Davide

The King Creole Recording Sessions

Mon May 04, 2009 12:25 am

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"King Creole" Soundtrack Recording Session
Radio Recorders,Hollywood,California.
Paramount Producer Hal B Wallis
Associate Producer Paul Nathan
Music adapted and scored by Walter Scharf
Philip Kahgan : Paramount music contractor
Musical Numbers staged by Charles O'Curran
Musical Adviser : Troy Saunders
Mixing Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Engineer : Wally Kamin
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Wednesday January 15th 1958
9.20am -1.20pm
Lunch
2.20pm - 5.40pm

Original press release and captions:
JAM SESSION : Recording sessions are usually dull affairs,except when the artist is a singing gent named Elvis Presley. The handsome singing idol's musical sessions are lively clambbakes and well-attended by business associates,friends and,when they can sneak in,fans. A Paramount photographer attended Presley's recording session for Hal Wallis' "King Creole," his last prior to entering the army, and made the following photos.


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"Elvis tunes up at the piano"

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Elvis on the piano with Dudley Brooks in the background



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The Wallis Collection mentions that the song "Trouble" was originally titled "I'm Evil."

Musicians:
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Guitar : Elvis Presley
Bass : Bill Black
Bass / Tuba : Ray Siegal
Bass / Guitar : Neal Mathews
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Bongo's : Gordon Stoker
Cymbals : Hoyt Hawkins
Piano : Dudley Brooks
Clarinet : Mahlon Clark
Trumpet : Teddy Bruckner
Saxophone : Justin Gordon
Trombone : Elmer Schneider

Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett
Kitty White (Crawfish)


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Mike Stoller :
"The inclusion of brass instruments in the arrangements was a departure from Elvis' usual quartet. Michael Curtiz,the director of King Creole,was at the sessions.That was probably the best movie that Elvis ever made. It had the best story,the best script and the best cast. We wrote three songs.One was 'King Creole'.Unlike Loving You and Jailhouse Rock,which were written first and then became the title of the films they were in,King Creole was the title of the film before we wrote the song.Elvis did a great job on it. I especially liked Trouble,we had written songs like that before-'Riot in cell Block no.9',framed,kind of talking blues things - and we knew Elvis could do that kind of stuff,It was braggadocie,like John Henry,Paul Bunyon - one of those bigger-than-life-folk-heroes."

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Turtles, Berries & Gumbo (Blanche Thomas vocal on Turtles Berries & Gumbo unknown)

1. Hard Headed Woman
2. Trouble
3. New Orleans
4. King Creole (Alternate Master)
5. Crawfish

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Full frame version of the image above.



Mike Stoller:
"Steadfast,Loyal And True was a high-school alma mater-type of song.Just the other day I heard this acapella version of it,I thought it was charming,I really enjoyed it".

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Mike Stoller :
"I remember that the studio was very crowded. The Colonel was there,Michael Curtiz and Steve Sholes were there. There were lots of film studio executives in there,and of course Thorne Nogar,the great recording enginer was there too".

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Note the reference to 2 track recordings ,now thought to be destroyed.


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"Wallis and choreographer Charles O'Curran exchange a joke with Elvis"

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"This photo of Elvis in action is one of his personal favorites"

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"Elvis listens to the playback of the recording"

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"This is the first time Presley has worked with brass accompaniment and the first time he has used a Dixieland background"

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Roy C Bennett : "new Orleans is my favorite of my Elvis songs. It became into being because we mispronounced the name of the city. It's 'N' awlins, but nothing rhythms with 'N' awlins, so it is sung as 'New Or-leans' . It is interesting,in the movie Elvis says, 'New Or-leans' even when he's not singing the song"

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Teddy Buckner trumpet player.
Dudley Brooks was asked about Teddy's involvement:"One exceptional horn player that I had recommended to come in and do this.He's a bandleader and a very fine trumpet player,and his name is Teddy buckner. He's a very ..a Louis Armstrong type.He looks very much like Louis,and he also plays trumpet. He's a Dixieland trumpet player,and in recent years he's been out at Disneyland in Anaheim,California-he has a group there".
John Edward 'Teddy' Buckner, trumpeter: born Sherman, Texas 16 July 1909; died Los Angeles 22 September 1994.
Teddy Buckner can be seen on the left of the picture below from the production number 'Trouble' from the Paramount Pictures movie 'King Creole'.
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January 16th 1958
Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
Paramount Producer Hal B Wallis
Associate Producer Paul Nathan
Music adapted and scored by Walter Scharf
Philip Kahgan : Paramount music contractor
Musical Numbers staged by Charles O'Curran
Musical Adviser : Troy Saunders
Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Engineer : Wally Kamin
9.00am - 5.30pm


