In A Flash

THAT’S THE WAY IT IS: SPECIAL EDITION coming to Blu-ray in August

Elvis Presley performs live in August 1970

Elvis Presley in THAT’S THE WAY IT IS: SPECIAL EDITION (1970/2000)

From ElvisMatters:

An exclusive screening of the world premiere of Warner Bros.’ newly-remastered version of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is – Special Edition will be held at the Orpheum Theatre [in Memphis, Tennessee]. The Elvis concert documentary will be available for the first time on Blu-ray on August 12. Fans will be treated not only to the newly-remastered film, but will also get to experience an outtake performance or sequence never-before-seen on the big screen. In addition, the screening will feature an on-stage performance by Terry Blackwood and The Imperials and “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” related artifacts on display in the lobby, direct from the Graceland Archives.

I have not yet been able to find confirmation of this on the official Elvis.com or Graceland.com sites, but it is not unusual for them to be behind on even their own news. I even tried the Orpheum site.

If this pans out, I would not be surprised if additional screenings are added across the United States via Fathom Events, as was done to promote the Elvis On Tour Blu-ray in 2010.

Perhaps Warner will be more accurate in its product descriptions for That’s The Way It Is: Special Edition Blu-ray than they were for the Elvis On Tour Blu-ray.

Update: Graceland.com has now confirmed the screening and Blu-ray release for August, though the press release is unclear on certain product details. Look for plenty of coverage here in coming months.

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ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS Legacy Edition out today, with bonus Richmond concert

Before we begin, a reminder that there are less than 13 hours left to lock in your predictions bracket for Elvis Mania 2014. The person with the highest score will receive a Sony Legacy Edition CD of an Elvis title, courtesy of The Mystery Train Blog. See yesterday’s post for more details. [Update: Predictions are now locked.]

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Forty years ago today, on March 18, 1974, Elvis Presley rocked the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia. A live recording of the concert features on the second CD of a new Legacy Edition of Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis, in stores today from Sony.

The first CD features a complete version of the March 20 Memphis concert at the Mid-South Coliseum that RCA first released in an edited form in 1974. Elvis earned his third and final Grammy Award for his performance of “How Great Thou Art” in Memphis on that original 1974 album.

The Follow That Dream collectors label for Elvis fans restored the missing tracks from the Memphis concert and removed unnecessary audience overdubs in a 2004 Classic Albums CD release of the title, including a new mix. The same label also issued the expanded show in vinyl format as a 2-record set last year. This new 2014 Legacy Edition features yet another new mix of the Memphis concert.

The Richmond concert made its debut in 2011’s Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis on the FTD label. This new release features the same mix of the Richmond show as on the 2011 collectors CD.

The Elvis Presley Show crisscrossed back and forth from Virginia to Tennessee on that leg of his tour. Tickets for a March 12 appearance at the Richmond Coliseum sold out so quickly that Elvis’s management re-routed the tour to accommodate a second show there on March 18. Elvis performed four shows in Memphis on March 16 and 17, hit Richmond, Virginia, again on March 18, and then returned to Tennessee for concerts in Murfreesboro and Memphis on March 19 and 20, respectively.

RCA professionally recorded the March 20 Memphis concert for the album project. It is a 16-track recording (audio elements recorded on separate channels) that can be tweaked for optimum sound quality. The Memphis show is presented in stereo.

Though the background story remains mysterious, the March 18 Richmond concert was supposedly captured as a 16-track recording, too. If so, it remains missing from the Sony vaults – lost, stolen, or erased.

The Richmond concert audio source on both the 2011 and 2014 releases is a tape copy of a mono mix-down of the 16-track recording, with artificial reverb applied. In other words, no further changes can be made to the Richmond mix or reverb since the 16-track original is unavailable.

While Elvis’s sound engineers often made informal reference tapes of his shows from the soundboard mixing console, the Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis liner notes in 2011 only speculated about why RCA apparently recorded the Richmond concert in multitrack. The 2014 Legacy Edition refers to the Richmond show as a “test run concert” for the subsequent Memphis recording.

Five selections from an August 16, 1974, rehearsal at RCA Hollywood for an upcoming Las Vegas engagement round out the second CD of the release. Captured on a personal cassette recorder, the rehearsals are in comparatively poor sound quality. The five tracks were among twenty from the rehearsal included as part of the 2009 FTD release From Sunset To Las Vegas.

