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Sun Recordings


Elvis’s recordings for Sam Phillips’ Sun label are considered to be among the most important and influential recordings of rock ’n’ roll, even though they had very little impact on the charts.
My Happiness (Peterson-Bergantine) [demo] Written in 1933, there were several versions of this popular ballad in 1948, including Jon & Sondra Steele [5/48, Damon 11133], the Pied Pipers [6/48, Capitol 15094], and Ella Fitzgerald [6/48, Decca 24446]. It became a major hit for teen idol [[#|Connie Francis]] in 1959 [12/58, MGM 12738].
Jul. 5-6
I Love You Because (Leon Payne) [LPM 1254 - Elvis Presley, his debut LP for RCA] This was a large country hit in 1950, for writer Leon Payne [11/49, Capitol 40238] and Ernest Tubb [2/50, Decca 46213]. It became a pop hit for Italian crooner Al Martino in 1963 [Capitol 4930].
That’s All Right (Arthur Crudup) [Sun 209] This was recorded by its writer, Mississippi bluesman Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup. [9/6/46, Victor 20-2205]. It is said that the verses in Elvis’ version came from various other songs by Crudup, notably ‘I Don’t Know It’ [9/6/46, Victor 20-2387]. Marty Robbins covered it for a country hit [2/55, Columbia 21351].
[[#|Harbor Lights]] (Kennedy-Williams) [released 1976] This British-written standard [first recorded by the Roy Fox Orchestra; Fox was an American bandleader in England] became a hit when written in 1937 (Claude Thornhill [8/37, Vocalion 3595], Rudy Vallee [9/37, Bluebird 7067], Frances Langford [10/37, Decca 1441]), and was revived in 1950 by several acts (Sammy Kaye [9/9, Columbia 7838963], Jerry Byrd with the Harmonicats [9/23, Mercury 5461], [[#|Ray Anthony]] [9/30, Capitol 1190], Ken Griffin [9/30, Columbia 38889], Ralph Flanagan [10/7, RCA Victor 3911], Guy Lombardo [10/14, Decca 27208], Bing Crosby [11/11, Decca 27219], and the Dominoes [’51, Federal 12010]. The Los Angeles vocal group the Platters successfully revived it in 1960 [2/60, Mercury 71563]
Blue Moon of Kentucky (Bill Monroe) [Sun 209] This is one of the best-known songs by bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe. [9/16/46, Columbia 37888]
Aug. 19
Blue Moon (Hart-Rodgers) [LPM 1254] This Rodgers and Hart classic was popular first in 1935 - the only hit by this duo that was not meant for stage or screen (Glen Gray [1/35, Decca 312], Frankie Trumbauer [1/35, Victor 24812], Benny Goodman [2/35, Columbia 3003-D], Al Bowlly with the Ray Noble Orchestra [3/35, Victor 24812]). However, with different words it appeared as ‘Prayer’ in the film Hollywood Revue of 1933, sung by Jean Harlow [according to Elvis originals website http://davidneale.eu/elvis/originals/index.html]. It experienced a minor revival in 1949, recorded by Billy Eckstine [3/49,MGM 10311] and Mel Tormé [4/49, Capitol 15428], due to its inclusion in a bio-pic about the writers, Words and Music. It is best-known to many people in a doo-wop rock ‘n’ roll version by the Marcels, a Piitsburgh group, in 1961 [3/61, Colpix 186].
Tomorrow Night (Coslow-Grosz) [unfinished; on Elvis for Everyone ‘65] This much-recorded blues standard had its unlikely origin with the Horace Heidt sweet dance band [12/39, Columbia 35203]. Its enduring popularity stems from the R&B hit version in 1948 by the famous blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson [2/48, King 4201]. It has also been recorded by such people as Lavern Baker, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Etta James, Pat Boone, Charlie Rich, Count Basie, and Hadda Brooks.
I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) (Jimmy Wakely) [LPM 1254]was recorded by its writer, singing cowboy Jimmy Wakely [7/1/41, Decca 5973], and by Gene Autry [7/28/41, Okeh 06360].
I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine (Mack David) [Sun 210], originally recorded by Tony Martin [12/2/49] was a hit for Patti Page [3/3/50, Mercury 5396]; Dean Martin’s version [3/28/50] may have been the inspiration for Elvis.
Just Because (Shelton-Shelton-Robin) [LPM 1254] was recorded by the Shelton Brothers [2/23/35, Decca 5100], who are credited as the writers. However, there were two previous country versions (Nelstone’s Hawaiians [11/30/29, Victor 40273], Lone Star Cowboys [8/5/33, Bluebird B6502]). Nelstone’s Hawaiians were a southern string band. Two of the three members of the Lone Star Cowboys became the Shelton Brothers. There were many subsequent country or cajun versions in the ‘30s (Hackberry Ramblers, Prairie Ramblers, Cleoma Falcon [as Jeusté Parcqué], Cliff Carlisle [as You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone], Rhubarb Red [aka Les Paul], the Saddle Tramps, and the Rambling Duet. It had some pop success in 1948 by the polka band of Frankie Yankovic [5/48, Columbia 12359] as well as by Eddy Howard [5/48, Majestic 1231]. According to Golden Inspirations, Cliff Carlisle’s 1948 ‘You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone’ is another version of the same song, and the source is the 1910 ‘Washington and Lee Swing’ march, school song for the Washington and Lee University, with a 1925 popular version by Meyer Davis [Victor 19526].
Good Rockin’ Tonight (Roy Brown) [Sun 210] was recorded by its writer, New Orleans singer Roy Brown [7/47,DeLuxe 3093], but was overshadowed by the cover version by blues shouter Wynonie Harris [12/47, King 4210], a big hit on the R&B charts.
Satisfied [unreleased and lost] was a spiritual by Kentucky country singer Martha Carson [‘51, Capitol F1900].
Nov. or Dec.