1. Dixieland Rock
2. Lover Doll
3. Don't Ask Me Why
4. As Long As I Have You
5. Muskrat Ramble (Instrumental)
6. Steadfast Loyal & True (Movie Version)
7. As Long As I Have You (Short Movie Version)
8. As Long As I Have You (Long Movie Version)
9. Banana
10.Bourbon Street
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Musicians same as the 15th. Back up vocals same as 15th except Kitty White


Banana : Geoffrey Shurlock of the motion Picture Association who rated the film wrote to Hal Wallis "No matter what you think,it is an offensive and pornographic number and could not be delivered without being offensively sex suggestive and vulgar." and was changed by authors Roy C Bennett and Sid Tepper . The new lines were 'If your heart does not go reeling and Mon cheri,I guarantee you'll find it easy to adore'(The Wallis Collection)

William Bram interview with Roy C Bennett :
WB : Was 'Banana' intended for Elvis?
RB : Oh yes,everything we wrote was intended for Elvis,because that was the only way we could make money.

This session was a late booking as it had to be worked around the shooting schedule of the movie.The Paramount studio was used for scene's 94,95,96(Drugstore) and scene 34 and 118 which didn't involve Elvis.

Thursday January 23 1958 Radio Recorders - Hollywood, California
Soundtrack Session for "King Creole"
Paramount Producer Hal B Wallis
Associate Producer Paul Nathan
Music adapted and scored by Walter Scharf
Philip Kahgan : Paramount music contractor
Musical Numbers staged by Charles O'Curran
Musical Adviser : Troy Saunders
Engineer : Thorne Nogar
Recording Engineer : Wally Kamin

8.00pm - 11.00pm

1. King Creole (Revised)
2. Young Dreams
3. King Creole (Main Title - Instrumental)
4. My Wish Came True
5. Doncha' Think It's Time

Musicians:
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Guitar : Elvis Presley
Guitar : Hilmer J. "Tiny" Timbrell
Bass : Bill Black
Bass / Tuba : Ray Siegal
Bass / Guitar : Neal Mathews
Percussion : Bernie Mattinson
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Bongo's : Gordon Stoker
Cymbals : Hoyt Hawkins
Piano : Dudley Brooks
Clarinet : Mahlon Clark
Trumpet : Teddy Bruckner
Saxophone : Justin Gordon
Trombone : Warren Smith

Backup Vocals:The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett

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February 11 1958

Paramount Sound Stage - Hollywood, California
Soundtrack Session for "King Creole"
Paramount Producer Hal B Wallis
Associate Producer Paul Nathan
Music adapted and scored by Walter Scharf
Philip Kahgan : Paramount music contractor
Musical Numbers staged by Charles O'Curran
Musical Adviser : Troy Saunders
Engineer : Phil Wisdom

1.00pm - 5.05pm 6.05pm - 9.55pm

Musicians
Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Hugh Jarrett
Guitar : Scotty Moore
Guitar : Elvis Presley
Bass : Bill Black
Drums : D.J. Fontana
Piano : Dudley Brooks

Steadfast, Loyal & True (Solo)
Danny


June 19 1958

RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee
Overdub Session for "King Creole"
Producer : Steve Sholes
Engineer : Bob Ferris

Backup Vocals:The Jordanaires : Gordon Stoker; Neal Matthews; Hoyt Hawkins; Ray Walker


Steadfast, Loyal & True (Overdub)
Lover Doll (Overdub)

Ray Walker : When I first joined the group they had not released 'King Creole' yet and we had to do some of those numbers,so my first actual release was 'King Creole' - that came out before the records I made with him in June of 58'. We did some vocal overdubs on some of the King Creole songs. They sent the tracks over and we had to fix some of them.



