July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:06 am

Tomorrow is a long time.


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One of the greatest, single-day recording sessions in the history of rock and roll!

Monday, July 2, 1956
RCA Studios, New York, NY
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Hound Dog
Don't Be Cruel
Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be)


Happy Anniversary!


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Listening to playbacks of "Hound Dog"


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Rehearsing "Don't Be Cruel"
Bill Black, DJ Fontana, Hugh Jarrett, Neal Matthews, Elvis, Gordon Stoker, Hoyt Hawkins and Scotty Moore


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Recording "Don't Be Cruel"


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Rehearsing "Any Way You Want Me"
Hoyt Hawkins, Elvis, Scotty Moore, Shorty Long, Junior Smith and Gordon Stoker

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Photographs courtesy of Alfred Wertheimer and William "PoPsie" Randolph.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:53 am

Great post. Nice photos. Incredible music.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:11 am

Thanks for posting! Dates like these should be marked red on the calendar of any self-respecting Elvis fan.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:16 am

Greatest studio session?
Can´t make up my mind between:

1)July, 11th 1955
... Mystery Train
... I Forgot to remember to Forget
... Trying to Get to you

2) July, 2nd 1956
... Hound Dog
... Don´t be Cruel
... Anyway tou want me

3) January, 23rd 1969
... Without love
... I´ll hold you in my arms
... I´ll be There
... Suspicious Minds

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:26 am

Thanks for posting, Doc !

Imagine if you had the original session tapes in your hands.

RCA did, and they either binned them or taped them over..........................

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:39 am

Three great cuts. #1- Hound Dog: "The end result was like a musical machine gun, and take after take rang through the room, growing tougher and sharper each time. This was the session where Elvis’s perfectionist streak first became apparent. From Sholes point of view several of the earlier takes would have been just fine, and he tried to get the singer to listen to the playbacks, but it was obvious that the singer was marching to his own beat."
#2 - Anyway You Want Me: "there was time to do one more song, and Elvis was excited about the ballad Sholes had played for him the day before. Sholes in turn was excited about the way his suddenly commanding young star took on “Anyway you want me” in such a full but intimate voice; Elvis sang far more passionately than he had on the ballads"
#3 - Don't Be Cruel: "Again it took more than a dozen takes, but from Scotty's opening lick the simple shuffle swept up everyone in the room, and it was clear that Elvis and the group were onto something. Elvis turned his own guitar around, slapping its back to add a little percussion, and the rest of the track fell in with a natural grace that sounded almost effortless-and like nothing ever heard before."

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:48 am

jeanno wrote:Greatest studio session?
Can´t make up my mind between:

1)July, 11th 1955
... Mystery Train
... I Forgot to remember to Forget
... Trying to Get to you

2) July, 2nd 1956
... Hound Dog
... Don´t be Cruel
... Anyway tou want me

3) January, 23rd 1969
... Without love
... I´ll hold you in my arms
... I´ll be There
... Suspicious Minds


Or June 10, 1958? ("I Need Your Love Tonight", "A Big Hunk o' Love", "Ain't That Loving You, Baby?", "A Fool Such As I")

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am

Yeah, that was a historical day. Absolutely!
Guitar intro in Anyway you want is brilliant by the way. I've never learned to play it right.....
Good post Doc. Let's keep it up alive, shall we?

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:10 am

Yes, June 10, 1958's A Big hunk o love, I got stung, I need your love tonight, & (now & then there's) A fool such as I would give July 2, 1956 a run for it's money or how about April 3, 1960 Are you lonesome Tonight?, Fever, Such a Night, It's Now or Never, & Reconsider Baby, among others.....:=)

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:12 am

All alternate suggestions are great, but remember this:

July 2, 1956 changed the world.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:00 am

I would think it would be a little brief to qualify as the greatest although all three tracks are big time classics. With the exception of July 5 1954, I would say that this was the most impactful session.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:25 pm

Listen to the DVD audio of Any Way You Want Me on the Memphis Recording Service release. It never sounded better.

Hound Dog (If I had to pick one only, this is my favourite Elvis recording) and Don't Be Cruel are perfection in any format*.

Steve Morse

(* except 'electronically reprocessed for stereo') :D

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:32 pm

If only they had filmed it instead of just taking photos but i guess you can say that about most things with Elvis.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:43 pm

Yes, June 10, 1958's A Big hunk o love, I got stung, I need your love tonight, & (now & then there's) A fool such as I would give July 2, 1956 a run for it's money or how about April 3, 1960 Are you lonesome Tonight?, Fever, Such a Night, It's Now or Never, & Reconsider Baby, among others.....:=)

Great alternate choices. I´m with the Doc when he says that July 1956 session changed the world but it´s not the only one: what about January, 10th 1956? I GOT A WOMAN, HEARTBREAK HOTEL and MONEY HONEY. Can´t believe I forgot this one!...

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:32 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:All alternate suggestions are great, but remember this:

July 2, 1956 changed the world.


July 2, 1956 deserved a topic and that's why I think this is the Elvis most important recording day of his career.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:33 pm

For me the most important one is June 10, 1958. One of the recordings, A big hunk o' love, turned me into a fan in september/october 1959.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:19 pm

Elvis turned his own guitar around, slapping its back to add a little percussion,


This is so cool!

At such a young age, Elvis had so much inherent musical talent.

On another note, what release (U.S. or global) contains the best sound for "Hound Dog"?

