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Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:17 am

George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

I have no real evidence either way, Brian, but it would seem logical that RCA did promote their top-selling artist.

"Suspicious Minds" went to number one because it was a fabulous song with a great Elvis performance: doubtless RCA's promotion helped too.


I honestly don't remember any more promotion for Suspicious Minds than any other Elvis single. I don't recall special TV or radio promos. My local record store had the banner in the window like they did for any new Elvis single. You must remember Elvis was in the midst of a resurgence in 1969, had just played Vegas and already had a top 10 hit that year, so when radio got hold of this new single, I think the DJs started playing it immediately and it caught fire and went to #1. The song deserved it. I am not sure every new Elvis single deserved this, but there were plenty that deserved better than what they got. In fact, in that same year, the great Clean Up Your Own Backyard was criminally ignored. It certainly had a groove for 1969, both lyrically & musically. I know some non-fans who really dig this song. So what happened here? Because it was in a movie?

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:30 am

brian wrote:not every song that is a big hit is a good song.


Okay?

So are you saying that "Suspicious Minds" isn't a good song and only reached number one because of RCA's promotion?

If not, I'm not sure where you're going with this?

Generally speaking, I would argue that songs that hit the Top 10 are probably the best songs in the charts at that time, certainly during the 50s, 60s and 70s. That's not a golden rule, but generally the cream rises to the top, in my opinion.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:41 am

George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:not every song that is a big hit is a good song.


Okay?

So are you saying that "Suspicious Minds" isn't a good song and only reached number one because of RCA's promotion?

If not, I'm not sure where you're going with this?

Generally speaking, I would argue that songs that hit the Top 10 are probably the best songs in the charts at that time, certainly during the 50s, 60s and 70s. That's not a golden rule, but generally the cream rises to the top, in my opinion.


No.

I'm saying that a song doesn't necessarily have to be a great song to be a big hit.

Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.

in the case of Suspicious Minds it was a great song but promotion was a big factor in it being a hit.

You'll find that if you look at the pop charts from the 1950s through the 1970s that many songs that weren't that great were pretty big hits.

Some of the best songs during the 1950s through the 1970s weren't very big hits.

In both cases promotion or lack thereof is a big cause.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:44 am

brian wrote:
r&b wrote:I think RCA was the bigger company in 1956, yes, but I believe Atlantic had its pulse on what was happening in the music industry way more than RCA did. Elvis still would have recorded those great songs he did in 1956 no matter what the label, but just the roster of talent Atlantic had in 1956 was second to none as far as writers, arrangers, artists, especially for the youth explosion. Certainly hipper than RCA. Ahmet & Wexler were visionaries like Sam Phillips only at a bigger label with a lot more cash. RCA had no one like this (Steve Sholes lol?) Elvis was the first to explore this kind of music for RCA. Atlantic had been doing it since the early 50's like SUN. Sam himself has stated he was disappointed with what RCA had done with Elvis initially.


Therein lies the problem with this discussion.

I have never disputed what Atlantic records would have done creatively with Elvis had they gotten him over RCA in 1955.

Largely because it's all speculative and we don't know what would have happened had he went to Atlantic records.

I'm speaking of the financial aspect of the music business which is very important.

The problem is that Mysterytrain likes the artists that recorded for Atlantic in the 1950s and 1950s more than RCA and he dreams about Elvis recording for them.

Mysterytrain is looking at it more from a creative point of view rather than a financial one.

Also of course anyone that agrees with him is a genius and anyone that has a different point of view is an idiot.

You talk rubbish, AGAIN. I do not dream, just state a few facts in the differance between RCA & Atlantic. You haven't got the whole point of this conversation. Please come back when you have something decent to say, rather then going off the mark.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:06 am

In the end, Elvis chose the songs.

But what songs actually got to Elvis, via a huge filtering system, is a different story all together.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:21 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
r&b wrote:I think RCA was the bigger company in 1956, yes, but I believe Atlantic had its pulse on what was happening in the music industry way more than RCA did. Elvis still would have recorded those great songs he did in 1956 no matter what the label, but just the roster of talent Atlantic had in 1956 was second to none as far as writers, arrangers, artists, especially for the youth explosion. Certainly hipper than RCA. Ahmet & Wexler were visionaries like Sam Phillips only at a bigger label with a lot more cash. RCA had no one like this (Steve Sholes lol?) Elvis was the first to explore this kind of music for RCA. Atlantic had been doing it since the early 50's like SUN. Sam himself has stated he was disappointed with what RCA had done with Elvis initially.


Therein lies the problem with this discussion.

I have never disputed what Atlantic records would have done creatively with Elvis had they gotten him over RCA in 1955.

Largely because it's all speculative and we don't know what would have happened had he went to Atlantic records.

I'm speaking of the financial aspect of the music business which is very important.

