My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Vocals?

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King Volcano

My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Vocals?

Post by King Volcano »

I don't know much 1950s pop music to be honest, except Little Richard, Chuck Berry, some Peggy Lee, and Elvis Presley. Were those kind of howling backing vocals "normal" or commonplace? Is it meant to make the recording "hymn-like" do you think, before Presley had majorly taken a gospel paths in public. I really don't get it, the backing vocals are absolutely chronic and more or less ruin the recording for me.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Ricky »

I've always felt the same way. I'd love to hear it remixed with new backup vocals.




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King Volcano

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by King Volcano »

Ricky wrote:I've always felt the same way. I'd love to hear it remixed with new backup vocals.
We can't remix mono but we could maybe obscure those vocals with something over the top of them? :)

I might try smashing the high frequencies on it via my computer one day, it might push them into the background, to an extent.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Mike Windgren »

Hi there!! :D :D :D.

Elvis made a remake of the song My Wish Came True in February 1st, 1958 at Radio Recorders Studio 1, Hollywood 8). This recording is lost, maybe this alternate version has not those vocals you don´t regard so high.... :wink:. Bye for now :smt006.

Source: http://www.keithflynn.com/recording-sessions/580201.html#01


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Mike C »

The wailing backing vocal was suppled by Millie Kirkham who had done something similar on Ferlin Husky's hit "Gone". Elvis specifically requested her for the September 1957 session to supply similar vocals on My Wish Came True.


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by minkahed »

The best part of the song is the backing vocals, not to mention Elvis of course.

Pretty kool arrangement.


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poormadpeter2

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by poormadpeter2 »

King Volcano wrote:I don't know much 1950s pop music to be honest, except Little Richard, Chuck Berry, some Peggy Lee, and Elvis Presley. Were those kind of howling backing vocals "normal" or commonplace? Is it meant to make the recording "hymn-like" do you think, before Presley had majorly taken a gospel paths in public. I really don't get it, the backing vocals are absolutely chronic and more or less ruin the recording for me.
I doubt we will never really know what influenced Elvis on this one with regards backing vocals, but there certainly seems to be a correlation between the backing vocals here and what was going on in the British charts with regards to ballad singers such as Malcolm Vaughan or David Whitfield, for example. Both men, the second of which is someone I cannot stand to listen to, often recorded songs that either had semi-religious lyrics or were given the same kind of hymn-like sound as Volcano is referring to here - not just within the female backing, but the male backings too. The British vocalists didn't have anything like the range of sounds in their vocals that Elvis did at this point, and their songs were heavily orchestrated in most cases and the delivery was very much pre-rock in style, but that hymn-like backing is there.

Did Elvis hear them? Probably not, to be honest, so I don't think it's an influence, just a strange coincidence.




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Juan Luis

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Juan Luis »

This song I always skip because of that.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by mike edwards66 »

Elvis had a flair for the dramatic. Millie Kirkham's soaring soprano vocals. Put them together and you get a pleasing mix of disparate entities.

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skatterbrane

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by skatterbrane »

It has grown on my over the years. I have always like the song, now I cannot imagine it done any other way. I am not a fan of at least 1/2 of the backing vocals throughout his career (except for the female backing vocals he used often in the late 60s/early 70s). I'd say this song is a keeper though.




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King Volcano

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by King Volcano »

skatterbrane wrote:It has grown on my over the years. I have always like the song, now I cannot imagine it done any other way. I am not a fan of at least 1/2 of the backing vocals throughout his career (except for the female backing vocals he used often in the late 60s/early 70s). I'd say this song is a keeper though.
I'm the opposite in that I never liked the voice, but it never used to bother me quite so much, but I've recently started skipping the track.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by drjohncarpenter »

King Volcano wrote:I don't know much 1950s pop music to be honest, except Little Richard, Chuck Berry, some Peggy Lee, and Elvis Presley. Were those kind of howling backing vocals "normal" or commonplace? Is it meant to make the recording "hymn-like" do you think, before Presley had majorly taken a gospel paths in public. I really don't get it, the backing vocals are absolutely chronic and more or less ruin the recording for me.
As noted, that's the sound of soprano Millie Kirkham, who Presley specifically requested for his September 1957 sessions in West Hollywood. That's her on Elvis' legendary recording of "Blue Christmas" from the same session dates, and for the next decade she'd contribute similar parts to select recordings. Another prominent example is Elvis' 1961 recording of "Give Me The Right." The February 1967 soundtrack session for "Clambake" that was done in Nashville was quite likely the last time she was in a studio with Elvis, and she's prominent on "The Girl I Never Loved." She would join Elvis on stage for the first week only of his August 1970 engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, again at his request. He wanted her there while the MGM cameras and RCA engineers did their work.

Elvis requested Millie that first time in 1957 because he wanted the hypnotic soprano sound he heard on a couple of hit singles that year. One was the afore-mentioned Ferlin Husky release, "Gone," the other less known to Presley fans, a single by Jimmy Newman that made #2 on the Billboard country chart that summer, and #42 on the pop chart.