In addition to participating retail stores, the 2014 Legacy Edition of Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis is also available from Amazon and other online outlets.

ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS (2014 Legacy Edition)

ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS (2014 Legacy Edition)

Tracks

Disc One

Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis, March 20, 1974
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra/
02. See See Rider
03. I Got A Woman/Amen
04. Love Me
05. Tryin’ To Get To You
06. All Shook Up
07. Steamroller Blues
08. Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel
09. Love Me Tender
10. Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On/Your Mama Don’t Dance/Flip, Flop & Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
11. Fever
12. Polk Salad Annie
13. Why Me Lord
14. How Great Thou Art
15. Suspicious Minds
16. Introductions By Elvis
17. Blueberry Hill/I Can’t Stop Loving You
18. Help Me
19. An American Trilogy
20. Let Me Be There
21. My Baby Left Me
22. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
23. Funny How Time Slips Away
24. Can’t Help Falling In Love/
25. Closing Vamp

Disc Two

Recorded Live At The Coliseum, Richmond, March 18, 1974
01. Also Sprach Zarathustra/
02. See See Rider
03. I Got A Woman/Amen [edited with Memphis, March 20, 1974]
04. Love Me
05. Tryin’ To Get To You
06. All Shook Up
07. Steamroller Blues
08. Teddy Bear/Don’t Be Cruel
09. Love Me Tender
10. Long Tall Sally/Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On/Your Mama Don’t Dance/Flip, Flop & Fly/Jailhouse Rock/Hound Dog
11. Fever
12. Polk Salad Annie
13. Why Me Lord
14. Suspicious Minds
15. Introductions By Elvis
16. I Can’t Stop Loving You
17. Help Me
18. An American Trilogy
19. Let Me Be There
20. Funny How Time Slips Away
21. Can’t Help Falling In Love/
22. Closing Vamp

The August 1974 RCA Rehearsals
23. Down In The Alley
24. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues
25. Softly, As I Leave You
26. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
27. The Twelfth Of Never

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ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS Legacy Edition to include Richmond, Virginia concert

ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS (2014 Legacy Edition)

ELVIS RECORDED LIVE ON STAGE IN MEMPHIS (2014 Legacy Edition)

One of my favorite CD releases on the Follow That Dream collectors label for Elvis Presley fans is 2011’s Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis, which captures a March 18, 1974, concert that Elvis performed at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia.

The confusing album title reflects that Elvis closed out his tour two days after the Richmond concert with a show in Memphis at the Mid-South Coliseum, portions of which became the 1974 album Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis. Elvis earned his third and final Grammy Award for his stellar performance of “How Great Thou Art” in Memphis on the original 1974 album.

The link between the two shows continues, for Sony announced last week that it will reissue the Richmond concert on the second disc of a Legacy Edition of Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis. While the FTD collectors label has very limited distribution, this new 2-CD release on the main Sony label hits mainstream retail stores on March 18, the 40th anniversary of the Richmond concert. Amazon and other outlets are accepting pre-orders now.

The Elvis Presley Show crisscrossed back and forth from Virginia to Tennessee on that leg of his tour. Tickets for his March 12 appearance at the Richmond Coliseum sold out so quickly that the tour was re-routed to accommodate a second show there on March 18. Elvis performed four shows in Memphis on March 16 and 17, hit Richmond, Virginia, again on March 18, and then returned to Tennessee for concerts in Murfreesboro and Memphis on March 19 and 20, respectively.

Elvis Presley's March 1974 tour schedule (partial)

Elvis Presley’s March 1974 tour schedule (partial)

For space considerations on the original LP, RCA edited several songs out of the March 20 Memphis concert for the 1-record release in July 1974. The album also featured overdubbed audience reactions that detracted from the sound quality. FTD restored the missing tracks and removed the unnecessary overdubs in a 2004 Classic Albums CD release of the concert, including a new mix. The same label also issued the expanded show in vinyl format as a 2-record set last year.

It turned out that RCA chose well in 1974 which performances to use on the original record, though. The performance quality of many of the excised songs was underwhelming, with the exception of a fine rendition of “Steamroller Blues,” first released on Platinum: A Life In Music over two decades later. The energetic Memphis version was superior to his live recording of the song in Hawaii that served as a single in 1973.

This new Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis Legacy Edition will also include the previously omitted songs, but whether a new or an existing mix will be featured is unclear.

