Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

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Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Here's a great interview with singer-songwriter Mac Davis, posted on the internet in 2000.

Mac grew up in Lubbock, saw Buddy Holly become a success, and caught Elvis as well in 1955.

He'd later go on to write some of Presley's finest latter-day hits, and then become a huge star in his own right in the 1970s.

Enjoy!

MAC DAVIS: Writer Before Performer
By Vernell Hackett - September 1, 2000


The first time I ever heard of Mac Davis

Mac Davis.jpg
was when I was going to college at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He was scheduled for a concert at the school, and the organizers of the event were worried that they were not gonna get a crowd. They bugged the college newspaper every day, asking us to run another story about this singer named Mac Davis. By the time the night of the concert arrived, I had to go just to see who I had been writing about for the past month!

His claim to fame at the time was the Bobby Goldsboro single, “Watching Scotty Grow,” but he had already written songs for Lou Rawls (“You’re Good For Me”) and O.C. Smith (“Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife” and “Daddy’s Little Man”). Davis wrote “Memories” and “Nothingsville” for Elvis Presley’s 1968 television special. Presley also recorded “In the Ghetto” and “Don’t Cry, Daddy.” He wrote “Something’s Burning,” a hit for Kenny Rogers and The First Edition.

One concert convinced me that he was an amazingly talented individual. His songs touched our hearts and his humor was right on target for a mid-70s college crowd. And he did that thing where we yelled lines at him and he made up songs. My friends and I liked him so much that we went that next weekend to Dallas to see him again.

Obviously we were not the only people who latched on to the talent of Mac Davis. He soon had signed a recording deal himself and was releasing songs like “I Believe In Music,” “Memories,” “One Hell of a Woman,” “Texas in my Rear View Mirror,” “Stop and Smell the Roses,” “It’s Hard to be Humble” and “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.”

Davis went through the highs or seeing his music climb the charts and touch people’s hearts. He went through the lows of losing his wife and battling alcoholism. Today he’s a better man for his struggles, having gotten a handle on the alcoholism and celebrating life with his new wife and two sons. The shame of it is that while he’s writing, we’re not hearing any of his new stuff on CD or on other people’s albums.

Probably the only place you can hear new Mac Davis tunes is on his weekly radio show over KZLA, a show which allows him to play not only his music but other music that he enjoys.

“Last year about this time I met this guy at the gold course from KZLA radio, and he asked if I had something (new album or single) coming out. I said ‘You’re not gonna play it, I’m over 40 and that’s not happening in country radio.’

“I kinda bowled him over a little bit, and he didn’t have an answer. Then I got a letter and he wanted to sit down and talk about it, and two weeks later I was on the air on Sunday evening (9 p.m. – 1 a.m. PST). I get to play what I want, so if I hear something I like I play it, old or new. I play Ray Benson … Dolly Parton’s bluegrass album…George Jones and Merle Haggard. I sing live if the mood hits me, just things I’ve written over the years. I do interviews.”

Davis says he was a writer before he was a performer, and he continues to write new material but admits “I have become the king of procrastinators. I write a lot but I just sit out here in Los Angeles and play them for my friends and play them over my radio show. One of the new songs has become one of the top requests on the show, but I haven’t recorded it. I have my own publishing company and I write these songs and I want to put together a stack of stuff and come to town (Nashville) and cut some demos but I just haven’t done it.

“I got so lucky with my career, I’m fortunate to be able to retire and kick back and do what I want to. I always said one day I’d kick back and play golf and drink expensive whiskey…well, I’ve had to quit drinking the expensive whiskey but I still play golf!”

One of the last times Davis came off the golf course, it was to write with Dolly Parton, at her insistence.

“Dolly does that once in a while; she’s one of the easiest people for me to co-write with. We’ve known each other so long, she’s like an old easy chair to me; we don’t see each other for a year at a time, and then we sit down and it’s like we just saw each other yesterday.

“I didn’t write for a long time when I was an alcoholic. I told people, ‘I’ve said all I want to say – I don’t like the business.’ I was just drinking. When I did sober up and wake up I got invited to play the lead role in The Will Rogers Follies in New York City.

