German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Anything about Elvis
More than 100 Million visitors can't be wrong

Moderators: Moderator5, Moderator3, FECC-Moderator, Site Mechanic


User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Image

Greeting fan Claus-Kurt Ilge, Bad Nauheim - early 1960


In the past week, since the very gracious and generous internet share of recordings Elvis made in Germany, featuring both officially-released and previously-unheard material, there's been a bit of confusion about the recordings themselves, including many fans who had no idea any of it existed.

The audio seems to be a straight dub of the original reels, with all the jokes (some off-color), bumps, laughs, noises, newspaper, movie and radio ad readings (most done by friend Lamar Fike), a young boy singing "Loving You" while Elvis coaches him in the background, and rough edits one might expect to hear from young guys having fun at home. For this posting, I've taken time to listen to the most important thing on the tapes, the music, and to research a bit.

I've shared some of this information on other topics, but I'm pulling it all together here for everyone's edification. Some, of course, is new to FECC!

First of all, the 1958-1959 German demos have been known for at least 35 years, and accurately detailed with the 1998 publication of the essential Ernst Jørgensen book, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music. The unleashing of these recordings began in 1983, when Joan Deary issued two performances on Elvis: A Legendary Performer, Volume 4.

At the time she attributed each one as an "Unreleased song recently discovered at Graceland (Recording date unknown)." Since then more have appeared and we learned they were from Germany, the most comprehensive collection being a 1999 import disc, at least until the recent Follow That Dream "classic album" of A Date With Elvis.


Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 4
Elvis: A Golden Celebration
Platinum
Greetings From Germany
(VIK label "import")
The Home Recordings
In A Private Moment
Today, Tomorrow & Forever
A Date With Elvis
(FTD)


Generally speaking, the recordings are phenomenal, but of limited interest to anyone outside the hardcore fan base because of their lo-fi nature, and because they are not new songs, save one exception, "The Titles Will Tell."


Guitar
I'm Beginning To Forget You --> a couple of takes feature guitar by Elvis, but a different lead voice, possibly Cliff Gleaves
I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)
Mona Lisa
Bo Diddley (instrumental)
Danny Boy
Loving You --> one take features a young voice singing acapella, with Elvis coaching in the background
Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Piano
I Asked The Lord
Apron Strings
Soldier Boy
Such A Night
Earth Angel
I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
Hound Dog
At The Hop
It's Been So Long Darling
I Will Be True
There's No Tomorrow
Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) / Hound Dog
The Titles Will Tell
Send Me Some Lovin'
The Fool


With last week's share, we now have access to a third reel, one which the owner refused all offers to release:


Guitar
He Knows Just What I Need
Cool Water
Like A Baby
His Hand In Mine
Young Love --> guitar by Elvis, but a different lead voice, possibly Bobby "Red" West
Her Hand In Mine --> secular variant of gospel song
Return To Me
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
If I Didn't Care
Are You Sincere?
Are You Lonesome To-night?
Once Upon A Time (It Happened)
Stand By Me
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Oh, Lonesome Me


Some things are just snippets, other items are terribly distorted, especially on the piano tape, but what is neat about this new share is how it highlights even more so the music Elvis would soon tackle in the studio.

As Ernst wrote in 1999, Elvis reveals "a repertoire that includes gospel numbers that will show up on 1960's His Hand In Mine, r & b songs like "Such A Night," and well-known standards like "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and Tony Martin's "There's No Tomorrow."

Most, if not all the backing voices are male, and include Bobby "Red" West, Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike and Rex Mansfield. Rex is notable for his very high tenor, which Elvis adored. On some of the group singing we may also hear Vernon Presley and secretary/ girlfriend Elizabeth Stefaniak also joining in.

There is some question as to when these recordings were made.

Elvis' dad bought the tape recorder on 11-19-1958 (Wed), according to Elvis: Day By Day. One of the guitar tapes has pal Lamar Fike reading from a newspaper, the information making clear he's reciting events that happened on 12-19-1958 (Fri), such as President Eisenhower visiting vice-president Richard Nixon's home.