Milkcow Blues Boogie (Kokomo Arnold) [Sun 215] was credited to Kokomo Arnold. There were three previous blues recordings by this name: Freddie Spruill’s (6/25/26), Sleepy John Estes’ (5/13/30), and Big Bill Broonzy’s (3/23/34). Although the tune and rhythm are similar, the words bear little relation to the later versions. Broonzy’s has some similar themes, but Kokomo Arnold’s version [9/10/34, Decca 7026] is the first to have some familiar verses. The first country version was by Cliff Bruner [2/5/37, Decca 5334], but the Johnny Lee Wills version [4/28/41, Decca 5985] presents the song in the form that was sung by Elvis. A lively version with whoopin’ and hollerin’ was recorded by California’s Maddox Brothers and Rose between 1946 and 1949 [4 Star 1185].
Feb. 5
Baby Let’s Play House (Arthur Gunter) [Sun 217] was recorded by its writer, Nashville guitarist Arthur Gunter, and became a moderate R&B hit. [1/55, Excello 2047]
July 11
Mystery Train (Parker-Phillips) [Sun 223] is a cover of a Sun recording by Little Junior’s Blue Flames [10/53, Sun 192]. Little Junior Parker became a popular blues singer for the Duke label.
Trying to Get to You (McCoy-Singleton) [LPM 1254] was originally recorded by the Washington, DC, R&B group the Eagles [5/54, Mercury 70391].
Aug. or Oct.
When It Rains, It Really Pours (W.R. Emerson) [issued in overdubbed version on Elvis for Everyone in ‘65] is another Sun cover, this by R&B vocalist Billy ‘the Kid’ Emerson [9/18/54, Sun 214].
The remaining Sun recordings were originals: You’re a Heartbreaker (Jack Sallee) [Sun 215], I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (Kesler-Taylor) [Sun 217], and I Forgot to Remember to Forget (Kelser-Feathers) [Sun 223]

Rock’n’Roll Years at RCA
With his move to RCA, Elvis became a superstar.
I Got a Woman (Ray Charles) [LPM 1254] the breakthrough R&B hit for Ray Charles ['55, Atlantic 1050] , based on ‘It Must Be Jesus’ by the Southern Tones [‘54, Duke 205]. In the notes to the Ray Charles box set The Birth of Soul, it is said to be based on a gospel song by Alex Bradford, who recorded for Specialty (but it is not identified; there is no recording by Bradford with a name like this.)
Money Honey (Jesse Stone) [LPM 1254], a #1 R&B hit, the first record for Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters [10/53, Atlantic 45-1006]
Jan 30-31, Feb. 3 ‘56
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) [LPM 1254], the big rockabilly hit for Carl Perkins of Tennessee [2/56, Sun 234]
My Baby Left Me (Arthur Crudup) [47-6540] was by Arthur Crudup [11/8/50, Victor 22-1019]
So Glad You’re Mine (Arthur Crudup) [LPM 1382 Elvis] is another Crudup tune and an R&B hit [2/22/46, Victor 20-1949]
I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Thomas-Biggs) [LPM 1254] may have been recorded by its writer, Joe Thomas, in 1953. It was recorded by Roy Hamilton, one of Elvis’ favorite singers [2/54, Epic 9015].
Tutti Frutti (LaBostie-Penniman)[LPM 1254] was the first big hit for Macon, GA’s Little Richard (Penniman) - a #2 R&B hit. These Little Richard hits were recorded in New Orleans. [9/14/55, Specialty 561]. It was covered by Pat Boone.
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Lloyd Price) [47-6642], a big #1 R&B hit from New Orleans [5/13/52, Specialty 428].
Shake, Rattle and Roll (Charles Calhoun) [47-6642] was a #1 R&B hit for Kansas City blues shouter Joe Turner [2/15/54, Atlantic 1026]. It was a top 10 pop hit the same year in a cover version by Bill Haley & the Comets [8/54, Decca 9-29204].
Hound Dog (Leiber-Stoller) [47-6604] was recorded in Los Angeles by Mississippi-born Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton, and became a major R&B hit. [8/13/52, Peacock 1612]. Elvis’ version is said to be based on the version by Freddie Bell & the Bell Boys [‘55, Teen 101], which Elvis saw in live performance.
Don’t Be Cruel (Blackwell-Presley) [47-6604]. Bill Black’s Combo had a moderate instrumental hit with it in 1960; Texas soul singer Barbara Lynn recorded it in 1963; and the Illinois rock group Cheap Trick had a pop hit with it in 1988.
We’re Gonna Move (Presley-Matson) [EPA 4006] seems to be based on the gospel song ‘There’s a Leak in This Old Building’ by the Southern Sons [10/29/41, Bluebird B8920], written by Brother Claude Ely.
Love Me Tender (Presley-Matson) [47-6643] provided new words to the Civil War tune ‘Aura Lee’, melody written by George Poulton in 1861. ’Aura Lee’ was recorded by the Shelton Brothers in 1937 [Decca 5533]. It was later a minor hit for actor Richard Chamberlain in 1962 and Alabama soul singer Percy Sledge in 1967.
Love Me (Leiber-Stoller) [LPM 1382] was recorded by Willie & Ruth for Leiber & Stoller’s Los Angeles Spark label [‘54, Spark 105], and covered by Georgia Gibbs [‘54, Mercury 70473] and Billy Eckstein [‘54, MGM 11855], and for country, Jimmie Rodgers Snow [RCA Victor 47-6986].
How Do You Think I Feel (Walker-Pierce) [LPM 1382] was recorded by Red Sovine [4/54, Decca 29068] and Jimmie Rodgers Snow [‘54, RCA Victor 47-59000] -Elvis was familiar with Snow‘s rhumbaized version.
How’s the World Treating You (Atkins-Bryant) [LPM 1382] was a country hit for ‘Tennessee ploughboy’ Eddy Arnold [6/53, RCA Victor 5305].
When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (Walker-Sullivan) [LPM 1382] was a country standard by Wiley (Walker) & Gene (Sullivan) [3/41, Okeh 06374], and was the only charted hit for songwriter Cindy Walker [11/44, Decca 6103].
Long Tall Sally (Johnson-Penniman-Blackwell) [LPM 1382] was another Little Richard hit, #1 R&B [2/7/56, Specialty 572], also covered by Pat Boone.
Old Shep (Red Foley) [LPM 1382] was recorded several times by its writer, Kentucky country star Red Foley [’35, ARC 6-3-53; ‘41, Decca 5944; ‘47, Decca 9-46052]. There are also versions by Jackie & Leslie [’38, Decca 5575], the Pine Ridge Boys [’40, Bluebird B-8556], and Doye O’Dell [‘47, Exclusive 15X].