“I went there and got to really enjoy myself and got the bug to entertain again. I said the first thing I have to do is start writing, and the first song I wrote was ‘Slow Dancing with the Moon.’ I guess this was about eight years ago. The more I wrote the song the more I realized I was writing Dolly’s life story. I played it for her and it was like, ‘I want you to change the first two lines. I’m gonna cut that song.’ It became the title song of her next album. It was kind of like it got me going, and that’s just the kind of friend Dolly is.

“I started writing and I wrote a collection of 14-15 songs. I’m one of these street writers; some people do it like a business every day – the Nashville writers do that – they co-write, they are forced to do that. With the exception of Dolly, at any rate, my process is a little different, so I wrote these songs and got prolific and they were really good songs; a lot were personal songs, stuff coming out. A lot of us have the same things in our lives; I just collected them all together, went to Nashville and played them with my guitar – and the business had changed so much, I was shocked.”

Davis was told he was too old, they wouldn’t play his songs on the radio. Finally he landed a deal with Sony out of Nashville, but the man who signed him left the label and when the album came out the record company didn’t do anything to promote it, he said.

That experience hasn’t stopped him from writing new material. In fact, he has a new song he co-wrote with Clint Black that he feels will be on one of Black’s upcoming albums.

“I’ve written a lot of songs, I have stuff just sitting here. I’m not hungry like I used to be; as far as making money out of me, it’s not important. It is important that I get things off my chest; I still do that. My wife can tell you, at certain times in the month or week, she’ll see me get that far away look in my eyes and they’ll give me space and they know I’m writing. I have a guitar in my hand 50 percent of the time anyway. When I come in from golf, I get a cup of coffee, sit down, plug in my Fender and play the blues or start writing songs. That’s a part of me that will never go away.”

Davis says one of the hard things about being a singer/songwriter who becomes well-known is that other singers are hesitant to cut your songs. “Other artists see those songs and may think it’s a great song, but they also wonder ‘If I were to cut that he would cover me. If he didn’t think it was good enough for a single, why should I?’ Or they think ‘He did such a great job, why should I do it?’ I felt that way too, with other singer/songwriters, so it’s kind of a Catch 22; I still drag out my old records and listen to some of my album cuts.”

Davis says Buddy Holly was his inspiration as a songwriter but Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and the old Sun Recording artists turned him on to music.

“Buddy lived in Lubbock where I lived; he was a local fixture; no one ever thought anything because he was just a local guy. We’d go dance to his records at the skating rink. He left town for about a year, and ‘That’ll Be the Day’ came out, went number one, and he came back to town driving this Pontiac Catalina convertible, with this pretty girl, and he drove in front of my house, and I went ‘Man rock and roll is me.’

“Up until that point I figured the song was written by the singer; I think most people think that. I started realizing Buddy Holly wrote all those songs. I thought if Buddy Holly can do that I can do it.”

Davis started trying his hand at writing when he was 14. “I fiddled with it, and I found out I loved it. I didn’t realize you could make anything at it. I wanted to do both. I just kept messing with it.”

As if to prove that perseverance pays off, Davis noted, “I wrote my first song at 14 – I had my own first hit record, ‘Memories,’ when I was 28. ‘Clean Up Your Own Backyard’ was a pseudo pop hit that has since sold a million records, and that was kind of what got the whole thing started.”

Davis’s cuts by Elvis were what he described as “Beyond my wildest dreams. It was like one of those who would have ever thought kind of things. Billy Strange, who was working with Elvis, had been coming in and looking for material at the publishing company where I worked. I played him some songs and he said Elvis might be looking, so I played him a couple things, and I got a couple songs in the movies he was doing. He had been using the same writers, and I think he liked going in a new direction. Strange came back, Elvis had decided he wanted to do a TV special, so I wrote ‘A Little Less Conversation’ and it got in the top 40, and he wanted to start performing again. This TV special was coming out and they wanted to blow everyone away. They were gonna do a segment where he wore a black leather outfit and sang the old hits.

“I called Billy Strange and said ‘how does “Memories” sound?’ Billy said it sounded fine, and I sat up all night in Billy’s garage where he had a little studio, and wrote it. That’s pretty much how my career got started. That’s where it came from…at any rate, good things happened after that, because ‘Suspicious Minds’ became a hit and then ‘In The Ghetto’ and ‘Don’t Cry Daddy.’”

