"Working on the Building"

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Juan Luis

"Working on the Building"

Post by Juan Luis »

..
..

The Sun was literally rising when this last track ("His Hand In Mine" sessions) was cut on October 31,1960 at Studio B-Nashville. Produced by Steve Sholes. Chet Atkins behind the console hands-on producing, with the great Bill Porter engineering the fabulous sound.
Gordon Stocker suggested the Jordanaires' well known Gospel number that has both African American Spiritual and Southern Gospel traditions. "The song turned up in turn-of-the-century (20th) black gospel songbooks, as well as in the repertoires of black groups like the Swan Silvertones or white groups like the Blackwoods and the Carter family. "W.O. Hoyle and Lillian Boulas' arrangement was published in the 1930's".-Charles Wolfe.
"Working On The Building". A Golden Gate swing type number that an amused Elvis simply stated. "I like it"-A Life In Music-. If Elvis wanted to be in a Quartet. This was the closest he got. Elvis blended with the group almost becoming a Quintet. I love it! This one I play often. And wouldn't mind listening to this Gospel number on a daily basis. Enjoy "Working On The Building"...




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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by rlj4ep »

Thanks so much for this Juan! The song "Working on the Building" in an outstanding number on my of my all time favorite Elvis albums. You just can't beat Elvis and Gospel music. The track you highlight here shows a committed Elvis featuring a wonderful arrangement. It is interesting to note how well Elvis sang together with the Jordanaires and the Imperials.
Thanks for the insight.

rlj




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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by stevelecher »

My least favorite song on this LP. The album is great though.



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis. He also noted that it was during "Crying In The Chapel" that "dawn began to break." The recording is a rousing end to an accomplished and heartfelt LP.

Blues legend B.B. King, whose first records were made for Sam Phillips in Memphis, cut a tremendous recording of the traditional in 1959, and it closed his Crown LP:


..

B.B. King "I'm Working On The Building" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sings_Spirituals


King also waxed a terrific version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on the same LP. Any chance Elvis owned a copy of King's album?


..

B.B. King "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)


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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

Gotta love this song. Thanks Juan Luis.


I guess Elvis heard this gospel (and many others for that matter) sung almost exactly like this in church, when he was a child:

I'm Working On The Building" (1976) Dr. C. J. Johnson
Posted on YouTube by Gospel Nostalgia on May 15, 2014
..

And he sang along :D

.


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And try a smile...

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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by jeanno »

Elvis and the Jordanaires.
What a crear example of the two-parts commitment with an effective arrangement plus beautiful and infectous singing.




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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Davelee »

drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis. He also noted that it was during "Crying In The Chapel" that "dawn began to break." The recording is a rousing end to an accomplished and heartfelt LP.

Blues legend B.B. King, whose first records were made for Sam Phillips in Memphis, cut a tremendous recording of the traditional in 1959, and it closed his Crown LP:


..

B.B. King "I'm Working On The Building" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sings_Spirituals


King also waxed a terrific version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on the same LP. Any chance Elvis owned a copy of King's album?


..

B.B. King "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
Thanks for posting these versions, Doc. Not heard them before and they are great! I have a "Best Of" by him on an ace CD so I'm not familiar with everything he did.

Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".




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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Davelee »

MikeFromHolland wrote:.

Gotta love this song. Thanks Juan Luis.


I guess Elvis heard this gospel (and many others for that matter) sung almost exactly like this in church, when he was a child:

I'm Working On The Building" (1976) Dr. C. J. Johnson
Posted on YouTube by Gospel Nostalgia on May 15, 2014
..

And he sang along :D

.
Another great version! Thanks, Mike.



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by colonel snow »

The original version was recorded on 22-06-36 by Heavenly Gospel Singers (Bluebird 6636).


colonel snow




Topic author
r&b

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by r&b »

I LOVE IT, BUT CHECK THIS OUT. IS IT THE SAME SONG OR NOT?





Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Juan Luis »

drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis.
More importantly mentioned in the OP. According to Ernst Jorgensen Elvis Presley: A life In Music, after "Crying In The Chapel. "Still short one Gospel cut, Gordon stoker suggested one of his own group's most popular numbers, "Working On The Building". Originally a black Gospel song, it had the same kind of swing as the Golden Gate cuts. " ... You're welcome! Glad you enjoy my topic!



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by elvis-fan »

One of my favorite Elvis gospel songs from a wonderful album! Great post Juan!



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Davelee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis. He also noted that it was during "Crying In The Chapel" that "dawn began to break." The recording is a rousing end to an accomplished and heartfelt LP.

Blues legend B.B. King, whose first records were made for Sam Phillips in Memphis, cut a tremendous recording of the traditional in 1959, and it closed his Crown LP:


..

B.B. King "I'm Working On The Building" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sings_Spirituals


King also waxed a terrific version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on the same LP. Any chance Elvis owned a copy of King's album?


..

B.B. King "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
Thanks for posting these versions, Doc. Not heard them before and they are great! I have a "Best Of" by him on an ace CD so I'm not familiar with everything he did.

Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".
Thanks. The King LP may be the only one where he plays not a lick of guitar. His singing and the arrangements are outstanding. It would be great to learn if Elvis owned a copy of the record.



r&b wrote:I LOVE IT, BUT CHECK THIS OUT. IS IT THE SAME SONG OR NOT?

..
This is John Fogerty's complete, delta blues revamp of the same song. IIRC, he plays every instrument on the album it is from, a terrific solo excursion. The cover of "Hearts of Stone" is remarkable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Ridge_Rangers



Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis.
More importantly mentioned in the OP.
First of all, you're welcome.

Secondly, you did not mention the song was prepped before the session at the specific request of Elvis, and you also misstated which song was taped as the sun came up during the session itself, despite having the same book I used as reference. Details are important, but you're not too good at them. So I added those facts to my post to make your topic more accurate.

I hope you enjoyed the 1959 B.B. King songs, and the unusual manner in which Elvis' work in 1960 echoed King's Crown LP release.

::rocks


.
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Stop, look and listen, baby <<--->> that's my philosophy!


Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Juan Luis »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Davelee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis. He also noted that it was during "Crying In The Chapel" that "dawn began to break." The recording is a rousing end to an accomplished and heartfelt LP.

Blues legend B.B. King, whose first records were made for Sam Phillips in Memphis, cut a tremendous recording of the traditional in 1959, and it closed his Crown LP:


..

B.B. King "I'm Working On The Building" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sings_Spirituals


King also waxed a terrific version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on the same LP. Any chance Elvis owned a copy of King's album?


..

B.B. King "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" B.B. King Sings Spirituals (Crown CLP 5119, December 1959)
Thanks for posting these versions, Doc. Not heard them before and they are great! I have a "Best Of" by him on an ace CD so I'm not familiar with everything he did.

Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".
Thanks. The King LP may be the only one where he plays not a lick of guitar. His singing and the arrangements are outstanding. It would be great to learn if Elvis owned a copy of the record.



r&b wrote:I LOVE IT, BUT CHECK THIS OUT. IS IT THE SAME SONG OR NOT?

..
This is John Fogerty's complete, delta blues revamp of the same song. IIRC, he plays every instrument on the album it is from, a terrific solo excursion. The cover of "Hearts of Stone" is remarkable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Ridge_Rangers



Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:According to Ernst Jørgensen's Elvis Presley: A Life In Music, "Working On The Building" was one of many gospel songs on a shortlist prepared prior to the session, and specifically chosen by Elvis.
More importantly mentioned in the OP.
First of all, you're welcome.

Secondly, you did not mention the song was prepped before the session at the specific request of Elvis, and you also misstated which song was taped as the sun came up during the session itself, despite having the same book. Details are important, but you're not too good at them. So I added those facts to my post to make your topic more accurate.