Too Much (Rosenberg-Weinman) [47-6800] had its obscure origins in a Nashville R&B recording by Bernard Harrison [‘54, Republic 7111].
Ready Teddy (Blackwell-Marascalco) [LPM 1382] - Little Richard [5/9/56, Specialty 579]
Rip It Up (Blackwell-Marascalco) [LPM 1382] - Little Richard [5/9/56, Specialty 579]
I Believe (Drake-Graham-Shirl-Stillman) [EPA 4054] was introduced by Jane Froman on her TV show U.S.A. Canteen [according to JW] [4/53, Capitol F2332] and became a large hit for Italian crooner Frankie Laine [2/53, Columbia 4-39938]. Red Foley recorded a country version [‘53, Decca 9-28694], as did the Statesmen [Statesmen 1033].
Tell Me Why (Titus Turner) [1965 single] was an obscure doo-wop recorded by gospel singer Marie Knight on a subsidiary label of Mercury [‘56, Wing 90069] covered by the Crew-Cuts [‘56, Mercury 70890].
All Shook Up (Blackwell-Presley) [47-6870] had its origins in ‘I’m All Shook Up’ by David Hill (pseudonym of songwriter David Hess)..
Mean Woman Blues (Claude DeMetrius) [LPM 1515] was written for Elvis. A version was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis [9/10/57, Sun EPA 107], which became the basis for the 1963 Roy Orbison hit [9/63, Monument 864].
(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (Thomas A. Dorsey) [EPA 4054] was a country hit for Red Foley [3/27/51, Decca 9-46319], and recorded by the Stamps Quartet in 1952, Statesmen [Columbia 1489, ‘51]. It was written by the famous black gospel writer Thomas A. Dorsey in 1937 and introduced by his protegée Mahalia Jackson, although she apparently never recorded it. Sam Cooke’s first lead vocal performance was on the version by the Soul Stirrers [3/1/51, Specialty 802].
That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (Raskin-Brown-Fisher) [47-6870] was known to Elvis through the Ink Spots recording [‘41, Decca 3720], but originally by the sweet dance band of Shep Fields [6/3/37, Bluebird B7015].
Take My Hand, Precious Lord (Thomas A. Dorsey) [EPA 4054], another Thomas A. Dorsey composition, was first recorded by the Heavenly Gospel Singers [2/16/37, Bluebird B6846]. The Golden Gate Quartet recording [2/2/39, Bluebird B8190] is similar to Elvis’ version. There is a Red Foley release from 1956 [Decca 9-30010].
Party (Jessie Mae Robinson) [LPM 1515] became a minor pop hit for Wanda Jackson as ‘Let’s Have a Party’ [8/60, Capitol 4397]
Hot Dog (Lieber-Stoller) [LPM 1515] was recorded by Young Jessie for Modern in 1956, but not released at the time.
It Is No Secret (Stuart Hamblen) [EPA 4054] was a moderate country hit for its writer, Texas western singer Stuart Hamblen [1/51, Columbia 4-20724]; according to Amazing Grace liner notes, it was associated with Billy Graham.
Blueberry Hill (Lewis-Stock-Rose) [EPA 4041] was a cover of the big rock ‘n’ roll hit by New Orleans singer Fats Domino [7/56, Imperial 5407]. The song originated in the film The Singing Hills, sung by Gene Autry [8/20/40, Okeh 05779]; the big hit version at the time was by Glenn Miller [8/40, Bluebird 10768]. The first recording was by Sammy Kaye [Victor 26643]; Gene Krupa [Okeh 5672] and Kay Kyser [Columbia 35554] also recorded it.
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Scott Wiseman) [EPA 4041] was first recorded by the country duo of Lulu Belle & Scotty (Wiseman) [Vogue R719] in 1946, and became a country western hit in several versions (Gene Autry [10/46, Columbia 37079], Tex Ritter [10/46, Capitol 296], Foy Willing [12/46, Majestic 6000], Red Foley [11/46, Decca 46014]). It became a minor pop hit when revived in 1950 by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters [1/50, Decca 2482].
One Night (Bartholomew-King) [47-7410] was recorded, with somewhat darker lyrics, by Smiley Lewis in New Orleans, and made the R&B charts [10/25/55, Imperial 5380].
True Love (Cole Porter) [LPM 1515], from the film High Society, was a duet between Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, and became a large pop hit [9/56, Capitol 3507].
I Need You So (Ivory Joe Hunter) [EPA 4041] was a #1 R&B hit for Texas singer-songwriter Ivory Joe Hunter [4/50, MGM 10663]. Don Cornell charted with a cover [9/50, RCA Victor 47-3884].
When It Rains It Really Pours (W.R. Emerson) [‘65 Elvis for Everyone] was an R&B Sun recording for Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson [9/18/54, Sun 214].
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Leiber-Stoller) [EPA 4114] was released as a single from Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s 1982 album Wild Things Run Fast [Geffen 2019].
At a September 5-7 session, a Christmas album was recorded. A few of these titles fall within the scope of this project:
Blue Christmas (Hayes-Johnson) [LOC 1035] was a #1 country hit in 1949 by the ’Texas Troubadour’ Ernest Tubb [Decca 46186]. At the same time it was a moderate hit on the pop charts by the sweet bands of Hugo Winterhalter [Columbia 38635] and Russ Morgan [Decca 24766]. It originated in 1948 by singing cowboy Doye O’Dell [Exclusive 65X].
White Christmas (Irving Berlin) [LOC 1035] was featured in the film Holiday Inn. Bing Crosby’s recording was one of the biggest sellers of all time [10/42, Decca 18429], and it was recorded by numerous others, including Frank Sinatra [‘44, Columbia 36756] and the Ink Spots [‘47, Decca 24140]. A version by the Ravens made the R&B charts [12/48, National 9062], but the biggest R&B version was by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters [12/55, Atlantic 1048]. This one sounds like the inspiration for Elvis.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Ram-Kent-Gannon) [LOC 1035] was also a hit for Bing Crosby [12/43, Decca 18570].
