July 19 Represents a Beginning and an End for Elvis Presley

Portions of this post were first published on one of my pop-culture blogs, now retired.

July 19, 1954

The date is July 19, 1954, and Sun releases the debut record of 19-year-old Elvis Presley. Produced by Sam Phillips, the single consists of “That’s All Right” backed with “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Elvis, who in childhood dreamed of being “the hero of the comic book,” begins his adventure.

The years come and go. In many ways, Elvis accomplishes far more than he could have possibly dreamed, including becoming a musical hero throughout the world. As they do for everyone, though, some of his dreams still manage to slip away from him.

The date is July 19, 1977, and RCA releases Moody Blue, an album that proves to be the final Elvis record before his death exactly four weeks later at the age of 42. An unprecedented level of fame helped Elvis place himself on a path that brought his earthly journey to a tragic end.

Only 23 years, a mere blink of history’s eye, separate the release of the last Elvis record from the first.

More time passes. Other heroes come and go, yet Elvis somehow remains. As some fans fade away, others take their places.

The date is now July 19, 2022, but those 23 years continue to resonate.

Journey with The Mystery Train Elvis Blog today to the beginning and the end with two editions of Vinyl Elvis:

July 19, 1977

“Sing to the LORD, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world.”
Isaiah 12:5


Portions of this post were first published on one of my pop-culture blogs, now retired.

Today marks the 68th anniversary of the release of Elvis Presley’s first record on July 19, 1954.

I have two near-mint copies of That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky.

By far, they would be the most financially valuable pieces of my entire record collection or of all of my collections of anything, for that matter, except that they were both pressed in 2009, rather than 1954. Oh well. It’s not about the money, it’s about the music. Always has been.

THAT'S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009--included as bonus with the Franklin Mint's ELVIS: THE COMPLETE MASTERS COLLECTION CD set; from Tygrrius' collection)

THAT’S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009–included as bonus with the Franklin Mint’s ELVIS: THE COMPLETE MASTERS COLLECTION CD set; from Tygrrius’ collection)

That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky (Single)
Label: Sun [Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy]
Catalog Number: 209 [Reissue: 88697613017 (Label) / 88697673597 (2010 Outer Sleeve)]
Recorded: 1954 | Memphis, TN
Released: 1954 [Reissue: 2009]

Packaged in a plain, brown sleeve much like the original, my first copy of the record was included with Franklin Mint’s Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection CD set from 2009. A few years ago, I acquired a second copy of That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky, which Sony had released back in April 2010 for Record Store Day. Unlike the simple brown sleeve, this one included a gaudy cover, but I was surprised to discover that the record contained within is actually identical to the one that shipped with the Franklin Mint set. Sony must have been thinking ahead and pressed extra copies for the Record Store Day promotion.

Side A

Side A of THAT'S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009; from Tygrrius' collection)

Side A of THAT’S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009; from Tygrrius’ collection)

“That’s All Right” (1954)
One of the endearing aspects of this performance of “That’s All Right” is the sheer joy in the voice of Elvis as he sings. He finally has his opportunity in the studio, and he is making the most of it.

Elvis in 1970 reflected on his style, stating that it was “a combination of country music and gospel and rhythm & blues […]. That’s what it really was. As a child, I was influenced by all that.”

He added, “Of course, the Grand Ole Opry is the first thing I ever heard, probably, but I liked the blues, and I liked the gospel music–gospel quartets–and all that.”

On this first single, the blues and country influences are as clear as they ever would be. Some credit That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky as the first rock ‘n’ roll record, but to say Elvis invented the style is to make a false assumption that any one person actually did.

Rock ‘n’ roll evolved from the very sources that Elvis himself described. Besides, “Rocket 88,” “Rock Around the Clock,” and other potential contenders pre-date Elvis’ version of “That’s All Right.”

What Elvis did with his early records for Sun and RCA, though, was ignite the smoldering evolution of rock ‘n’ roll into a full-blown blaze. By melding country into the blues of “That’s All Right,” Elvis in 1954 unleashed a sound that not only built upon the foundation established by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup‘s original 1946 recording, but took the song in a new direction. Absorbing the music of his youth, Elvis knew instinctively that blues and country explore many of the same themes, which allowed him to re-interpret these kinds of songs in a unique way.

