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"Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:19 pm

Whilst leafing through the excellent FTD CD/Book package, Writing For The King (Ken Sharp), this paragraph by famed songwriter, Mike Stoller, happened to catch my eye:

"Years later when he was working with Chips Moman, we were told that they had actually cut a track of "Kansas City" but the voice was never recorded. Would have loved to have heard Elvis sing it."

Prior to reading this, I'd never heard even an inkling of a possible backing track of Kansas City - with or without Elvis' vocal - being cut at the legendary January/February 1969 Memphis sessions.

That said, I've long suspected that pieces of the jigsaw may well still be missing from the American Sound sessionography.

Now, whether that includes a "track" [in any form] of Leiber and Stoller's classic song, perhaps only time will tell.

Either way, it's certainly a tantalizing prospect to ponder.


phpBB [video]

Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (1959 No.1 r&b/pop hit)


phpBB [video]

Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! - The Beatles (notable cover based on the Little Richard arrangement)


American-Sound-Studio-House-Band.png


827-Thomas-Street-Memphis-Tennessee-Mid-80's.jpg
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Last edited by elvisalisellers on Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:08 am

Thanks for posting this. :)

I would have loved to hear Elvis do this song.

In 69 Elvis could have done any song well.

I've always like "Kansas City".

::rocks

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:41 am

I may have the answer to your question.

First, to my knowledge, no new Presley tracks have been unearthed from 1969's American Sound sessions.

To date, three (*) remain officially unissued:

Elvis Presley, Jan-Feb 1969 sessions
American Sound Studios, Memphis, TN

1-13-1969 to 1-23-1969

Long Black Limousine
This Is The Story
Come Out, Come Out *
Memory Revival (slow tempo) *
Wearin' That Loved-On Look
You'll Think Of Me
I'm Movin' On
A Little Bit Of Green
Gentle On My Mind
Don't Cry Daddy
Poor Man's Gold
Inherit The Wind
Mama Liked The Roses
My Little Friend
In The Ghetto
Rubberneckin'
Hey Jude
From A Jack To A King
Without Love
I'll Hold You In My Heart
I'll Be There
Suspicious Minds

2-17-1969 to 2-22-1969
Stranger In My Own Home Town
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road
It's My Way / This Time / I Can't Stop Loving You
And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind
Power Of My Love
After Loving You
Do You Know Who I Am?
Kentucky Rain
Only The Strong Survive
It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'
Any Day Now
If I'm A Fool
The Fair's Moving On
Memory Revival (fast tempo) *
Who Am I?

37 total tracks committed to tape.

---

Peter Stoller, son of Mike and a member of FECC, has commented that Leiber and Stoller did not submit any material to the 1969 sessions, and agreed that it was possible his dad mixed up his Memphis memories, Chips Moman (American, 1969) for Felton Jarvis (Stax, 1973).

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53807#p776848
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53807#p777131

At the 1973 Stax sessions, Elvis cut "If You Don't Come Back," "Three Corn Patches" and "Just A Little Bit" in July, all of which had just been cut by T-Bone Walker in a June date produced by Leiber and Stoller. T-Bone's session for Reprise ALSO included a cover of ... "Kansas City." All four cuts would be slotted on Walker's double LP:


731020_Reprise 6483_01.JPG
731020_Reprise 6483_02.JPG
T-Bone Walker, Very Rare (Reprise 2XS 6483, October 20, 1973)
Note: Backing vocals were provided by the Sweet Inspirations!

Side 1
1. Striking On You, Baby (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
2. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Percy Mayfield)
3. Brother Bill (The Last Clean Shirt) (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
4. Evening (Harry White, Mitchell Parish)
5. The Come Back (L. C. Fraser)

Side 2
1. Your Picture Done Faded (Paul Howard)
2. Don't Give Me The Run Around (T-Bone Walker)
3. Hard Times (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
4. Everyday I Have The Blues (Peter Chatman)
5. Person To Person (Charles Singleton, Teddy McRae)

Side 3
1. Fever (Eddie Cooley, John Davenport)
2. Three Corn Patches (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
3. I'm Still In Love With You (T-Bone Walker)
4. Just A Little Bit (Earl Washington, John Thornton, Pitney Brown, Ralph Bass)
5. James Junior (Charles Otis)

Side 4
1. Been Down So Long (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
2. If You Don't Come Back (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
3. Kansas City (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller)
4. Well, I Done Got Over It (Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones)
5. Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)


Walker's album was not issued until October:


Billboard - Oct 27 1973 p64.JPG
Billboard - October 27, 1973


Elvis' album with his recordings was out only two weeks after T-Bone's set:


Billboard - Nov 10 1973 p76.JPG
Billboard - November 10, 1973
Note: Review of Presley LP reads in part that "The raucous edge is gone from his voice."


