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The Charm of the Simple - Stax Sessions 1973 - ELVIS RADIO 24h


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Oct 22, 2022

The Charm of the Simple - Stax Sessions 1973


The Charm of the Simple - Stax Sessions 1973

From Tupelo to Memphis

Curiously, in these sessions at Stax Studios, December 1973, Elvis would sing several songs by members of his choir, of the moment or that had already sung with him. Composers like Donnie Sumner, Tim Baty or Larry Gatlin.

 "Mr Songman" by Donnie Sumner.

 This song had been chosen by Elvis Presley, because he had already listened to Donnie. But the rest of the people who were in the sessions didn't seem to like him.
 Surely Elvis liked it because it was a representative story, the character sings of loneliness and broken dreams. It is a simple score with a nice melody, as well as a catchy chorus. Sung perfectly by Elvis, but it is true that there was no more. Vocal accompaniment and it was not a challenge.
 Elvis as he always sings it nicely.

 Elvis recorded this choral country song by Donnie Sumner in Nashville on December 12, 1973.
 It was first included on the "Promised Land" album and released as a single in 1975, the B-side of "T-R-O-U-B-L-E". It is later included on "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and on editions of "Elvis at Stax".

 Composer Donnie Sumner was a singer who joined the Stamps Gospel Quartet in 1965 not only because of his voice, but also as an arranger and composer.
 He was nominated for a Grammy for his compositions.
 He sang with Elvis as part of the Stamps from 1971 to 1973, in this year he would leave the group to form his own.
 He would work with Elvis again, when he hired his group "Voice".
 Elvis recorded two of his compositions "Mr. Songman" and "I Miss You".
 Sumner continued to perform with Elvis and sing with him on house recordings, etc., until the end of 1976.
 Donnie would explain how his group changed its name:
 Elvis changed our name to "Voice", the reason had to do with his friend's book. Larry Geller, entitled "The Voice".
 One night after they were in the living room, Elvis looked at that book and said, "The Voice? You're not the Rangers anymore, you're the Voice."

 About the song Donnie, he was going through a very difficult time in his life. He was hooked on drugs. he had lost his home, his family, he felt like a homeless man. He was in a restaurant in Nashville where there was a jukebox.
 Donnie was depressed playing his guitar and thinking about the jukebox, when he came up with the lyrics the whole song is about the voice coming out of that jukebox.

 "In your ivory-covered home, safe behind your glass walls, you keep staring at me like a memory from the past...here's another dime for you, Mr. Songman."

 Certainly every artist sometimes sings songs that are simple, without any vocal complication, but that doesn't stop them from having a particular charm. This is the work of a great artist like Elvis and this would be a clear example of the charm of simplicity.

 "Following the Path of the King..."


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