So at least some of this material was made at this time, perhaps that very weekend.

But on other parts of the tape we hear Elvis reading promotional hype for an adventure film starring Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr. This is "King Solomon's Mines," which came out in 1950. Where is he getting this from?

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042646/

Presley also pretends to be an announcer from WREC-TV in Memphis, so perhaps he had been sent a hometown TV Guide or newspaper.

Most noteworthy are Elvis' performances of "I'm Beginning To Forget You." Unlike almost everything else on the tapes, he devotes many takes to this piece of material. It may actually date to later than December 1958, as the hit country single by Jim Reeves was released in the U.S. at the end of June 1959, and peaked in the country charts much later, in October. One key to confirming this is whether Elvis was aware of the very obscure original 1957 single put out by the songwriter, Willie Phelps. It was not a hit (see post below for more).

There is also some question as to whether the songs with Elvis on piano are from the December 1958 holiday period.

Although it has been suggested that the hotel room Elvis stayed in at that time had a rented piano, his father Vernon had given him a new electric guitar and amp for Christmas. His attention could well have been heavily focused on that new toy.

In Elvis: Day By Day we see an April 1, 1959 entry about a piano being rented for the home in Bad Nauheim "from Music House Kuhlwetter." And on the existing piano tape we hear the song "Apron Strings," a demo of which was sent to him in 1959 from London's Regent Sound Studio, according to FECC member kevanbudd.

We also know that young U.K. rock 'n' roll star Cliff Richard tried "Apron Strings" in the studio in both February and May 1959, with his record company releasing the May recording as the B-side to "Living Doll" that summer. Would Elvis have had his demo copy of "Apron Strings" earlier than Cliff, or around the same time?

Plus, there is another new piece of material heard on the piano tape, a beautiful ballad written by Memphis musician and pal Charles Underwood, called "The Titles Will Tell." It seems logical to assume these items arrived sometime in early-to-mid 1959 at the Bad Nauheim house, when Elvis may have been looking towards his return to America in 1960.

Of the selections fans have only just heard for the first time thanks to last week's downloads, I did some research on the origins of the most interesting of them. Please have a listen, and let me know what you think.


"Cool Water"
- a big hit in 1948 for Vaughn Monroe, and Presley might have liked Frankie Laine's 1955 single as well


..

Vaughn Monroe and his Orchestra "Cool Water" (RCA Victor 20-2923, July 10, 1948)
"Vocal refrain by Vaughn Monroe and the Sons of the Pioneers."



"Like A Baby"
- Elvis would cut this in 1960, a nice r&b chanter originally done by Vikki Nelson in 1957



Image

Billboard - May 13, 1957



..

Vikki Nelson with the Sounds "Like A Baby" (VIK 0273, April 13, 1957)
Nelson's debut release for VIK.
Toni Arden and the Chordettes released cover versions shortly after.
The Chordettes version seems to be one that Elvis also paid the most attention to, believe it or not.



..

Chordettes, "Like A Baby" (Cadence 1319, April 27, 1957)




"His Hand In Mine"
- would end up as the title track to his first gospel LP, released in 1960 and based on the 1953 recording by the Statesmen Quartet:

530000_Statesmen 1035A.JPG
..

The Statesmen Quartet with Hovie Lister "His Hand In Mine" (Statesmen 1035, 1953)
Baritone Doy Ott sings lead, tenor Denver Crumpler has a solo near the finish.



There was also a Blackwood Brothers rendition he would have also known about:

540508_RCA 20-5709_01.JPG
Blackwood Brothers Quartet "His Hand in Mine" (RCA Victor 20-5709, May 8, 1954)
B-side was "I'm Feelin' Fine"
Sample here: https://www.imgbf.de/sounds/index.php?song=NDAwMDEyNzE2MzA4MC0wMS0wMjcubXAz===BE8334!54AR
https://www.bear-family.com/blackwood-brothers-rock-a-my-soul-5-cd.html

- Elvis even tries this out as a secular love song, singing "Her Hand In Mine"



"Young Love"
- Sonny James had a crossover hit with this in 1957, on the country and pop charts


..