Very Rare was an ambitious record:

This release, one of the last recordings put down by T-Bone Walker two years before his death, is exceptional by design alone.

Produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, these 20 tracks were recorded in 1973 with the A-line of early 70's LA session players, quite a number of sidemen already major jazz artists themselves, a big band horn-section and The Sweet Inspirations as the vocal backing.

Musicians like Wilton Felder, Michael Omartian, James Booker, Jom Gordon, Dean Parks and Larry Carlton are heard together with jazz-legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Herbie Mann and blues singer Charles Brown is heard on piano only.

Throughout the 20 tracks the musicians are shuffled from track to track, which actually makes the records more equal than one could expect - but unfortunately also equally neat, more blues by definition than by feeling.

Here again with a horn section - as he often was on his 50s Imperial recordings - one could have hoped for more of that receipt, slow, toned and soaked in brass, but instead of a late-night club feeling, you end up with a feeling just as was the most likely the atmosphere during recordings: blues by broad daylight.

Impressive credits though.

http://www.discogs.com/T-Bone-Walker-Very-Rare/release/2091488




So this may well be the true story behind Mike's anecdote.
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Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:20 am

Here's my favorite version from a couple of months ago:

http://youtu.be/6VxIAcY87s0

Chris

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:48 am

A great topic. Thanks

Great insightful material DOC. A really great read.

rlj

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:53 am

rlj4ep wrote:A great topic. Thanks

Great insightful material DOC. A really great read.

rlj


Thank you!

Having a cover of "Kansas City" on a Leiber and Stoller-produced album where Elvis immediately covered three of the other selections just seems like too much of a crazy coincidence.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:03 am

Wow,

Thanks Doc for all the research that you did.

::rocks

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:07 am

Mitch wrote:Wow,

Thanks Doc for all the research that you did.


::rocks


Thanks. Some of it I have discussed on other topics, but all the images and scans are new.

The Billboard pages in particular are a crucial look at the music in the context of the time it was released.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:08 am

Doc, any more info in those three unreleased songs?

Wasn't there a song called "Fire Down Below"? Or was that later on, Jungle Room?

Did Elvis record vocals?

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:22 am

elvisalisellers wrote:... by famed songwriter, the late Mike Stoller...


Happily, Mike Stoller is alive. Jerry Leiber passed away in 2011.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:42 am

ElvisTheKid wrote:Doc, any more info in those three unreleased songs?

Wasn't there a song called "Fire Down Below"? Or was that later on, Jungle Room?

Did Elvis record vocals?


"Fire Down Below" is from October 1976 at Graceland. No known Elvis vocals for the three 1969 tracks, although he was in the booth with Chips during the January date where the first two were cut.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:39 am

Maybe Mike Stoller was simply wrong about Elvis recording ''Kansas City'' at either American or Stax.

I've never seen any indication that Elvis ever recorded that song and Mike Stoller wasn't at either session.

If Chips Moman or one of the band members said it then i'd wonder more about the possibilty of finding it.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:43 am

oh wait.

Mike Stoller actually says the American studio band cut a backing track for it not that Elvis recorded the song.

That is a possibilty as it's likely that some of the things from those sessions were erased or taped over.

In that case I don't get excited about backing tracks without vocals

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:50 am

Forget about the rumored "Kansas City" take at American Sound...I'm still waiting for "Bad Moon Rising" to finally surface and make its debut.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:18 pm

TCB-FAN wrote:Forget about the rumored "Kansas City" take at American Sound...I'm still waiting for [b]"Bad Moon Rising" to finally surface and make its debut.[/b]


When is he supposed to record it? :shock:

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:51 pm

Greg1995 wrote:
TCB-FAN wrote:Forget about the rumored "Kansas City" take at American Sound...I'm still waiting for [b]"Bad Moon Rising" to finally surface and make its debut.[/b]


When is he supposed to record it? :shock:


There were rumours of the song being performed during February 1970, but no recordings have ever surfaced. It's quite possible that a reviewer cited this CCR song as being performed, when it was actually "Proud Mary" that Elvis was singing, but if my memory is correct the song is also supposed to have been rehearsed at some point too.

However, if there was a performance of this song in the RCA vaults I think we would have had it by now, but we can always hope for new discoveries.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:14 pm

Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians
could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.