In fact, Sony’s press release for this album is riddled with errors, an issue far too common these days in the marketing of Elvis music releases, so it is difficult to trust any of its statements. For that reason, I am not even including Sony’s alleged track listing at this point. Suffice it for now to say that Disc 1 will contain the Memphis show, while Disc 2 will contain the Richmond show and some low-fidelity bonus tracks recorded on a personal cassette player of Elvis rehearsing a few months later for yet another Las Vegas stint.

RCA professionally recorded the March 20 Memphis concert for the album project. It is a 16-track recording (audio elements recorded on separate channels) that can be tweaked for optimum sound quality. Though I enjoyed the 2004 FTD mix over the original 1974 version, another new mix could be revealing. The Memphis show is presented in stereo.

Though the background story remains mysterious, the March 18 Richmond concert was supposedly captured as a 16-track recording, too. If so, it remains missing from the Sony vaults – lost, stolen, or erased.

The Richmond concert audio source on both the 2011 and 2014 releases is a tape copy of a mono mix-down of the 16-track recording, with artificial reverb applied. In other words, no further changes can be made to the Richmond mix or reverb since the 16-track original is unavailable. The Richmond concert is not likely to sound very different from Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis on this reissue, if at all.

While Elvis’s sound engineers often made informal reference tapes of his shows from the soundboard mixing console, the Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis liner notes in 2011 only speculated about why RCA apparently recorded the Richmond concert in multitrack.

However, the 2014 Sony press release refers to the Richmond show as a “test run concert” for the subsequent Memphis recording. Some have theorized that the test copy is in mono due to Elvis’s preference for that format over stereo, though his previous live albums had been stereo releases. Perhaps the accompanying Legacy Edition booklet will reveal new information.

Elvis at the Richmond Coliseum, March 18, 1974 (FTD)

Elvis at the Richmond Coliseum, March 18, 1974 (FTD)

In the years leading up to 1974, many of Elvis’s concerts were superior to this particular show in Richmond, so why do I have a soft-spot for it? Simply because it is the first concert officially released of Elvis performing in my hometown. As with the Memphis show, the fun concert features Elvis in a fantastic mood interacting with fans. Music highlights in Richmond include “Steamroller Blues,” “Polk Salad Annie,” and “Suspicious Minds.”

Over the course of 21 years, Elvis performed 15 concerts in Richmond. The 14th of these shows was captured on Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis and, from what I have read, this was Elvis’s last great concert in Richmond. He performed here one final time in 1976, but, by that point, his rising prescription drug addiction and abuse had diminished the power of his shows. Therefore, I consider the March 18, 1974, appearance to be Elvis’s true “last hurrah” in Richmond.

I was only two when Elvis died in 1977, so I never had the opportunity to see him in person. If I was about 30 years older, though, I would like to think I would have been there for at least his Richmond shows. Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis allows me to experience a small part of that dream.

15 Seconds

I was so thrilled in 2011 when news broke about the impending FTD release of the Richmond show that I impulsively emailed one of my blog posts on the topic to various local news media before going to work one morning. I figured if any mainstream media outlets in the world would be interested in Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis, it should be those in Richmond.

What I did not consider was what would happen if one of them decided actually to run with the story. By lunchtime, a television news reporter from CBS affiliate WTVR Channel 6 had contacted me, and we went over the basics on the phone. He even asked about Red Hot In Richmond, a bootleg release of an April 1972 Elvis concert that he ran across as part of his research.

By this point, based on my email, the news team had already filmed spots at the Richmond Coliseum and a nearby record store. The reporter wanted to add me to the mix in time to get his story on television later that day. I am a rather shy person, so I was not interested in that idea. I also could not have a camera crew show up where I work, so I turned him down.

For whatever reason, CBS 6 News did not run the story that night, perhaps because it seemed incomplete without a fan’s perspective. The reporter checked back with me the next day to see if I would do an interview after all. I felt bad for suggesting the story and then leaving him without a way to finish it, so I went over to the station on my lunch break and did the interview against my better judgment.

In the time since I had talked to him on the phone, the reporter had found some scenes from the 1972 documentary Elvis On Tour. I had mentioned the Richmond connection on that movie, telling him that MGM shot some of the red jumpsuit footage at the Richmond Coliseum two years before Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis. He incorporated that Elvis On Tour footage into his news story, so I was glad to see acknowledgment of a local connection with the Golden Globe winner.