Davis is well aware of some of the problems facing songwriters, noting “The songwriter may be the last guy to get paid, but he’s the last guy to stop getting paid too. He’s the last guy to get credit, so it’s nice to get up and strut our stuff once in a while. The good news is you can continue making a living long after the hot flash is gone.”

Davis’s advice to new writers is to finish the song. “The last verse should be as good as or better than the first verse. I see writers do a great first verse, and say if they don’t like it by the end of the first verse they will trash it anyway. Or repeat the first verse again – I hate that when I hear it. If it’s worth writing, it’s worth writing all the way through.

Asked when a writer knows if a song is finished, Davis offered a few suggestions. “You just have to go with your instincts, say this is good and go with it. It’s also a good idea when it gets three or four minutes long to stop!

“I’m still rewriting ‘In the Ghetto.’ In fact, I’ve decided the next person that records it, instead of saying ‘on a cold and gray Chicago morning,’ I’d say ‘American morning.’ So I’m still rewriting stuff I write years and years ago. If you’re a good songwriter you’re always gonna be thinking about how to make it better.”

http://www.americansongwriter.com/2000/09/mac-davis-writer-before-performer/
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu May 03, 2018 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by hollandgroupc2008 »

Pretty cool Doc. I've read a few interviews by him before. It's amazing how many talented contributors to the music world where inspired to do what they do by our man. And then, to make it more humbling, in turn records his songs. Pretty darn good songs too, ALLC, In the Ghetto, Memories, In the Ghetto, Nothingville. Not a bad one in there! Not sure about that lyric change though, I think Chicago sounds better.



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by norrie »

Cheers Doc,he is certainly right on his views about country radio

norrie



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by Frankie Teardrop »

Another great find, Doc, thanks again!
Interesting that Mac remembers A Little Less Conversation as a Top 40 hit (?).


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by norrie »

Frankie Teardrop wrote:Another great find, Doc, thanks again!
Interesting that Mac remembers A Little Less Conversation as a Top 40 hit (?).
Obviously talking about the Canadian charts Frankie !

norrie




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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by epf »

Thanks Doc, a great read. You are on a roll lately, thank you!



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

hollandgroupc2008 wrote:Pretty cool Doc. I've read a few interviews by him before. It's amazing how many talented contributors to the music world where inspired to do what they do by our man. And then, to make it more humbling, in turn records his songs. Pretty darn good songs too, ALLC, In the Ghetto, Memories, In the Ghetto, Nothingville. Not a bad one in there! Not sure about that lyric change though, I think Chicago sounds better.
I agree. Did you know Elvis wisely skipped an especially maudlin verse from "Memories"? So Mac got some unexpected help on that one.

It's a shame the relationship did not continue into the 1970s, but Mac became a big star.

norrie wrote:Cheers Doc, he is certainly right on his views about country radio ...
Right on, norrie!

Frankie Teardrop wrote:Another great find, Doc, thanks again!
Interesting that Mac remembers A Little Less Conversation as a Top 40 hit (?).
Maybe Mac is conflating the later worldwide hit remix version.

I must admit I thought you'd quite enjoy this topic -- thank you for the acknowledgment.

epf wrote:Thanks Doc, a great read. You are on a roll lately, thank you!
Thank you kindly!

Elvis is the man!


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by intelwild »

I have always liked Mac in interviews. He seems like a very nice, genuine, stand up type of a guy.



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

intelwild wrote:I have always liked Mac in interviews. He seems like a very nice, genuine, stand up type of a guy.
Yes, and I've never read anyone who has a bad thing to say about him, either.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

norrie wrote:Obviously talking about the Canadian charts Frankie !
norrie, how did it do on the Canadian charts?


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by Mike Windgren »

Hi there!! :D :D :D.
drjohncarpenter on June 8th, 2010, 3:46 am wrote:
hollandgroupc2008 wrote:It's amazing how many talented contributors to the music world where inspired to do what they do by our man. And then, to make it more humbling, in turn records his songs. Pretty darn good songs too, ALLC, In the Ghetto, Memories, In the Ghetto, Nothingville. Not a bad one in there! Not sure about that lyric change though, I think Chicago sounds better.
I agree. Did you know Elvis wisely skipped an especially maudlin verse from "Memories"? So Mac got some unexpected help on that one.
Elvis skipped more than a verse from the original lyrics for the song Memories. Here´s an exclusive heartful performance by "Mac Davis", performed at Graceland this past Elvis Week 2017!. Enjoy! ::rocks. Bye for now :smt006.
Mac Davis: You´ll hear some lyrics you´ve never heard....
..