Who knows, new stuff is always being discovered, and perhaps an acetate of this track does exist and was long forgotten about.

One never knows.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:10 pm

ekenee wrote:Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians
could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.

Who knows, new stuff is always being discovered, and perhaps an acetate of this track does exist and was long forgotten about.

One never knows.




...................
you are right ''ekenee'' -Elvis did suffer from tonsilitis or some type of throat infection during these sessions - Elvis was recovering from flu too during this time as he recorded - You can notice on some trax that his voice is much more vibrant and coarser as he sang on some trax from American Sound Sessions in '69 - I Love them all as most do and consider them as some of very best during his return - after doing his legendary 68 Comeback Special .

The discovery of songs unreleased yet from these sessions would be welcomed by me as wellas many more fans - Lets hope and keep ourfingers crossed for such releases - Lets all Hope and pray for them to be out soon .
::rocks :smt007 :smt006
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Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:23 pm

Rather like James Brown's version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac2hXvmGIwU

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:28 am

ekenee wrote:Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.


They did do tracks while the singer was out. Elvis' issues were only during the first week of the 1969 sessions. He worked on Monday and Tuesday, January 13 and 14, then rested his voice until the following Monday, January 20.

The house band laid down these tracks on January 15-16 in Elvis' absence:

Don't Cry Daddy
Poor Man's Gold
Inherit the Wind
Mama Liked the Roses
My Little Friend

Elvis did full vocal overdubs for four of these five tracks upon his return.

Enjoy.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:51 am

I wonder if the OP forgot about his topic? Lots of very good replies here.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:14 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
ekenee wrote:Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.


They did do tracks while the singer was out. Elvis' issues were only during the first week of the 1969 sessions. He worked on Monday and Tuesday, January 13 and 14, then rested his voice until the following Monday, January 20.

The house band laid down these tracks on January 15-16 in Elvis' absence:

Don't Cry Daddy
Poor Man's Gold
Inherit the Wind
Mama Liked the Roses
My Little Friend

Elvis did full vocal overdubs for four of these five tracks upon his return.

Enjoy.

Very enjoyable. Exactly my point.

So, you don't even think there is a possibly, admittedly very small, that the band also could have laid down "Kansas city", during Elvis' absence, that was long forgotten about.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:06 am

ekenee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
ekenee wrote:Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.


They did do tracks while the singer was out. Elvis' issues were only during the first week of the 1969 sessions. He worked on Monday and Tuesday, January 13 and 14, then rested his voice until the following Monday, January 20.

The house band laid down these tracks on January 15-16 in Elvis' absence:

Don't Cry Daddy
Poor Man's Gold
Inherit the Wind
Mama Liked the Roses
My Little Friend

Elvis did full vocal overdubs for four of these five tracks upon his return.

Enjoy.

Very enjoyable. Exactly my point.

So, you don't even think there is a possibly, admittedly very small, that the band also could have laid down "Kansas city", during Elvis' absence, that was long forgotten about.


Yes, there are two possibilities: slim and none.

The most likely scenario is the one I presented above in great detail -- Stax in 1973.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:22 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
ekenee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
ekenee wrote:Also, recall that Elvis suffered from throat problems during these sessions and he kept going for as long as he could.

So, at the time he finally had to give up temporarily the studio would have been still booked and studio musicians could have had time to do some extra tracks while Elvis was gone.


They did do tracks while the singer was out. Elvis' issues were only during the first week of the 1969 sessions. He worked on Monday and Tuesday, January 13 and 14, then rested his voice until the following Monday, January 20.

The house band laid down these tracks on January 15-16 in Elvis' absence:

Don't Cry Daddy
Poor Man's Gold
Inherit the Wind
Mama Liked the Roses
My Little Friend

Elvis did full vocal overdubs for four of these five tracks upon his return.

Enjoy.

Very enjoyable. Exactly my point.

So, you don't even think there is a possibly, admittedly very small, that the band also could have laid down "Kansas city", during Elvis' absence, that was long forgotten about.


Yes, there are two possibilities: slim and none.

The most likely scenario is the one I presented above in great detail -- Stax in 1973.


I always take slim over none.
But, no biggie if Elvis never cut a vocal.

Re: "Kansas City" - Reputed 1969 American Sound "track"

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:53 am

ekenee wrote:I always take slim over none.


It is always wisest to take the best odds -- in this case, the Stax sessions in July 1973.

ekenee wrote:But, no biggie if Elvis never cut a vocal.


As far as 1969, no track means no vocal.