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From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:31 am

A somewhat-inaccurate Memphis Commercial Appeal article about EPE releasing a list of Elvis' personal record collection may not have been posted on FECC back in the day. So, here it is!

For convenience, each artist found on vinyl is highlighted.

Some VERY interesting insights are to be found regarding his musical tastes, including verification that African-American music was a huge part of his collection, and that Elvis did indeed love the Beatles very, very much. ;-)

And if anyone has access to the full list, please post it up!


From Elvis's crates ...
Influential singers fill list of vinyl
Michael Lollar, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sunday, June 8, 2003

Don't look for a Robert Goulet album in Elvis Presley's record collection. It was Goulet who once inspired Elvis to shoot out a TV set at Graceland. But, from Chuck Berry to Bobbie Gentry to Beethoven, Presley was a fan.

It was Presley's synthesis of gospel, blues, soul, country and rhythm and blues that helped construct rock and roll in the 1950s, and his record collection reflects the far-ranging tastes that followed him into the 1960s and 1970s.

Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises have cataloged the collection with 1,000 albums and singles filling up a 24-page list top-heavy with the "big voices" and "clear and distinctive" styles that were a magnet for Presley.

Elvis Presley Enterprises, which owns the rights to all things Elvis in the United States, allowed only a cursory look at the list. "We do not release archival lists in their entirety," said Graceland spokesman Todd Morgan. A partial copy of the list will be released this month as a perk for members of the Elvis Presley Collector's Club, formed by Graceland as an insider's view of the King's things.

"He used to say, 'I can appreciate the best of everything,' " says Elvis friend and disk jockey George Klein, who once asked Elvis why he liked opera stars Mario Lanza and Enrico Caruso.


570000_RCA LSC 2097_Brahms.JPG


There is only one opera recording (by Lanza) in the Elvis collection, which Morgan says "leans heavily to black rhythm and blues and to black and white gospel." Graceland archivists cataloged the recordings by title and last names of artists, so exact numbers in each category aren't readily available. That's because many of the groups and solo artists who began as gospel singers crossed over into pop and rhythm and blues and later returned to their gospel roots.

But Elvis friends said they did not need to see a list to know that gospel recordings were Elvis's favorites and the music that Elvis most often played for friends. "He loved close harmony," says former Memphis Mafia member Red West, who lived at Graceland. He says Elvis's favorite groups were the Harmonizing Four and Golden Gate Quartet and his favorite gospel singers included Jimmy Jones, Jake Hess (who sang with the Statesmen and later formed the Imperials) and Mahalia Jackson.

It was that close harmony that also made him a big fan of the Ink Spots and The Platters, especially love songs, says West. But Elvis's tastes were also guided by his personal views, so that the flower-power draw of The Mamas and the Papas, one of the biggest close-harmony groups of the '60s and '70s, was too liberal for his tastes, says West.


680000_Revival Records LPM 1001_Revivalaires.JPG


Gospel groups in Elvis's collection include the Blackwood Brothers, the Imperials, the Statesmen Quartet, the Stamps, the Harmonizing Four, the Revivalaires, the Jubil-Aires and the Oak Ridge Boys.

Soul and rhythm and blues performers are another major part of the collection, and it was a handful of them who would be at the top of Elvis's all-time favorite solo artists, Klein says. Former church choir singer Roy Hamilton, whose big baritone voice turned him into a major rhythm and blues artist who crossed over into pop in the '50s, may have been Elvis's No. 1 favorite singer. He especially loved Hamilton's version of Unchained Melody and later recorded it himself.

"In Elvis's version you can hear Roy Hamilton (his style) all the way through it," says Klein. Hamilton also influenced Jackie Wilson, Elvis's other all-time favorite, says Klein. Wilson's Night and Lonely Teardrops were two of Elvis's favorite songs.

Memphis Mafia member Marty Lacker, who lived at Graceland and later founded the city's music commission, says singer Jimmy Jones of the Harmonizing Four gospel group was another Elvis favorite. At dinner one night in the Graceland dining room, Elvis told him the people who "really influenced" him were big-band and pop singer Billy Eckstine, rhythm and blues singers Brook Benton and Arthur Prysock and gospel singer Jake Hess.

