It's Now Or Never

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It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

While doing some online research to see if there was more to say about this Elvis classic, than O Sole Mio and There's No Tomorrow, I found out that James Butler posted some very interesting recordings recently on his really fantastic YouTube channel. Very early recordings with different lyrics on the same music: O Sole Mio. So to me that made it worthwhile to spend some time on this topic.

As we all know It's Now Or Never as written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold was based on this Neapolitan song O Sole Mio. So it's with this song where our journey begins...

Famous throughout the world, the words to O Sole Mio were written in 1898 by Giovanni Capurro (February 5, 1859 – January 18, 1920).

Image

Born in Naples, he is considered one of the finest Italian poets of his time.

In 1898, Giovanni Capurro wrote the words to 'O Sole mio' and asked Eduardo Di Capua to set it to music.

Image

Di Capua (March 12, 1865 – October 3, 1917), who was an Neapolitan composer, singer and songwriter, was in Odessa at that time, with his orchestra-violinist father. Do Capua composed the music to the poem and turned it into a song.

Neapolitan Italian Text
Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole,
n'aria serena doppo na tempesta!
Pe' ll'aria fresca pare già na festa...
Che bella cosa na jurnata 'e sole.

Ma n'atu sole
cchiù bello, oje ne'.
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
O sole
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!

Quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne,
me vene quase 'na malincunia;
sotto 'a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e 'o sole se ne scenne.

Ma n'atu sole
cchiù bello, oje ne'.
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
O sole
O sole mio
sta 'nfronte a te!
sta 'nfronte a te!


English Translation
What a wonderful thing a sunny day
The serene air after a thunderstorm
The fresh air, and a party is already going on…
What a wonderful thing a sunny day.

But another sun,
that’s brighter still
It’s my own sun
that’s in your face!
The sun, my own sun
It’s in your face!
It’s in your face!

When night comes and the sun has gone down,
I start feeling blue;
I’d stay below your window
When night comes and the sun has gone down.



Unfortunately, Giovanni and Eduardo didn’t make much money on royalties for the song as they had sold its publishing rights to the Bideri publishing house for a very small fee of just 25 lire.

What wasn’t known at the time was that a third author was involved. Alfredo Mazzucchi helped Eduardo write music for the song but didn’t sign the manuscript. A Torino judge eventually (in 1973) ruled that he be listed as a co-author to the song.

The first recording of O Sole Mio took place in 1901. It was recorded on the rotating cylinder of a tinfoil sheet by Francesco Daddi, a tenor, singer and pianist with a lyrical voice and an idiomatic style:

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In 1912, American soprano Elizabeth Spencer recorded the melody as Your Own Dear Kiss on cylinder Edison Amberol: 997.

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This might be the first translation into English. Translator unknown.


Another English translation of the song followed in 1914 when American born Charles W. Harrison, from New Jersey, recorded it as My Sunshine on cylinder Edison Blue Amberol: 2594:

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Italian tenor Enrico Caruso’s recording of O Sole Mio in 1918 is arguably the best vocal version ever produced.

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The melody began to appear in hymns and was even used to represent Italy as unofficial national anthem at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games as Italy's Ugo Frigerio won the gold medal in both the 3km and 10km walking events:

..

The band didn't know the (relatively new) Italian national anthem, so they played "O Sole Mio"...and the whole crowd sang


Co-founder of the Salvation Army in France and Switzerland, William E Booth, transcribed the song as a hymn under the title Down From His Glory in 1921.


Down From His Glory
Down from His glory,
Ever living story,
My God and Savior came,
And Jesus was His Name.
Born in a manger,
To His own a stranger,
A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.

Refrain:
O how I love Him! How I adore Him!
My breath, my sunshine, my all in all.
The great Creator became my Savior,
And all God's fullness dwelleth in Him.
What condescension,
Bringing us redemption;
That in the dead of night,
Not one faint hope in sight,
God, gracious, tender,
Laid aside His splendor,
Stooping to woo, to win, to save my soul

Refrain

Without reluctance,
Flesh and blood His substance,
He took the form of man,
Revealed the hidden plan,
O glorious myst'ry
Sacrifice of Calv'ry,
And now I know Thou art the great 'I Am'

Refrain


Chip Dorton sings Down From His Glory with the Chancel Choir of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, FL in the year 2000:

..