Your Cheatin’ Heart (Hank Williams) [on ‘65 Elvis for Everyone] was a posthumous #1 country hit for Alabama native Hank Williams [2/53, MGM 11416]. Joni James [MGM 11426] and Frankie Laine [Columbia 33938] had successful pop covers. Ray Charles recorded it in 1962.
Ain’t That Loving You Baby (Hunter-Otis) [1964 single] was a little-known recording by R&B singer Eddie Riff [‘56, Dover 102].
(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I (Bill Trader) [47-7506] was a substantial country hit for Nova Scotia native Hank Snow [12/52, RCA Victor 5034]. Cover versions include Jo Stafford [Columbia 4-39930], Tommy Edwards [MGM 11395] and the Robins [RCA 5175].

The Movie Years
A mature Elvis came out of the army, and broadened his repertoire to become a great pop singer. As the years went by, his focus seemed more on movies than on music.
Soldier Boy [LSP 2231] was an R&B hit for the Four Fellows, from Brooklyn [7/55, Glory 45-234].
Fever [LSP 2231] was an R&B hit by Little Willie John [5/56, King 4935] and then a pop hit for Peggy Lee [7/58, Capitol 3998]. The Indiana rock band the McCoys had a hit version in 1965 [11/65, Bang 511].
Like a Baby (Jesse Stone) [LSP 2231] r&b singer Vikki Nelson & Sounds [‘57]
It’s Now or Never [47-7777] was written in 1899 (words Giovanni Capurro, music Edorado de Capua] as ‘O Sole Mio [My Sunshine]’. Early recordings include Giuseppe Anselmi [‘07, according to Golden Inspirations], Emilio DeGorgoza, of New York [‘08, Victor 74105], British Alan Turner [‘14 Victor 17536] and the famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso [‘15 87243]. It was rewritten by Al Hoffman, Leo Corday and Leon Carr as ‘There’s No Tomorrow’ for the film Two Tickets to Broadway, and became a large hit for its star Tony Martin [11/49, RCA Victor 78-3582]. Another rewrite resulted in Elvis’s version.
The Girl of My Best Friend [LSP 2231] became a minor hit for Ral Donner [4/61, Gone 5102].
Thrill of Your Love [LSP 2231], as ‘A Woman’s Love’, an unreleased ‘58 recording by Jerry Lee Lewis cousin Carl McVoy.
I Gotta Know [47-7810] was first recorded by British teen idol Cliff Richard on the ‘59 LP Cliff Sings.
Such a Night [LSP 2231] was an R&B hit for Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters [3/54, Atlantic 45-1019].
Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Turk, Handman) [47-7810] was recorded by several artists in 1927 (Henry Burr [10/27, Victor 20873], Vaughn DeLeath [9/27, Edison 52044], Jacques Renard [12/27, Victor 20978] - the first was by Ned Jacobs [5/17/27 according to Golden Inspirations]. Al Jolson sang it on the stage then, but did not record it until 1950 [Decca 27043]. Blue Barron’s version [4/50, MGM 10628] seems to be the basis for Elvis’s.
Girl Next Door Went A’Walking [LSP 2231] by Thomas Wayne as ‘The Girl Next Door’, recorded in 1959 and released on Scotty Moore’s label [‘60, Fernwood 122].
I Will Be Home Again [LSP 2231] Golden Gate Quartet [‘45, Okeh 6741]
Reconsider Baby [LSP 2231] was an R&B hit for bluesman Lowell Fulson [12/54, Checker 804].
Wooden Heart (Wise, Weisman, Twomey, Kaempfert) was adapted by Bert Kaempfert for the movie G.I. Blues from the German folk song ‘Muss I Denn (zum Städtele hinaus)’. ‘Muss I Denn’ appeared in the U.S. on the 1954 album German Folk Songs by Martha Schlamme [Folkways FW 6843]. Kaempfert was a German composer and bandleader who provided the tunes for many pop hits. This became a large pop hit for Joe Dowell [6/61, Smash 1708].
Shoppin’ Around by Rusty Draper [‘58, as ‘Shopping Around’, Mercury 71388]
May 17 ‘60 [LSP 2328 His Hand in Mine]
Milky White Way black gospel standard Trumpeters ‘47 - first apparently Coleman Brothers [‘43, Regis 108]
His Hand in Mine Statesmen [Statesmen 1035, ‘53] written by their arranger Mosie Lister. Blackwood Brothers [Victor 20-5709, '54].
I Believe in the Man in the Sky Statesmen [Statesmen 1041, ‘55]. Golden Inspirations presents a Bill Kenny version from 1949.
He Knows Just What I Need Statesmen [Statesmen 1041 ‘Jesus Knows What I Need’] Website says Mosie Lister ‘55 - Lister, the writer, was the Statesmen‘s producer; Blackwood Brothers ['56, LPM 1255].
Mansion Over the Hilltop wr. In ‘49; ‘53 Red Foley; big recording by Blackwood Brothers - ‘52, their 3rd RCA single.[47-4795 or 20-4378;
RCA Victor LPM-3082 Favorite Gospel Songs and Spirituals].
In My Father’s House both Statesmen [Statesmen 1043] and Blackwood Brothers [’54, #1181] - Elvis based on Statesmen
Joshua Fit the Battle dates back at least to 1865; standard both black & white since Victrola days - Harrod‘s Jubilee Singers [’24, Paramount 12116], Paul Robeson [’25, Victor 19743]. - Jordanaires ‘58 LP Heavenly Spirit.
Swing Down Sweet Chariot a quartet showcase by the late ‘50s - Blackwood Brothers as a single ['52, #1162 and RCA Victor 47-4793] and on first 10” LP ['52, RCA Victor LPM-3082 Favorite Gospel Songs and Spirituals]. 1910 Fisk University Jubilee Quartet as ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ - but not the familiar song of that title.
I’m Gonna Walk Dem Golden Stairs ‘49 Jordanaires at their first RCA session - written by a group member - recorded by several other groups Statesmen [Statesmen 1073].
If We Never Meet Again a standard with white quartets, wr. And recorded in ‘45 by Albert E. Brumley; most famous by Stamps Quartet, late ‘40s on Bibletone.