Unfortunately, despite what the beautiful record label would have you believe, this reissue actually contains an RCA mastering of “That’s All Right,” rather than the original Sun mastering. It is the same 1954 recording, but RCA added echo to its versions not present on the Sun original.

A few years after this 2009 reissue of SUN 209, the “dry” version of “That’s All Right” finally became available again via FTD’s A Boy From Tupelo boxed set in 2012. Sony RCA/Legacy re-released A Boy From Tupelo in a much more affordable package for mainstream retail in 2017.

The dry version of “That’s All Right” is superior, though it takes some getting used to because the echo versions were used in every official release of the song from December 1955 through 2011. Unless, of course, you have been spinning a Sun original.

Side B

Side B of THAT'S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009; from Tygrrius' collection)

Side B of THAT’S ALL RIGHT/BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY (Single; Sun, 1954; Reissue: Sony RCA/Legacy 2009; from Tygrrius’ collection)

Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954)
While Elvis added country to the blues of “That’s All Right,” he created a literal flip side by melding rhythm & blues into the country bluegrass of “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Again, the sound is markedly different from Bill Monroe’s 1946 original. Again, there is that joy in Elvis’ voice.

A fun tidbit is That’s All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky contains only three musicians: Elvis on acoustic guitar, Scotty Moore on electric guitar, and Bill Black on the upright bass.

One of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll records, and no drummer to be heard. Credit goes to Black, whose bass makes it sound like there must be a drummer.

A drummer did not join the group in the studio until the early 1955 session that produced “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone,” the flip side of Elvis’ fourth record for Sun.

“That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” became regional hits for Elvis. He would follow-up the single with four more records on the Sun label before signing with RCA in late 1955.

“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.”
Ecclesiastes 1:9

A Squirrel Loose at the Big, Freaky International Hotel (Part 1)

“Welcome to the big, freaky International Hotel, with these little, weirdo dolls on the walls and these little funky angels on the ceiling. You ain’t seen nothing until you’ve seen a funky angel, boy. I tell you for sure.”
–Elvis Presley, 1969, on the ornate design of the hotel’s concert showroom

Sony Legacy last year released Elvis Live 1969, a boxed set containing all 11 concerts RCA recorded during Elvis Presley’s August 1969 engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The concert series, which spanned 57 shows from July 31 to August 28, represented the singer’s first appearance on a public stage in nearly 9 years – though he had performed 4 shows in front of small audiences at NBC’s studio in Burbank, California, as part of taping his ELVIS television special the previous summer.

RCA cherry-picked 12 of the strongest performances from 3 of the 1969 shows to form the Elvis In Person portion of the From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis double album, released in November 1969. A year later, RCA re-released Elvis In Person as a stand-alone album with the same content.

As for the rest of the performances, they amazingly remained in the vault until after Elvis’ death. While RCA released several individual songs over the years, including a compilation disc on 1991’s Collectors Gold boxed set, a complete 1969 show did not officially surface until 2001’s Live In Las Vegas boxed set.

By the time of Elvis Live 1969 last year, however, 7 of the 11 shows had already been released in their entireties on CD, with a good portion of songs from 3 of the 4 remaining shows having been released as well – many of them on Sony’s Follow That Dream (FTD) collectors label for Elvis fans.

Elvis Live 1969 stands out among the previous releases because it gathers all of the recordings in one place for the first time, with homogeneous sound quality. The recordings capture the August 21-26 portion of the engagement.

Sony Legacy’s ELVIS LIVE 1969 boxed set (2019, from Tygrrius’ collection)

Mixed by Matt Ross-Spang in what was apparently a marathon session, Elvis Live 1969 features a “slapback” echo effect mimicking the sound of Elvis’ first recordings in 1954 & 1955 at Sun Studio in Memphis. Ross-Spang had applied the same effect to alternate takes on 2016’s Way Down in the Jungle Room, an overview of Elvis’ last formal recordings in 1976 at Graceland.

As it was not representative of the original intent in 1976 or 1969, some fans have been quite critical of Ross-Spang’s slapback effect. As for me, I don’t mind it at all. It breathed some life into the 1976 studio recordings and brought Elvis’ music full-circle, in a sense, with an homage to the Sun sound. Though less effective on the 1969 live recordings, it’s not too distracting. On a few songs, such as “Mystery Train,” which of course originated in the Sun era anyway, the effect can actually be phenomenal.