I hope you enjoyed the 1959 B.B. King songs, and the unusual manner in which Elvis' work in 1960 echoed King's Crown LP release.

::rocks
I didn't need to comment on the song being prepped up. That's not the reason it was recorded for that particular session. It only happened cause Stoker suggested it. Otherwise would remain on list for a future session. Details and analysing them are not your forte it seems. Details need common sense analysis. Same as the Sun rising as I mentioned. It was still rising before 8:00 AM when sessions were over. And this information was NOT from Jorgensen's book. But from Keith Flynn's recording sessions site. Besides, the Sun rises all the way till noon. No? Anyways you posted obviously to try to correct details you analysed without thinking it through. This happens when things are not done with genuine sincerity. Nevertheless, you're welcome again. Glad you have enjoyed my thread!



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:More importantly mentioned in the OP.
First of all, you're welcome.

Secondly, you did not mention the song was prepped before the session at the specific request of Elvis, and you also misstated which song was taped as the sun came up during the session itself, despite having the same book. Details are important, but you're not too good at them. So I added those facts to my post to make your topic more accurate.

I hope you enjoyed the 1959 B.B. King songs, and the unusual manner in which Elvis' work in 1960 echoed King's Crown LP release.

::rocks
I didn't need to comment on the song being prepped up. That's not the reason it was recorded for that particular session. It only happened cause Stoker suggested it. Otherwise would remain on list for a future session. Details and analysing them are not your forte it seems. Details need common sense analysis. Same as the Sun rising as I mentioned. It was still rising before 8:00 AM when sessions were over. And this information was NOT from Jorgensen's book. But from Keith Flynn's recording sessions site. Besides, the Sun rises all the way till noon. No? Anyways you posted obviously to try to correct details you analysed without thinking it through. This happens when things are not done with genuine sincerity. Nevertheless, you're welcome again. Glad you have enjoyed my thread!
Another gracious reply. Your cup runneth over.

Sorry to have pointed out your errors, but everything in my postings is true and correct. From my view, the good members here deserve to know the history as accurately as possible. It's unfortunate you have not a word to say about the B.B. King songs, they are beautiful recordings with obvious connections to Elvis' life and career. I'm glad others reading this have found and enjoyed them.

That's what it's all about. :smt023


.
Dr. John Carpenter, M.D.
Stop, look and listen, baby <<--->> that's my philosophy!


Topic author
Matthew

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Matthew »

Davelee wrote:Thanks for posting these versions, Doc. Not heard them before and they are great! I have a "Best Of" by him on an ace CD so I'm not familiar with everything he did.
If you're looking to check out some more B.B. King I cannot recommend enough "Ladies & Gentlemen... Mr. B.B. King". It actually came out in two versions, a 10 CD career long study featuring at least one cut from each of his albums, and a 4 CD "highlights" set.

The 4CD version can be picked up pretty cheap, features excellent sound, and fabulous liner notes. I've had that set since it came out and as it happens just picked up a copy of the 10CD set. I actually think Elvis would have been served pretty well with a 10 CD set like this instead of the Complete Albums project.
Davelee wrote:Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".
Interestingly this album is the only Gospel LP King ever released.




Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Juan Luis »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:More importantly mentioned in the OP.
First of all, you're welcome.

Secondly, you did not mention the song was prepped before the session at the specific request of Elvis, and you also misstated which song was taped as the sun came up during the session itself, despite having the same book. Details are important, but you're not too good at them. So I added those facts to my post to make your topic more accurate.

I hope you enjoyed the 1959 B.B. King songs, and the unusual manner in which Elvis' work in 1960 echoed King's Crown LP release.