William E Booth was born in Switzerland and later moved to the United States with the Salvation Army movement.


Following the advent of the vinyl record, American crooner Tony Martin recorded the song with new lyrics under the name of There’s No Tomorrow, which was written by Al Hoffman, Leo Corday and Leon Carr. The recording was released by RCA Victor Records as a 78rpm record (catalog number 20-3582) and a 45rpm record (catalog number 47-3078). The record first reached the Billboard Magazine charts on November 4, 1949 and lasted 27 weeks on the chart, peaking at number two.

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Dean Martin recorded it as well. Here's a more traditional interpretation than the one included in his "Italian Love Songs" album, this is from the Martin & Lewis Radio Show that same year:

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The Neapolitan tune underwent another transformation in 1957, when Calabrian born Lou Monte released it as Don’t Say Forever. The singer had previously had enormous success with his song Pepino The Italian Mouse.

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However, Elvis felt for There's No Tomorrow, which he home recorded in Germany, 1959:

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When he got out of the army (or while still in the army) Elvis asked for new lyrics to the tune. Lyrics especially written for him. Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold wrote It's Now Or Never. From another source*:

David Adams interview highlight: " After 'Stuck On You', Elvis turned to more adult material with 'It's Now Or Never'. 'That song was very important in re-establishing his popularity and it was based on '0 Sole Mio'. Elvis liked '0 Sole Mio' very much. I had heard him fool around with it on the piano, and so I had some English adaptations written. I asked three or four different teams of songwriters to come up with something and he decided to record 'It's Now Or Never' by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold, which was a huge hit." -Freddy Bienstock from Hill and Range.



It became the most successful retention of the old Neapolitan melody ever. The single is the second best-selling single by Presley, and one of the best-selling singles of all time according to Collins, Ace (2005). Untold Gold: The Stories Behind Elvis's #1 Hits. Chicago Review Press. pp. 155–162. ISBN 9781569765074.

..


Later also combined with it's roots, O Sole Mio, during live performances. Here he is in June 1977:

..


A more recent version as released on 05 October 2004 by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes:

..


Aside from being recorded time and time again, O Sole Mio also appeared in various other areas too. As already mentioned it was used as the unofficial Italian national anthem at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium and appeared in several films including Monkey Business starring the Marx Brothers in 1931; the Danish production Han, Hun, Dirch og Dario starring Italo-Danish actor Dario Campeotto; and The Big Red One starring Lee Marvin.

On the small screen, the perennial tune has been heard on television series and advertising. Among the most notable television uses of the song were on The Sopranos, The Addams Family, a performance by Ernie on Sesame Street and The Alvin Show which featured the Chipmunks performing a version of Oh Gondoliero on a gondola in Venice.

The song has even been used in advertising campaigns for ice-cream company Cornetto in England where Renato Paglieri performed a rendition called Just One Cornetto:

..

And in Australia the famous tune was used for Bankwest’s ‘Happy Banking’ campaign, albeit with different lyrics.

O Sole Mio has achieved a truly legendary status unmatched by any other Italian song. Synonymous with Italian culture, this catchy tune has been enjoyed all over the world for over a century.

Broadcasted on April 27, 1982. The band Pookiesnackenburger with their Ska version of Just One Cornetto:

..




Sources
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa2bHMewYCxo72B-AGsPhPA/videos?shelf_id=0&sort=dd&view=0
http://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/list5.html#S1325
http://www.italianicious.com.au/all-featured/view/the-legend-of-o-sole-mio
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Capurro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_di_Capua
http://classicalmusic.about.com/od/opera/qt/osolemiolyrics.htm
http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr%201=1&query=Di+Capua%2C+Eduardo%2C+1864-1917.&num=1&start=9&sortBy=&sortOrder=ia
http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr%201=1&query=Di+Capua%2C+Eduardo%2C+1864-1917.&num=1&start=4&sortBy=&sortOrder=ia
http://www.beyondtoscano.com/entertainment/italys-most-famous-song-250/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_No_Tomorrow
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Now_or_Never_(song)
* Juan Luis: http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&p=1520448#p1520424
Last edited by MikeFromHolland on Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by brian »

It was one of the best songs Elvis ever recorded.




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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by stevelecher »

What's left to say? A great Elvis classic.




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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by stevelecher »

April 77?