FORTY-EIGHT HOURS TO MEMPHIS (2011)

FORTY-EIGHT HOURS TO MEMPHIS (2011)

It was a surreal experience having a TV camera trained on me while being asked to explain Elvis’s ongoing popularity and other questions like that. I did not enjoy being on television, and I have since taken some good-natured ribbing about it from friends and co-workers, particularly since the well-meaning reporter managed to say my last name wrong. There went my one chance at fortune and glory.

So uncomfortable did I find the experience that I never even mentioned my brief TV appearance here on my own blog until today, nearly three years later.

The reporter was great to deal with, though, and very enthusiastic throughout the proceedings. Overall, I was happy with how his story turned out and felt it presented Elvis in a positive light.

That being said, I have no plans to contact any local media this time around in advance of Sony’s reissue of the Richmond concert. I have learned my lesson.

My 15 seconds of local fame still come up every now and then. Oddly, I have had at least two people ask me, “Weren’t you on TV a few years ago imitating Elvis?”

“No, I was on TV dressed in normal clothes talking about a concert that the real Elvis did at the Richmond Coliseum,” I reply.

The story did not even mention imitators. Unfortunately, the general public does not distinguish lousy imitators from the real Elvis. Thanks to the vast majority of those imitator clowns, it can be tough to be known as an Elvis fan.

Legacy Questions

I am looking forward to the reissues of both the Richmond and Memphis concerts. Despite my personal enthusiasm as an Elvis fan and Richmonder, I find myself wondering whether these two concerts are appropriate choices for mainstream release in 2014.

I fear that the repetitive nature of these shows compared to other recent Sony releases will use up some of the goodwill shown by music critics in reviews of Elvis At Stax, Prince From Another Planet, and certain other titles released in the last few years.

Will mainstream critics and listeners understand Elvis’s sense of humor? For instance, will some misinterpret his joke in Richmond about it being a pleasure to be back in Hampton Roads as an out-of-it singer not knowing which town he was playing?

By following up 2012’s As Recorded At Madison Square Garden reissue with 2013’s Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite reissue and now 2014’s Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis reissue, is Sony simply committing the same release blunders in the 2010s that RCA made in the 1970s? Has locking into an “anniversary” theme for release choices doomed them to repeat history’s mistakes going forward?

Keep in mind that the 40th anniversary of Having Fun With Elvis On Stage is later this year as well.


January 17, 2014, Update: This article is now also available at Elvis Australia.

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Elvis Presley Enterprises to release ALOHA FROM HAWAII: 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION DVD in mid-August

ALOHA FROM HAWAII: 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION DVD (2013)

ALOHA FROM HAWAII: 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION DVD (2013)

This product snuck up on me in the recent official Elvis products catalog. As far as I can tell, there has been absolutely no publicity thus far about a DVD release of Aloha From Hawaii: 40th Anniversary Edition. Nevertheless, Elvis Presley Enterprises is set to release the new DVD in less than two weeks, on August 16.

It will contain the 2013 edit of the concert as shown earlier this year in Hawaii. The new edition features split screen visuals that expand the viewing area, resulting in a more theatrical presentation than the standard television editions seen in the past. Time will tell, but I’m hopeful this expanded width will look terrific on modern 16:9 widescreen TVs.

Here is the item description:

Elvis Presley made television and entertainment history with his “Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii” concert television special. The performance took place at the Honolulu International Center, now known as the Neal Blaisdell Arena, on January 14, 1973. It was beamed live via Globecam Satellite to various countries, on a delayed basis to approximately 30 European countries and first aired in the U.S. on April 4 on NBC. The viewing audience was estimated at over one billion worldwide.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of “Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii,” fans from around the world gathered in Honolulu in January 2013 for five days of celebrations. The highlight of the week was a screening of a special re-edited version of “Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii,” that was shown at the Blaisdell Arena on January 14, exactly 40 years to the day Elvis performed there.

The re-edited version, which includes rarely-seen footage and audio, received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. This special 40th anniversary edition offers a new look at Elvis during one of his most outstanding concert performances of his career.

