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Monday, September 12, 2022

The anecdotal recordings at Elvis's house

 


September, 22–23, 1973: Elvis In Palm Springs House recordings.


FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS

Producer: Elvis Presley Sound Engineer: Rick Ruggieri Guitar: James Burton Piano: Donnie Sumner Acoustic Guitar: Charlie Hodge Bass: Thomas Hensley Vocals: Voice: Donnie Sumner, Sherrill Nielsen, and Tim Baty

Songs Donnie Sumner's "I Miss You" Wayne Walker's "Are You Sincere" Elvis had a contractual obligation to RCA to record the songs and finalize the album they wanted to release by the end of September. Colonel Parker called Elvis and told him that RCA wanted a record, he was forcing him one more time, but he really was right since in four days he was going to be in breach of contract. Elvis who was tired of obligations said that he would do it but he wasn't willing to go anywhere, if they wanted his album, they should go to his house. The next day, they sent the recording equipment to his house to turn his living room into a recording studio. 

On September 22 and 23, 1973, Elvis would make some recordings at his home in Palm Springs. The reason, of course, was to finish what could not be done in July at Stax Studios. He would have to record his voice on four backing tracks that were then performed. But just as it happened in July, the recordings at his house were not very productive either, there was a lot of lack of concentration and factors that diverted interest to other things. In the end, Elvis completed only three tracks of his own over the two days.





They were very particular recordings, as RCA provided a mobile recording truck, set up outside the house, and Elvis initially would not show much interest in working on the tracks, because he was really interested in singing and recording with a new vocal group that had hired. When Elvis found out that his friend Tom Jones had been left hanging without his backing vocals for his performances, he found them a backing band to fix his problem, but when he called them in to audition with Tom, the matter was already settled. 


The vocal group that would be called Voice, consisting of Donnie Sumner, Sherrill Nielsen and Tim Baty. Donnie, who had recently left the Stamps, would be the one to form the group. Elvis told him that Tom was looking for a group and wanted to audition them, he loved the contrast of high and low notes they got and fell in love with the group, so when Tom told him that they didn't need them, Elvis decided to hire them for himself . The curious anecdote of the contract that Elvis made them, signed on toilet paper, told them that he wanted to be his manager. He would count on them for these recordings, also with four musicians: James Burton, Charlie Hodge, Tommy Hensley (bass) and Donnie Sumner himself as pianist. 
RCA brought a tape of the four instrumental tracks with the mobile recording truck, as well as setting up microphones in the middle of the living room of the house. But they didn't have monitors, so it was difficult for everyone to hear each other when interpreting. For this reason, the making of the recordings would not be the most appropriate and more distracting factors would be added at this time. 

Elvis had paid for a hair transplant to Sherrill Nielsen, which had been done in his own home and it seems that at this time, the singer was not yet fit, his head was bandaged and still bleeding, so Elvis was very distracted while recording. Elvis insisted on spending much of the time making any recordings with the vocal group, rather than devoting himself to the RCA songs. Sweet Angeline, composed by Geoff Morrow, Chris Arnold and David Martin, was the only half-finished of the four tracks. by Stax to which Elvis added his voice, but the result is a song that catches your attention because of his voice, a song that is charming and worth listening to. 



 

It also included a ballad titled "I Miss You", about lost love, composed by Donnie Sumner and the song "Are You Sincere", which was a hit for Andy Williams in 1958. The result on the recordings is good, although Elvis was more aware of Sherrill Nielsen, who had had a hair transplant and was still bleeding from it, Elvis was more curious about how she was doing on the recordings themselves. The recording of him was done in his pajamas and his interpretations would be carried out with great charm in a calm way and although in some fragments he could hesitate, the result is worth it. The song "I Miss You" was performed with four instruments and vocals and backing vocals, the result is incredible and again proof that it didn't take that many instrumentalists to get a good recording.
"I MISS YOU" by Donnie Sumner.




 Elvis recorded this soft-pitch ballad, written by Donnie Sumner, it was a very emotional and uplifting song. It would be released in late September 1973 on the "Raised on Rock" album. The track was later released on the Always On My Mind LP. An alternate version, take one, came out on "Today, Tomorrow & Forever" in 2002. Over half a dozen alternatives are on the 2007 FTD release "Raised On Rock"





"ARE YOU SINCERE by Wayne Walker. He recorded it in Palm Springs on September 23, 1973. The song appears on "Raised on Rock" and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes", and was included on the 2006 dub of "Elvis Country". Alternate takes without the Voice backing vocals were later officially released on "Car Memories Of Elvis" and "Platinum: A Life In Music". Other alternatives are on the 2007 FTD release "Raised On Rock". The song was released as a posthumous single with the B-side "Solitaire" in 1979, when it reached number 10 on the country chart. The song "Are You Sincere", could have been improved although Elvis' voice is melodramatic, but pleasant, although it would have been more intense if he had poured himself into the recording. But we know that Elvis wasn't focused these days, not enough. But in our opinion it is a wonderful song.

 

 

His interest was really focused on the Gospel songs he was singing with The Voice, which had nothing to do with these recordings, but as always Elvis was immersed in his most intimate music and excited about his new group of vocal accompaniers. 
In any case, they were two very peculiar days for the recordings and he was also very happy with his new group, with whom he was able to make some demos. 

"Following the Path of the King..."

De Tupelo a Memphis 80. 
Un punto y aparte 1973 

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