Sonny James "Young Love" (Capitol 3602, December 7, 1956)
Billboard "Hot 100" #3, January 26, 1957.



"Return To Me"
- Dean Martin hit in 1958


..

Dean Martin "Return To Me" (Capitol 3894, April 7, 1958)
Billboard "Hot 100" #4, June 9, 1958.



"Are You Sincere?"
- 1958 hit for Andy Williams that Elvis would cut in 1973


..

Andy Williams "Are You Sincere?" (Cadence 1340, February 10, 1958)
Billboard "Hot 100" #10, March 31, 1958.



"Are You Lonesome To-night?"
- 1950 hit by Blue Barron that would be a huge Presley single in 1960


..

Blue Barron and his Orchestra "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (MGM 10628, February 18, 1950)
Lead vocal by Bobby Beers and the Blue Notes, spoken narration by disc jockey John McCormick
Billboard "Records Most Played By Disc Jockeys" #19, April 1950



"Stand By Me"
- Elvis would later record this in 1966, for his second gospel LP
- German demo may be influenced by the Statesmen Quartet, song appears on this 1958 album:


Image

The Statesmen Quartet Sings with Hovie Lister (RCA Victor LPM-1605, June 2, 1958)



"Oh Lonesome Me"
- 1958 cross-over hit by Don Gibson


..

Don Gibson "Oh Lonesome Me" (RCA Victor 7133, December 21, 1957)
Billboard "Hot 100" #8, May 5, 1958, "C&W Best Sellers in Stores" #1, April 14, 1958.
Gibson's most successful single release.



Maybe someday we'll know more about these private days and wild nights. But for now, we have the music!


Image

With fans in Bad Nauheim - early 1960
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Fri Jul 09, 2021 9:37 pm, edited 12 times in total.


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

User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

BONUS ARMY MUSIC: REX and ELIZABETH REMEMBER


590500_w Elizabeth Stefaniak.JPG
With Elizabeth Stefaniak at Bad Nauheim, circa May 1959
Note the bowl of boiled eggs on the table, yum!



Rex Mansfield and his wife Elizabeth were with Elvis for most of his time overseas, and wrote all about it in a wonderful 2002 memoir, Sergeant Presley: Our Untold Story Of Elvis' Missing Years. We unexpectedly lost Rex this past August 26th, and every good thought continues to go to his lovely wife and family.



590300_w Wallace Hoover_Rex_Reba Hoover_01.JPG
590300_w Wallace Hoover_Rex_Reba Hoover_02.JPG
With Rex Mansfield, Wallace and Reba Hoover at Bad Nauheim, circa March 1959
The Hoovers were occasional visitors. Reba was pregnant at the time, and the teddy bear in her hands a gift for their future daughter.



But for today's topic bonus, I decided to share from their book just a few of their memories, in particular talking about or making music. It provides even more insight into Presley's musical world at the time, and where he was going to be in 1960.

Sergeant Presley is highly recommended for any fan who wants to know exactly what it was like being in Germany with Elvis.


98 (Elizabeth)

Most of the evenings were spent just casually sitting around, chatting, joking, and playing records but whatever we did usually centered on Elvis. Rex would often visit, and Lamar and Red each brought girlfriends over. Elvis loved to have fun, and sometimes he would sing parodies to one of his hit songs. Elvis' hotel suite was even equipped with a piano.

He used to listen to Roy Hamilton's greatest hits album, and liked to make fun of a song called "Don't Let Go." Elvis discovered toward the end of the song that the lyrics became inaudible then the song finished with the words, "Hound dog barking upside the hill." Elvis played that particular part over and over, shaking his head at the apparent nonsense of it. "The hound dog barking upside the hill has nothing to do with the other lyrics, and the song makes absolutely no sense," he often said with a mystifying smile, amusing himself.

On the other hand, Elvis loved Hamilton's version of "I Believe" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." He would play the songs by ear on the piano and have Rex, Red, Lamar, and Charlie sing along with him. Rex had a high tenor voice, and Elvis continued raising the keys higher on the piano until Rex's voice cracked. This would send them all into laughing fits. Elvis was not making fun of Rex's voice — he was actually impressed because his voice was so high.