::rocks
I didn't need to comment on the song being prepped up. That's not the reason it was recorded for that particular session. It only happened cause Stoker suggested it. Otherwise would remain on list for a future session. Details and analysing them are not your forte it seems. Details need common sense analysis. Same as the Sun rising as I mentioned. It was still rising before 8:00 AM when sessions were over. And this information was NOT from Jorgensen's book. But from Keith Flynn's recording sessions site. Besides, the Sun rises all the way till noon. No? Anyways you posted obviously to try to correct details you analysed without thinking it through. This happens when things are not done with genuine sincerity. Nevertheless, you're welcome again. Glad you have enjoyed my thread!
Another gracious reply. Your cup runneth over.

Sorry to have pointed out your errors, but everything in my postings is true and correct. From my view, the good members here deserve to know the history as accurately as possible. It's unfortunate you have not a word to say about the B.B. King songs, they are beautiful recordings with obvious connections to Elvis' life and career. I'm glad others reading this have found and enjoyed them.

That's what it's all about. :smt023
The way you presented the song being prepped up would distort the truth if omitting the Gordon Stoker suggestion. Cause other songs were on that "short list". Tell us where is "Jezebel", Jesus Is The One", God's Gonna Cut You Down" (RUN ON), "Who At My Door Is Standing" and others on the "His Hand In Mine" Sessions? The good members deserved to know exactly why Elvis cut the title of this thread. Not just that it was on a list chosen by Elvis.



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Matthew wrote:
Davelee wrote:Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".
Interestingly this album is the only Gospel LP King ever released.
It is curious B.B. King only recorded the one gospel LP, as it is a tremendous piece of work.


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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Davelee »

Matthew wrote:
Davelee wrote:Thanks for posting these versions, Doc. Not heard them before and they are great! I have a "Best Of" by him on an ace CD so I'm not familiar with everything he did.
If you're looking to check out some more B.B. King I cannot recommend enough "Ladies & Gentlemen... Mr. B.B. King". It actually came out in two versions, a 10 CD career long study featuring at least one cut from each of his albums, and a 4 CD "highlights" set.

The 4CD version can be picked up pretty cheap, features excellent sound, and fabulous liner notes. I've had that set since it came out and as it happens just picked up a copy of the 10CD set. I actually think Elvis would have been served pretty well with a 10 CD set like this instead of the Complete Albums project.
Davelee wrote:Anyway, Elvis' performance of Working On The Building is great, nice committed performance. As we all know, Elvis loved Gospel music and practically knew "every gospel song ever written".
Interestingly this album is the only Gospel LP King ever released.
Thanks. I'm in Oxford Street, London tomorrow i'll check out the BB box in their HMV store. I'm a great fan of the blues Robert Johnson, Muddy (My fav) and Elmore etc. I know BB has done a lot of great stuff, what i've got on one CD is just the best of 20 tracks.



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by rollinson1 »

Excellent post Juan. 6:30pm Sunday evening till 8:00am Monday morning, arguably one of the greatest Gospel get togethers of all time. From Milky White Way Take 1 to Working On The Building Master Take 5 sheer bliss. :D


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Topic author
jerrynodak

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by jerrynodak »

I like the album as a whole, but don't care for this track.



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Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

jerrynodak wrote:I like the album as a whole, but don't care for this track.
What do you think of B.B. King's version, posted above? It's possible Elvis had a copy of the album at home, and heard it.


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Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "Working on the Building"

Post by Juan Luis »

"The ultimate result may have been more Jordanaires than Elvis, but was as spirited an offering as any the whole night had produced: as the song progressed Elvis seemed to relish stepping from the solo spot to become a part of the group performance, as he had so desperately wanted to do back in 1953. And so closed a remarkable night: Elvis and those around him had completed thirteen songs in one fell swoop, a new personal record; they were all songs close to his own heart; they were selected with panache and sung with effortless grace, and the result was as musically accomplished as anything the young singer had ever done. "- Ernst Jorgensen.

Elvis could have purchased a copy of the B.B. King version. But nothing even comes close to sounding like what Elvis did with the Jordanaires. Elvis fused some great Gospel here!