Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:14 am

It is indeed an interesting topic, and it's nice to have what appears to be the name of original artist of this song.

That said, the song is credited and copyrighted at LOC under the songwriting team of fred rose and jimmy wakely, so when Marcus writes "plus "It Wouldn't Be the Same Without You," an older number by country songwriter Jimmy Wakely ...", he could be meaning that it is literally written by him.

Wakely also recorded "Life Won't Be The Same (Without You Darling), performing it on radio as early as 1940, and the similarities in titles (and the fact that Wakely co-wrote the number Presley recorded) could easily have caused the initial confusion in Marcus's book, written long before we have the benefit of the internet to check such things with ease.

As for Elvis recording two songs that day by female singers, do we know I'll Never Stand In Your Way was based on the Joni James version? It seems to me that Presley's is a slowed down rendition of Ernie Lee's version, issued a few days after James's:

http://obscurecountry.com/lee/14.mp3

It certainly seems far more in common with that than James's orchestral-backed rendition:

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Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:37 am

Nice research, Peter, but there's little doubt in my mind that it's Joni's take that Elvis is chanelling.

By the time you get to just the third word, you can hear that lovely "split-note" ("fi - ind").

It seems too much of a giveaway to ignore.

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Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:56 am

Great thread, doc! I don't want to spoil things, but i'm a sucker for these things...the picture you've posted of Presley's second acetate looks like a fake to me, it's way too clean.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:25 pm

I just saw this now. Checked in way LATE at night. And it's a revival that I'm so glad was revived, as I missed it!

Many, many thanks Doc! (And thanks George, and to PMP, and Promiseland . . .) Just amazing! This forum is an endless treasure trove. No matter how deep you go through the tunnels, there's always more!

Thanks again!

G'night,
rjm

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:23 pm

George Smith wrote:Nice research, Peter, but there's little doubt in my mind that it's Joni's take that Elvis is chanelling.

By the time you get to just the third word, you can hear that lovely "split-note" ("fi - ind").

It seems too much of a giveaway to ignore.

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Yes, I think you're right!

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:25 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Yes, I think you're right!

It does happen every now and then!

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:19 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Great thread, doc! I don't want to spoil things, but i'm a sucker for these things...the picture you've posted of Presley's second acetate looks like a fake to me, it's way too clean.

You didn't spoil anything, but do need to read with care. Underneath the image I posted this disclaimer:

drjohncarpenter wrote:Note: reproduction of original label.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:37 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:Great thread, doc! I don't want to spoil things, but i'm a sucker for these things...the picture you've posted of Presley's second acetate looks like a fake to me, it's way too clean.

You didn't spoil anything, but do need to read with care. Underneath the image I posted this disclaimer:

drjohncarpenter wrote:Note: reproduction of original label.


I apologise, Doc. Must pay more attention next time.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:29 pm

No worries, I am glad you enjoyed the topic. I love finding another piece of the puzzle.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:42 pm

Great post Doc, this is the first time that I've seen it. That first picture of Elvis circa 1952 in new to me, the 2nd 1952 pose is more well known. These kind of informative threads is what makes you so invaluable to this forum.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:15 pm

Chris Roberts wrote:Great post Doc, this is the first time that I've seen it. That first picture of Elvis circa 1952 in new to me, the 2nd 1952 pose is more well known. These kind of informative threads is what makes you so invaluable to this forum.

Your words are meaningful and appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:20 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Image

Elvis Presley, circa 1952


For the longest time, It's always seemed a given that Elvis' second, two-sided personal acetate recording in 1954 included a song issued by country singer Jimmy Wakely.


Image

Elvis Presley, "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" (January 1954 acetate)
Note: reproduction of original label.


For example:

"I'll Never Stand in Your Way," a then- recent hit for Joni James, plus "It Wouldn't Be the Same Without You," an older number by country songwriter Jimmy Wakely ...

Greil Marcus, Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music



For the other side he sang "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You," from a record by the respected country singer Jimmy Wakely.

Ernst Jorgensen, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music



... and "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You" (a late '40s success for Hollywood cowboy Jimmy Wakely).

Phil Sutcliffe, Q Magazine, "Elvis: The First Sun Sessions," January 2004


But ... it seems there is no such single by Jimmy Wakely.

So what record did the kid from Tupelo hear?


Image

Gene Smith, Elvis Presley, circa 1951


Well, the song came out when Elvis was 15, as a B-side, of all things.

Al Rogers and the Rocky Mountain Boys, "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" (MGM 10709, May 1950).

Al Rogers had appeared on Nashville's Grand Ole Opry program, and around the time of this single for MGM he had a show on WMPS Radio in Memphis called "Hi Noon Roundup, " which featured guests such as the Blackwood Brothers. Elvis must have heard him.


Image

Al Rogers, circa 1951


Interestingly, the single was covered as an R&B release in Billboard:


Image

Billboard - June 3, 1950


However, another version was issued much closer to Presley's early 1954 visit to the Memphis Recording Service, and one listen tells us. THIS was the one!

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Lily Ann Carol, "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" (RCA 47-4985, October 1952).


Image

Billboard - October 11, 1952


Image

Lily Ann Carol, circa 1945

Carol originally started out at 18 as the vocalist in Louis Prima's Orchestra back in 1940, with her best known recording being "I'll Walk Alone” in 1944. She left Prima’s band in 1946 for a solo music career, her spot taken up by Cathy Allen, then Florida Keyes, until Prima found Keely Smith in 1948. Carol would later form a successful nightclub act with husband and saxophonist Joe Barone, in a style not unlike her work with Prima.

---

"It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" is a sweet little ballad, an interesting choice for the teen-aged singer to brandish at the Memphis Recording Service in early January 1954.


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Elvis Presley, "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" (January 1954 acetate)
Notice how Elvis coolly drops to a baritone just once, as he begins the reprise of the bridge, a hint of how he would change the world in just two year's time.


It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)
Fred Rose, Jimmy Wakely
© Milene Music, ASCAP

I could wander the byways that we wandered through
But it wouldn't be the same without you
Those familiar old places would just make me blue
I just wouldn't be the same without you

I wasted my love on a careless romance
But I'd do it again if I had the chance
I could start my life over with somebody new
But it wouldn't be the same without you

I wasted my love on a careless romance
But I'd do it again if I had the chance
I could start my life over with somebody new
But it wouldn't be the same without you


Although the 1950 versions by Rogers cannot be reviewed, it's not a toss-up as to which inspired Elvis: my money was always on Lily Ann's RCA single.

Even before finding Carol's single on YouTube, it was clear the Presley rendition felt more pop than country, and the other number he brought to 706 Union that day was a recent top 25 hit by another female singer, Joni James ("I'll Never Stand In Your Way," November 1953, US Pop #23).

On June 26, less than six months after this 1954 demo session, Elvis would be called to Sun by Marion Keisker for an official try-out with owner and producer Sam Phillips.


Image

Elvis Presley, circa 1952

Boy I wish her version was still up there. I would love to hear it. Great post Doc.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:56 pm

Mike Eder wrote:Boy I wish her version was still up there. I would love to hear it. Great post Doc.

It got pulled? Darn it. I will try to find a way to get it re-posted on the topic.

Re: Jimmy Wakely Inspiration --> A 1954 Mystery No More!

Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:55 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mike Eder wrote:Boy I wish her version was still up there. I would love to hear it. Great post Doc.

It got pulled? Darn it. I will try to find a way to get it re-posted on the topic.

Thanks Doc. George Smith helped me out but everyone here should have the chance to hear it. Has anyone heard the Al Rogers record?