ELVIS – LOVING YOU – Let’s have a party – (part 13)

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Shortly after filming ended, on Sunday, March 17, 1957, Elvis boarded the train and headed home. The journey from Los Angeles took several dozen hours, and according to most sources, the singer did not arrive in Memphis until late the next day* 1 .

However, before Presley finally left Hollywood, he took part in one more short recording session, the main goal of which was to obtain another version of the ballad “Loving You”. This time, however, not for the upcoming film, but for the new single.

The recordings, organized by producer and respected RCA Victor recording director, Steve Sholes, took place on February 23-24, 1957 at the Radio Recorders studio located at 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.

During those two days, Elvis recorded as many as seven songs.

However, analyzing the course of the session (whether on the basis of preserved documents or available recordings), one could conclude that developing another version of the Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller composition was the last thing Elvis wanted to devote his attention to at that time.

Apparently, at that time, his mind was clearly occupied with a completely different kind of material from the film.

With the exception of “Don’t Leave Me Now” by Aaron Schroeder and Ben Weisman, which started the session, and which was initially also intended to be used in the new Paramount production, most sessions were filled with blues and rhythm ‘n’ blues from the repertoire of favorite artists and composers Presley.

Such as “I Beg Of You” written by Rose Marie McCoy and Kelly Owens or “One Night” by David Louis Bartholomew, Pearl King and Anita Steinman.

A piece originally composed for the black rythm’n’blues vocalist and guitarist, Smiley Lewis, who recorded his version in 1955, similar in terms of arrangement to Fats Domino’s later recordings.

A year later, in February 1956, Imperial Records released Lewis’s performance on a single with “Ain’t Gonna Do It”. However, this recording never managed to achieve such commercial success as performed by Elvis.

And speaking of Elvis, we should return for a moment to the previously quoted statement of singer Glen Gleen, who recalling his meeting with Presley in early February 1957, emphasized that the singer proudly presented him with acetate with his one night version. But how is it possible when he recorded it only a few weeks later?

Well, it’s possible because Elvis first recorded “One Night” at the end of the session on January 16, 1957. But then he sang it in the studio with the original lyrics. Exactly the same that sounded from Lewis’ album. And that’s what didn’t quite sit well with RCA and Elvis’ manager, Colonel Parker.

All the above-mentioned agreed that a song with such ambiguous and suggestive lyrics – ” One night in sin is what I’m paying for now and the things I’ve done and seen would make the earth stand still “, performed by the already evoking extreme emotions Presley would only earn him additional criticism.

Therefore, Elvis, although proud of the January result, agreed that this version of the song would never see the light of day.

Fortunately, however, feeling the potential hidden in the song, he never gave up on recording “One Night”.

Hence, on February 23, 1957, the recent hit Smiley Lewis was again among the songs selected by him for recording on the session. This time, however, in order to avoid the objections of the label bosses, Elvis presented it with slightly changed, “polite” lyrics written by Anita Steinman.

And so the recording, which had so far been controversial and ambiguous, lost its original overtones and was reduced to an almost romantic confession of a boy in love – ” One night with you is what I pray for. Things that the two of us could plan would make my dreams come true. Just say my name and I’ll be by your side. I want your sweet, caring hand. My love is too strong to hide .

However, the performance itself did not lose its former power and just a few months later it became another international hit for Elvis.

So apparently, when talking about the acetate from “One Night”, Glen Gleen was talking about the track recorded in January “One Night Of Sin”, which lay in the RCA archives until 1985 when it was first officially released on the album “Reconsider Baby” .

The rest of the first day of the session was spent by Elvis and the accompanying band consisting of Scotty Moore on guitar, Bill Black on bass, DJ Fontana on drums and Dudley Brooks on piano, supported by the vocal quartet The Jordanaires, recording the ballad “True Love” with music and lyrics Cole Porter – composer and one of the most outstanding American creators of stage and film musicals and the blues “I Need You So” by Ivory Joe Hunter.

However, the new version of the ballad “Loving You”, which RCA executives had been waiting for him from the moment recording began, he did not record until the next day.

And it was just one of two songs he sang at the time. Another was Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson’s blues, “When It Rains, It Really Pours”, which he first faced at SUN Studio in November 1955. At that time, he promised Sam Phillips that one day he would come back to this song and record it for an album. And he kept his word.

Four months later, on June 11, 1957, the first of several releases to promote Presley’s second film hit US stores. More specifically, a single on which RCA placed the songs “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” on the A-side and “Loving You”, recorded in late February, on the reverse.

From the information contained, among others, on the cover of the album, it was clear that the composition by Leiber and Stoller was already officially functioning as the new title of the film. ” ‘Loving You’ was originally called ‘Lonesome Cowboy’ but Presley and Colonel Tommy Parker beat us to it ,” explained Charles O’Curran.

The single, like most of Presley’s record releases of the period, was an instant and spectacular success.

The success predicted by Billboard magazine the day before the release of the single. ” Both songs are from Presley’s next film ,” read a review published on June 10. “ ‘Teddy Bear’ is rhythmic rockabilly while side two features an affectionate rendition of the poignant title theme. And the special cover showing Elvis with a teddy bear is an additional, powerful promotional material .

The opinion of the Variety weekly of June 12, 1957 was also maintained in a similar tone. ” ‘Teddy Bear’ is a rhythm number played in standard Presley style which should naturally make him popular ,” wrote its author. ” ‘Loving You’, with which the singer sets a relatively calm and romantic mood, should also do well .”

The predictions of both magazines turned out to be extremely accurate because at the end of the month (June 24), placed on the front page of “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”, nota bene Hal Wallis’ favorite song, debuted on the Billboard weekly chart at 47th place on the Hot 100 Billboard weekly. ” Just before taping (‘Teddy Bear’, author’s note) he (Elvis, author’s note) told me, ‘I want this to be a huge hit ,’ remembered choreographer Charles O’Curran. ” ‘To ensure that, I’m going to give her a special treatment.’ So he took the guitar and began to beat the rhythm on its body, the strings making a different sound with each strike. ‘Oh, that’s right! It’s a tiny addition that I want to add to the melodies that are about to become hits,’ he said with a smile on his face .

After a week’s stay in the list, the composition by Kala Mann and Bernie Lowe made a spectacular move up to the fourth place, from which it jumped to the first place on July 15, 1957, leaving behind, among others, Pat Boon and his “Love Letters In The Sand”. “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” stayed at the top of the chart for seven weeks!

Shortly after, the song also topped the country music charts (it spent only one week there) and rythm’n’blues.

1 Some sources even specify that the train entered the Memphis station around 11:35 p.m


Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland) Marius Ogieglo http://www.elvispromisedland.pl/


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