ELVIS ALOHA FROM HAWAII
• Re-edit of “Elvis, Aloha from Hawaii” as seen at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on January 14, 2013

BONUS FEATURES • Event footage from the “40th Anniversary Aloha from Hawaii Celebration” in Honolulu in January 2013
• A Look Inside the New “Elvis’ Hawaii: Concerts, Movies and More! Exhibit” at Graceland
• Clips from Elvis’ “Aloha from Hawaii” Press Conferences
• Replica Booklet of Program from January 14, 2013 Screening Event

I’ve read this a few times, and it sounds almost too good to be true. In the back of my mind, there is a nagging question that I wish would go away: Have any songs been removed from the 2013 edit of the concert?

August 7, 2013, Update: According to a Shop Elvis email blast that went out today, the release date on this item is now August 19. Unfortunately, no further details on the the technical specifications.

August 10, 2013, Update: Elvis Australia is also taking pre-orders for Aloha From Hawaii: 40th Anniversary Edition DVD.

August 22, 2013, Update: Check out my full review of Aloha From Hawaii: 40th Anniversary Edition DVD.

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Cinematic Justice: NOBODY short film to focus on 18-year-old Elvis Presley

“He said he was a singer. I said, ‘What kind of a singer are you?’ He said, ‘I sing all kinds.’ I said, ‘Who do you sound like?’ He said, ‘I don’t sound like nobody.'” –Memphis Recording Service office manager Marion Keisker recalling her Summer 1953 meeting with Elvis (1)

Elvis, circa. 1953

Elvis, circa. 1953

“My ultimate goal with Nobody is to give Elvis Presley the cinematic justice he deserves, even if only through an independent short film,” said William Bryan, writer/director/producer of Nobody. The film, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, will portray Elvis in the waning days of his senior year in high school. A key event will be his performance at the April 1953 Humes High School talent show, which gave the shy singer enough confidence to walk into Memphis Recording Service just weeks later to record a demo.

Bryan, an Elvis fan since he was 11-years-old, has made an annual visit to Memphis for the last ten years. While studying at Columbia College Chicago, he made numerous short films. His goal for Nobody, which is also produced by 2011 Columbia College graduate Tom Radovich, is that it inspire today’s dreamers.

“Sure, this might sound a bit romanticized,” Bryan explained, “but think about who Elvis Presley was at the time of our story. He was a senior in high school who wasn’t the sports hero, didn’t have a girlfriend…he really was a nobody.”

While Nobody focuses on early Elvis, Bryan does not limit his fandom to that era. “I’ve been listening to a lot of ballad numbers that Elvis recorded between 1969 and 1971. ‘I’ll Never Know’ and ‘I’ve Lost You’ have been two of my favorites this week,” he said.

Nobody‘s Kickstarter campaign ends on June 1. If it can secure enough funding to proceed, the independent production promises a new look at Elvis compared to previous dramatizations of his life. “With all due respect to the filmmakers who have come before me and already told an Elvis story, many of the ‘Hollywood’ productions have unfortunately been less-than-tasteful, historically inaccurate, or worse, both,” said Bryan.

Reference

(1) ELVIS: The Biography by Jerry Hopkins, Plexus, London, 2007, p. 41.


Considering that as recent as four days ago, I noted that I no longer care to watch dramatizations of Elvis’ life, you may wonder why I chose to cover this particular story. I believe Nobody has a chance to distance itself from many of the other films made about Elvis over the years due to the most important ingredient in any creative endeavor: Passion. Bryan seems to have a strong passion for the subject, which will hopefully translate into a special film.

As with all Elvis dramatizations, though, another important aspect will be casting. This is even more important for a short film, I would say, because there is less time for the audience to connect with the character. For a movie such as Nobody to be taken seriously, a strong actor needs to be cast – not someone doing an Elvis caricature.

This should be a fun story to keep an eye on in the coming months. My thanks to William Bryan for taking part in an email interview for this article.

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Follow The Mystery Train Blog on twitter @TMTElvisBlog. Also, be sure to check out my new, old blog, Pastimescapes.

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New and upcoming Elvis releases focus on slices of a diverse career

Get those sound systems (and wallets) ready, folks, new Elvis releases are on the way.