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by LesterB »

Mac Davis was on stage during Elvis week 2017 performing his “Elvis” songs. An amazing experience.He also had some great stories. Sadly we didn’t get to meet him for an autograph.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by Ricky »

I agree, the good ole days of getting a few moments with the stars is gone, I'm afraid. I miss the old set-up after the tent appearances. I really wanted a chance to meet Mac & Bill Medley. Thankfully Mike Stoller obliged.



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Mike Windgren on Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:14 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on June 8th, 2010, 3:46 am wrote:I agree. Did you know Elvis wisely skipped an especially maudlin verse from "Memories"? So Mac got some unexpected help on that one.
Elvis skipped more than a verse from the original lyrics for the song Memories. Here´s an exclusive heartful performance by "Mac Davis", performed at Graceland this past Elvis Week 2017!.
Mac Davis: You´ll hear some lyrics you´ve never heard....
..



Thanks.

From the original demo given to Elvis in 1968, the singer chose to omit a verse, and change one word in another line. He also sang the chorus differently.

All to the good, too. His master take is perfection.

In 1970, Mac Davis released his own version, expanding from the original demo, on Song Painter (Columbia CS 9969, March 8, 1970), a full-on "concept album" and his debut on LP after nearly ten years in the business.

..

ELVIS

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Memories

..

MAC

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages, just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, I cling to them and tremble till the dawn
My memories are all that I have left now that you've gone

(pause)
(pause)
(pause)
Oh, what will I do without my sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, sadly fragrant flowers turning brown
Memories, soft and distant showers coming down

Coming down

Sweet memories
Memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Sat May 05, 2018 4:27 am, edited 4 times in total.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by fn2drive »

drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:49 pm wrote:
Mike Windgren on Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:14 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on June 8th, 2010, 3:46 am wrote:I agree. Did you know Elvis wisely skipped an especially maudlin verse from "Memories"? So Mac got some unexpected help on that one.
Elvis skipped more than a verse from the original lyrics for the song Memories. Here´s an exclusive heartful performance by "Mac Davis", performed at Graceland this past Elvis Week 2017!.
Mac Davis: You´ll hear some lyrics you´ve never heard....
..



Thanks.

From the original demo given to Elvis in 1968, the singer chose to omit a verse, and change one word in another line. He also sang the chorus differently.

All to the good, too. His master take is perfection.

In 1970, Mac Davis released his own version, expanding from the original demo, on Song Painter (Columbia CS 9969, October 24, 1970), a full-on "concept album" and his debut on LP after nearly ten years in the business.

..

ELVIS

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touched them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Memories

..

MAC

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages, just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, I cling to them and tremble till the dawn
My memories are all that I have left now that you've gone
(pause)
Oh, what will I do without my sweet memories

Sweet Memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, sadly fragrant flowers turning brown
Memories, soft and distant showers coming down

Coming down
Sweet memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Sweet memories
Thanks Doc. This is an amazing post. It reveals Elvis’ genius near the peak of his form. Addition by subtraction. And that subtle lyric change is beyond powerful. I love this song because it is so powerfully evocative. You don’t get hit over the head-you are drawn into the story tellers story. You can’t help but be self reflective after you spin this one.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

fn2drive on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:12 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:49 pm wrote:Thanks.

From the original demo given to Elvis in 1968, the singer chose to omit a verse, and change one word in another line. He also sang the chorus differently.

All to the good, too. His master take is perfection.

In 1970, Mac Davis released his own version, expanding from the original demo, on Song Painter (Columbia CS 9969, March 8, 1970), a full-on "concept album" and his debut on LP after nearly ten years in the business.

..

ELVIS

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories

Of holding hands and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
And quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Memories

..