The problem is that Mysterytrain likes the artists that recorded for Atlantic in the 1950s and 1950s more than RCA and he dreams about Elvis recording for them.

Mysterytrain is looking at it more from a creative point of view rather than a financial one.

Also of course anyone that agrees with him is a genius and anyone that has a different point of view is an idiot.

You talk rubbish, AGAIN. I do not dream, just state a few facts in the differance between RCA & Atlantic. You haven't got the whole point of this conversation. Please come back when you have something decent to say, rather then going off the mark.


Sweet Jesus.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:42 am

I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:15 am

Fairchild1171 wrote:I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Elvis would have made it with any manager. It was his talents that got him there. The managers job is to expose his clients talents the best way possible, TV etc. You can promote an artist all you what but if the artist hasn't got the talent, then it don't work. Elvis is the main reason for his success.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:10 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
Fairchild1171 wrote:I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Elvis would have made it with any manager. It was his talents that got him there. The managers job is to expose his clients talents the best way possible, TV etc. You can promote an artist all you what but if the artist hasn't got the talent, then it don't work. Elvis is the main reason for his success.


So tell me how big Elvis was with Scotty Moore as manager or with Bob Neal as manager?!
Very big. "That's all right" sold 20,000 copies.
O wait, Heartbreak hotel sold over a million within weeks! That's big!!!! That's a manager.
Bob Neal had Elvis perform weekly on The Louisiana Hayride for a few dollars no matter how long and far Elvis had to travel to the venue.
Not that it did matter as for regular performances Elvis got paid peanuts too. In fact he had to borrow money for petrol to go to the next poorly paid performance.
In 1956 Elvis got paid thousands of dollars for 1 performance. That's big, that's a manager.
FA C T S

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:31 am

zolderopruiming1 wrote:So tell me how big Elvis was with Scotty Moore as manager or with Bob Neal as manager?!


Scotty Moore was Elvis' manager in order to keep unscrupulous parties from taking advantage of the nascent artist, co-signing a contract with the singer and his parents at Sam Phillips' behest

Bob Neal took over just a few months afterwards, and was an official part of the management team until March 1956. In the course of that year-plus as manager, he:

- started Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) to promote "Elvis Presley"
- booked Elvis all over the South and as far east as Florida
- steadily increased his per-show advances and post-show grosses
- flew him to New York for a tryout on the network talent show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts"
- also booked him for shows in Cleveland
- helped promote Elvis' first national #1 hit on Billboard's Country chart
- was involved in Elvis' signing to RCA, a major label, in November 1955

That's a lot of good stuff for such a short period of time by a manager.
FA C T S

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:05 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
zolderopruiming1 wrote:So tell me how big Elvis was with Scotty Moore as manager or with Bob Neal as manager?!


Scotty Moore was Elvis' manager in order to keep unscrupulous parties from taking advantage of the nascent artist, co-signing a contract with the singer and his parents at Sam Phillips' behest

Bob Neal took over just a few months afterwards, and was an official part of the management team until March 1956. In the course of that year-plus as manager, he:

- started Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) to promote "Elvis Presley"
- booked Elvis all over the South and as far east as Florida
- steadily increased his per-show advances and post-show grosses
- flew him to New York for a tryout on the network talent show "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts"
- also booked him for shows in Cleveland
- helped promote Elvis' first national #1 hit on Billboard's Country chart
- was involved in Elvis' signing to RCA, a major label, in November 1955

That's a lot of good stuff for such a short period of time by a manager.
FA C T S


Yet Elvis only became a big star, being well paid and selling millions of records, when Parker took over.
Within months of signing Elvis he:
- got Elvis the back pay owed by Sun Records
- signed him to the worlds' largest record company
- got him on nationwide TV
- signed Elvis to movie companies
- increased his performance fee considerably

and later that year he got Ed Sullivan to pay top price!

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:10 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
Fairchild1171 wrote:I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Elvis would have made it with any manager. It was his talents that got him there. The managers job is to expose his clients talents the best way possible, TV etc. You can promote an artist all you what but if the artist hasn't got the talent, then it don't work. Elvis is the main reason for his success.


So tell me how big Elvis was with Scotty Moore as manager or with Bob Neal as manager?!
Very big. "That's all right" sold 20,000 copies.
O wait, Heartbreak hotel sold over a million within weeks! That's big!!!! That's a manager.
Bob Neal had Elvis perform weekly on The Louisiana Hayride for a few dollars no matter how long and far Elvis had to travel to the venue.
Not that it did matter as for regular performances Elvis got paid peanuts too. In fact he had to borrow money for petrol to go to the next poorly paid performance.
In 1956 Elvis got paid thousands of dollars for 1 performance. That's big, that's a manager.
FA C T S

You are clearly distorting a few FACTS from your rather poor observation.