But Elvis's tastes were always varied, says Memphis Mafia member Jerry Schilling, former head of the Memphis and Shelby County Music Commission. While he owned several Frank Sinatra records, he was an even bigger fan of Dean Martin. Schilling also remembers Hamilton as an all-time Elvis favorite, but also lists Mario Lanza, the Ink Spots, the Blackwood Brothers, the Prisonaires, The Platters, The Drifters and The Jackson 5. "We followed the Jackson 5 in Lake Tahoe once when Lisa (Lisa Marie Presley) was 6 years old. That's when she first met Michael Jackson."


651200_Capitol 2242_Beatles.JPG


Rock bands are a rarity in the collection. There were four Beatles albums and albums by Chicago and the Turtles, but West says Elvis preferred soloists. West, a songwriter, once tried to turn Elvis on to the song Green, Green Grass of Home, but Elvis wasn't interested. When Tom Jones recorded it, Elvis was returning to Memphis on a tour bus. "When we got within range of Memphis, he kept stopping every few minutes to call George Klein (at WHBQ radio) and got him to play it every few minutes from Little Rock to Memphis.'' Jones and Presley later became good friends, often visiting each other backstage after their Las Vegas shows.


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There are relatively few female singers in the record collection, but Elvis's friends say his favorites included Anne Murray (for her "clear and distinctive voice"), Vikki Carr (It Must Be Him), Mahalia Jackson, Della Reese, Dionne Warwick, Bobbie Gentry, Leslie Uggams, Timi Yuro, the Andrews Sisters, the McGuire Sisters and his former backup group The Sweet Inspirations. His record collection includes a duet album between Memphis father and daughter Rufus and Carla Thomas.

Elvis, the rocker and balladeer, was not a fan of jazz , but he had an album by Duke Ellington, Newport 1958, in the collection. There was also only a small sampling of classical music - Brahms's Symphony No. 1, Beethoven's Konzert Fur Klavier Und Orchestra No. 5 and Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor.



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http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2003/jun/08/from-elviss-crates

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Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:42 am

Thank you for sharing. Great information. I too would like to see the complete list.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:52 am

Is the actual list available anywhere? It would certainly be an interesting read.

The Ellington album is a particular oddity. The Newport 56 album is rightly hailed as one of the best jazz albums of all time. The Newport 58 album (which is here) is really not very well known at all, and has only had relatively limited release on cd. As a big Ellington fan, with all the non-posthumous LPs, I have to say that I would find this to be one of the least accessible if I wasn't a jazz fan, so it seems to be odd that Elvis would have such an album in his collection.

Or would it?

A number of guest artists joined Ellington at Newport in 1958 (although 80% of the album was studio recreations of the live performances with fake applause), and one of them was a certain female vocalist by the name of Mahalia Jackson (who had just recorded a studio album with Ellington, a recording of the suite Black, Brown and Beige). Jackson's songs are in fact omitted from the original LP (although she features on an extended 1994 reissue of the actual concert without the studio tracks), but one can only wonder if Presley knew she had performed at the concert and purchased the album, mistakenly thinking she performed on it.

It's a long shot, but certainly a possibility as to why he would have purchased this of all jazz LPs, and one that doesn't even contain any really well known material.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:10 am

In Record Collector Issue 298 Steve Cairns and George R. White "reveal secrets" of Elvis' record collection. They have a catalogue of over 1000 records owned the The King... Check it out.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:31 am

Well, I took the hint. Below may be the list EPE was talking about in 2003, take a look.


Record Collector, Issue 298 - June 2004
http://www.mabroselvisworld.com/Zeitungsartikel/recordcollector-issue298.htm

recordcollector-1.jpg


recordcollector-2.jpg


recordcollector-3.jpg
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Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:33 am

And the final three pages:

Record Collector, Issue 298 - June 2004
http://www.mabroselvisworld.com/Zeitungsartikel/recordcollector-issue298.htm


recordcollector-4.jpg


recordcollector-5.jpg


recordcollector-6.jpg
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Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:59 am

The interesting thing about the article is that it mentioned Elvis had an album by Chicago in his collection.

All the others i've heard about him being a fan of them but i never knew he liked Chicago.

Thanks for posting this Dr.Carpenter.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:05 am

That didn't take too long. It is a very interesting article indeed. I guess there are some surprises for everyone.

Here is one curiosity for me:

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Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:43 am

thank you.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:23 am

Very interesting, thanks for the links.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:48 am

Yes, the Commercial-Appeal article did make FECC almost ten years ago as I recall,
but it's good to see again with graphics added.

Likewise, I have that 2004 RC article-also very well done as is usual for them .