..

Roy Hamilton "Don't Let Go" (Epic 9257, December 1957)



..

Roy Hamilton "I Believe" (Epic 9092, January 1955)



..

Roy Hamilton "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Epic 9015, January 1954)



99 (Elizabeth)

Another group he enjoyed listening to was the Harmonizing Four, a black gospel group from Richmond, Virginia. His favorite song of theirs was "Farther Along." The bass singer had such a low voice that Elvis was astonished by it, and try as he might, he could not come close to duplicating it. He showed us on the piano that the lowest note in this song was actually off the keyboard. He also favored two other songs by the Harmonizing Four called "All Things Are Possible" and "When I've Done the Best I Can." Another group special to Elvis was the Statesman Gospel Quartet from Memphis, because he knew each member of the quartet personally.



..

Harmonizing Four "Farther Along" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



..

Harmonizing Four "All Things Are Possible" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



..

Harmonizing Four "When I've Done My Best" Harmonizing Four Sing ... (VeeJay 5002, August 24, 1959)



100 (Elizabeth)

That first Christmas in 1958 at the Grunewald Hotel was an extremely depressing time for Elvis, Vernon, and Grandma. This was their first Christmas without Gladys. This was also a difficult and dark period for the Germans. Most of the country, including the municipality of Bad Nauheim, was still struggling to get over the financial impact of World War II. Even the Grunewald Hotel downplayed the Christmas holiday. It was a low-key affair and Christmas was just another day for the Presley family.



109 (Elizabeth)

Elvis normally came home around 5:15 p.m., and dinner was ready by 6 p.m. On the occasions Red and Lamar picked up pizza, we were in heaven. At Elvis' request, Grandma fixed the special peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich for his dinner. That appealed to us about as much as the goofy sandwich. In the evening, Elvis signed autographs longer and spent more time visiting and talking with the fans. There was even a sign posted on the front of the house that read AUTOGRAPHS BETWEEN 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

On weekends, Charlie Hodge would come over from Butzbach, another U.S. Army Kaserne, where he was stationed. Charlie was a seasoned guitar player, and he would sing with Rex. Since there was no extra bed for Charlie, he slept on the couch, which also went in the book of demerits kept by Frau Pieper.

Rex and Charlie were two of the closest friends that Elvis had from the Army. There were plenty of other GIs who came around on a regular basis, but it was obvious that Rex and Charlie were his favorites, just as I became Grandma's favorite.




127 (Rex)

We had plenty of fun in that house at Goethestrasse 14, singing and harmonizing together. Elvis would play the piano while Charlie played the guitar. Red could pick and sing pretty well, and the rest of us could carry a tune. Even Vernon would join in occasionally with his Grand Ole Opry style voice, which sounded pretty good. I had a high tenor voice and Elvis always tried to get me to hit my highest note. Actually, we weren't all that bad as a group, and we had a lot of good old-fashioned fun.



155 (Elizabeth)

Priscilla had a series of drivers who ferried her back and forth during the week, as well as almost every weekend starting on Friday nights. She and Elvis spent as much time as they could together, and Priscilla's grades at school suffered as a result. I imagine it wasn't easy being a ninth grader, dating the world's most famous singer, and trying to maintain a respectable grade point average.

When Priscilla came over, we all sat around in the living room, talking, laughing, and listening to music. In fact, we were putting on a show. It was the "Let's Entertain Priscilla Show."

Rex, Charlie, and Lamar would sometimes sing along with Elvis as he played the piano. Other times he would use his companions, Rex mostly, as sparring partners in karate demonstrations for Priscilla. When Cliff was present, he would rehearse some of his comedy material and throw in a few impersonations. Everything was done mostly to entertain and impress Priscilla.




..

Earl Grant, "(At) The End (Of A Rainbow)" (Decca 30719, September 8, 1958)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_(Earl_Grant_song)
Priscilla wrote in her 1985 book Elvis and Me that this song was played the night they met, 9-13-1959, exactly 59 years ago!



