Live 1955: Hear a newly discovered Elvis recording on YouTube [UPDATE: Gone!]

I’m still working on a gigantic post for next week, so I wasn’t planning on posting this morning. However, huge news rocked the Elvis world yesterday.

Just last week, I asked riders to describe the moment in Elvis’ life they would capture if they had a time-traveling audio recorder. There were some terrific responses but, in some ways, this fantasy is no longer just on the edge of reality.

Jorgensen: “I’m still trying to recover from the shock”

On Tuesday, audio collector amberola1b quietly posted on YouTube a clip of Elvis Presley singing “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” live on the Louisiana Hayride radio show in 1955. Sourced from a Silvertone wire recording, the performance has never been heard by the public since the original broadcast. Compared to most of the other Hayride recordings released in the past, the audio quality is stunning. The Elvis portion begins at 3:45.

“I Forgot To Remember To Forget” (Live-1955) — Elvis Presley

[Source: amberola1b — YouTube]

By Friday, Elvis fans began taking notice. On the excellent For Elvis CD Collectors forum, member AVSP posted a link to the clip and the thread ignited in positive reactions. Within only twelve hours, six pages of comments had come in. As of now, it is up to seven and counting.

Research by Mike C and drjohncarpenter has tentatively dated this fantastic recording as occurring on Saturday, October 1, 1955.

Of course, the first question on everyone’s mind is will this appear on A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-55 Recordings, FTD’s SUN boxed set that includes a 512-page book and 3 CDs.

With the 11-pound set only weeks from release, the answer appears unfortunately to be no. It turns out that Sony’s Elvis chief Ernst Jorgensen was just as surprised as anyone else by the recording. “Wow – it’s unbelievably beautiful. I’m still trying to recover from the shock,” he said in an email to willem k.

Around the Elvis web, the story has inspired headlines:

Here’s hoping that Jorgensen can work out an arrangement with the recording’s owner. Even if it cannot make the SUN set, it deserves an official release on a Sony or FTD product.

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UPDATE: I hope you had a chance to play it, folks, because amberola1b has now removed the song from YouTube. Only about three hours before this, willemk posted on FECC that Ernst Jorgensen was “now in contact with the owner.” With that in mind, the removal from YouTube may in fact be a really good sign. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, everyone, that we will get to hear the live version of “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” on a Sony or FTD release soon.

Unraveling the Elvis web (Conductor’s Reflections #8)

If you spend much time looking for Elvis information on the web, you unfortunately run into some tasteless things. This is not unique to Elvis, of course. Pick any topic, and someone has put some garbage out there about it. That’s fine. Some people like viewing that kind of stuff. They find it “humorous” or “fun.”

Rather than dwell on that, I want to focus today on some of the sites that really get it right when it comes to Elvis.

Elvis Today Blog: This blog was the first to cover Elvis with a personal perspective. No one does it better.

Elvis Session Notes: I’ve wanted to highlight this recording data section of Oven Egeland’s excellent Elvis In Norway site for quite some time. It may very well be the Elvis reference I use most often. A page exists for every year that Elvis recorded. On each of those pages, every officially released take or live version of every song recorded that year is listed alphabetically. Recording location, date, and first release are listed for each track. Seemingly updated almost as soon as each new release becomes available, it’s obvious that this site is a true labor of love. I consult it all the time, especially to enter track information on my Elvis songs in iTunes. I don’t know Egeland, but I’d like to say thanks for providing this valuable service to Elvis fans.

Scotty Moore – The Official Website: Learn more about both Scotty Moore and Elvis on this well-researched site. Be sure to check out the “Guitars” and “Venues” sections in particular.

For Elvis CD Collectors Forum: Learn about and discuss anything and everything Elvis-related – and beyond. The wealth of information provided by some participants is astounding. [Update: Of course, like any open forum, garbage can appear on FECC as well. I included it here because the good far outweighs the bad.]

