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Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:35 am

It has always been hard for me to recognize where Scotty Moore and Dj Fontana are on songs for 1960- 1968. They are both credited on being at all of the recordings through U.S. Male. How can you tell who is Buddy Harmon or Dj? Why did they use 2 drummers? I've heard the songs with the drawn out drum solo endings ie. Such a night are Dj. As for guitar,was Scotty rythm or did he have leads? For over 25 years this has irked me. Did they have a long term contract or just were greatly needed.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:38 am

elvismark wrote:It has always been hard for me to recognize where Scotty Moore and Dj Fontana are on songs for 1960- 1968. They are both credited on being at all of the recordings through U.S. Male. How can you tell who is Buddy Harmon or Dj? Why did they use 2 drummers? I've heard the songs with the drawn out drum solo endings ie. Such a night are Dj. As for guitar,was Scotty rythm or did he have leads? For over 25 years this has irked me. Did they have a long term contract or just were greatly needed.

Most recording dates, but not all.

On Presley sessions with a two-drummer set-up, Murrey "Buddy" Harman usually played the fancy fills, D.J. the back beat. The use of two drummers may have initially been due to Elvis refusal to leave Fontana behind, but eventually became a percussive asset on sessions. In the '60s, Scotty was usually relegated to rhythm, although it is his soloing on 1960's "Frankfort Special." Was Moore needed? Not really. At this time, Elvis always had plenty of top-flight session guitarists on hand, but he did not want to leave Moore behind, either.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:50 am

So there is two drummers on the songs? Two sets going at once? He did eventually leave them behind. He worked with Scotty 14 years.WOW The Nbc special was their farewell.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:33 am

elvismark wrote:So there is two drummers on the songs? Two sets going at once? He did eventually leave them behind. He worked with Scotty 14 years.WOW The Nbc special was their farewell.

Two drummers were used at some sessions, not all sessions.

Elvis eventually left everyone behind.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:29 pm

Thanks for the info Ive learnt something new.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:44 am

Elvis eventually left everyone behind.[/quote]


This is so true.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:59 am

TheMaskedClown wrote:Thanks for the info Ive learnt something new.

My pleasure!

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:40 am

The notion of Elvis "leaving everyone behind" just got me daydreaming about whether there might have been some kind of big reunion with his original band members further down the line.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:12 pm

I thought Scotty and DJ were offered the '69 gigs?

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:37 pm

If I'm not mistaken, aside from a few of the earlier 60s sessions in LA, Buddy played on the Nashville sessions. In LA it was Hal Blaine that was the second drummer on a lot. Most of the studios by then used their own people, it was primarily a standard and the norm for Elvis after the Army since he didn't really have a "band" to speak of. There was no touring and the few dates they did perform live they were augmented by others.
As for who played what on which tracks, I couldn't guess and won't offer an opinion. In short, no one has ever sat down with anyone and asked who played what on which track aside from a couple, the rest is guess work.
As for Scotty being relegated to rhythm that's basically just an opinion, not actual knowledge, and likely based on assumption because of the calibre of sessionists that were often in attendance. Like most though, they were just doing a job, with often mediocre product that required nothing stellar. Interesting though how some might consider the role of rhythm guitar as a minimalist position but when some talk of Elvis as a rhythm guitarist he's considered a virtuoso.
I can't speak for DJ but Scotty stayed mostly because he enjoyed playing with Elvis, they didn't make a living from the sporadic session work with Elvis.
Yes Jim, they were approached in 69 but one theory is that they what they were offered was intentionally economically disadvantageous so they wouldn't do it. Whether that was Elvis or management I can only speculate. What they wound up paying the "TCB" band though was a lot more than they ever paid Scotty, DJ or Bill.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:27 am

JamesVRoy wrote:If I'm not mistaken, aside from a few of the earlier 60s sessions in LA, Buddy played on the Nashville sessions. In LA it was Hal Blaine that was the second drummer on a lot. Most of the studios by then used their own people, it was primarily a standard and the norm for Elvis after the Army since he didn't really have a "band" to speak of. There was no touring and the few dates they did perform live they were augmented by others.
As for who played what on which tracks, I couldn't guess and won't offer an opinion. In short, no one has ever sat down with anyone and asked who played what on which track aside from a couple, the rest is guess work.
As for Scotty being relegated to rhythm that's basically just an opinion, not actual knowledge, and likely based on assumption because of the calibre of sessionists that were often in attendance. Like most though, they were just doing a job, with often mediocre product that required nothing stellar. Interesting though how some might consider the role of rhythm guitar as a minimalist position but when some talk of Elvis as a rhythm guitarist he's considered a virtuoso.
I can't speak for DJ but Scotty stayed mostly because he enjoyed playing with Elvis, they didn't make a living from the sporadic session work with Elvis.
Yes Jim, they were approached in 69 but one theory is that they what they were offered was intentionally economically disadvantageous so they wouldn't do it. Whether that was Elvis or management I can only speculate. What they wound up paying the "TCB" band though was a lot more than they ever paid Scotty, DJ or Bill.

IIRC, in his autobiography Scotty himself makes reference to doing mostly rhythm guitar duty in the '60s studio sessions.

As for the 1969 live engagement offer, I'm very certain that Moore, Fontana and the Jordanaires were all low-balled by management, so they did not accept the job. Why Parker chose to do this is a mystery.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:37 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:IIRC, in his autobiography Scotty himself makes reference to doing mostly rhythm guitar duty in the '60s studio sessions.