Details of photographs taken on the 16th of January 1958
Photo's 1-4 : Elvis sat at piano,and Dudley Brooks can be seen to his left. note 4 and 4a are the same image.
Photo's 5 & 7 : Elvis sat at piano
Photo 9 : Charles O'Curran,Michael Curtiz and Elvis.(An uncropped version of this image is in the book 'Life In Music' ,page 101 lower -by Ernst Jorgensen)
Photo 10 : Walter Sharf,Michael Curtiz and Elvis.(An uncropped version of this image is in the book 'Life In Music' ,page 102 top -by Ernst Jorgensen)
Photo 11-12: Scotty Moore on guitar(Possibly),Charles O Curran,Elvis and Neil Matthews.
Photo 13 : Charles O'Curran,Elvis and both (masked)Hugh Jarrett and Neil Matthews in the background
Photo 14 : Gordon Stoker stood at piano as Elvis takes a drink.
Photo 15 : Dudley Brooks,Michael Curtiz who now has taken his jacket off,Elvis and Charles O'Curran
Photo 16 : Dudley Brooks,Michael Curtiz,and Elvis.
Photo 17 : Michael Curtiz,Elvis and Charles O'Curran
Photo 18-19 : Charles O'Curran,Hal Wallis and Elvis
Photo 20 : Elvis and Hal Wallis,Charles O'Curran
Photo 21 : Elvis and crew take a break (with thanks to Michael puplett for this image)
Photo 22 - 24 :This is most likely when the recording session started, Elvis without shoes.
Photo 23a-23b From Ger Rijff 'Faces And Stages'
Photo 24a and 24b Poor quality due to be taken from a magazine," Elvis in the Army "provided by Michael puplett
Photo 25 : Bill Black in the background,Elvis with headphones listening to playback,and Dudley Brooks at piano.
Photo 26 : Charles O'Curran,Elvis,Elmer Schneider on Trombone and Teddy Bruckner(mostly hidden)
Photo 27 : Elvis
Photo 28 : This picture is cropped and the original has Elmer Schneider left of frame.*
Photo 29 : Elvis
Photo 30 : Elmer Schneider foreground on trombone. Charles O'Curran chats to Elvis,and Teddy Bruckner can be seen right of frame with trumpet and hat.
Photo 31-35 : Elvis sat possibly listening to demo recordings or playback
Photo 36 : Elvis at full voice - new addition from Daily Mirror book

Ben Weisman:
"There's a movie called "King Creole" was my favorite movie. And I wrote a song called "Crawfish," "As Long As I Have You," "Don't Ask Me Why." Those are my favorite songs. I think one of the best pictures he ever did"

Notes:

Photo's 3,4,11-17 and 32 could be originally found in the FTD Flashback book.
Photo's 21,28,29,33,34,35 could be originally found in ETMAHM No.38.
Photo 31B page 79 of 'Inside King Creole' by Gerr Riff,Jean Paul Commandeur,Glen JAohnson

Recording Engineer Wally Kamin is a name that's not confirmed although the the logs mention Wally,and Wally Kamin is known to have worked with Thorne Nogar
Mike Stoller quotes taken and adapted from : http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/intervi ... ller.shtml
Thanks to drjohncarpenter for help in the revision of the credits.
Last edited by davide on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:06 am, edited 25 times in total.

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Tue May 05, 2009 6:13 am

Great files ! Thnx

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Tue May 05, 2009 4:39 pm

Some great photos there, Davide - thanks !

I remember when the media started using this one [without any explanation]:

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And we wondered what was going on !

Elvis songs simply didn't have trombones or trumpets on them !

With the release of King Creole, later, everything was revealed !

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Just found this one ,which wasn't included originally. Now updated.

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With thanks
Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:52 pm

Brilliant Davide, thanks again! ::rocks

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:53 pm

Fantastic...........thanks Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:12 pm

Great post davide!!

The time and effort you put into your posts is much appreciated.

Thank you, and keep up the great work.

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:49 pm

davide, stand up and take a bow, son! smt131

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:13 am

Great thread and wonderful record. For me, KING CREOLE was Elvis' greatest movie soundtrack: all the songs may not have the same quality but the overall result is coherent and very listenable. CRAWFISH remains as stunning as the first time I listened to it.

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:58 am

simply fantastic !!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 am

AWESOME.

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:06 am

Davide this is absolutely fabulous. So much appreciated for all the time and research you have done.
oodles
phyllis
davide wrote:Just found this one ,which wasn't included originally. Now updated.

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With thanks
Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:20 pm

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A new alternative to photo's 1 and 2

Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:22 pm

Wow, what an amazing job you have done with this! I really enjoy seeing all these pictures, most of them new to me. Thank you very much! :D

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:56 am

I am simply amazed by your researching talents! Thank you so much for sharing them with us!

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:43 am

Thanks for the comments. For those who may have missed it , The following information - which I previously posted in the King Creole movie topic.viewtopic.php?f=8&t=44952

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I have identified that the singer in the opening 'Turtles,Berries and Gumbo' as the part of the street vender 'Turtles',is 'Blanche Thomas' and can be seen in the very first shot that we see (after the opening Paramount caption) with baskets on a pole slung over her shoulder.