Stay Away, Joe

Stay Away, Joe (concept cover art)

May 2013

Follow That Dream Records, Sony’s collectors label for Elvis fans, is releasing this month:

  • From Elvis In Memphis (2-CD): One of Elvis’ best albums finally receives the FTD Classic Album treatment. This should make an excellent companion to the recent Back In Memphis release. Surely an “imaginary album” will be in the works at some point to feature the rest of the recordings from the 1969 American Sound Studio sessions.
  • Stay Away, Joe (CD): Speaking of imaginary albums, here is one that compiles October 1967 and January 1968 sessions. In addition to the Stay Away, Joe soundtrack, it includes “Too Much Monkey Business” and “US Male.” The January session features Jerry Reed on guitar, which is why I consider this a follow-up of sorts to the fantastic Elvis Sings Guitar Man.
  • On Stage-February 1970 (2-LP): This vinyl release includes the original On Stage-February 1970 album, recorded live in 1969 and 1970, as well as additional material Elvis recorded during his early 1970 Las Vegas engagement.
  • Summer of ’61 (Book & CD): In conjunction with Flaming Star publications, this book primarily focuses on the making of the movie Follow That Dream. A brief CD containing previously released Elvis tracks and two demos for “What A Wonderful Life” is also included.

June 2013

FTD has scheduled the following for release in June:

  • Sold Out! (2-CD): The ambiguous title of this one could refer to almost any Elvis concert from 1956 and beyond. [May 19, 2013, Update: The concerts on this release will be March 1, 1974, Tulsa, Oklahoma and June 21, 1974, Cleveland, Ohio.] This one is from the creative team behind Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis: Recorded Live On Stage In Richmond, Virginia – March 18, 1974 and 3000 South Paradise Road, so a quality presentation is expected.
  • Hot August Night (CD): This one features the August 25, 1969, Midnight Show in Las Vegas. The 1969 shows are all must-haves. Portions of this one contributed to the From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis (Elvis In Person) release in 1969. Many tracks are previously unreleased, however.
  • Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis (2-LP): This vinyl release features the complete March 20, 1974, Memphis concert, from which selections made up the original 1974 version of this album. I have to admit, I enjoy the truncated version of this show more than the full version. Other than “Steamroller Blues,” the songs edited out of the 1974 1-LP release featured some disappointing performances by Elvis.
  • Best of British: The HMV Years (Book): This is a reprint of the popular book exploring Elvis’ 1956-1958 releases on the HMV label in Great Britain, which sold out upon release in February. Though not noted in the press release, presumably the two CDs of previously released Elvis material from the original printing are also included.

The only physical store in the US authorized to sell FTD releases is Good Rockin’ Tonight, a Graceland gift shop in Memphis. However, FTD products may be obtained online from a variety of other stores, including Elvis Australia’s excellent Elvis Presley Shop and Graceland’s ShopElvis.com.

August 2013

Sony has scheduled Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition, a 3-CD boxed set, as a main label, wide release in August. The set will include all of the masters Elvis recorded in Memphis at Stax Recording Studio in July and December of 1973. It will also include alternate takes of many of the songs. Here is the track listing:

DISC 1: The R&B and Country Sessions – The Outtakes

1. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body – take 1
2. Find Out What’s Happening – take 8/7
3. Promised Land – take 4
4. For Ol’ Times Sake – take 4
5. I’ve Got A Thing About You, Baby – take 14
6. It’s Midnight – take 7
7. If You Talk In Your Sleep – take 5
8. Loving Arms – take 2
9. You Asked Me To – take 3A
10. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues – take 8
11. Talk About The Good Times – take 3
12. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel – take 1
13. She Wears My Ring – take 8
14. Three Corn Patches – take 14
15. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body – take 4
16. If You Don’t Come Back – take 3
17. Promised Land – take 5

DISC 2

Part 1 – The Pop Sessions – The Outtakes

1. Mr. Songman – take 2
2. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming – take 4
3. Spanish Eyes – take 2
4. Take Good Care Of Her – takes 1,2,3
5. It’s Diff’rent Now (unfinished recording)
6. Thinking About You – take 4
7. My Boy – take 1
8. Girl Of Mine – take 9
9. Love Song Of The Year – take 1
10. If That Isn’t Love – take 1

Part 2 – The July 1973 Masters

11. Raised On Rock
12. For Ol’ Time Sake
13. I’ve Got A Thing About You, Baby
14. Take Good Care Of Her
15. If You Don’t Come Back
16. Three Corn Patches
17. Girl Of Mine
18. Just A Little Bit
19. Find Out What’s Happening
20. Sweet Angeline

DISC 3: The December 1973 Masters

1. Promised Land
2. It’s Midnight
3. If You Talk In Your Sleep
4. Help Me
5. My Boy
6. Thinking About You
7. Mr. Songman
8. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body
9. Loving Arms
10. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues
11. You Asked Me To
12. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel
13. Talk About The Good Times
14. She Wears My Ring
15. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming
16. Love Song Of The Year
17. Spanish Eyes
18. If That Isn’t Love

I have mixed feelings on this release. I think it is wonderful for the main label to focus on an overlooked period in the recording career of Elvis Presley. For those fans who do not already have the corresponding FTD Classic Album 2-CD sets (Raised On Rock, Good Times, and Promised Land), this is an excellent, budget-conscious alternative to hear highlights of this material.