208-209 (Elizabeth ... at Graceland in March 1960)

Anita also came to the house and visited with Grandma. I found her to be as nice as she was attractive. I viewed Anita as somewhat of a celebrity because she co-hosted a local television show, and looked as glamorous as any Hollywood movie star. I had read about her for years in entertainment magazines and heard her voice many times on the Andy Williams record, "Hawaiian Wedding Song," which Elvis played over and over in Germany. He told me that while her name was not on the record itself, she sang the words, "I do, love you, with all my heart." It was a sly way of telling Elvis how she felt about him.



..

Andy Williams, "Hawaiian Wedding Song" (Cadence 1358, December 1, 1958)
Billboard "Hot 100" #8, March 16, 1959.
Elvis would record this for "Blue Hawaii" in 1961.
Interestingly, in 1970s concert performances he chose the hit Williams-Wood arrangement!



Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us, "Rexadus" and "Foghorn."

130108_Rex and Elizabeth Mansfield.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Oct 06, 2022 4:30 am, edited 6 times in total.


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

User avatar

skabillyrebels
Posts: 1591
Registered for: 11 years 4 months
Has thanked: 2932 times
Been thanked: 854 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by skabillyrebels »

that's an excellent post very nice reading




JosephC
Posts: 663
Registered for: 15 years 2 months
Has thanked: 916 times
Been thanked: 382 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by JosephC »

Very informative read. Almost all of it is new to me and I have a greater appreciation for this material. I've always been tepid on it because of the sound quality. It was only until I really listened to "Danny Boy" that I realized what a treasure these tapes are. I imagine hundreds of hours over the course of his life being recorded in such an intimate manner. Can more tapes exist?

I won't speculate further on what there might be. Thank you for the summation on what we have now.

JosephC

PS

I'm really taken with"Only Believe". I can no longer dismiss Elvis' take on it it knowing its origins.



User avatar

norrie
Posts: 5390
Registered for: 20 years
Location: The province of Scotland
Has thanked: 415 times
Been thanked: 1153 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by norrie »

Excellent post Doc . These tapes may not be "everyday " listening due to the nature of the audio but when in the mood they are a joy to hear and a real insight into our mans musical mind.

norrie



User avatar

a mess of polk salad
Posts: 6532
Registered for: 16 years 5 months
Location: I've been a millionaire since I was 21, it's just a hobby to me...
Has thanked: 2640 times
Been thanked: 1369 times
Age: 58

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by a mess of polk salad »

norrie wrote:Excellent post Doc . These tapes may not be "everyday " listening due to the nature of the audio but when in the mood they are a joy to hear and a real insight into our mans musical mind.

norrie
Will we get an official release...?

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk


The moment we're living is now, now now now now now ...

User avatar

norrie
Posts: 5390
Registered for: 20 years
Location: The province of Scotland
Has thanked: 415 times
Been thanked: 1153 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by norrie »

a mess of polk salad on Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:28 pm wrote:
norrie wrote:Excellent post Doc . These tapes may not be "everyday " listening due to the nature of the audio but when in the mood they are a joy to hear and a real insight into our mans musical mind.

norrie
Will we get an official release...?

Sent from my ANE-LX1 using Tapatalk
That's the £21.99 question mate.Plus postage & packaging :wink:

norrie



User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

One of the main fascinations with these 1958-1959 tapes is that, at least part of the time, Elvis is working VERY hard at his craft.

For example, he spends a LOT of tape on Jim Reeves' summer 1959 single "I'm Beginning To Forget You." He even records two different examples of other people singing it, while he works on his guitar backing.

Furthermore, the main arrangement he sticks with is totally different from Reeve's RCA Nashville recording. A keen listener will notice that Elvis "borrows" the guitar intro from 1955's "Only You (And You Alone)," a #1 hit for the Platters and part of his live set for about six months in 1955-1956. In his hands "I'm Beginning To Forget You" becomes a bluesy, rock 'n' roll ballad.