He makes little reference of the sessions of the '60s in the autobiography. At a glance though it was written:

When Elvis recorded albums or movie soundtracks in Nashville, Scotty usually was asked to attend the sessions. As a diversion from the day-to-day routine of operating a studio, the Elvis sessions were always welcome, but as a source of income they amounted to little more than pocket change.


The only reference I know of that it was said he specifically played rhythm was a page or two later:
Scotty hadn't seen Elvis since January, when they recorded "U.S. Male" for RCA. On that session Jerry Reed had played lead guitar and Scotty had played rhythm. By that time Scotty had pretty much given up hope of ever participating in a big way in Elvis' career. He was pleased to be invited to the sessions (pocket money was pocket money) and he didn't begrudge Elvis his success, but he never really expected ever again to share a stage with him.


This was just prior to the 68 special and the pages in between talk of "Elvis' recording career as almost non-existent"

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:33 am

IIRC, doesn't Elvis ask Scotty to play the opening notes of Like A Baby. We hear it on the outtakes.

I think Elvis might have been OK with the Jordanaires for his return to performances but I doubt DJ Fontana and Scotty were (frankly) good enough for what Elvis wanted in August 1969.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:36 am

stevelecher wrote:IIRC, doesn't Elvis ask Scotty to play the opening notes of Like A Baby. We hear it on the outtakes.

I think Elvis might have been OK with the Jordanaires for his return to performances but I doubt DJ Fontana and Scotty were (frankly) good enough for what Elvis wanted in August 1969.

Wouldn't it more likely be Hank Garland?

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:53 pm

For Elvis' October 15 & 16, 1961 sessions at RCA Studio B in Nashville, you can hear Scotty. Hank Garland had been in an auto accident shortly before, so there were only two guitarists on the session -- Scotty and Jerry Kennedy. Usually there were 3 or 4 throughout the '60s soundtrack sessions. Good Luck Charm was recorded then, along with Night Rider.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:47 am

jeremylr wrote:For Elvis' October 15 & 16, 1961 sessions at RCA Studio B in Nashville, you can hear Scotty. Hank Garland had been in an auto accident shortly before, so there were only two guitarists on the session -- Scotty and Jerry Kennedy. Usually there were 3 or 4 throughout the '60s soundtrack sessions. Good Luck Charm was recorded then, along with Night Rider.

Garland's last Presley session was for "Follow That Dream" on July 2, 1961 at RCA's Studio B in Nashville.

It seems certain that Kennedy, as Garland before him, is taking the leads. Listen to the Duane Eddy-like lick in "Night Rider," for instance. On "Good Luck Charm," that's probably his vibrato-like accents during the verses as well.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:07 am

On the song I'm comin' home from 1961. That could pass for a Scotty Moore solo,but probably was Hank Garland. Also wasn't Scotty orginally slated to be lead on the Nbc Tv special but it was changed to Elvis? I myself think that was pre planned and not spur of the moment on stage. Everythign always seemed to be pre planned around him.

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:26 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
elvismark wrote:It has always been hard for me to recognize where Scotty Moore and Dj Fontana are on songs for 1960- 1968. They are both credited on being at all of the recordings through U.S. Male. How can you tell who is Buddy Harmon or Dj? Why did they use 2 drummers? I've heard the songs with the drawn out drum solo endings ie. Such a night are Dj. As for guitar,was Scotty rythm or did he have leads? For over 25 years this has irked me. Did they have a long term contract or just were greatly needed.

Most recording dates, but not all.

On Presley sessions with a two-drummer set-up, Murrey "Buddy" Harman usually played the fancy fills, D.J. the back beat. The use of two drummers may have initially been due to Elvis refusal to leave Fontana behind, but eventually became a percussive asset on sessions. In the '60s, Scotty was usually relegated to rhythm, although it is his soloing on 1960's "Frankfort Special." Was Moore needed? Not really. At this time, Elvis always had plenty of top-flight session guitarists on hand, but he did not want to leave Moore behind, either.

WAs the two drummer setup in the studio at once or overdubs?

Re: Scotty and Dj on Elvis session work

Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:39 pm

TheMaskedClown wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
elvismark wrote:It has always been hard for me to recognize where Scotty Moore and Dj Fontana are on songs for 1960- 1968. They are both credited on being at all of the recordings through U.S. Male. How can you tell who is Buddy Harmon or Dj? Why did they use 2 drummers? I've heard the songs with the drawn out drum solo endings ie. Such a night are Dj. As for guitar,was Scotty rythm or did he have leads? For over 25 years this has irked me. Did they have a long term contract or just were greatly needed.

Most recording dates, but not all.

On Presley sessions with a two-drummer set-up, Murrey "Buddy" Harman usually played the fancy fills, D.J. the back beat. The use of two drummers may have initially been due to Elvis refusal to leave Fontana behind, but eventually became a percussive asset on sessions. In the '60s, Scotty was usually relegated to rhythm, although it is his soloing on 1960's "Frankfort Special." Was Moore needed? Not really. At this time, Elvis always had plenty of top-flight session guitarists on hand, but he did not want to leave Moore behind, either.

WAs the two drummer setup in the studio at once or overdubs?





It was live. No drum overdubs later. Jan Berry used a similar set up for his Jan&Dean recordings (Hal Blaine & Earl Palmer).