Sun Records was a very small operation which had very limited amount of money and could only go so far with promotion and the distribution of product. In fact, when Elvis released Sun 209, Sun records was really still in it's infancy stages. Apart from a couple of local smash hits The Prisonaires "Just Walkin' In The Rain" and Rufus Thomas "Bear Cat" which only local hits, that was about it.

Sam opened the doors of the Memphis Recording Service in 1950, but the Sun label wasn't launched until 1952. Sam had released only 34 singles before Sun 209. Apart from the two hits i've mentioned, the rest of them sold poorly to moderate sales, so the money wasn't exactly pooring in. Get the point?

And as for scotty being manager, the story goes: Elvis had no manager at the time Sun 209 was released. So when he started touring locally he was bothered by promoters for tour dates and do this and that because he had no manager. So sam thought to stop all this harrassment he made a contract up for Scotty to sign as manager then could then thst he was under contract. In reality, Scotty was a musician, not really cut out for the role as manager.

As for Bob Neil, he was a very bright and intelligent man, but he was mainly a promoter for Sun Records organizing package shows for Sun artists and other local small label artists. He clearly didn't have the big leaque connections as Parker did.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:22 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
Fairchild1171 wrote:I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Elvis would have made it with any manager. It was his talents that got him there. The managers job is to expose his clients talents the best way possible, TV etc. You can promote an artist all you what but if the artist hasn't got the talent, then it don't work. Elvis is the main reason for his success.


True. I never bought Elvis records growing up because he had a great manager. I'm not sure I even knew who Col Parker was when I was a kid. Any good mgr would have promoted Elvis and put him on TV. The talent and the radio did the rest.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:41 pm

r&b wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
Fairchild1171 wrote:I think RCA was the best label Elvis could have signed with. Elvis could have said no to some of the crappy songs that he recorded, but he always wanted to please everyone. All in all I think it all turned out pretty good. I know alot of folks do not like the Colonel and have even said that Elvis would have been just as big without him, but I don't buy that. I mean how much bigger can you get? Known world wide and one of the top sellers in History. There is only so far you can go in music and Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson got there. Very few artist will ever make it to the top of that mountain!

Elvis would have made it with any manager. It was his talents that got him there. The managers job is to expose his clients talents the best way possible, TV etc. You can promote an artist all you what but if the artist hasn't got the talent, then it don't work. Elvis is the main reason for his success.


True. I never bought Elvis records growing up because he had a great manager. I'm not sure I even knew who Col Parker was when I was a kid. Any good mgr would have promoted Elvis and put him on TV. The talent and the radio did the rest.


You could not have bought Elvis' records far outside Memphis if it wasn't for Colonel Parker.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:50 pm

Let's not forget Jerry Lee Lewis had many big hits with Sun Records. He sold millions of records with Sun from 1956 to 1963. So, Elvis could do it himself. I don't buy such propaganda (orchestrated by the Colonel, of course) as: "poor Elvis, how bad he was exploited by Bob Neal and the Sun Records" The Good ol' Colonel played the good guy, just to manipulate Elvis' parents to convince Elvis to go with him. In fact, even in TV on Dorsey shows it was Bill Randle who supported Elvis on his first TV show. He was a very smart man, an educated man with a PHD diploma and he could be a great manager for Elvis, I think better 10 times than the uneducated, paranoid, cold hearted con man who never ever told Elvis how his really name was.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:07 pm

When Elvis hit the scene in 1956, thanks to Parker, a lot of record companies signed and spent money on other artists that appealed to teenage audiences.
In 1956 Lewis made his first recordings at Sun Records. "Crazy Arms" sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide.
So while Elvis easily sold 1 million records, Gene Vincent sold a million records, JLL at Sun only sold 300,000.
It was a wise move for Parker to have Elvis signed to the largest record company. Perhaps Elvis would have done OK at Capitol too, but certainly not at Atlantic who was mainly releasing R&B, not rock and roll.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:28 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:When Elvis hit the scene in 1956, thanks to Parker, a lot of record companies signed and spent money on other artists that appealed to teenage audiences.
In 1956 Lewis made his first recordings at Sun Records. "Crazy Arms" sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide.
So while Elvis easily sold 1 million records, Gene Vincent sold a million records, JLL at Sun only sold 300,000.
It was a wise move for Parker to have Elvis signed to the largest record company. Perhaps Elvis would have done OK at Capitol too, but certainly not at Atlantic who was mainly releasing R&B, not rock and roll.

What about Elvis' enormous talents, zolderopruiming, does that include in your summarization of things?

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:31 pm

How can one argue with how huge Elvis is today? Sure, Elvis had the talent, but The Colonel had a huge hand in creating that "image." like him or not...THAT'S facts!