Learning about ( and hopefully enjoying) Elvis' tastes and influences really
adds depth for serious fans listening to the man's recorded legacy.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:51 am

Thank you very, very much! I was hungering for something like this.

There are questions remaining, of course. The authors admit that "due to lack of data," they made "assumptions" due to necessity. Which leaves the question: "why not release the entire list?" What else could be more interesting? This is nice: it's half of what was there. (Although one might assume that there was some turnover over the years, and also, Elvis had more than one residence.)

But half of a couple thousand isn't bad! I don't think they list the entire thousand, but you certainly get the idea. And of what they couldn't find, they made assumptions. And this much longer list shows that Red West had the wrong idea, unless he considers the Mamas and The Papas more topical (or whatever he called it) than, say Martin Luther King, Jr., as well his folk-era collection (which may not be complete).

I recall in one interview with Charlie Hodge (yes, I know I read it, but I can't recall where) that Elvis "wore out" Nashville Skyline. So, either that's in the other half, or he got rid of it. It would fit in with the rest, in any case.

What doesn't fit in is "All the Young Dudes"! Wow! That's all I can say. Major surprise there! And he must have owned the Bread album, in order to have arranged the song. Things like that must be in the other half. And also, as I said, he lived in more than one place. I would think if you saw the collection at different times in his life, it might have looked very different. He did a lot of moving in the '60s, in California, and might have given some of the records as gifts. That would be in character. And meaning to replace, but maybe not getting around to it.

But this is more than most of us have ever seen before, and it seems as though it's all we are going to see. EPE doesn't want us to see more, even if there are more, and there are more. Half again!

It's enough where you have to go over it again and again. And imagine the other half. There are some I know had to have been there -- early on.

UPDATE: found the interview, and while I SWEAR I had read Charlie say it somewhere, here it says David Stanley said it. Which then, means nothing at all, I guess. (Well, it's not like EVERYTHING he said was false . . . not everything. But I was hoping for where Charlie said "wore out." I read it somewhere - and it's not something I would have forgotten. I'm a big Dylan fan, and I remember this. "Wore out." Those words. That album. Heck, it's not my favorite Dylan album by any means, but yeah, it makes sense.)

http://www.elvisinfonet.com/spotlight_elvis_folk.html

David Stanley also confirmed that Elvis enjoyed Dylan's country/folk album 'Nashville Skyline'. Interestingly Dylan's album, released in 1969, takes the musician towards his country origins in a similar way that Elvis would pursue them at his 1970 Nashville sessions.

Several of Dylan's musicians played on Elvis' albums over the years, including Charlie McCoy who contributed in a major way to Elvis' 1971 "folk" sessions.

It is also likely (??) that Elvis also heard Dylan's performance of Gordon Lightfoot's 'Early Mornin' Rain' from his 1970 'Self Portrait' album. The album itself also featured Dylan covering Elvis' song 'Blue Moon'!

Dylan's record producer Bob Johnston has even stated that when Dylan wrote a song they both thought might work for Elvis, he tried to arrange a meeting. "I tried to get them to record together. I think Dylan would have done it in a second." It's an fascinating idea.


The person who wrote this is a member here, perhaps he could shed some light on the matter.

Another point: maybe I missed it, but where's the record Elvis had ON when the Beatles visited, "Mohair Sam"? If that's not there, either it's in the "other half" -- along with a lot of Charlie Rich, or some are just missing altogether. I mean, to find Jim Croce, and not Charlie Rich . . . and Orbison . . . where's he? Where's "Suzy Q"? Where's Ricky Nelson? Chuck Berry? Hmm.

rjm
P.S. -- I never cared for the Mamas and the Papas, either.
Last edited by rjm on Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:39 am, edited 6 times in total.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:00 am

Thank you Doc, thats a very interesting topic
I had a list of his records collection...dont know where its gone, great to have this info again
I do know hes got 1 Cliff richard '45 - "The Minute youre gone" -1965
I was really surprice, its a great song Cliff recorded in Nashville with the Jordanairs in 1963
About the Beatles albums, i wonder what 3 other albums he had...besides Rubber Soul..i take a guess its the early ones...

