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Sep 28, 2022

The voices inside. "Voice"


The voices inside. "Voice"

From Tupelo to Memphis


Elvis Presley always liked choral groups, since he was young, he even wanted to join a quartet but it couldn't be.

Inside of him, as a good musician, Elvis could perceive voices in harmony, not only his voice, he liked to be part of a choral group and since he couldn't at the time, for this reason, he always accompanied himself of choir Elvis needed not only to listen to himself, he enjoyed the voices that he had around him and wanted to have all the means to be able to do what he felt inside also accompanied.

From his artistic beginnings to the end of his career, his wonderful voice was heard adorned with vocal groups that accompanied him both in concert and on his recordings. We will always remember the Jordanaires, The Blossoms, The Sweet Inspirations, The Imperials, JD Sumner and The Stamps as well as female soloists like Millie Kirkam and Kathy Westmoreland and Voice.

In 1973 his aspirations as an artist were not yet fulfilled, despite having been the greatest of him, he was still looking for perfection in his music.

For this reason in September 1973, he hired a group of 3 voices, which he gave the name "Voice".

Group formed by Donnie Sumner in 1973.

In September 1973, Elvis wanted to do a favor for his friend Tom Jones, who was in need of a backing group for his performances at the time. Elvis wanted to help him by auditioning the new group from Nashville consisting of Donnie Sumner, Sherrill Nielsen and Tim Baty. By the time he introduced them to Tom, he had already solved his problem, but Elvis, who was so excited about the group, finally hired them to record with him and for his performances.

Donnie had recently left the Stamps, Sherill was a member of the Imperials, and Tim Baty was bass. The peculiarity of the group was the contrast between high and low voices, which impressed Elvis in such a way that he was so excited that he decided to hire them and be his promoter.

The curiosity was that Elvis improvised his contract on toilet paper, he hired them for 100,000 dollars.

 Elvis was very excited because he finally had his own group for when he wanted to record and he told his father. The Colonel did everything possible to convince Elvis to drop that idea, for financial reasons, but of course it was not possible, not even for him to pay less, because he was already engaged and they had accepted it.

The truth is that Elvis wanted to have a group especially for when he wanted to sing in private, to record or whatever he wanted and he also gave his word, which for Elvis was law.

Although the group was formed by Donnie Sumner, with another name, curiously the name of "Voice", Elvis would choose it, inspired to do something new.

Elvis was impressed by the high tenor voices, like that of Sherrill Nielsen who had worked with him before, and the harmonic contrast with the bass. He was happy with his new group and would dispose of them immediately.

The first time they recorded with Elvis was in September 1973 in some home sessions for RCA, with the songs: "I Miss You" and "Are You Sincere".

Later in the recording sessions held in December of the same year at the Stax studios. On this occasion they were joined by pianist Per Erik "Pete" Hallin.

In 1974 Tony Brown joined in the fall tour, etc. They were working for Elvis for 3 years.

With this dream fulfilled, Elvis would enjoy his voices when he wanted to sing at his house, on stage and on his recordings. This would be one of his fulfilled dreams that he dictated with the voices inside him.

"Following the King's Path..."

Information provided by From Tupelo to Memphis


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