrian at best. Elvis with a drawn steaming pot?

Steve L.


Agree with you there Steve,it's a pretty cheap looking cover.

norrie

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:24 am

Cover design = Tom Parker.

Re: Elvis is ... the NIGHT RIDER ! (1962)

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:29 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Cover design = Tom Parker.

What more can one ask for?