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:05 am

Thanks for posting. It's all very interesting and gives us real insight into Elvis' tastes. The only caveat is that Elvis wasn't the only person who lived at Graceland from 1957 to 1977, so we can't assume that every album was there because Elvis bought/liked it.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:05 am

Cool article. I am sure having a job where you travel, having lived overseas in the Army, and having more than one home at a time means we will never know everything Elvis bought and owned. Which he liked a lot or which he though were OK. I am sure at one time or another he had all of his records for instance but he may have given most of them away afterwards. Still this is a great article and shows that Elvis was a record collector. He didn't just buy hits or well known songs which is very cool.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:16 am

The entire list is available from EPE for members of their for pay club, I forget what it's called. Maybe we can take up a collection and buy a membership.

RJM- Elvis had the 1964 Chuck Berry greatest hits collection.

Here are the samples that Paul Simpson mentioned in his book.

Ten Lps-

1. Every Time I Feel the Spirit Mahalia Jackson
2. Dino's Italian Love Songs Dean Martin
3. Piano in the Foreground Duke Ellington
4. The First Family Vaughn Meader
5. Greatest Hits Chuck Berry
6. The Greatest Live Show on Earth Jerry Lee Lewis
7. Where Does Love Go Charles Boyer
8. Crying Time Ray Charles. Simpson also mentions that Elvis also owned Ray Charles: A Man and His Soul, a greatest hits collection. I also could swear that in the official Graceland book there was a picture of a Charles live album in the collection.
9. Live in Las Vegas Tom Jones
10. Cherish David Cassidy. Simpson speculates this belonged to Lisa Marie

He also listed 30 singles,

1. "White Christmas" Bing Crosby
2. "Shake a Hand" Faye Adams
3. "Just Walking in the Rain" The Prisonaires
4. "Malaguena" Andre Kostelanetz
5. "Pledging My Love" Johnny Ace
6. "Unchained Melody" Roy Hamilton
7. "Blue Velvet" The Clovers
8. "Witchcraft" The Spiders
9. "I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash
10. "Peggy Sue" Buddy Holly
11. "Skinny Minnie" Bill Haley
12. "Fever" Peggy Lee
13. "Good Rocking Tonight" Pat Boone
14. "Chain Gang" Sam Cooke
15. "Stardust" Frank Sinatra. Simpson also notes Elvis owned "My Way" and "Close to You" as well.
16. "Gonna Miss You Round Here" BB King
17. "20-75" Willie Mitchell
18. "Share Your Love With Me" Bobby Bland
19. "The House of the Rising Sun" The Animals. Simpson notes that Elvis owned two other Animals' singles but does not mention what they were. He also mentioned that Elvis owned some DC5 singles.
20. "Mr. Pitiful" Otis Redding
21. "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" the Righteous Brothers
22. "It's a Man's Man's World" James Brown
23. "Spanish Flea" Herb Alpert
24. "Ode to Billy Joe" Bobby Gentry
25. "Baby I Love You" Aretha Franklin
26. "Light My Fire" Jose Feliciano
27. "Everybody's Talkin'" Nilsson
28. "I Hear You Knocking" Dave Edmunds.
29. "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" Jim Croce
30. "You're a Lady" Peter Skellern. Never heard of this one. UK fans???

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:29 am

Great stuff Doc! As always! :)

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Thanks John ,an interesting article

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:33 pm

rjm wrote:Thank you very, very much! I was hungering for something like this.

There are questions remaining, of course. The authors admit that "due to lack of data," they made "assumptions" due to necessity. Which leaves the question: "why not release the entire list?" What else could be more interesting? This is nice: it's half of what was there. (Although one might assume that there was some turnover over the years, and also, Elvis had more than one residence.)

But half of a couple thousand isn't bad! I don't think they list the entire thousand, but you certainly get the idea. And of what they couldn't find, they made assumptions. And this much longer list shows that Red West had the wrong idea, unless he considers the Mamas and The Papas more topical (or whatever he called it) than, say Martin Luther King, Jr., as well his folk-era collection (which may not be complete).

I recall in one interview with Charlie Hodge (yes, I know I read it, but I can't recall where) that Elvis "wore out" Nashville Skyline. So, either that's in the other half, or he got rid of it. It would fit in with the rest, in any case.

What doesn't fit in is "All the Young Dudes"! Wow! That's all I can say. Major surprise there! And he must have owned the Bread album, in order to have arranged the song. Things like that must be in the other half. And also, as I said, he lived in more than one place. I would think if you saw the collection at different times in his life, it might have looked very different. He did a lot of moving in the '60s, in California, and might have given some of the records as gifts. That would be in character. And meaning to replace, but maybe not getting around to it.