Juan Luis

Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by Juan Luis »

Great ballad great performance by Elvis. Monster worldwide hit.
David Adams interview highlight: " After 'Stuck On You', Elvis turned to more adult material with 'It's Now Or Never'. 'That song was very important in re-establishing his popularity and it was based on '0 Sole Mio'. Elvis liked '0 Sole Mio' very much. I had heard him fool around with it on the piano, and so I had some English adaptations written. I asked three or four different teams of songwriters to come up with something and he decided to record 'It's Now Or Never' by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold, which was a huge hit." -Freddy Bienstock from Hill and Range.



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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by california boy »

Wow ! great post Mike thank you for all the research, well done
Its now or never is one of the first songs i heard from Elvis , from the Golden Records vol.3
Fantastic, love the ending !!!
:smt006


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

stevelecher wrote:April 77?

Yeah it's June, thanks. I wasn't sure which version to post and forgot to correct. My other two candidates were:

..

and this solo one from December 1975:

..

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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

Juan Luis wrote:Great ballad great performance by Elvis. Monster worldwide hit.
O yes. Even in Africa they loved it:
African fan.JPG
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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by colonel snow »

Here more early recordings; the first recordings were titled "Sole mio", later on it became O sole mio.

colonel snow

(Sole mio) - 00-11-01 - Francesco Daddi (Zon-o-phone 531);
(Sole mio) - 00-09-02 - Oreste Mieli (Zon-o-phone X1890);
(Sole mio) - 00-06-05 - Nunzio Bari (Fonotipia cylinder 7060);
(Sole mio) - 00-05-06 - M. Gluck (Edison cylinder 17696);
(Sole mio) - 00-07-06 - Valentin Jaume (Fonotipia 3082 / cylinder 60112);
(Sole mio) - 00-10-06 - Romeo Berti (APGA 35005);
(O sole mio) - 10-05-07 - Giuseppe Anselmi (Fonotipia 2635);
(O sole mio) - 04-11-07 -Giuseppe Anselmi (Fonotipia 2825 / cylinder 62284);
(O sole mio) - 21-12-07 - Elisa Bella (Victor 62434 / Victor 98324);
(O sole mio) - 00-00-07 - Francesco Daddi (Gramophone 52271);
(O sole mio) - 25-03-08 - Emilio de Gogorza (Victor 74105 / Victor 6075);
(O sole mio) - 00-00-08 - Francesco Daddi (Victor 62723);
(O sole mio) - 13-05-09 - Emilio de Gogorza (Victor 64136 / Victor 583);
(Your own dear kiss / O sole mio - english lyrics) - 00-01-12 - Elisabeth Spencer (Edison cylinder 997);
(O sole mio) - 17-10-12 - Carolina White (Columbia A 1330);
(O sole mio) - 21-03-13 - Lina Cavalieri (Columbia A 1434);
(My sunshine / O sole mio - english lyrics) - 19-12-13 - Alan Turner (Victor 17536);
(My sunshine / O sole mio - english lyrics) - 00-04-14 - Charles W. Harrison (Edison cylinder 2594 / Edison Diamond Disc 80171-R);
(O sole mio) – instr. version - 02-04-15 - Neapolitan Trio (Victor 17787);
(O sole mio) - 05-02-16 - Enrico Caruso (Victor 87243 / Victrola 87243) .



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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by elvis-fan »

To me, no other version of O Sole Mio comes close to this 1949 recording from one of the true Master's of Voice...

and I'd wager to say it's the one that was closest to Elvis' heart...


..



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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

elvis-fan wrote:To me, no other version of O Sole Mio comes close to this 1949 recording from one of the true Master's of Voice...

and I'd wager to say it's the one that was closest to Elvis' heart...


..

Yeah, I think you're right. He loved Lanza.

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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by colonel snow »

There’s no tomorrow

A few other recordings:

27-09-49 - Carl Ravazza (Decca 24782);
26-07-57 - The Clovers (Atlantic 1152).


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

colonel snow wrote:There’s no tomorrow

A few other recordings:

27-09-49 - Carl Ravazza (Decca 24782);
26-07-57 - The Clovers (Atlantic 1152).


colonel snow

Cool!

..


Luciano Pavarotti won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for his rendition of "'O Sole Mio." Here is a 1979 recording from Italian TV channel RAI UNO:

..