Speaking of time, I am once again running out of it. Believe it or not, I actually have two reviews in progress, one for a book and the other for a CD. Whichever I finish first will be my next post. TCB.

The Making of Elvis On Tour

I unfortunately don’t have time for a real entry this morning. I hope to be back within the next two or three days. However, I wanted to take a quick moment to point you over to an incredible post on the For Elvis CD Collectors forum:

“The Making Of ‘Elvis On Tour’ MGM 1972” by Davide

It’s a fantastic compilation of information and photos pertaining to the making of Elvis On Tour, which made its Blu-ray and DVD debut last year. I used to do this kind of thing for the Star Trek movies, and I can tell you that it takes loads of time. Hats off to Davide for the great work. Thanks for sharing it with us fans! (The post indicates that it is for FECC use only, so I’ve not quoted any of the material here, but I’m assuming a link to the post on FECC itself is acceptable.)

Sony releases four new “Suspicious Minds” remixes, tells no one

Sony has quietly released four download-only remixes of “Suspicious Minds” created as part of the Viva Elvis project. These are different remixes than the one appearing on Viva Elvis: The Album.

And by “quietly,” I mean that they basically released them, told no one, and then went about their business. Were it not for a poster over on the For Elvis CD Collectors forum who literally stumbled across them while searching for something else, no one would even know. Not even a mention on Sony’s official Elvis The Music or Viva Elvis sites. Way to go, Sony.

On Amazon US, the four remixes are available at $1.29 each. You would be better served, however, to just download the entire “album” of four songs for a total of $1.99. That’s some funky pricing.

As such modernizations go, I prefer the version on Viva Elvis: The Album. These are still interesting, however, and will make nice additions to the rotation on my iPod.

Thank you to GibbersGanfa for letting the Elvis world know. Read GibbersGanfa’s “Brand New Official Suspicious Minds Remix” post on the FECC forum.

Complete Elvis masters collections put focus where it belongs – on the music

This week, fans began receiving The Complete Elvis Presley Masters – Sony’s limited edition 30-CD set containing 711 master recordings and 103 rarities (alternates, informal recordings, rehearsals, etc.). The first run of 1,000 copies sold out, but Sony reports there will be additional sets available next year. Sony’s premium release is a luxurious and finely packaged collection of Elvis’ music. It also includes a 240-page book and a display case. For the most part, songs are sequenced in the order in which they were recorded.

Still available is Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection, Franklin Mint’s 36-CD set that contains essentially the same 711 master recordings, but with none of the “rarities.” It includes a 24-page booklet, a record-player style display case, and a reproduction of Elvis’ first single, the Sun record “That’s All Right” backed with “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Songs are arranged thematically by CD, so they often appear in a non-standard order.

Perhaps the packaging and sequencing of the Franklin Mint set are chintzy in comparison with the Sony version, but it does check in at about half the price. It also includes individual sleeves for the CDs, while the Sony version has them inserted into the cardboard of the display case.

Which set is better? That depends on your preferences and your budget. No full-scale reviews of the Sony set are available yet. It is, after all, over 35 hours of music. However, I have been following several threads on the subject over at the For Elvis CD Collectors Forum. As with most message board forums for passionate fans of any subject, there is a lot of drama. If you can get past that, though, it is a great resource for learning more about Elvis.

Here are links to some of the relevant threads for the new Sony set:

I have to give a special mention to frequent FECC poster ElvisSessions, who has provided in depth coverage of the box set in many of the threads above.

For me, the most important thing about either of these sets is that they shine the spotlight on Elvis’ music. Forget potato heads dressed in so-called tribute, collector plates, rubber duckies, mugs, and all of the other junk that clutters up his legacy. Elvis is about music, and that is what deserves to be showcased.

[Updated 11/9/2010 with additional thread links. The folks on FECC are hard to keep up with, boy! Also, thanks to LuckyJackson1 for his Complete Masters track reviews and for providing a link to this blog.]