(According to Golden Inspirations, the Blackwood Brothers had a ‘48 recording, but I don't see it on Praguefrank's discography.)
Known Only to Him recorded by writer Stuart Hamblen ‘52. Statesmen [Statesmen 1049] and Blackwood Brothers ['54, #1180] - Elvis based on statesman - but most famous by George Beverly Shea with the Billy Graham crusade.
Working on the Building published in turn-of-century black songbooks, recorded by Heavenly Gospel Singers [‘37], Swan Silvertones, Carter Family. This arrangement published in 30s by black gospel publisher Lillian Bowes.
Crying in the Chapel (Artie Glenn) was popular in several formats in 1953. It became a country hit for the writer’s son, Texan Darrell Glenn [7/53, Valley 105], as well as for movie cowboy Rex Allen [8/53, Decca 28758] and the Statesmen [Statesmen 1031]. The R&B hit was by the Orioles, from Baltimore [8/53, Jubilee 45-5122], and pop hits by June Valli [8/53, RCA Victor 5368] and Ella Fitzgerald [9/53, Decca 28762].
Surrender [47-7850] was an Italian song written by Ernesto de Curtis and Claude Aveling as ‘Torna a Sorrento (Come Back to Sorrento)’ in 1904. Golden Inspirations reports a 1911 recording by Caruso, and presents a 1928 recording by Monte Rey. An English version was recorded by Gracie Fields [1/48, London 110]. It was rewritten for Elvis by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.
I Feel So Bad [47-7880] was an R&B hit for singer-songwriter Chuck Willis [7/54, Okeh 4-7029]. It was revived again by Memphis-based blues singer Little Milton [1/67, Checker 1162].
I’m Comin’ Home (Charlie Rich) [LSP 2370 Something For Everybody] by Carl Mann [‘60, Phillips International 3555].
It’s a Sin was a major hit for Eddy Arnold [‘47, RCA Victor 20-2241].
I Want You With Me recorded in ‘58 by Bobby Darin, released on ‘60 LP For Teenagers Only [Atco].
Sentimental Me was a pop hit in 1950 for the Ames Brothers [1/50, Coral 60140], Ray Anthony [4/50, Capitol 923], and Russ Morgan [4/50, Decca 24904].
Judy was the B-side of a recording by Teddy Redell [‘60, Atco 45-6162]
I’m Yours was later recorded by its writer Don Robertson [‘69, RCA Victor 47-9721].
Blue Hawaii was a 1937 Bing Crosby number from Waikiki Wedding, written for the film [Decca 1175]. A Hawaiian version was recorded by Nebraska-born Harry Owens and his Royal Hawaiian Orchestra (according to Jacobs). Owens had written and recorded ‘Sweet Leilani’, picked up and included in the movie and the A-side of Crosby’s hit.
Rock-a-Hula Baby
Can’t Help Falling in Love, written by Weiss, Creatore & Peretti for the film Blue Hawaii. The main chorus is based on the 18th century French song ‘Plaisir d’Amour’ written by Jean-Paul Martini (sung by Joan Baez on 1961‘s Joan Baez 2). Several revival versions have charted (Al Martino [2/70, Capitol 2746], Andy Williams [2/70, Columbia 45094], Montreal native Corey Hart [12/86, EMI America 8368], and British reggae group UB40 [5/93, Virgin 12653]).
No More was adapted from the Spanish folk melody ‘La Paloma’, written by Basque Sebastián Yradier, who performed it in 1855 in Havana and published it in 1859. It was recorded for Berliner in 1896 by Ferruccio Giannini.
Hawaiian Wedding Song was written in 1926, ‘Ke Kali Nei Au’, by Charles King, for his operetta Prince of Hawaii, and was introduced by the Royal Hawaiian Band, with a duet by John Paoakalani Heleluhe and Lizzie Alohikea. [http://www.huapala.org/Ke_Kali_Nei_Au.html]. There is also a 1928 recording by Nina Keieliwahana. [Golden Inspirations]. A version was recorded by Bing Crosby in 1951 as ‘Here Ends the Rainbow’. Hoffman and Manning wrote the Andy Williams hit [12/58, Cadence 1358].
His Latest Flame (Pomus-Shuman) [47-7908] was recorded on 6/21/61 by Del Shannon and included on his album Runaway with Del Shannon [Big Top 12-1303].[http://www.secondhandsongs.com/song/16074.html]
You’ll Be Gone [47-8500] was a rewrite of Cole Porter’s ‘Begin the Beguine’, itself based on a Martinique dance tune. Sung in the musical Jubilee by June Knight in 1935, it was a hit for Xavier Cugat [’35, Victor 25133], most famously Artie Shaw [‘38, Bluebird 7746], Tony Martin [‘39, Decca 2375], Eddie Heywood [’45, Decca 23398], and Frank Sinatra [‘46, Columbia 37064].
Suspicion was later a hit for Terry Stafford [2/64, Crusader 101].
Girls! Girls! Girls! was originally by the Coasters [8/61, Atco 6204].
Bossa Nova Baby was by Tippie & the Clovers [11/62, Tiger 201]
Witchcraft [47-8243] was an R&B hit for the Spiders from New Orleans [12/55, Imperial 5366]
What’d I Say was a big R&B and pop hit for Ray Charles [2/18/59, Atlantic 2031]. There were also popular versions by Jerry Lee Lewis [4/61, Sun 356] and Bobby Darin 1964
Ask Me [47-8440] was the Italian song ‘Io’, Domenico Modugno’s follow-up to ‘Volare’ [‘58, Decca 30747].
It Hurts Me (Charlie Daniels) [47-8307] was an unreleased recording for Kapp from 1963 by New York r&b-pop singer Jerry Jackson.
Memphis Tennessee [LSP 3450 Elvis For Everyone ‘65] was originally by Chuck Berry [6/7/58, Chess 1729] and became an instrumental hit for Indiana guiatrist Lonnie Mack [6/63, Fraternity 906]. Elvis’s version was not released as a single due to the rising popularity of Johnny Rivers’ version live at the Whiskey a Go Go [5/64, Imperial 66032].[according to Guralnick]
Little Egypt was by the Coasters [4/61, Atco 6192].