But this is more than most of us have ever seen before, and it seems as though it's all we are going to see. EPE doesn't want us to see more, even if there are more, and there are more. Half again!

It's enough where you have to go over it again and again. And imagine the other half. There are some I know had to have been there -- early on.

UPDATE: found the interview, and while I SWEAR I had read Charlie say it somewhere, here it says David Stanley said it. Which then, means nothing at all, I guess. (Well, it's not like EVERYTHING he said was false . . . not everything. But I was hoping for where Charlie said "wore out." I read it somewhere - and it's not something I would have forgotten. I'm a big Dylan fan, and I remember this. "Wore out." Those words. That album. Heck, it's not my favorite Dylan album by any means, but yeah, it makes sense.)

http://www.elvisinfonet.com/spotlight_elvis_folk.html

David Stanley also confirmed that Elvis enjoyed Dylan's country/folk album 'Nashville Skyline'. Interestingly Dylan's album, released in 1969, takes the musician towards his country origins in a similar way that Elvis would pursue them at his 1970 Nashville sessions.

Several of Dylan's musicians played on Elvis' albums over the years, including Charlie McCoy who contributed in a major way to Elvis' 1971 "folk" sessions.

It is also likely (??) that Elvis also heard Dylan's performance of Gordon Lightfoot's 'Early Mornin' Rain' from his 1970 'Self Portrait' album. The album itself also featured Dylan covering Elvis' song 'Blue Moon'!

Dylan's record producer Bob Johnston has even stated that when Dylan wrote a song they both thought might work for Elvis, he tried to arrange a meeting. "I tried to get them to record together. I think Dylan would have done it in a second." It's an fascinating idea.


The person who wrote this is a member here, perhaps he could shed some light on the matter.

Another point: maybe I missed it, but where's the record Elvis had ON when the Beatles visited, "Mohair Sam"? If that's not there, either it's in the "other half" -- along with a lot of Charlie Rich, or some are just missing altogether. I mean, to find Jim Croce, and not Charlie Rich . . . and Orbison . . . where's he? Where's "Suzy Q"? Where's Ricky Nelson? Chuck Berry? Hmm.

rjm
P.S. -- I never cared for the Mamas and the Papas, either.

:smt015 ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:56 pm

Thanks for the thread, very interesting and fascinating infos.

TJ wrote:Thanks for posting. It's all very interesting and gives us real insight into Elvis' tastes. The only caveat is that Elvis wasn't the only person who lived at Graceland from 1957 to 1977, so we can't assume that every album was there because Elvis bought/liked it.


I agree with you but nevertheless I am sure majority of them belonged to Elvis. The list showed Elvis had a diverse taste in music. he not only sang all kinds but listened to all kinds.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:43 pm

Last time I was at Graceland, I distinctly saw a copy of the 1975 Elton John LP "Rock of the Westies" on show. That could have been Lisa Marie's LP perhaps. It certainly was not one of Elton's better albums.

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:49 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:and that Elvis did indeed love the Beatles very, very much. ;-)


There ya go again. :wink:

I love Elvis Presleys music very, very much. I have all his albums.
I love Bruce Springsteens music very, very much. I have all his albums.
I love U2's music very, very much. I have all their albums.

I like the Beatles. I have 3 of their albums.

Do you have all Springsteen and Beatles albums? I know that you love them very, very much. So, one would assume that the Doc would have all of the official releases.

So, given that Elvis only had 4, and not the 13 albums that he could have purchased, says it all really.

Nice try tho. ::rocks

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:02 pm

http://elvisweetjes.blogspot.nl/2012/10 ... ction.html

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:28 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:http://elvisweetjes.blogspot.nl/2012/10/elvis-private-record-collection.html

Thanks for the link, "zolderopruiming1".

Note the two songs, You Chose A Fine Time [?] and Give Her A Kiss [Rodgers and Hart?] are curiously listed under the "PRESLEY" heading.

Error?

Re: From Elvis' Crates --> His Vinyl Is No Mystery!

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:44 pm

I would take the content of this list with some hesitation.

As mentioned, Elvis was probably give many, many records over the years. For example, Pat Boone may have sent him some of the 45's that were found in his collection.

Just because he owned a copy does not mean he wanted or listened to it.

Which three Beatle albums did he have? I only read Rubber Soul from skimming the article.

Also, there is a conspicuous absence of 78's. Didn't Scotty Moore transfer a bunch of those for Elvis when he had his studio? That would be a much better barometer of what Elvis enjoyed listening to.