Where I differ from Ross-Spang on Elvis Live 1969 is on some of his mixing choices, especially as far as which instruments are prominent. For instance, horns overwhelm a portion of James Burton’s lead guitar solo in the middle of the “Blue Suede Shoes” opener on all 11 shows. The horns weren’t even audible at all during Burton’s solo on the original Elvis In Person album and most of the subsequent revisits of this material.

The horns distracting from the lead guitar vaguely reminds me of Elvis’ February 11, 1956, appearance on Stage Show (CBS), the Jackie Gleason-produced television series hosted by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. In his third of six appearances on the program, Elvis debuts “Heartbreak Hotel” for the national TV audience. At the point where Scotty Moore would normally rip into his now classic electric guitar solo, a trumpeter improvises a jazz-inspired solo instead. While I enjoy jazz, it did not work in the context of this rock ‘n’ roll song. Fortunately, Moore is able to let loose in performances of “Heartbreak Hotel” on two subsequent shows. The 1969 “Blue Suede Shoes” is thankfully not affected to nearly this extent, though, for Burton is at least playing his solo!

Another example is that Larry Muhoberac’s piano is mixed far too loudly on certain shows, especially the August 26 Midnight Show, the last 1969 concert captured. Was Ross-Spang running out of time or is this truly how he felt the show should sound? “Mystery Train/Tiger Man,” which should be a showcase for the guitar and drums, suffers greatly from the distracting and overbearing piano in this particular show.

The August 25 Dinner Show and August 26 Dinner Show versions of “Mystery Train/Tiger Man” are similarly impacted by too much piano in the mix. Five of the remaining shows that include this medley fortunately keep the piano at low or moderate volumes, while the August 25 Midnight Show version, which was the performance used as the master on Elvis In Person, actually strikes a great balance – having the piano quite present but at an appropriate level.

Of course, it is all a matter of taste. For an Elvis live show, I want the lead guitar (Burton), Elvis guitar (when applicable), drums (Ronnie Tutt), and bass (Jerry Scheff) prominent in the mix among the instruments, generally in that order of priority, but certainly varying to some extent per song.

The rock ‘n’ roll numbers, at least, should heavily feature guitar, drums, and bass. That is the core of rock ‘n’ roll, Elvis style. The piano, other guitars, and orchestra should be present as needed, but not so much as to overwhelm that core. The piano is far less annoying on a slow song like “Love Me Tender,” for instance, where it better suits being prominent in the mix.

To be clear, the mixing on the majority of these shows is great. For example, “Mystery Train/Tiger Man” is mixed to perfection on the August 22 Midnight Show and is of course buoyed by a committed and powerful vocal performance by Elvis, as with many of the songs in this boxed set. This version of “Mystery Train” I can’t help but crank up every single time it comes on, much as I do with the 1955 Sun studio master.

Ross-Spang also tends to favor the Sweet Inspirations over the Imperials, as far as the background vocalists – an approach I heartily support. Millie Kirkham notwithstanding, Elvis sounds better with female voices behind him instead of males, and I love the Gospel-infused quality of the Sweet Inspirations. I should note that I intend no disrespect to any of the musicians and singers involved, all of whom are very talented. I am just talking about how I best feel the music when it comes to Elvis.

Before I get too far off track here, I think that covers it for the technical aspects of the set. I actually wasn’t even intending for this to become a review per se, but I just go where the writing leads me.

Next week, we’ll continue our look at Elvis Live 1969 and, possibly, get to the actual reason I started this post.


[Read Part 2]

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”
Proverb 31:8-9

That’s All Right: July 5, 1954

Above is a SUN 209 reproduction from my collection. I hope someday to own the real thing!

Above is a SUN 209 reproduction from my collection. I hope someday to own the real thing!

Sixty years ago today, on July 5, 1954, the whole world changed for 19-year-old Elvis Presley as he recorded his first record for Sam Phillips at SUN Records, “That’s All Right.” Soon thereafter, Elvis would change the whole world.

What I love about the SUN version of this song is that you can hear the joy in Elvis’s voice as he sings the blues number. Backed only by Scotty Moore on electric guitar, Bill Black on the upright bass, and his own strumming on acoustic guitar, Elvis poured his all into the song and produced something that transcended its individual parts.