MAC

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened thru the ages, just like wine

Quiet thoughts come floating down
And settle softly to the ground
Like golden autumn leaves around my feet
I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, I cling to them and tremble till the dawn
My memories are all that I have left now that you've gone

(pause)
(pause)
(pause)
Oh, what will I do without my sweet memories

Sweet memories

Of lollipops and red bouquets
And twilights trimmed in purple haze
And laughing eyes and simple ways
Quiet nights and gentle days with you

Memories, sadly fragrant flowers turning brown
Memories, soft and distant showers coming down

Coming down

Sweet memories
Memories
Memories
Sweet memories
Thanks Doc. This is an amazing post. It reveals Elvis’ genius near the peak of his form. Addition by subtraction. And that subtle lyric change is beyond powerful. I love this song because it is so powerfully evocative. You don’t get hit over the head-you are drawn into the story tellers story. You can’t help but be self reflective after you spin this one.
Your kinds words are very welcome, thank you.

Indeed, every choice Elvis made on "Memories" was the right one, he had without question regained his mojo in June 1968.

The 1970 Mac Davis recording is really good, too. But it's no better than a step-brother to Elvis' peerless single.

Radio and retail were starting to notice Presley was on the ascent again, too, as "Memories" ended up a decent-sized hit:

"Memories"
Billboard Hot 100 #35, April 12, 1969
CashBox Top 100 #24, April 26, 1969

There's a great story where both Tommy Tedesco (guitar) and Mike Deasy (bass) considered this recording especially significant. Both were going through painful breakups at the time, and had to fight back tears as they cut the master. You can feel their emotion in the delicate fills from Tommy, and the throbbing, single bass note by Mike that runs through most of the song.

And of course, Elvis dumps his entire emotional life into his singing. Is he thinking of his mom? Or of Dixie, or perhaps Anita? If you ever needed an example of Presley, the "heart" singer, this is one to cherish forever. In the right moment, this recording can be devastating. Such is his power, such is his genius.

In 2006, FTD released Let Yourself Go! a fantastic disc of killer outtakes from the June 1968 studio pre-records done at Western Recorders, and a full official release of the first small combo rehearsal tape, a stunning recording captured in his dressing room at NBC Burbank. Mastered to perfection by Kevan Budd, one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so devastatingly heartfelt it practically cuts you at the knees.

Near the close of this outtake he sings, just once, "My memories." Then "Memories." And then once more.

Cue tears. What an artist.



..

Elvis Presley "Memories" Let Yourself Go! (Follow That Dream, October 11, 2006)
Stunning alternate take, Western Recorders, June 23-24, 1968.
http://www.elvisinnorway.no/letyourselfgoftd.html


Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
My memories
Memories
Memories
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Sat May 05, 2018 4:27 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by EPA4368 »

drjohncarpenter on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:22 pm wrote:Here's a great interview with singer-songwriter Mac Davis, posted on the internet in 2000.

Mac grew up in Lubbock, saw Buddy Holly become a success, and caught Elvis as well in 1955.

He'd later go on to write some of Presley's finest latter-day hits, and then become a huge star in his own right in the 1970s.

Enjoy!
Another Amazing topic and articles, thanks Doc ::rocks
drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:04 pm wrote:
Indeed, every choice Elvis made on "Memories" was the right one, he had without question regained his mojo in June 1968.
Without a doubt, Elvis was back!
drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:04 pm wrote:
The 1970 Mac Davis recording is really good, too. But it's no better than a step-brother to Elvis' peerless single.

Radio and retail were starting to notice Presley was on the ascent again, too, as "Memories" ended up a decent-sized hit:

"Memories"
Billboard Hot 100 #35, April 12, 1969
CashBox Top 100 #24, April 26, 1969

There's a great story where both Tommy Tedesco (guitar) and Mike Deasy (bass) considered this recording especially significant. Both were going through painful breakups at the time, and had to fight back tears as they cut the master. You can feel their emotion in the delicate fills from Tommy, and the throbbing, single bass note by Mike that runs through most of the song.

And of course, Elvis dumps his entire emotional life into his singing. Is he thinking of his mom? Of Dixie, or Anita? If you ever needed an example of Presley, the "heart" singer, this is one to cherish forever. In the right moment, this recording can be devastating. Such is his power, such is his genius.

In 2006, FTD released Let Yourself Go! a fantastic disc of 1968 outtakes from the studio pre-records done at Western Recorders. Mastered to perfection by Kevan Budd, one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so good it practically cuts you at the knees.

Near the close he sings, just once, "My memories." Then "Memories." And then once more. Cue tears. What an artist.