..

Jimmy Newman "A Fallen Star" (Dot 15574, May 27, 1957)
Listen for Millie Kirkham's prominent soprano.


Finally, "My Wish Came True," an Ivory Joe Hunter song specifically given to Presley by the wonderful r&b singer/songwriter, is one that stayed close to his heart through the years. He worked very hard on the 1957 master, up to at least 28 takes, and there is evidence of his continued affection in recordings from 1970 and 1977.

And don't forget that soprano Kathy Westmoreland replaced Millie after that first week and stayed with the live show until the last performance in 1977, adding similar soprano parts to select songs. Elvis never lost his love for this.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by OnStage55 »

When i was younger i could not stand those backing volcals, they really bugged me, i would try to block them out while focusing on Elvis singing and the music.
It was one of those songs that i as a person needed to grow older in age before i fully came to appreciate and enjoy it as it is. 8)

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Topic author
King Volcano

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by King Volcano »

OnStage55 wrote:When i was younger i could not stand those backing volcals, they really bugged me, i would try to block them out while focusing on Elvis singing and the music.
It was one of those songs that i as a person needed to grow older in age before i fully came to appreciate and enjoy it as it is. 8)
The 45 in your link reminds me that it's my alltime favourite 50s track (Hunk), backed with my least favourite (Wish), which is pretty ironic!

I see where he was coming from, she just overwhelms the recording in this case. Maybe it was a mixdown issue that made it so IMO too harsh too swampy.




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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Davelee »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
King Volcano wrote:I don't know much 1950s pop music to be honest, except Little Richard, Chuck Berry, some Peggy Lee, and Elvis Presley. Were those kind of howling backing vocals "normal" or commonplace? Is it meant to make the recording "hymn-like" do you think, before Presley had majorly taken a gospel paths in public. I really don't get it, the backing vocals are absolutely chronic and more or less ruin the recording for me.
As noted, that's the sound of soprano Millie Kirkham, who Presley specifically requested for his September 1957 sessions in West Hollywood. That's her on Elvis' legendary recording of "Blue Christmas" from the same session dates, and for the next decade she'd contribute similar parts to select recordings. Another prominent example is Elvis' 1961 recording of "Give Me The Right." The February 1967 soundtrack session for "Clambake" that was done in Nashville was quite likely the last time she was in a studio with Elvis, and she's prominent on "The Girl I Never Loved." She would join Elvis on stage for the first week only of his August 1970 engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, again at his request. He wanted her there while the MGM cameras and RCA engineers did their work.

Elvis requested Millie that first time in 1957 because he wanted the hypnotic soprano sound he heard on a couple of hit singles that year. One was the afore-mentioned Ferlin Husky release, "Gone," the other less known to Presley fans, a single by Jimmy Newman that made #2 on the Billboard country chart that summer, and #42 on the pop chart.


..

Jimmy Newman "A Fallen Star" (Dot 15574, May 27, 1957)
Listen for Millie Kirkham's prominent soprano backing.


Finally, "My Wish Came True," an Ivory Joe Hunter song specifically given to Presley by the wonderful r&b singer/songwriter, is one that stayed close to his heart through the years. He worked very hard on the 1957 master, up to at least 28 takes, and there is evidence of his continued affection in recordings from 1970 and 1977.

And don't forget that soprano Kathy Westmoreland replaced Millie after that first week and stayed with the live show until the last performance in 1977, adding similar soprano parts to select songs. Elvis never lost his love for this.
Great post!

Me not being a collector of Elvis' live work after 1970, is there any full live versions of "My Wish Came True"? I noticed you mention 70/77, i'd like to hear them.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by LSP-4445 »

Juan Luis wrote:This song I always skip because of that.
Same here and its the main reason I wrote this song on my "worst elvis songs" list a few weeks ago in a topic on this board


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by MikeFromHolland »

King Volcano wrote:
The 45 in your link reminds me that it's my alltime favourite 50s track (Hunk), backed with my least favourite (Wish), which is pretty ironic!
... And it was intentional:
Untold Gold - The Stories Behind Elvis no1 hits - page 146.png

Source: https://books.google.nl/books?id=9hQyj7GVG1oC&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=elvis+my+wish+came+true+the+story+behind&source=bl&ots=RH_Ui2X3Na&sig=a8crwT-OXiXLyflvm35nxCJYEKs&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7h4CY-YvPAhWJoRQKHQdCAzkQ6AEIUTAG#v=onepage&q=elvis%20my%20wish%20came%20true%20the%20story%20behind&f=false


On Spotify you'll find a 1960 version by Emile Ford and The Checkmates, without the high voice in the background (a few men are doing the background singing). It will give you an impression how it sounded without the high voice.

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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Mike Windgren »

Hi there!! :D :D :D.

Although some may skip this song because of the female accompaniment (Millie Kirkham), Elvis vocal is superb! :smt020. Bye for now :smt006.