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup wrote and recorded “That’s All Right” in 1946 for the RCA Bluebird label. Both recordings are essential in the history of American music.

Though “That’s All Right” essentially became a regional hit for Elvis, in less than two years he would become an international superstar.

Recommended reading to learn more at some of my favorite sites:

REVIEW: Elvis – The Complete Masters Collection (Part 6)

This is Part 6 of an occasional series reviewing Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection. Read Part 5.

CD Vol. 8: Country Roots

This volume of The Franklin Mint‘s 36-disc Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection (mastered by Vic Anesini) presents songs that the booklet describes as follows:

“Elvis’ renditions of some of the biggest country songs ever. His tribute to country music and the legends who created it: Hank Williams, Red Foley, and many others.”

This sounds like a potential winner to me, but let’s see how it plays out.

Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection - Volume 8

Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection – Volume 8

01. I Love You Because: Of the 21 songs that make up this CD, the compiler could not have made a choice worse than “I Love You Because” to use as the lead-off track. When Elvis Presley made this recording at SUN Records in 1954, owner and producer Sam Phillips wisely rejected it. Shortly thereafter, Elvis, bassist Bill Black, and guitarist Scotty Moore “stumbled upon” the rock ‘n’ roll sound when horsing around with “That’s All Right.” Unfortunately, RCA Records – beginning a trend that would last for the rest of Elvis’ life – dug “I Love You Because” out of the rejects pile and issued a spliced version in 1956 not only on the Elvis Presley LP but as the A-Side of a single! The single failed to chart, and this recording is of interest only as a historical curiosity. (Recorded: 1954)

02. Blue Moon Of Kentucky: “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” on the other hand, is a perfect representation of “Elvis Country.” A rhytym & blues-infused take on a country/bluegrass song, “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” served well as the B-Side of “That’s All Right” (a country-infused take on a rhythm & blues number). In some markets, “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” was more popular than the A-Side – likely because the song was a little more conventional for those audiences than the comparatively wild “That’s All Right.” (Recorded: 1954)

03. I’ll Never Let You Go: “I’ll Never Let You Go” is another 1954 SUN reject that RCA issued in 1956 on the Elvis Presley LP and as an A-Side single. While not stellar, this one is far more listenable than “I Love You Because.” This one features a slow start before eventually speeding up – a precursor of what Elvis would do not only on “Milkcow Blues Boogie” later that year, but also on live versions of “Hound Dog” years later in 1972. (Recorded: 1954)

04. How’s The World Treating You: “How’s The World Treating You” is a decent recording by Elvis. This one is slow and sleepy, as with the beginning of “I’ll Never Let You Go.” Unlike that track, however, this one stays slow and sleepy. (Recorded: 1956)

05. Old Shep: Elvis had been singing Red Foley’s “Old Shep” since childhood before he formally recorded it in September 1956. As a dog-lover, I find this melodramatic yet effective song hard to listen to at certain points in my life – depending on how my dog is doing at the time. I take these things to heart. A great, classic Elvis recording. (Recorded: 1956)

06. Your Cheatin’ Heart: I love Elvis’ take on Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” though I slightly prefer a more enthusiastic alternate take over this master. It would be years before Elvis made such an overtly country recording again. (Recorded: 1958)

07. A Fool Such As I: There is very little country left in Elvis’ iconic version of “A Fool Such As I,” a song that had been previously recorded by Hank Snow. (Recorded: 1958)

08. It’s A Sin: “It’s A Sin” was first recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1947. Elvis’ version is pretty, but a little lethargic for my tastes. (Recorded: 1961)

09. Just Call Me Lonesome: In addition to the How Great Thou Art sessions, another early sign of the comeback was Elvis returning to country music. “Just Call Me Lonesome” is a great representative of that return. What I love about “Elvis Country” is that instead of whining sounds sometimes associated with the genre, Elvis usually provides velvet vocals. (Recorded: 1967)