This was a creative young man, bursting at the seams with musicality. No wonder 1960 would be such a great year for him in the studio. He was ready.




JIM REEVES ORIGINAL HIT


..

Jim Reeves "I'm Beginning To Forget You" (RCA Victor 7577, June 29, 1959)
Billboard "Hot C&W Sides" #17, October 19, 1959.
B-side to "Partners," Billboard "Hot C&W Sides" #5, September 21, 1959.




PLATTERS 1955 SINGLE


..

Platters "Only You (And You Alone)" (Mercury 70633, July 2, 1955)
Billboard R&B "Most Played By Jockeys" #1, October 22, 1955.



ELVIS PRESLEY COVER


..

Elvis Presley "I'm Beginning To Forget You" (summer/fall 1959 home demo)
Note intro, nicked from the Platters "Only You (And You Alone)" single.



NOTE: see below for a 1957 single released by the songwriter, which may -- or may not -- be the version Elvis knew at the time.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.


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

User avatar

MikeFromHolland
Posts: 7583
Registered for: 12 years
Has thanked: 2479 times
Been thanked: 6844 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by MikeFromHolland »

.

Wonderful topic. Thanks!

Added to my >>> Songs In The Spotlight <<< thread.


.


Mike

------
lay back,
take it easy
And try a smile...

.

User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

Here is Billboard's July 1959 review of "I'm Beginning To Forget You" ... it got FOUR stars!


Billboard Jul 06 1959_p25.JPG
Billboard - July 6, 1959
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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

User avatar

Troubleman
Posts: 1063
Registered for: 8 years 8 months
Location: Quebec, Canada
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 440 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by Troubleman »

Great post Doc. I love these private recordings.

::rocks


Troubleman

User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

JosephC on Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 pm wrote:Very informative read. Almost all of it is new to me and I have a greater appreciation for this material. I've always been tepid on it because of the sound quality. It was only until I really listened to "Danny Boy" that I realized what a treasure these tapes are. I imagine hundreds of hours over the course of his life being recorded in such an intimate manner. Can more tapes exist?

I won't speculate further on what there might be. Thank you for the summation on what we have now.

JosephC

PS

I'm really taken with"Only Believe". I can no longer dismiss Elvis' take on it it knowing its origins.

Thank you so much. One hope for future finds of "new" Elvis music is more home demo tapes, like this:

Elvis' 1968 Home Demo --> Another Mystery?
https://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=81969


When I heard the Harmonizing Four cuts, I was struck by how they were a huge influence on future recordings by Elvis. For example, the original 1957 VeeJay single release of "All Things Are Possible b/w "Farther Along" (VeeJay 845), and their next later that year, "Where Could I Go But To The Lord" b/w "Motherless Child" (VeeJay 859), kick off the 1959 album Elvis had in Bad Nauheim, and all appear on later Presley discs.


VeeJay 845 All Things.jpg
VeeJay 845 Farther Along.jpg
590824_VeeJay 5002_01.JPG
590824_VeeJay 5002_02.JPG
590824_VeeJay 5002_03.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


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


PiersEIN
Posts: 2147
Registered for: 21 years
Has thanked: 473 times
Been thanked: 1619 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by PiersEIN »

drjohncarpenter on Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:18 am wrote:BONUS ARMY MUSIC: REX and ELIZABETH REMEMBER


590500_w Elizabeth Stefaniak.JPG
With Elizabeth Stefaniak at Bad Nauheim, circa May 1959


Rex Mansfield and his wife Elizabeth were with Elvis for most of his German experience, and wrote about it in a wonderful 2002 memoir, Sergeant Presley: our untold story of Elvis' missing years.