However, the first thing I noticed is that Sony really blew the sequencing of these tracks. Why, oh, why would the compiler of this collection choose to kick things off with the dreadful “I Got A Feelin’ In My Body”? Especially when “Promised Land” is sitting there, practically begging to begin this set in the right manner?

Short of starting from scratch, one simple alternative that I can suggest would be the following:

  • Swap Disc 1 with Disc 3
  • Swap Disc 2 – Part 1 with Disc 2 – Part 2

Just making the simple changes above would result in a much better listening experience from start to finish. Again, it is great to see a release focusing on 1973, but it should not just be grudgingly thrown together. While Sony’s Elvis team may disagree, some of us love this material. Treat it right.

Sony is also releasing in August a 1-CD version and a 2-LP version collecting some of the above Stax material.

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Friends, be sure to check out my new, old blog: Pastimescapes.

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Elvis Live Wire: Ernst Jorgensen acquires “I Forgot To Remember To Forget”

Silvertone wire recording of Elvis Presley

Silvertone wire recording of Elvis singing “I Forgot To Remember To Forget”

One of the feel-good Elvis stories of 2012 will have an encore after all. Audio collector amberola1b, who discovered a 1955 live recording of Elvis singing “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” on the Louisiana Hayride radio program, recently remarked that he has sold the recording to Ernst Jorgensen. Jorgensen heads up Sony Music’s Elvis team and helms their Follow That Dream collectors label. This means, at some point, there will undoubtedly be an official release of this incredible find.

Last July, amberola1b caused a sensation among Elvis fans when he briefly posted the recording on YouTube, without being aware that it was so unique. Sourced from a Silvertone wire recording, the performance had never been heard by the public since the original broadcast.

Elvis appeared on the Hayride about fifty times from 1954 to 1956. Though similar to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, the show was more receptive to new talent – including Elvis’ groundbreaking style. Compared to most of the other Hayride recordings released in the past, the audio quality on “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” was stunning.

The discovery made headlines on the eve of the release of the Elvis masterpiece A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings, Ernst Jorgensen’s book and music project covering the SUN years. A Boy From Tupelo included several other recordings from the Louisiana Hayride, but “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” was found too late for consideration. “Wow – it’s unbelievably beautiful. I’m still trying to recover from the shock,” Jorgensen said at the time.

Audio grabs of amberola1b’s YouTube video have appeared on a couple of “gray market” releases, but a professional transfer from the wire, properly mastered, should yield much more impressive sound quality.

On January 12, amberola1b posted the following comments on YouTube about his interaction with Jorgensen:

“I did sell the rights to him but the way it went was that I didn’t even know Ernst and was directed to him thru other utubers that were Elvis fans. I didn’t even know there was a big anniversary album or book being put together about The King, I just merely decided at that moment in time to do the utube video, and just happen to post it during the summer. If luck had been on my side and I had known about what was being planned [...] I would have made the video months before, and it would have been included in the album that was included in the book ‘A Boy From Tupelo’. But as it turned out he sent me a copy of the book and it just blew my mind to see all the wonderful pictures that had been compiled of Elvis and the stories written about him.”

[Thank you to Greg1995 on the For Elvis CD Collectors Forum, who first posted about amberola1b's recent confirmation of the sale.]


I only listened to the live “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” once. It was so incredible, I knew I wanted to wait for an official release. Out of respect for amberola1b, I also never posted links to the multiple copies of this video that showed up after his original post (I made an exception for the copied version in the story linked above, since that is where he chose to post his comments).

I’m thrilled that Jorgensen has acquired this fantastic discovery. So, to amberola1b: Thank you for making a deal that will allow Elvis fans to hear this recording in the best sound quality possible for generations to come.

So, the question is, what should Jorgensen do with this recording now that he has it?