Frankie and Johnny has a long history. It is supposedly based on an incident from about 1850, and the song dates from around 1870 [these dates are fuzzy], but wasn’t fully published until 1912. There was a Jan’ 25 recording by Harry Frankel on the Harmony label. There were popular versions in 1927 (Frank Crumit [Victor 20715] and Ted Lewis [Columbia 1017] and in 1942 (Guy Lombardo [Decca 4177]). Meade, Spottswood and Meade list 22 country versions between 1924 and 1937, under various titles (‘Frankie and Johnny’, ‘Frankie Baker’, ‘Little Frankie’, ‘Frankie’s Gamblin’ Man’, ‘Frankie Was a Good Woman’, ‘Frankie Dean’, ‘Frankie and Albert’). The earliest of these was by Ernest Thompson in 1924. Other country artists include Welby Toomey [‘25], Gid Tanner [‘26], Frank Crumit [‘27], Emry Arthur [‘29], Jimmie Rodgers [‘29], Gene Autry [‘29], Carson Robison [‘29], Darby & Tarlton [‘30], and Leo Soileau [‘35]. There have been several blues versions, notably by Mississippi John Hurt [‘28], Coley Jones [‘27-unissued], Charley Patton [‘29] , Leadbelly [‘34], Josh White [’44] and Champion Jack Dupree [’58]. Jazz artists who have recorded it include Fate Marable [3/16/24], King Oliver [’29-’30], Bunny Berigan [’37], Duke Ellington [’45], Sidney Bechet [’52], Wilbur De Paris [’53], George Wallington [’54] and Louis Armstrong [’59]. Pop vocal versions include those by Ethel Waters [’38], Lena Horne [’46] and Pearl Bailey [’49]. There have been popular version in the rock era by Johnny Cash [4/59, Columbia 31371], Brook Benton [8/61, Mercury 71859], and Sam Cooke [7/63, RCA 8215], as well as an unreleased ‘56 Sun recording by Charlie Feathers, a ‘58 version by Gene Vincent, and a ‘56 version by British skiffle singer Lonnie Donegan. Doc Watson recorded it in 1973 for the Poppy label.
Please Don’t Stop Loving Me seems to be based on the 1964 Italian entry to the Eursovison song contest, ‘Non ho l’Eta’ by Gigliola Cinquetti, according to David Neale’s Elvis website.
Love Letters [47-8870] was introduced in the 1945 film of the same name, and popularized by Dick Haymes [10/45, Decca 18699]. Elvis’ version was based on the pop hit by R&B singer Ketty Lester [2/62, Era 3068]; he recorded it again in 1970.
Come What May [47-8870] was an R&B hit for Clyde McPhatter [6/58, Atlantic 1185].
Fools Fall In Love [47-9056] saw some R&B chart action for the Drifters [3/57, Atlantic 1123].
Down in the Alley by the classic r&b group the Clovers [’57, Atlantic 1152]. [LSP 3758 How Great Thou Art]
Run On Golden Gate Quartet [Okeh 6713, ‘42] Also known as ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’ (Odetta did a version).
How Great Thou Art Swedish song from 1880’s. Popularized in ‘57 by George Beverly Shea in a Billy Graham crusade - recorded by Shea in ‘55 [according to website].
Stand By Me black gospel song by Charles Tindley 1905 Statesmen [Columbia 40296 ‘50] Rosetta Tharpe ‘40
Where No One Stands Alone wr. by Mosie Lister, producer for Statesmen [Statesmen 1261] (website lists first recording by Lister in ‘55)
So High spiritual ‘Bosom of Abraham’ Lavern Baker [Atlantic 2033, ‘59 ‘So High So Low’] Statesmen [Columbia 2115, ‘52 ‘Rock-a-My Soul’] Elvis website reports roots of song in ‘23 Wiseman Sextette ‘You Must Come in at the Door’ and ‘35 Rev. Gary Davis ‘Twelve Gates to the City’. Recorded by Golden Gate Quartet in ‘47? as ‘High, Low and Wide’. Also Harmonizing Four?
Farther Along published in 1937 in a Stamps-Baxter book, but written in 1880. Many recording ‘38-’40, including Howell Carolina Hillbillies, apparently the first [’38, ‘Father Alone‘ Montgomery Ward M-7757]; (Frank) Stamps Quartet [’38, Vocalion/Okeh 04236], possibly Elvis’ source; Charlie Monroe’s Boys [’38, Bluebird B-7922]; and Roy Acuff [’40, Okeh 05766]. The Harmonizing Four version [Vee Jay 845, ‘57] was owned by Elvis.
By and By black gospel song by Charles Tindley 1905 ‘We’ll Understand It Better By and By’. [Tindley was also the source of ‘We Shall Overcome’ as ‘I’ll Overcome Some Day]. Blind Willie Johnson recorded a similar number in ‘29 (By and By I’m Going to See the King)
In the Garden wr. 1912, popularized by Homer Rodeheaver.[HR & Virginia Asher, Victor 18020, ‘17].
Somebody Bigger Than You and I Tin Pan Alley song by Ink Spots [‘51, Decca 27494] and the Statesmen [Statesmen 1031]. The Presley Originals website reports that the Harmonizing Four (feat. Jimmy Jones) influenced Elvis, but the recording was probably by Jimmy Jones and the Sensationals [‘58, Savoy MG 14057].
Without Him recently wr. by Mylon LeFevre of the LeFevre Family, recorded by LeFevres on ‘63 LP [Sing MFLP 3210]. {LeFevre was later in the Atlanta Rhythm Section].
If the Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side 1961 song wr. by Imperials’ pianist, first recorded by Claiborne Brothers Quartette in ‘63.
Where Could I Go But to the Lord wr. ‘40 in a Stamps-Baxter book, recorded by writer James B. Coats [’40]; Statesmen [was it recorded?] and black quartets, Red Foley [B-side of Peace in the Valley]
Tomorrow Is a Long Time was a Bob Dylan song recorded by Ian & Sylvia [’63], Bud & Travis [’64], and Judy Collins [’65], and picked up by Elvis from Odetta Sings Dylan [’65, RCA LSP-3324]. [Spinout]
Puppet on a String, according to David Neale’s Elvis website, is based on the lullaby ‘Hush Little Baby’, first recorded in 1917 by Edith McDonald, and also related to ‘Hambone’, ‘Bo Diddley’, and ‘Mockingbird’.
