A DESPERATE SONG TO LOST LOVE
Already in the final stretch of the recordings at the iconic American Sound Studios in Memphis, and under the production of Chips Moman, on February 19, 1969, shortly after 7:30 p.m., Elvis would make this song immortal, of the composers Eddie Rabbit and Dick Heard, and that it was composed for him.
Eddie Rabbit was a great admirer of Elvis and he was proud that Elvis will interpret his song, and it was also a great satisfaction for Elvis to have interpreted it. They told each other so, the day they met in Las Vegas.
Songwriter Eddie Rabbit released his own version of the song in 1978 for his “Variations” LP.
In his performing career, Rabbit included “Kentucky Rain” in some of his live shows until his death in 1998.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, American Sound became one of the most successful recording studios in the country, producing more than 120 chart-topping singles from pop, soul, and country artists, contributing with more than a quarter of the hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
This song was one of the star songs of the American sessions, and one of the songs Lamar Fike believed in the most, of all the songs he had presented to Elvis.
The band of musicians is impressive. The Memphis Boys have a unique instrumental magic, and a very characteristic sound.
“Kentucky Rain” was not an easy song for the musicians to understand and the recording took them hours, but it did not stop overflowing with magic from the beginning.
It was released for the first time as a single on January 29, 1970. Having as B-side, the song “My Little Friend”.
The single was certified Gold by the RIAA, with sales of more than 1 million copies, and was one of Elvis’s first hits in the 1970s.
Elvis was passionate about this song, putting many hours into it in the early part of the recording night; growing the song from the first take, which was already an impressive performance, to take 10, which would be the last and the one chosen as the master.
The harrowing and sad story of a man who wanders in desperation in the cold Kentucky rain in search of his lost love… A sad, heartfelt and magnificent interpretation, full of drama, sung from the depths of his soul, of his feelings and his own experiences, where we can feel how deeply this topic penetrated Elvis. He fell in love with her. Everyone present was impressed. All the takes were fascinating.
We can feel his agony and his desolation. We can feel him soaked, with the rain on his shoes, aimlessly looking for his beloved to take her home, with the night falling on him… His involvement in the subject is so great, so distressing… that you cannot remain impassive without merging with him in his despair.
A powerful and incredibly cinematic work that has lost none of its greatness in the 53 years since its release.
Elvis loved ‘Kentucky Rain. In 1970 he took it to Las Vegas to perform it live at The International Hotel, where he did some incredibly powerful covers, the song’s tempo being a little faster.
It’s his magic, it’s his gift… what fascinates us and traps us in his grieving story, and leaves our souls in pieces.
So beautiful, so sad… another Elvis jewel for eternity.
Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo.
Rosa Garcia Mora
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