Ideally, this would be a terrific opportunity for Sony to release a mainstream version of A Boy From Tupelo, which was a limited run on the FTD collectors label. Every Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll fan should have the opportunity to own A Boy From Tupelo – one of the most important Elvis releases since his death in 1977. Scooting the two interviews over to the end of Disc 2 would free up enough space for “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” to join the other Hayride performances on Disc 3.

If a full-blown re-release of A Boy From Tupelo is not possible for some reason, I think 2013 or 2014 would be the perfect time for a 2-CD set on the main Sony label covering 1953-1955. After all, 2013 marks the 60th anniversary of Elvis paying to record his first demo (“My Happiness” b/w “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”), while 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of his first professional release (“That’s All Right” b/w “Blue Moon Of Kentucky”).

For fun, here’s how I would approach such a 2-CD set.

Elvis Begins: The 1953-1955 Recordings

Disc 1

  1. That’s All Right (45 RPM SUN single version)
  2. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (45 RPM SUN single version)
  3. Good Rockin’ Tonight
  4. I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine
  5. Milkcow Blues Boogie (78 RPM SUN single version)
  6. You’re A Heartbreaker (78 RPM SUN single version)
  7. Baby, Let’s Play House
  8. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone
  9. I Forgot To Remember To Forget
  10. Mystery Train
  11. Harbor Lights
  12. I Love You Because
  13. Blue Moon
  14. I’ll Never Let You Go
  15. Just Because
  16. Tryin’ To Get To You
  17. My Happiness (Demo)
  18. That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Demo)
  19. I’ll Never Stand In Your Way (Demo)
  20. It Wouldn’t Be The Same Without You (Demo)
  21. Harbor Lights (Take 7)
  22. I Love You Because (Take 3)
  23. I Love You Because (Take 5)
  24. That’s All Right (Takes 1, 2)
  25. That’s All Right (Take 3)
  26. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Take 3)
  27. Blue Moon (Take 4)
  28. Blue Moon (Take 5)
  29. Blue Moon (Take 8)
  30. Tomorrow Night (Undubbed/unedited version)
  31. That’s All Right (Live-Shreveport, LA-October 16, 1954)
  32. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Live-Shreveport, LA-October 16, 1954)

Disc 2

  1. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Slow version, Take 1)
  2. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Slow version, Take 2)
  3. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Slow version, Take 3)
  4. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Slow version, Take 5)
  5. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Slow version, Take 6)
  6. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Demo-Lubbock, TX-January 6, 1955)
  7. Fool, Fool, Fool (Demo-Lubbock, TX-January 6, 1955)
  8. Hearts Of Stone (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 15, 1955)
  9. That’s All Right (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 15, 1955)
  10. Tweedlee Dee (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 15, 1955)
  11. Money Honey (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 22, 1955)
  12. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 22, 1955)
  13. I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 22, 1955)
  14. That’s All Right (Live-Shreveport, LA-January 22, 1955)
  15. Tweedlee Dee (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  16. Money Honey (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  17. Hearts Of Stone (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  18. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  19. Little Mama (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  20. You’re A Heartbreaker (Live-Shreveport, LA-March 5, 1955)
  21. Good Rockin’ Tonight (Live-Houston, TX-March 19, 1955)
  22. Baby, Let’s Play House (Live-Houston, TX-March 19, 1955)
  23. Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Live-Houston, TX-March 19, 1955)
  24. I Got A Woman (Live-Houston, TX-March 19, 1955)
  25. That’s All Right (Live-Houston, TX-March 19, 1955)
  26. How Do You Think I Feel (1955 version, Take 1)
  27. Tweedlee Dee (Live-Gladewater, TX-April 30, 1955)
  28. That’s All Right (Live-Meridian, MS-May 26, 1955)
  29. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Live-Shreveport, LA-July 2, 1955)
  30. Baby, Let’s Play House (Live-Shreveport, LA-August 20, 1955)
  31. Maybellene (Live-Shreveport, LA-August 20, 1955)
  32. That’s All Right (Live-Shreveport, LA-August 20, 1955)
  33. I Forgot To Remember To Forget (Live-Shreveport, LA-October 1, 1955)
  34. When It Rains, It Really Pours (1955 version, Take 5)
  35. When It Rains, It Really Pours (1955 version, Take 8)
Categories: In A Flash, Music, The Mystery Train Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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