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:42 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Exactly. By the way, in 1970 RCA flooded the market with too many LP's, some of them of low quality. And in the 70's they included many leftovers in Elvis albums like Hey Jude in Elvis Now. After the Aloha triumph they released the mediocre Elvis 1973 LP, just for the quantity, not quality. Of course, it was also Elvis's fault who signed in 1973 a new contract with RCA which included 3 LP's per year, thanks again to Colonel Parker and RCA for such a hectic schedule release.


It is easy to forget that Elvis had all of the power with his career. Whether he chose to use that power is another matter. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, he had the power to "go home" all along. If he had continued to exert the creative control that he showed in 1956 and extended his control over all other areas of his career, we would only be talking about the great music. At the critical times when Elvis said "this is how it's gonna be"('68 Special, American Studio '69, etc), and it was because it was what he really wanted, no one was gonna stand in his way.

Unfortunately, he exerted his true power only a few times in his career.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:47 pm

Fairchild1171 wrote:How can one argue with how huge Elvis is today? Sure, Elvis had the talent, but The Colonel had a huge hand in creating that "image." like him or not...THAT'S facts!



No one disputes what Parker did in '56 but that doesn't mean that he really knew what he was doing. Elvis was such a huge force that was going to happen. I challenge that there were other managers who could've achieved the same result at that time...not just Parker.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:50 pm

You could not have bought Elvis' records far outside Memphis if it wasn't for Colonel Parker.[/quote]


Doubtful...He was gonna reach TV in '56 regardless, shooting him to superstardom.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:52 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote: ... I've always wondered how is career may have turned out had he have gone with Atlantic ...

Yes, I have also wondered how his career may have turned out with another label. But for me it where strange not to see the RCA-Logo on his records. :smt007

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:59 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
zolderopruiming1 wrote:When Elvis hit the scene in 1956, thanks to Parker, a lot of record companies signed and spent money on other artists that appealed to teenage audiences.
In 1956 Lewis made his first recordings at Sun Records. "Crazy Arms" sold 300,000 copies in the South, but it was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide.
So while Elvis easily sold 1 million records, Gene Vincent sold a million records, JLL at Sun only sold 300,000.
It was a wise move for Parker to have Elvis signed to the largest record company. Perhaps Elvis would have done OK at Capitol too, but certainly not at Atlantic who was mainly releasing R&B, not rock and roll.

What about Elvis' enormous talents, zolderopruiming, does that include in your summarization of things?


Elvis had that enormous talent in 1954 and 1955 but got nowhere. Some Sun releases sold less than "That's all right" i.e. less than 20,000 copies.
Financially Elvis got nowhere until 1956.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:27 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Let's not forget Jerry Lee Lewis had many big hits with Sun Records. He sold millions of records with Sun from 1956 to 1963. So, Elvis could do it himself. I don't buy such propaganda (orchestrated by the Colonel, of course) as: "poor Elvis, how bad he was exploited by Bob Neal and the Sun Records" The Good ol' Colonel played the good guy, just to manipulate Elvis' parents to convince Elvis to go with him. In fact, even in TV on Dorsey shows it was Bill Randle who supported Elvis on his first TV show.


After Elvis' Sun records contract was sold to RCA for $35,0000 Sam Phillips used that money to promote Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.

That's why they had hit records on the pop charts.

Had Elvis' contract not been sold and had he stayed on Sun records for another year Sam Phillips wouldn't have the money to promote any of those records.

It would have been just like 1954-1955 for Elvis.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:41 pm

The comparisons bewteen Bob Neal and Tom Parker here seem a little unfair.

It's like celebrating the Apollo flights without mentioning the Mercury flights.

One can't simply say that within weeks of Parker taking over Elvis became a huge star and therefore Bob Neal was no good: when Bob neal took Elvis on, Presley was a virtual nobody. It was Neal who helped build Elvis up to considerable success until Parker took over.

When Parker actually did take over, Elvis was poised on the brink of his astonishing career and Parker progressed from there onwards.

Parker had tried to raise a young C&w singer before -- Tommy Sands -- from the bottom up, and failed.

It was Bob Neal who saw Elvis through the amazing and meteoric year of 1955. If you check out the careers of almost every other significant c&w artist of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, it usually took YEARS or even DECADES for them to achieve success. Bob Neal steered Elvis from zero to potential hero in twelve months. He was a bright, honest, hard-working guy. Parker ran a different type of show and did very well for Elvis up until about 1963.

Parker was always going to take Elvis to RCA and the bidding war was a typical Parker scam. Parker always kept stuff "in the family": follow the careers of Arnold, Snow, Sands and others to see how Parker worked in a very tight circle: Steve Sholes, RCA Victor and Hill & Range. He rarely went outside of these people and companies because he had considerable influence within them.

Bob Neal and Tom Parker: chalk and cheese, but both did well for Elvis up to a point. Elvis had outgrown Neal by Dec '55 and Parker by mid '63.