Thank You.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:30 pm

Imagine if you had the original session tapes in your hands.


If only they had filmed it instead of just taking photos but i guess you can say that about most things with Elvis.



Total speculation, but if put up for auction, I wonder what the final bid would be on the former? On the latter?

Not speculation is that they would most likely be the highest prices ever paid for an Elvis item.

As an aside, what is the highest price paid for an Elvis item? What was it?

Also, is there any filmed footage of any of Elvis' recording sessions (of him actually singing / recording) from the 1950's or 1960's that is known (perhaps someone has seen it, but it has not been released) to exist in the hands of private collectors or maybe with EPE?

Given the amount of pics taken at the various sessions, it would be surprising if someone didn't come up with the idea to perhaps film one or more of Elvis' recording sessions.

Thank You.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:21 pm

http://scottymoore.net/studio_rca.html

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:05 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:All alternate suggestions are great, but remember this:

July 2, 1956 changed the world.


Absolutely. "Hound Dog" is one of the most innovative things ever committed to magnetic tape. Elvis's vocals pushed beyond the limit, the interplay between Bill Black's thumping bass and the knockout punch of D.J. Fontana's drums. Scotty Moore's buzzaw guitar interspersed with his frenzied, biting solos (possibly the best in all of Rock N' Roll) topped off with schizophrenic sweetness of the Jordanaires backing vocals make this a record that is still stunning to behold.

Like he had done several times before, Elvis stepped into the recording studio on July 2nd to make a recording that had no sonic precedent.

The flip side? What Jerry Lee Lewis called "the best damn rock n' roll song ever".

Gordon Stoker said of "Any Way You Want Me" that it was the first time he realized Elvis could really sing.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:10 pm

Nice post doc.

You will be hard-pushed to find anything that can beat anything from 1956 Elvis-wise.

The only things that give it a running chance are the SUN years IMO and that's coming from a Jumpsuit Junkie.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:29 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:All alternate suggestions are great, but remember this:

July 2, 1956 changed the world.


Say, Doc, belated congratulations on your outstanding posting record---you are the main reason I come here. We are lucky to have someone with your knowledge give so freely.
It's like the beautiful roses outside my window that people stop and admire and enjoy---careful when handling, lest one is pricked by sharp thorns, but somehow the risk just adds to the enjoyment.
You truly love, and know, Rock and Roll.
And you freely share.
I heard, somewhere, of Sam Phillips' first reaction to "Don't Be Cruel"---he was driving a car, and had to pull over and listen when he first heard it.
Not a fan of "Heartbreak Hotel", Phillips realized that Elvis had finally done it---the perfect song for the perfect man at the perfect time.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:40 pm

Talking to yourself again, Doc? :lol:

Anyway, yes, a great date and I normally like to pause and remember such dates.

I have to admit, I rarely play these tunes- they were burned out for me decades ago but when I hear them, they do sound somehow as new and fresh all over again. I also find later Elvis speaks to me more, whereas I enjoyed the '50s Elvis as a kid and teenager. I'll take Memphis '69 for repeated listens anyday.

And to think that those outtakes are rotting deep in the muck and mire of the Delaware river bottom outside of Camden, New Jersey...or wherever it is they ended up after the infamous RCA tape-dumping event...!

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:03 pm

jeanno wrote:Greatest studio session?
Can´t make up my mind between:

1)July, 11th 1955
... Mystery Train
... I Forgot to remember to Forget
... Trying to Get to you

2) July, 2nd 1956
... Hound Dog
... Don´t be Cruel
... Anyway tou want me

3) January, 23rd 1969
... Without love
... I´ll hold you in my arms
... I´ll be There
... Suspicious Minds


My pick:

April 4th 1960
... Dirty, Dirty Feeling
... I Gotta Know
... I Will Be Home Again
... The Girl Of My Best Friend
... The Girl Next Door Went A-Walking
... Such A Night
... Thrill Of Your Love
... Reconsider Baby
... Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Man. On. Fire.

* * *

DJC's choice would have to be the most historic, though.

My last supervisor at work (save for the radio, a relatively non-musical job) was a big music fan. I chatted to him a lot. One day, we briefly talked Elvis, and he spoke fondly of buying the Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel single when it first came out. I believe he still has it.

Re: July 2, 1956 --> Greatest Recording Session of All?

Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:42 am

cartoonland wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:All alternate suggestions are great, but remember this:

July 2, 1956 changed the world.


Say, Doc, belated congratulations on your outstanding posting record---you are the main reason I come here. We are lucky to have someone with your knowledge give so freely.
It's like the beautiful roses outside my window that people stop and admire and enjoy---careful when handling, lest one is pricked by sharp thorns, but somehow the risk just adds to the enjoyment.
You truly love, and know, Rock and Roll.
And you freely share.
I heard, somewhere, of Sam Phillips' first reaction to "Don't Be Cruel"---he was driving a car, and had to pull over and listen when he first heard it.
Not a fan of "Heartbreak Hotel", Phillips realized that Elvis had finally done it---the perfect song for the perfect man at the perfect time.



AS far as shear importance in Elvis' career, post Sun, I guess the nod has to go here.
I'm not sure I've ever heard these complete sessions, or all the out takes.
As far as shear hard rockin' pleasure I have to go with 1/10,2-5 pm, and 2/3, 10:30 am-1:30pm, 1956.