ELVIS RADIO 24h – LOVING YOU- let's have a party -(part 5)

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Do you enjoy the broadcast of Elvis Radio 24h? All about the life and legacy of Elvis Presley!


Elvis Presley - Loving You


The singer spent a short visit home, among other things, to meet his friend, Dixie Locke, who had just got married a few days earlier.

This date, January 8, 1957, is worth noting for a completely different reason. Well, on that day, the draft board officially announced that Elvis had been assigned category 1A, which meant that within a year or so he would be called up for military service (usually it was a period of six to eight months).

However, before that happened (which I will write more about in the next articles), Presley returned to Los Angeles, where shooting for his new film started in a few days.

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Loving You” – although in the initial phase of production the titles “Lonesome Cowboy” and “Running Wild” were used much more often (the latter title was even used by Ed Sullivan in his last program informing viewers about Elvis’ departure to Hollywood), was the first of seven films Presley for Paramount Pictures. At the same time, it was also the second picture made under the contract concluded at the end of April 1956 with the aforementioned studio (the first was “Love Me Tender“).

Accordingly, for the role of Deke Rivers, Elvis was entitled to $15,000, and not $150,000 as some sources incorrectly state.

The salary, which his manager, Colonel Parker, decided to increase cleverly (and significantly) by suggesting to Wallis in the first days of January 1957 to pay the singer an additional bonus of fifty thousand dollars.

As a result, Elvis was eventually paid $65,000 for his part in his second film.

On this occasion, it is worth emphasizing that “Loving You” was also the first film in which Presley played the main role.

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After all, the promotion from a supporting role to the title role was not the only thing that distinguished this film from its theatrical debut. These differences can be found almost everywhere… For example, “Love Me Tender” was a gloomy western with a tragic ending (not counting the tightened scene in which Elvis returns to the screen and sings the title track), while “Loving You” is a singing story of a young boy where all ends well.

Love Me Tender” was made in black and white and “Loving You” in color. Even the color of Elvis’ hair has changed, and he wanted to look better on screen and had his blonde hair dyed black.

However, looking at the film in question in retrospect and through the prism of Presley’s future film career, it seems that the biggest and most important difference between the two productions were the songs used in it.

Unlike “Love Me Tender“, they were no longer just a spontaneous addition to the script, but were an important and integral part of it.

As many as seven new songs were deliberately recorded for the soundtrack, which, as Alan Hanson counted in one of his studies, Elvis presented on the screen on average every two minutes for nearly half an hour (!).

Officially, work on the soundtrack began on Saturday, January 12, 1957. Which is somewhat true.

The fact is that on that day Elvis came to record at the Radio Recorders studio located at 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, but his expectations of this session were significantly different from the expectations of the heads of the film studio and the management of RCA Victor.

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The former hoped that Presley would be able to register at least the title track for his new film for them. The latter, on the other hand, expected the singer to provide them with new hit material for the next singles.

Elvis, on the other hand, to the surprise of all the above-mentioned, appeared in the studio with the intention of recording material, which at that time, some people – especially those outside the circle of his close friends, could seem like a big surprise. Namely, gospel songs and evangelical hymns that he loved since childhood, and which in the future were to make up his first religious album.

And importantly, his determination to record this particular album was so strong that the others had to briefly abandon their plans.

And so, instead of another rock ‘n’ roll hit or movie song, the January session opened with nine very emotional takes on the composition “I Believe”, which Elvis probably remembered from the critically acclaimed performance of Roy Hamilton.

He returned to work on “secular” material only when the final version of the above song was finally on tape.

The first non-religious song recorded that January night was the bluesy “Tell My Why” by Titus Turner. The next one, boogie-woogie, “Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do!“, written by Ben Weisman, an American composer born in 1921.

Elvis Presley - Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do!

He said his name was Ben Weisman and he composed me the song ‘Got A Lot O’ Livin’ To Do!’ Presley recalled in one of his interviews. “ I called the guys to come over and we started playing it. From that day on, Ben and I became really good friends .”

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Completed after nine takes, the song was used in the soundtrack of the film a few weeks later.

The first day of the session was closed with a fresh composition by Otis Blackwell, “All Shook Up“, which was released as a single together with the ballad “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” recorded the next day, literally shaking the world charts, occupying their top places for many weeks.

Information provided by EP Promised Land Poland, Marius Ogieglo


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