..

Elvis Presley "Memories" Let Yourself Go! (Follow That Dream, October 11, 2006)
Stunning alternate take, Western Recorders, June 23-24, 1968.

http://www.elvisinnorway.no/letyourselfgoftd.html


Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
My memories
Memories
Memories


"one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so good it practically cuts you at the knees."

I'm with you 100% Doc ::rocks



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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

EPA4368 on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:57 pm wrote:Another Amazing topic and articles, thanks Doc ::rocks

Without a doubt, Elvis was back!

"one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so good it practically cuts you at the knees."

I'm with you 100% Doc ::rocks
Thank you for enjoying this topic.

In the case of Mac Davis and Elvis in early 1968, it was kismet. Mac's songs were perfect for the singer and came at the perfect time. And after the success of almost every single one of them, Davis was able to propel himself into a very successful solo career. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

In the strange, crazy world of Elvis connections, I just found several more relating to "Memories."

First of all ...

Nancy SInatra, co-star of 1967's "Speedway" and a successful pop singer, came out with her own recording in early 1969 on an LP called Nancy.


690426_Reprise 6333.JPG
Nancy Sinatra Nancy (Reprise RS 6333, April 26, 1969)



It followed the structure of the Mac Davis demo, not the Presley single, and was produced and arranged by co-writer and legendary session guitarist Billy Strange.

He had worked quite a bit with Elvis in the past two years, producing two soundtrack session dates and nearly one studio date, and for a time was the musical director of the 1968 TV Special. Not only that, in 1969 he and Nancy started a publishing business called B-n-B Music that handled all of Mac's work.

The new year also brought one of the most intriguing but least known facets of Nancy’s versatility: her publishing partnership with Billy Strange. In 1969 and 1970, the award-winning B-n-B (Boots ‘n’ Billy) published dozens of songs, some of which would be recorded by Nancy for B-sides on late Reprise-era singles and album cuts on Nancy [Twelve Ways].

The songs of Mac Davis and Shelby Flint primarily comprised the B-n-B catalog, along with contributions from Larry Collins (Mac’s collaborator on many songs, including “Home”), Freddy Weller (Mac’s collaborator on “Booga Lu-Lu”) and Lawrence Castleman (with his “Just Bein’ Plain Old Me”).


Nancy & Billy’s Music Publishing “Home”: The B-n-B Catalog
https://nancysinatra.com/blog/2016/05/nancy-billys-music-publishing-home-the-b-n-b-catalog/

In August 1969 Nancy followed Elvis' month-long International Hotel booking with one of her own, her first-ever such gig. Her opening act was a 28 year-old songwriter named ... Mac Davis. Small world!

Strange was in charge of her music for that series of shows, and the ones the following year at Caesar's Palace. He later remembered how he got "Memories" to Elvis, and how much he enjoyed producing Nancy's cover version. Very small world!

Featured in Nancy’s three-week engagement was young songwriter Mac Davis from her and Billy Strange’s fledgling publishing company, B-n-B Music. On August 25, 1969, just four days prior to the opening of Nancy’s show, she and Mac had been introduced from the audience by Elvis Presley during his midnight performance at the International. Expressing his admiration for Nancy and Mac, Elvis referred to recent Speedway co-star Nancy as “my girl, my girl!” and described Mac as “one hell of a songwriter.” Two of Elvis’s biggest hits were written by Mac and published by Nancy’s B-n-B: mid-1969 smash “In The Ghetto” and then soon-to-be top ten charter “Don’t Cry, Daddy.”

[snip]

Nancy’s publishing partner, arranger, producer, guitarist and friend Billy Strange met Mac at the office of Liberty Records, where Mac was in charge of the aforementioned Metric Music. Billy recalls their eventual collaboration on “Memories,” written for Elvis Presley’s first NBC special.

“I had been working with Elvis Presley on his ’68 ‘comeback’ TV special, as well as film he was doing. Mac Davis was living at my house at the time, and one morning he said to me, ‘Listen to this,’ and he played the first four bars …. “Memories …”. And it stuck with me. That day, Elvis corners me, and tells me he needs a big ballad to close his TV special. So I gave him the first four bars, called Mac from the studio, and by the time I got home he had it all laid out, and we finished it. Elvis had a big hit with it, but I just love what Nancy did with it.”