10. You Don’t Know Me: Elvis’ moving rendition of Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” was unfortunately buried on the Clambake soundtrack album. The first version I ever heard of “You Don’t Know Me” was actually by Ray Charles. The first time I heard it, in the original theatrical cut of Groundhog Day, I remember wishing that Elvis had recorded it. I was pleasantly surprised a few years later when the unknown-to-me Elvis recording surfaced on From Nashville To Memphis: The Complete 60s Masters I. Incidentally, Elvis also recorded a different version of “You Don’t Know Me” for the Clambake movie, but it is far inferior to this re-recording and was not released until after his death (other than in the actual movie). (Recorded: 1967)

11. I’m Movin’ On: Next up are some songs recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis in early 1969, not long after the successful airing of the ELVIS television special. At first, “I’m Movin’ On” sounds a little too country, but then Elvis rocks into it to produce a spectacular version. (Recorded: 1969)

12. I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms): “I’ll Hold You In My Heart” is an appealing little song that Elvis sings into the ground, ultimately going nowhere. (Recorded: 1969)

13. After Loving You: One of the huge highlights of the American sessions, “After Loving You” features the “new” Elvis at his best. Elvis had been playing around with this song at home for years, even taking a stab at piano on an earlier take at this session before giving up the keys. One of the best recordings of his career. (Recorded: 1969)

14. It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’: “It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'” is another pretty song that really does little to stand out among Elvis’ stellar 1969 recordings. (Recorded: 1969)

15. Little Cabin On The Hill: Versions of the next five songs were featured on the 1971 album I’m 10,000 Years Old: Elvis Country, often considered one of his finest. However, these mixes and edits are actually from the 1995 Walk A Mile In My Shoes boxed set. They do not match the original masters from Elvis Country. Here, Elvis launches into a Bill Monroe impersonation he had been fooling around with since at least 1956, as evidenced by the Million Dollar Quartet jam session. Good stuff. (Recorded: 1970)

16. I Really Don’t Want To Know: Elvis owns “I Really Don’t Want To Know,” one of the best on Elvis Country or any of his other albums. I love the piano work on this one by David Briggs. (Recorded: 1970)

17. Faded Love: I much prefer the shorter edit of “Faded Love” as released during Elvis’ lifetime than this overly long 1995 version. Anyway, Elvis does a fine, if forgettable, job on the Bob Wills classic. (Recorded: 1970)

18. Tomorrow Never Comes: Elvis delivers one of his most powerful performances on “Tomorrow Never Comes.” The song starts softly and slowly builds into a breathtaking, accusatory crescendo that Elvis actually had to re-record as an insert. Again, one of the very best songs of his career. (Recorded: 1970)

19. Make The World Go Away: I love hearing Elvis’ version of well-known songs, and “Make The World Go Away” is no exception. That voice. You gotta listen to James Burton on guitar on this one, too. Burton helped define the sound of Elvis’ final decade, and it is no wonder Elvis was reluctant to take the stage without him. (Recorded: 1970)

20. Green, Green Grass Of Home: I first heard Elvis’ version of “Green, Green Grass Of Home” on an RCA cassette tape I had in the 1980s called Elvis Country, one of two tapes by that name I owned – both of which had completely different lineups from each other as well as his 1971 album of the same name. Though recorded five years later for the Today sessions, this song would have fit in well on the real Elvis Country album as well. As with the much-maligned “My Boy,” this is the kind of dramatic song that often spoke to Elvis and that I, for one, enjoy hearing him sing. (Recorded: 1975)

21. Are You Sincere: Coming right after “Green, Green Grass Of Home,” Elvis’ voice sounds comparatively weaker on “Are You Sincere.” This goes against conventional Elvis wisdom, as this one was recorded two years earlier. They were recorded in different studios with different equipment, so any number of factors could be involved. Still, “Are You Sincere” is a worthy performance, first released on his 1973 album Raised On Rock. (Recorded: 1973)

While it contains a number of terrific country songs, the individual parts of this CD do not add up to a high-quality whole. Whether due to kicking off with the lackluster “I Love You Because” or the uneveness of the remaining selections, Country Roots never takes off as a compilation. Instead, it feels more random than anything else.

[Read Part 7.]

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)

It’s Here

A Big Monster (A Boy From Tupelo)

I included the standard CD in the picture to give you an idea of the scale. A Boy From Tupelo is a big monster, weighing every bit of the promised 11 pounds.

Needless to say, this is the last time I’ll be posting for awhile. I’ve got a lot of reading and listening to do!