We just lost Rex this past August 26th, and every good thought continues to go to his lovely wife and family. But for today's topic bonus, I decided to pull out a few of their memories, when they spent time talking about or making music. It provides even more insight into Presley's musical world at the time, and where he was going to be in 1960. The entire book is highly recommended.
and knowing how much Rex Mansfield and his wife Elizabeth meant to Elvis in his time in Germany I was more than happy to track them down in 2002 in Memphis.
I spent some time with them and stayed in touch over the years talking to them again when they re-published their book.
It was a sad day when I had to post a note about Rex Mansfield's passing here on FECC.
Rex was a very fine and gracious man.
His book is a great read as is the interview he wanted to give to EIN.
>>>
https://www.elvisinfonet.com/interview_rexmansfield.html

Cheers
Piers




AndyDumas
Posts: 199
Registered for: 11 years 4 months
Has thanked: 309 times
Been thanked: 216 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by AndyDumas »

Fantastic post! Incredible research! One of your best Doc!



User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

norrie on Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:55 pm wrote:Excellent post Doc . These tapes may not be "everyday " listening due to the nature of the audio but when in the mood they are a joy to hear and a real insight into our mans musical mind.

norrie

Thanks. There's a lot to unpack here, and I put a lot of time into digging into it all. There may be more to come.


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

User avatar

GuyLambert
Posts: 315
Registered for: 15 years 9 months
Has thanked: 237 times
Been thanked: 250 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by GuyLambert »

Love it, great job Doc. Did Anita visit in Germany? I didn't think so...I'm supposing it jumped from Germany to Memphis here:

208-209
Anita also came to the house and visited with Grandma. I found her to be as nice as she was attractive. I viewed Anita as somewhat of a celebrity because she co-hosted a local television show, and looked as glamorous as any Hollywood movie star. I had read about her for years in entertainment magazines and heard her voice many times on the Andy Williams record, "Hawaiian Wedding Song," which Elvis played over and over in Germany. He told me that while her name was not on the record itself, she sang the words, "I do, love you, with all my heart." It was a sly way of telling Elvis how she felt about him.



User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

GuyLambert on Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:29 pm wrote:Love it, great job Doc. Did Anita visit in Germany? I didn't think so...I'm supposing it jumped from Germany to Memphis here:

208-209
Anita also came to the house and visited with Grandma. I found her to be as nice as she was attractive. I viewed Anita as somewhat of a celebrity because she co-hosted a local television show, and looked as glamorous as any Hollywood movie star. I had read about her for years in entertainment magazines and heard her voice many times on the Andy Williams record, "Hawaiian Wedding Song," which Elvis played over and over in Germany. He told me that while her name was not on the record itself, she sang the words, "I do, love you, with all my heart." It was a sly way of telling Elvis how she felt about him.

Girlfriend Anita Wood wanted to visit, but management told Elvis that would be a "bad idea." So she had to wait. I should have made clear that this segment was when Elizabeth Stefaniak was at Graceland in early March 1960. I'll fix that up now. The original plan was for her to continue her live/work situation, but this quickly changed when Rex came to Memphis and told Elvis his intentions to marry her.

The part that was striking was knowing the Andy Williams Cadence single was a Bad Nauheim favorite. Clearly it was because of Anita's presence, and his (occasional) feelings of missing her. His 1961 recording must have been a breeze, and when he did it in his 1970s concerts he took the Williams-Wood arrangement. And ... if more tapes are ever found from 1958-1959, perhaps "Hawaiian Wedding Song" will be one of the songs on it.

Thanks for the kind words!


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

User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

A friend just pointed out to me today that the hit Jim Reeves single of "I'm Beginning To Forget You" from 1959 was not the first recorded version. The songwriter, Willie Phelps, released it in the summer of 1957 on an obscure single that did not chart:



..

Willie Phelps "I'm Beginning To Forget You (Like You Forgot Me)" (Roulette 7002, August 26, 1957)





So ...

Is Bobby "Red" West one of the male voices on the two versions where Elvis just plays guitar? Was the non-hit single what Elvis knew?

A "yes" to the first question means a "yes" to the second, and the performances have to date to before the end of April 1959, as that is when West left Germany.

Otherwise, Elvis almost certainly found the song through the Reeves recording, the tapes of them are from after June 1959, and the other male voices may be two of these guys:

Vernon Presley
Cliff Gleaves
Charlie Hodge
Rex Mansfield


Anyone familiar with Red's voice?