Nancy’s moving rendition of “Memories” appeared on the eclectic Billy Strange-produced Nancy [Twelve Ways] album, as well as the B-side of “Here We Go Again,” both in 1969.

“The main difference between the songs I was doing with Lee, and the songs I did with Billy is that a lot of the things on Nancy are based on what I was doing live, on stage ... ‘Memories’ is special, because it’s Billy and Mac Davis’ song.”


“Grab your boots and let’s start walkin'”: Nancy, Mac, Billy & Elvis
https://nancysinatra.com/blog/2016/01/grab-your-boots-and-lets-start-walkin-nancy-mac-billy-elvis/

Here is Nancy's 1969 cover of "Memories":



..

Nancy Sinatra "Memories" Nancy (Reprise RS 6333, April 26, 1969)
Produced and arranged by Billy Strange.
Was also issued as the B-side to "Here We Go Again" (Reprise 0821, April 12, 1969)

Nancy's sweet arrangement brings out the beauty, but fails to capture the deep emotion we feel hearing Elvis' rendition.



BONUS "MEMORIES"


In just one more VERY interesting coincidence, when Nancy sang "Memories" on "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" that spring, it was done as a creative, counterpoint duet with the show's host.

And the song Glen chose to counterpoint with? Kui Lee's "I'll Remember You."

Elvis released a cover in 1966, and would add it to his live set in 1972. And I'll wager he watched this broadcast from his Hillcrest home in Beverly Hills, too. It not only featured Nancy and Glen, two big favorites, but big-voiced baritone Robert Goulet … "GOO-LAY!"

Hope the TV survived the night. ;-)



..

Nancy Sinatra, Glen Campbell "Memories" - "I'll Remember You" (CBS-TV's "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour" - Wed, April 16, 1969)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjp_-pFkm4Q&t=2m52s

TV Previews
Glen Campbell Guests Include Robert Goulet

BEST BET

GLEN CAMPBELL GOOD-TIME HOUR
Guests include Al Martino, Robert Goulet and Nancy Sinatra, all singers. Comedy is taken care of by Tim Conway, who appears in one skit as a bull fighter, fighting a hangover. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Decatur Herald - Wednesday, April 16, 1969
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/88573614/
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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

And here's a nice local article on Lubbock native Mac, which came out as his debut LP hit the streets.

CHANNEL FARE
• NAOMI CADDEL


Pardon me while I brag a bit about another young Lubbock-ite who has hit it big in show business.

This time, it is young Mac Davis who had a couple of solo spots on the Red Skelton Show Tuesday night. If you're going to have a show business career, you might just as well begin on one of the top 10 shows!

Naturally this was not an overnight success. A person with his talent doesn't blossom that quickly.

Mac was born in Lubbock, lived all of his life here until after graduation from Lubbock High School in 1958, when he moved to Atlanta, Ga. After some time in Emory University there, he went to work for a recording company as a promotions man. Later, he: was transferred to California, which was probably the best break the young man could have had.

Davis is a sensitive 28-year-old who did a lot of talking with, and listening to, the people in the recording business and to disc jockeys who sometimes understand the fickle-buying public. Then, he began to write songs and other material.

Out of this came the two songs he sang on the Skelton show. "In The Ghetto," which has placed Elvis Presley back among the top sellers in the record business and has also won Mac a nomination for a Grammy Award and a gold record, his first one. The other song, "Memories," is a nice, melodious and nostalgic song which we will surely be hearing more and more.

While living here, as a member of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he and two other boys prepared a program for a church function. It was well received. In fact, the members were enthusiastic about it. But that was as far as his entertaining ever progressed here.

Now, to his credit, he has these credentials:

He has added the second gold record through Elvis Presley's recording of "Don't Cry Daddy." In all, Elvis has recorded 10 of his songs-which have all met with success.

O. C. Smith recorded Mac's "Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife," and "Daddy's Little Man," both of which were in the top 20 across the nation. He counts Nancy Sinatra as his good friend and to verify that fact she has recorded his "Goodtime Girl," "Memories," and "Home," which Leslie Uggams also recorded. And Mac appeared on the bill with Nancy when the famous International Hotel, one of the country's largest, opened in Las Vegas.