I’ll Remember You [LSP 3702 Spinout] written and recorded by Kui Lee (aka Kuiokolani Lee) and picked up by Andy Williams [‘65, Columbia 43456].
Clambake has a chorus based on the traditional ‘Shortnin’ Bread’, much recorded, for example by Henry Whitter in 1924.
Big Boss Man [47-9341] was a blues tune by Jimmy Reed [5/29/60, Vee Jay 380].
Hi-Heel Sneakers [47-9425] was a popular hit by R&B singer Tommy Tucker [11/27/63, Checker 1067]. Stevie Wonder made the charts with a cover [8/65, Tamla 54119].
You Don’t Know Me [47-9341] was a moderate country hit for Eddy Arnold [9/56, RCA Victor 6502] and a pop hit for Italian-Ameican crooner Jerry Vale [7/56, Columbia 40710]. Lenny Welch made the charts with his version [2/60, Cadence 1373], but it is best known as a Ray Charles hit [7/62, ABC-Paramount 10345]. Mickey Gilley revived it for a #1 country hit [7/81, Epic 02172].
Guitar Man [LSP 3893 Clambake] scratched the country charts in its version by its writer, Jerry Reed [5/67, RCA Victor 9152].
Just Call Me Lonesome was a country hit for Eddy Arnold [rec 12/20/53, charted 8/55, RCA 6198], also recorded by Red Foley [‘55, Decca 9-29626].
We Call On Him [CAM 2472 You’ll Never Walk Alone] gospel written by pop songwriters
You’ll Never Walk Alone ‘45 Rodgers & Hammerstein from Carousel; first recording was by Frank Sinatra. Roy Hamilton [‘54], Patti LaBelle [‘64], Gerry & the Pacemakers [‘65]
Stay Away, Joe seems to be inspired by or based on the slave song ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’, recorded by Leadbelly in 1935.
U.S. Male [47-9465] was another Jerry Reed song from his ‘67 RCA Victor LP The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed [LSP 3756].
Too Much Monkey Business [PRS 279] was an R&B hit for Chuck Berry [2/56, Checker 1635].

The Comeback Years
Elvis’ career changed direction with a live television comeback, and a shift away from movies and to performances at venues like Las Vegas. Many of his songs from this period feature the work of young singer-songwriters.
Suspicious Minds [47-9764] was recorded by its writer, Mark James [‘68, Scepter 12221].
Long Black Limousine [LSP 4155 From Elvis in Memphis] was recorded by Wynn Stewart in 1958 but not released, and by its writer Vern Stovall [‘61, Crest 1080]. (Other 60s versions by Glen Campbell, Jody Miller, Bobby Bare, George Hamilton IV, Rose Maddox.)
Gentle On My Mind was recorded by its writer, John Hartford [‘67, RCA Victor 47-9175] and became a hit for Glen Campbell in ‘68 [7/67, Capitol 5939]. It was also recorded by Patti Page [2/68, Columbia 44353] and Aretha Franklin [5/69, Atlantic 2619].
I’m Movin’ On was a huge country hot for Hank Snow [7/50, RCA Victor 48-0328] and was revived by Ray Charles [6/26/59, Atlantic 2043].
I’ll Hold You In My Heart was a huge country hit for Eddy Arnold [8/47, RCA Victor 20-2332] and a minor pop hit for Eddie Fisher [7/51, RCA Victor 47-4191].
From a Jack to a King was a country and pop hit for Ned Miller [12/62, Fabor 114].
Without Love (There Is Nothing) was an R&B and pop hit for Clyde McPhatter [1/57, Atlantic 1117]. Ray Charles had some success with a revival [7/63, ABC-Paramount 10453]. Tom Jones had a hit version [12/69, Parrot 40045].
Hey Jude [LSP 4671 Elvis Now ‘72] was, of course, the big Beatles hit [9/68, Apple 2276]. Wilson Pickett did a soul cover version [12/68, Atlantic 2591].
I’ll Be There [CAS 2408 Let‘s Be Friends] was recorded by its writer, Bobby Darin [5/60, Atco 6167], and became a moderate hit for British band Gerry & the Pacemakers [12/64, Laurie 3279].
Any Day Now [47-9791] was an R&B and pop hit for Chuck Jackson [5/62, Wand 122]. Ronnie Milsap later had a #1 country hit with it [5/82, RCA 13216].
True Love Travels on a Gravel Road [LSP 4155 From Elvis in Memphis] was a minor country hit for Duane Dee [‘68, Capitol 2332]. (Other versions by the Highwaymen super group, Shakin’ Stevens, Nick Lowe, Grateful Dead.)
After Loving You was a moderate country hit for Eddy Arnold [‘62, RCA 8048]; Elvis was inspired by Della Reese’s r&b version which grazed the pop charts [’65, ABC-Paramount 10691].
Only the Strong Survive was a hit for soul singer Jerry Butler [3/69, Mercury 72898].
It Keeps Right On a-Hurtin’ was a country-flavored hit for Florida teen idol Johnny Tillotson [5/62, Cadence 1418].
Stranger In My Own Home Town [LSP 6020 From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis] was recorded by R&B singer-songwriter Percy Mayfield [‘64, Tangerine 941].
And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind was from Neil Diamond’s LP Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show [5/69, Uni 73047] and released as a single. It became a minor hit for former Paul Revere & the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsay [9/70, Columbia 45229].
If I’m a Fool (For Loving You) [CAS 2408 Let‘s Be Friends] was recorded by Jimmy Clanton [Philips 40208] and Bobby Wood [‘64, Joy 285].
Who Am I? [CAL 2472 You‘ll Never Walk Alone] was first recorded in 1966 by the Blue Ridge Quartet, and recorded by writer Charles ‘Rusty’ Goodman’s group, the Happy Goodmans, in 1967.
