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“… When I was young my heart was young then too

Anything that it would tell me,

that’s the thing that I would do

But now I feel such emptiness within

For the thing that I want most in life

Is the thing I can’t win

Spread your tiny wings and fly away

And take the snow back with you

Where it came from on that day

The one I love forever is untrue

And if I could you know

that I would fly away with you…”

A beautiful song, simple, but full of longing and grief for lost love, of which Elvis performs an emotional interpretation.

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 The song “Snowbird” was first released on the Elvis Country LP, which was recorded, for the most part, at the June 4-8, 1970 sessions at Studio B in Nashville, the birthplace of country. And it would go on the market on January 7, 1971.

 To complete the album, Elvis returned to the studio on September 22 where he recorded “Snowbird”, a beautiful song by Canadian lyricist Gene MacLellan. It is very remarkable in its instrumentation, Harold Bradley’s dobro and Don Tweedy’s fantastic string arrangements.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-46NVmfFkBo]

 Although “Snowbird” has been recorded by many artists, it is best known for its first recording and release by Anne Murray in 1969. It was a huge success, reaching No. 1 on both the Canadian Country and Adult Contemporary charts. .

 It was certified a gold single by the RIAA and was the first American gold record ever awarded to a Canadian female solo artist.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2VYP0FCAUE]

 Gene wrote “Snowbird” in twenty minutes, while walking on a beach in Prince Edward Island.

 Chet Atkins also recorded an instrumental version of “Snowbird” which earned him a Grammy Award in 1971.

 The story of how Elvis came to know this song is told by Kathy Westmoreland in her memories. 

 The first time Elvis heard this song, was when he was lying in bed with Kathy, listening to the radio in his Hilton Penthouse suite, strangely quiet and waiting for dinner to be brought.

Elvis and Kathy Westmoreland

He suddenly played a record that they had never heard before. It was from a new artist named Anne Murray. She was singing the song “Snowbird”. Elvis sat up instantly. They only heard a line or two and immediately he said, “She has a beautiful quality to her voice, doesn’t she?” Kathy agreed. 

They were both mesmerized by the quality of her voice and the magic of the song. Elvis jumped out of bed and ran out of the room to find Charlie and call the radio station to ask the DJ to please put it back on. Elvis was in his white pijama with black trim, but he wasn’t going to let anyone see him in his pijama, so he ran out the door, but peeked in first… before running like crazy into Charlie’s room, which it was the closest. Nobody saw it. In addition to asking him to call the radio, he told him that he wanted to get a copy of the album by the following afternoon.  

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Elvis quickly returned to the suite, waiting impatiently to hear it again on the radio, and he was excited, he couldn’t wait to hear again that recording that would soon be in his hands.  

The next day, he called a full rehearsal. “Snowbird” was now in Elvis’s repertoire. That night they continued to listen to Anne’s version just to enjoy, analyze and soak up her delicious vocal quality, which was destined for stardom.

Elvis often called Anne and always tried to support her in her career.

 It is curious that Elvis only performed this song, as far as is known, once on stage, perhaps at most, twice. An unreleased version recorded in Las Vegas on January 29, 1971, D.S. from “Snowbird“. A beautiful song to lost love, of which Elvis also performs an emotional and delicious live performance, with lyrics full of immense lyricism and affliction.

Elvis, International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1971

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATHPTrsGAg4]

ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo.

 Rosa Garcia Mora.



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