"Turtles, sweet ole turtles,I've got some turtles for you ladies". This was filmed by the second unit and was shot between 2nd and 4th of January 1958 on location in New Orleans.

This has been discussed previously here : viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49201&hilit=Turtles%2CBerries+Gumbo the track as stated was written by Al Wood & Kay Twomey on Gladys music,but was not sung by Kitty White as I believe that Blanche Thomas provided the vocal for the Turtles sections,and not Fred Winston who played the part of the part of Vic Morrow's brother.

From The Jet Magazine dated 31st July 1958 : Singer Blanche Thomas,who works in white New Orleans night clubs,has a minor role in King Creole,Elvis Presley's new movie.

Blanche Thomas "You Ain't So Much A Much" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N0BiPpzSXE

Blanche Thomas grew up singing in New Orleans and became known all around the country. She was featured in Chicago and then became a prestigious headliner in Florida before returning home to weekly engagements at Dixieland Hall in New Orleans and eventually singing at Carnegie Hall in New York.

After the opening 'Turtles,Berries and Gumbo' sequence, is the Main Title sequence which has an Instrumental version of 'King Creole' playing whilst a shot of the 'Mississppi River with the sidewheeler pulling away from the dock (shot by the second unit on the 6th of March 1958.)


Note : I have been unable to establish if Blanche Thomas recorded her vocal as part of the main soundtrack recording in Hollywood, or if it was recorded on location in New Orleans or both.

Scotty Moore : (Walter Scharf) called me one day. I was at the hotel,and he said,"Have Scotty bring his amp and guitar and report to the sound stage. "I thought," Oh crap!..What did I do wrong? So I went out there and he had the whole damn orchestra out there,thirty something violins,the whole deal. We recorded the instrumental heard during the opening credits. It starts off on the soundtrack when I'M doing that bass string on the guitar. It seemed like I had to play it forever. They played all the other instruments,around me during that.


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Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:07 am

Awesome as usual, David.

One note:

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Photo 10 --> L-R: Walter Sharf, Michael Curtiz, Elvis

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:09 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Awesome as usual, David.

One note:

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Photo 10 --> L-R: Walter Sharf, Michael Curtiz, Elvis


corrected.

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As can be seen - here is the full uncropped image so now Walter Sharf Michael Curtiz, Elvis and maybe Paramount Producers Phil Khagan?

Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:35 pm

davide wrote:As can be seen - here is the full uncropped image so now Walter Sharf Michael Curtiz, Elvis and maybe Paramount Producers Phil Khagan?

My guess is that it is indeed Paramount music contractor Philip Kahgan.

You should update the references above -- he was never a producer, and is not listed at all in the "King Creole" opening credits.

Kahgan, was one of the leading contractors in Los Angeles for several studios (including MGM, Fox, and
Paramount) ... Kahgan, a violist and music contractor, died in 1986 at the age of 93 and left his principal archives of concert programs, photographs, and memorabilia in a collection of 36 boxes to the UCLA Performing Arts Special Collection.

http://www.promusic47.org/archives/SidelinerPhotos.pdf

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:37 pm

I found these images in a magazine " Elvis in the Army " , would be great to see them nice and clear , I've never seen them published anywhere else

Great thread Davide
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Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:47 pm

Michael puplett wrote:I found these images in a magazine " Elvis in the Army " , would be great to see them nice and clear , I've never seen them published anywhere else


WOW! :shock:
Absolutly new for my eyes.
Thanks for posted Michael.

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:18 pm

Yes thank you very much Michael for posting these shots,There is hope the photo's exist in the EPE archives in decent quality. I have included them in the main post. Davide

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:27 am

Hello again , looking through an old scrap book from 1958 , I found this image , again the quality is poor but it's one we haven't had posted yet . Keep up the good work Davide I'm left speechless by your posts , truly brilliant

Michael
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Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:26 am

David, don't forget to update your credits. Philip Kahgan was a Paramount music contractor, not a producer. And Hal Wallis is the sole producer in the opening credits of "King Creole."

Re: The King Creole Recording Sessions

Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:54 am

I hadn't forgotten,just trying to research into who did what - hence the delay.

The reference to Paramount Producers: Walter Scharf and Phil Khagan,was sourced from Ernst Jorgensen's 'A Life In Music' page 99,although I can't any find any other reference/credit to Mr Khagan in connection with the picture. I have updated the credits,also with Walter Scharf's credit being 'Music adapted and scored by'.

Hal B Wallis was the Producer,and Associate Producer was Paul Nathan.

Thanks Michael for the kind words, and the new photo from these recording sessions - which looks to capture a meal break.

Davide