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by dennyelvis »

Kinda like this outtake so heres a longer EDIT ............

http://www15.zippyshare.com/v/mG82kEar/file.html

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r&b

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by r&b »

This was the first Elvis song I really disliked back in the day when I bought it because of the background vocals. Then, I remember watching Dick Clark's American Bandstand and Dick had Elvis on the phone from Germany and told him 'Wish' was now getting more requests than 'Big Hunk' and Elvis seemed pleased to hear that (he always preferred ballads over rock). So I started playing the song myself more often. I came around to liking it. With the advent of the CD, I could hear his great vocal underneath more clearly. Now I love the song, despite the background vocals. It is really a great melody and if you can hear it, has one of the finest Elvis vocals of the 50's on it. Another back catalog song he totally ignored in concert. I will never understand.




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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by Eggrert »

LSP-4445 wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:This song I always skip because of that.
Same here and its the main reason I wrote this song on my "worst elvis songs" list a few weeks ago in a topic on this board
Ditto, though I'm not a big fan of the song in any case. It's just that the backing vocals take an already bad track and make it worse (I feel the same way about I Will Be Home Again).




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r&b

Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by r&b »

Eggrert wrote:
LSP-4445 wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:This song I always skip because of that.
Same here and its the main reason I wrote this song on my "worst elvis songs" list a few weeks ago in a topic on this board
Ditto, though I'm not a big fan of the song in any case. It's just that the backing vocals take an already bad track and make it worse (I feel the same way about I Will Be Home Again).
Now thats a song I could never warm up to. Have disliked it since 1960!



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by goldbelt »

Davelee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote: Finally, "My Wish Came True," an Ivory Joe Hunter song specifically given to Presley by the wonderful r&b singer/songwriter, is one that stayed close to his heart through the years. He worked very hard on the 1957 master, up to at least 28 takes, and there is evidence of his continued affection in recordings from 1970 and 1977.
Me not being a collector of Elvis' live work after 1970, is there any full live versions of "My Wish Came True"? I noticed you mention 70/77, i'd like to hear them.
No full live versions are known of. He's referencing the piano instrumental Elvis plays at the end of TTWII rehearsals from the 15th July 1970, and the one liner in Charlotte from the 20th February 1977.



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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Davelee wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:As noted, that's the sound of soprano Millie Kirkham, who Presley specifically requested for his September 1957 sessions in West Hollywood. That's her on Elvis' legendary recording of "Blue Christmas" from the same session dates, and for the next decade she'd contribute similar parts to select recordings. Another prominent example is Elvis' 1961 recording of "Give Me The Right." The February 1967 soundtrack session for "Clambake" that was done in Nashville was quite likely the last time she was in a studio with Elvis, and she's prominent on "The Girl I Never Loved." She would join Elvis on stage for the first week only of his August 1970 engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, again at his request. He wanted her there while the MGM cameras and RCA engineers did their work.

Elvis requested Millie that first time in 1957 because he wanted the hypnotic soprano sound he heard on a couple of hit singles that year. One was the afore-mentioned Ferlin Husky release, "Gone," the other less known to Presley fans, a single by Jimmy Newman that made #2 on the Billboard country chart that summer, and #42 on the pop chart.


..

Jimmy Newman "A Fallen Star" (Dot 15574, May 27, 1957)
Listen for Millie Kirkham's prominent soprano backing.


Finally, "My Wish Came True," an Ivory Joe Hunter song specifically given to Presley by the wonderful r&b singer/songwriter, is one that stayed close to his heart through the years. He worked very hard on the 1957 master, up to at least 28 takes, and there is evidence of his continued affection in recordings from 1970 and 1977.

And don't forget that soprano Kathy Westmoreland replaced Millie after that first week and stayed with the live show until the last performance in 1977, adding similar soprano parts to select songs. Elvis never lost his love for this.




Great post!

Me not being a collector of Elvis' live work after 1970, is there any full live versions of "My Wish Came True"? I noticed you mention 70/77, i'd like to hear them.




Thanks.

There are no known, full live versions of the song.

Elvis plays the melody on piano at MGM in 1970, and briefly revisits the song with a one-liner, just before singing "Unchained Melody" at the piano, in Charlotte in 1977. Ivory Joe Hunter was always a favorite.

They may be heard here:

Get Down And Dirty (Gravelroad Music, January 8, 2010)
MGM rehearsal, Culver City, CA - July 15, 1970
http://www.elvisinnorway.no/getdownanddirty.html

Unchained Melody (Follow That Dream, January 8, 2007)
Concert, Charlotte, NC - February 20, 1977
http://www.elvisinnorway.no/unchainedmelodyftd.html
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:30 am, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: My Wish Came True:What Is Going On With the Backing Voca

Post by DearGeorgie »

I quite like this track...Elvis sings it very well, I don't know why he felt he didn't do a good job on it, hence the remake...and apparently it was this song he was referring to during the "GI Blues" sessions when he made a remark about doing 60 takes of a song one time, and "The record never came out!" (oh yeah?) :P