Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:29 am
Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:41 am
Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:01 am
Mister Moon wrote:We've all read about Elvis' musical influences, and we all know one of the biggest was Clyde McPhatter.
From memory (excuse me if I'm missing something), Elvis covered "Money Honey", "Such A Night", "Come What May" and "Without Love" - "Fools Fall In Love" is sometimes also cited in this same bag, but the original Drifters track didn't feature Clyde at all - already gone on a solo career - but the almost equally great Johnny Moore.
But this 1950 (released 1951) version of "Harbor Lights" by The Dominoes featuring Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal is almost never mentioned as a possible influence.
This was the second Dominoes single released on Federal Records - the labels didn´t specify Clyde's name. Their next release would be "Sixty Minute Man", one of the biggest R&B smashes of 1951 - this one didn't feature Clyde as soloist, though.
"Harbor Lights" by The Dominoes features an absolutely stunning lead vocal part by Clyde. The whole song is a total showcase for his amazing voice and performing skills. He was just 18 years old at the time of recording it.
Please listen to the second bridge. While (possibly) baritone William Lamont is singing, Clyde can be clearly heard doing back-up vocal work. So absolutely cool !!!
Can you imagine a 16 year old Elvis listening to this track on the radio ? Can you imagine him recalling this record three years later, during his early sessions at 706 Union Avenue ?
Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:41 am
Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:40 pm
... he should have tried it again in '57 ...
Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:07 am
Mister Moon wrote:First of all, I have to add "White Christmas" to my list of McPhatter-related songs recorded by Elvis - I said I was working from memory !
Not really one of my favorite Elvis recordings, but it's cool to know that he dug that amazing and classic "I-hi-hi-hi-hi-I´m dreaming..." part sung by Clyde on the Drifters' 1954 version of the song.
It's very nice to know the Crosby recording of "Harbor Lights". I didn't know about it. It very much resembles Elvis' version of the song, so much more than the one by The Dominoes. Also, it's very interesting to learn that the B-side of that single was "Beyond The Reef".
Well, I guess 60 years after the fact, and with all the main characters of the play having left the building, it's all down to guess work. We know Elvis was very, say, unorthodox about his musical tastes (eclectic, in today' s terms). And I think that's one of the things that made him a great performer, so different from most of his contemporaries.
Where would he have listened to Crosby's version ? Most probably on the radio, as it was a hit. It's been said that the Presleys didn' t have a record player at home. And it seems very unlikely to me that a Memphis jukebox, in 1951, would contain a Crosby single with two ballads in it. So the "Beyond The Reef" connection, while being an interesting one, could probably be discarded as being only a coincidence.
But it's remarkable that they tried this song, with such a strong resemblance to the Crosby disc, almost three years after it had been a hit. It must have been so indelibly engraved on their (his) minds.
A fascinating, never ending puzzle...
Thanks everybody !!
Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:53 am
Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:04 am
TJ wrote:Scotty contributes such a nicely crafted guitar part that it makes me think that the song might have been part of his repertoire with the Starlite Wranglers. Perhaps the three were discussing songs that they all knew and then gave this a try.
Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:38 pm
Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:05 pm
Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:17 pm
TJ wrote:I might be in the minority, but I really enjoy the song.
Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:01 am
Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:03 am
Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:13 am
Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:49 am
TJ wrote:Neither could hold a candle to Roger W's later efforts though.
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