Other recordings on the way up — which Mac writes both words and music for — are "Something's Burning," by Kenny Rogers and First Edition and Glen Campbell's "In The Eyes Of My People." "The last one is my message to the people of Lubbock — how I really feel about them," he told me in a phone conversation.

He wrote comedy material for Minnie Pearl, the famous Nashville comedienne and sometime vocalist. This indicates his versatility for he has a keen sense of humor along with the deep feelings.

He has written the songs for the new Glen Campbell movie, "Norwood," to he released in May.

And he has a new record album, just released, called "Mac Davis, Song Painter" with introductions by Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Glen Campbell on the jacket.

His dad, T. J. Davis, of 505 University Ave,, thinks that's impressive enough. And I'm sure his new young wife, Sarah, a former Wichita, Kan., girl, feels the same way.

But add this to the list: He is a fine looking young man and has a very good voice. He has a genteel sound about him, which may be old fashioned to you,, but is still popular among people I know. So watch for the dust Mac Davis will stir up.


Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - Sunday, March 22, 1970
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/5993257/


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by fn2drive »

EPA4368 on Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:57 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:22 pm wrote:Here's a great interview with singer-songwriter Mac Davis, posted on the internet in 2000.

Mac grew up in Lubbock, saw Buddy Holly become a success, and caught Elvis as well in 1955.

He'd later go on to write some of Presley's finest latter-day hits, and then become a huge star in his own right in the 1970s.

Enjoy!
Another Amazing topic and articles, thanks Doc ::rocks
drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:04 pm wrote:
Indeed, every choice Elvis made on "Memories" was the right one, he had without question regained his mojo in June 1968.
Without a doubt, Elvis was back!
drjohncarpenter on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:04 pm wrote:
The 1970 Mac Davis recording is really good, too. But it's no better than a step-brother to Elvis' peerless single.

Radio and retail were starting to notice Presley was on the ascent again, too, as "Memories" ended up a decent-sized hit:

"Memories"
Billboard Hot 100 #35, April 12, 1969
CashBox Top 100 #24, April 26, 1969

There's a great story where both Tommy Tedesco (guitar) and Mike Deasy (bass) considered this recording especially significant. Both were going through painful breakups at the time, and had to fight back tears as they cut the master. You can feel their emotion in the delicate fills from Tommy, and the throbbing, single bass note by Mike that runs through most of the song.

And of course, Elvis dumps his entire emotional life into his singing. Is he thinking of his mom? Of Dixie, or Anita? If you ever needed an example of Presley, the "heart" singer, this is one to cherish forever. In the right moment, this recording can be devastating. Such is his power, such is his genius.

In 2006, FTD released Let Yourself Go! a fantastic disc of 1968 outtakes from the studio pre-records done at Western Recorders. Mastered to perfection by Kevan Budd, one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so good it practically cuts you at the knees.

Near the close he sings, just once, "My memories." Then "Memories." And then once more. Cue tears. What an artist.




..

Elvis Presley "Memories" Let Yourself Go! (Follow That Dream, October 11, 2006)
Stunning alternate take, Western Recorders, June 23-24, 1968.

http://www.elvisinnorway.no/letyourselfgoftd.html


Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine

Memories
My memories
Memories
Memories


"one of the big surprises was an alternate vocal take of "Memories" so good it practically cuts you at the knees."

I'm with you 100% Doc ::rocks


Thanks for the post and reminder. I’m not one who subscribes to the Elvis spending every waking moment thinking about his mother. But I have to say when listening to this alternate I was struck with the question of just what he was channeling. When I listen to the master, I always turn inward. This recording is the first time I thought about what he might have been thinking.


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Re: Mac Davis on Elvis --> "Beyond My Wildest Dreams"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

fn2drive on Fri May 04, 2018 7:25 pm wrote:Thanks for the post and reminder. I’m not one who subscribes to the Elvis spending every waking moment thinking about his mother. But I have to say when listening to this alternate I was struck with the question of just what he was channeling. When I listen to the master, I always turn inward. This recording is the first time I thought about what he might have been thinking.


Good point about perspective!

"Memories" takes the listener on a personal journey, so intense is the emotion. But when you can step back, you wonder what in the heck did Elvis reach deep down inside to get us there?

What an artist.

Thank you Billy Strange and Mac Davis.


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