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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by drjohncarpenter »

MikeFromHolland wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:Great ballad great performance by Elvis. Monster worldwide hit.
O yes. Even in Africa they loved it:

Image
Um, no.

This photo was taken in 1966 in France, not "Africa." It's part of an advert for the turnable seen in the photo:

SOMAR , FAN d'ELVIS PRESLEY ,à son TOURNE DISQUE Vintage / photo amateur en 1966
http://www.ebay.fr/itm/401187961092


Somar is holding a 1965 French EP which includes "It's Now Or Never."

651200_RCA France 86288.jpg
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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

drjohncarpenter wrote:
MikeFromHolland wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:Great ballad great performance by Elvis. Monster worldwide hit.
O yes. Even in Africa they loved it:
Um, no.
Um, yes.

In South Africa It's Now Or Never also reached #1 and it even became South African single of the year.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Elvis_Presley_international_hit_singles

..


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by drjohncarpenter »

MikeFromHolland wrote:Um, yes.

In South Africa ...
Since you completely miss my point, I'll make it plain.

The photo you posted has NOTHING to do with the 1960 success of the single in "Africa."

The man is holding a French EP released circa 1966. The photo was taken in France, black people also live there.

Thanks. :smt023


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by Juan Luis »

Just because the advert is in French. Doesn't make it France. More than a dozen countries in Africa with the French language, and I could assume they also purchased French products.



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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Juan Luis wrote:Just because the advert is in French. Doesn't make it France. More than a dozen countries in Africa with the French language, and I could assume they also purchased French products. The arid surroundings around the man could be a clue.
Yes, even though RCA had a South African imprint which released "It's Now Or Never," which as you know was a big hit there in 1960, the photographer would seek out a French EP issued in late 1965. Thanks for your input.


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

drjohncarpenter wrote: Since you completely miss my point
No, I didn't miss your point. You completely ignored the OP and every other bit of information contributors to this thread were giving, to focus solely on a picture you thought was misplaced, just to show us how smart and keen eyed you are. Completely missing the tongue in cheek remark.

I got your point already. Don't worry. You're God's gift to mankind. We know.

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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by drjohncarpenter »

MikeFromHolland wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Since you completely miss my point
No, I didn't miss your point.
Oh, shoot. My bad.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the sleeve of that 1965 French EP, which features "It's Now Or Never."

It may even pertain to the OP!

Carry on.


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

Some, not coming from Europe, don't seem to know that France still had some African colonies until the 1970's. Like Somaliland for instance. Which became independent in 1977. Officially people of Somaliland were French until 1977. But let's not go there.



Back on topic.

Mono Version:
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It's Now Or Never, 1970:
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It's Now Or Never, June 17, 1972:
..


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

Some other versions.

GERMANY
Gerd Böttcher - Ich Komme Wieder (1960)
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Jack Terry - Ich Komme Wieder (1960)
..


BELGIUM
Flemmish lyrics: Nu En Voor Eeuwig:
..

-------

Rikki Henderson - It'ss Now Or Never (October 1960)
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Connie Smith - It's Now Or Never (January 1967)
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Wet Wet Wet - It's Now Or Never (1994)
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Amanda Lear - It's Now Or Never (March 17, 2014)
"It's Now or Never" is included in "My Happiness", the New Amanda Lear album revisiting the Elvis Presley songbook ! A pop album with Symphonic arrangements !
..


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by Stvimpe »

Thanks, Mike, for this really interesting thread and the numerous clips provided. Cheers!



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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

As posted on YouTube by Jose Cuervo on March 4, 2017:
"A group of fearless bargoers enjoy their last moments together, as civilization crumbles around them. As the impending doom worsens outside, inside they are doubling down on the Cuervo (and the Elvis), as for these brave souls. Also see: http://cuervo.com/tomorrow-is-overrated/

..


It's Now Or Never Version used for this commercial:

..


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Re: It's Now Or Never

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Member AndyDumas shared this commercial video yesterday, no tip of the cap to him?

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=98208

MikeFromHolland wrote:As posted on YouTube by Jose Cuervo on March 4, 2017:
"A group of fearless bargoers enjoy their last moments together, as civilization crumbles around them. As the impending doom worsens outside, inside they are doubling down on the Cuervo (and the Elvis), as for these brave souls. Also see: http://cuervo.com/tomorrow-is-overrated/

..


It's Now Or Never Version used for this commercial:

..


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