Meanwhile, I looked over the other "guitar tape" songs to see what else might date to that period, based on what songs were hits at the time, and which artists were having that success. These may be considered possible influences in the moment, material he heard on the radio that caught his ear, much like the new, summer 1959 Jim Reeves single.

These two consecutive Conway Twitty singles in the summer of 1959 seem to be kind of a striking coincidence. Pushing even further, Twitty's kinetic, start and stop arrangement of "Mona Lisa" recalls exactly what Elvis would do with "Such A Night" in 1960 and "I'm Coming Home" in 1961.





..

Conway Twitty "Mona Lisa" (MGM 12804, June 30, 1959)
Billboard "Hot 100" #29, August 31, 1959.
UK chart #5, September 25, 1959.
This uptempo cover is done "Elvis style." Elvis slows it down in his recording.





..

Conway Twitty "Danny Boy" (MGM 12826, September 14, 1959)
Billboard "Hot 100" #10, December 7, 1959.
His second uptempo cover in a row is also done "Elvis style." As before, Elvis slows it way down.
Presley sang this on the set of "King Creole" circa February 1958, and at co-star Jan Shepard's birthday party that month.





..

Penguins "Earth Angel" (Dootone 348, November 6, 1954)
Reappears on Billboard "Bubbling Under The Hot 100" #6, December 28, 1959.
Originally Billboard Rhythm and Blues Records "Most Played in Juke Boxes" #1, January 15, 1955.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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

User avatar

Mike Windgren
Posts: 9203
Registered for: 21 years
Location: España.
Has thanked: 2294 times
Been thanked: 4412 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by Mike Windgren »

Hi there!! :D :D :D.

Nice try Johnny ::rocks.

I´ll stick to late December 1958 for now like the other 2 available tapes (including Juan Luis one) as stated on Keith Flynn´s Elvis recording website, which is the most accurate until now! 8).

If Ernst Jorgensen makes a different official statement regarding the dates, then I will change my mind, if you don´t mind.... :wink:. Bye for now :smt006.


Maestro. Mike Windgren. Torero!!!!!!!!.
Always Trying To Make Peace <<--->> On FECC
Not The Best, Just The Coolest Guy Around!.
.


Viva el vino, viva el dinero, viva, viva el amor!!.

Image

User avatar

jurasic1968
Posts: 12423
Registered for: 11 years 8 months
Has thanked: 13656 times
Been thanked: 2604 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by jurasic1968 »

Fantastic topic, Doc. Thanks. Regarding The Colonel, he clearly manipulated Elvis not to marry, not only with Anita but with any other girl. So I believe this was the reason she could not go to West Germany to meet Elvis.



User avatar

Topic author
drjohncarpenter
Posts: 107380
Registered for: 21 years
Location: United States of America
Has thanked: 11772 times
Been thanked: 34181 times
Age: 89

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by drjohncarpenter »

skabillyrebels on Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:10 pm wrote:that's an excellent post very nice reading

Thanks. It took hours to research and compile. I am adding information as well, see follow-up posts. I hope to confirm the summer date (or not) of "I'm Beginning To Forget You" soon, as I have asked a authority on the tapes about it.


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

User avatar

timothy_sideburns
Posts: 703
Registered for: 7 years 3 months
Has thanked: 423 times
Been thanked: 620 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by timothy_sideburns »

This is a great topic. Thanks. I think you've hit the nail on the head when you highlight the significance of Elvis working hard on his music ready for his return. It was clear that the creative burst of 1960 did not just happen by accident.




Deleted User 930

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by Deleted User 930 »

One of the best topics I've seen! Thanks Doc!
Must have cost you days to gather this information!




Thats_all_right
Posts: 200
Registered for: 7 years 6 months
Has thanked: 156 times
Been thanked: 155 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by Thats_all_right »

My god theres a lot of background research gone into this thread! Appreciate it Doc!



User avatar

r&b
Posts: 3322
Registered for: 6 years 2 months
Has thanked: 349 times
Been thanked: 2114 times

Re: German Guitar Man --> Elvis at home, 1958-1959!

Post by r&b »

Wonderful topic and research doc. Thats why I come here