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Sep 26, 2022






For two months, Elvis had had a respite from his worries, he had rested from his performances after a long time, his forced hospitalization and trying to clean up his additions was vital to be able to continue on his Way, free from ties and free his spirit. to re-perform their beloved music.

After a two-month break, Elvis seemed to be the same, he would laugh out loud again, he would joke again and for everyone around him it seemed that this hell he was suffering was finally laying aside to continue with his life.

December 1973 ends the year with the recordings that Elvis Presley is going to make for RCA, they wanted to complete the forecast they had last July to create new songs for publication and to add repertoire for their concerts. The main purpose was the new material that was planned and to be able to do it without interruptions, so Elvis would have to return to Stax Studios.

Obviously for comfort, for closeness and for Elvis to take enough interest and seriousness as he did in the past. But Felton Jarvis was not fully recovered in his health despite being responsible for it, he would not be allowed to take his own sound engineer. Joan Deary ordered New York recording studio manager Larry Schnapt to find a chief engineer and three assistants to manage the studio. The sixteen-channel portable equipment that had already been used on the Palm Springs recordings would be shipped to Stax, to replace the studio desk in the studios. It was clear that they did not consider that the studio had the capacity to make good recordings or they did not trust the result.

Elvis had changed since the last session, his attitude was positive and collaborative, his mood was already different and everything was planned to make the new recordings.

The musicians this time consisted of James Burton on guitar, Ronnie Tutt on drums, with David Briggs on piano and Norbert Putnam on bass. Eleven voices were to be added including the Stamps, Voice, Kathy Westmorland and also a trio of women who belonged to the studio.

The chosen material was what was still being disputed among several members for the choice of these songs, but the important thing is that Elvis was going to pour himself into his music again and it was important for him to do the best he could.

In the organization there were things that would be failing, in the first place Freddy Bienstock, who was in charge of carrying the repertoire so that Elvis could choose freely, had not initially appeared. This was unheard of for him, since he never failed in any session, but the Colonel took it as a lack of interest, the problem is that there was a bit of chaos regarding the election. There were many proposals and many interested in choosing Elvis, but it is true that he always got more songs chosen by others, such as Red West, Felton, his producer, Lamar Fike and even Marty Lacker. But really, only one song composed by Red West, a work from Nashville, songs by the members of Voice and another one contributed by the group would come out of it. Not everyone agreed on the choice of a song by Donnie Sumner as Lamar Fike, but it was Elvis who would finally bring the song to record it.

From the Repertoire that was going to be recorded, Elvis was the one who gave his last order and some songs would come out in which he would pour his passion and enthusiasm:

Elvis would be very inspired by one of the songs chosen from among all the proposed themes. He liked a song composed by Denis Linde entitled "I Got a Fellingin my Body", which was a composition with a Gospel flavor, but with a current and more modern rhythm. It was current and Elvis would sing it strongly, with interest, the result was good, his voice was accompanied by the reinforcement of the choir and it could have been a success. The result was good and you can also see that he liked the rhythm and could compete with this song.

Elvis would choose another song that had already been heavily covered "Spanish Eyes", with a very sentimental tone.

Although it is true that some songs with an accentuated rhythm were chosen, others calmer, Elvis' voice had recovered as well as his health. Understanding that his musical instrument had logically received an impact, he could have resented everything that had happened, but it was not like that after his healing. Although it was not what was really affected, obviously in an artist like Elvis, his voice was a reflection of his physical and psychic feelings, so it could affect him and have changed in this time.

In any case he would sound more confident than in July, with more force, in many songs with passion.

There was a lot of variety of rhythm in the songs, with songs like "Talk About The Good Times" by Jerry Reed, accompanied by claps or slower, more heartfelt songs like "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues," which was a sadder song. Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" with a more refreshing beat or Red West and Johnny Christopher's "If You Talk IN Your Sleep"...

Various musical styles and airs, but above all the intention of looking for more commercial music for publication, although in Elvis the only intention was to look for songs that he could feel and enjoy, as was always in his mind.

"Following the Path of the King..."

Of this and much more in the next program:

FROM TUPELO TO MEMPHIS 81. Stax Studios. December 1973

The next program dedicated to the recording sessions in December 1973, at Stax Studios. In a few days you will be able to listen to it or download it for free on Ivoox.

Information provided by De Tupelo a Memphis


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