Proud Mary was a big hit for San Francisco rock group Creedence Clearwater Revival [‘69, Fantasy 619] and later for r&b icons Ike & Tina Turner [’71, Liberty 50216]. [LSP 4362 On Stage - February 1970]
See See Rider was first recorded as ‘See See Rider Blues’ by blues singer Ma Rainey [Oct. ‘24, Paramount 12252], then by Big Bill (Broonzy) [’34, Banner 33344], and revived as a number 1 R&B hit by Bea Booze [‘42, Decca 8633]. It was recorded by Ray Charles [‘51, Swing Time 271] and the Orioles {‘52, Jubilee 5092], among others. It has had several successful charting versions in the rock era: Chuck Willis [‘57, as ‘C. C. Rider’, Atlantic 1130], LaVern Baker [‘62, Atlantic 2167], Bobby Powell [‘65, as ‘C. C. Rider’, Whit 714], and Eric Burdon & the Animals [‘66, MGM 13582].
Let It Be Me was a French song by Gilbert Bécaud, ‘Je t’appartiens’ [‘66]. The English version was introduced by Jill Corey, on a TV series [‘57, Columbia 40878], and became a hit for the Everly Brothers [‘60, Cadence 1376] and as a soul duet by Jerry Butler & Betty Everett [‘64, Vee-Jay 613].
Sweet Caroline was a Neil Diamond hit [‘69, Uni 55136].
Release Me was, according to Golden Inspirations, recorded in 1950 by its writer, English honky-tonk pianist Eddie ’Piano’ Miller. It became a country hit in 1954 (Jimmy Heap [1/54, Capitol 2518], Ray Price [4/54, Columbia 21214], Kitty Wells [4/54, Decca 29023]). There were major hit versions by r&b songstress Esther Phillips [‘62, Lenox 5555], British pop crooner Engelbert Humperdinck [‘67, Parrot 40011], and New Orleans soul singer Johnny Adams [‘68, SSS Int’l. 750].
Walk a Mile in My Shoes Joe South [‘70, Capitol 2704]
Polk Salad Annie Tony Joe White [‘69, Monument 1104].
The Wonder of You was a moderate hit for Texas teen crooner Ray Peterson [’59, RCA 7513]. [47-9835]
I’ve Lost You [47-9873] is questionable - Neale reports it is by Matthews Southern Comfort, from 1970 eponymous album -but the writer for that is listed on AMG as Barlby; the writer for Elvis is listed as Alan Blaikley and Ken Howard. Perhaps the writer used a pseudonym.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me was a large hit for British singer Dusty Springfield [’66, Phillips 40371]. It was originally an Italian song from the San Remo Song Festival, ‘64 or ‘65, by Pino Donaggio, ‘Io Che Non Vivo (Sensate). [47-9916]
Life [47-9985]
I Really Don’t Want to Know [47-9960] was a number 1 country hit for Eddy Arnold [1/54, RCA 5525]. There have been charting pop versions by Les Paul & mary Ford [4/54, Capitol F2735], Tommy Edwards [’60, MGM 12890], Solomon Burke [’62, Atlantic 2157], Esther Phillips [’63, Lenox 5560], and Ronnie Dove [’66, Diamond 208].
There Goes My Everything was a large country hit for Jack Greene [’66, Decca 32023], successfully covered by British singer Engelbert Humperdinck [’67, Parrot 40015].[47-9960]
Only Believe [47-9985] 1921 hymn written by broadcaster Paul Rader. Harmonizing Four [‘57, Vee Jay 845 as ‘All Things Are Possible’].
Bridge Over Troubled Water was a major pop hit for Simon and Garfunkel [‘70, Columbia 45079] and later for Aretha Franklin [‘71, Atlantic 7296].
How the Web Was Woven was released as a single for Apple in ‘69 by Jackie Lomax. Writer Clive Westlake’s version was released in Britain in 1973 on RCA 2441.
Mary in the Morning was a hit for Al Martino [‘67, Capitol 5904].
I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago was a Golden Gate Quartet song [’37, ‘Born..’ Bluebird B7205]. [LSP 4671 Elvis Now]
The Fool was a top ten rockabilly hit for Sanford Clark [’56, Dot 15481]. [LSP 4460 Elvis Country - I’m 10,000 Years Old]
Little Cabin on the Hill was a Bill Monroe bluegrass number [‘47, as ‘Little Cabin Home on the Hill’, Columbia 20459].
Faded Love was a country hit for Bob Wills [‘50, MGM 10786] and for Patsy Cline [‘63, Decca 31522]. Jackie DeShannon touched the pop charts with her version [‘63, Liberty 55526].
Tomorrow Never Comes was an early country hit for Ernest Tubb [‘45, Decca 6106]. B.J. Thomas charted with a version in 1968 [Scepter 12165].
Make the World Go Away began as a country hit by Ray Price [‘63, Columbia 42827] with an r&b flavored pop cover by Timi Yuro [‘63, Liberty 55587]. Eddy Arnold’s country hit crossed over to the pop charts in ‘65 [RCA 8679].
Funny How Time Slips Away was on Willie Nelson’s 1962 LP …And The I Wrote [Liberty LPS 3239]. There were several charted versions: in country, Billy Walker [‘61, Columbia 42050]; in pop, Nashville singer Jimmy Elledge (produced by Chet Atkins) [‘62, RCA 7946] and Johnny Tillotson [‘63, Cadence 1441]; and in r&b, Joe Hinton [‘64, as ‘Funny’, Back Beat 541].
I Washed My Hands in Muddy Water, a country hit by Stonewall Jackson [‘65, Columbia 43197], was covered by Charlie Rich [‘65, Smash 1993, flip side of ‘Mohair Sam‘] and Johnny Rivers [‘66, Imperial 66175]
Cindy, Cindy, or Get [or Run] Along Home, Cindy, was a traditional-based song recorded in many forms under many titles beginning in 1924 [’Cindy in the Meadows’ by Samantha Bumgarner & Eva Davis, Columbia 167-D]. Artists include Fiddlin’ John Carson, Riley Puckett, Gene Austin, Vernon Dalhart, Ernest Stoneman, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, Bradley Kincaid, Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, Milton Brown, Roy Newman, Lulu Belle & Scotty, Bob Wills, and the Delmore Brothers. It was recorded by Ricky Nelson in 1959, and was a minor hot for Trini Lopez in 1966 [’I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy’, Reprise 0480]. [LSP 4530 Love Letters from Elvis]
Got My Mojo Working/Keep Your Hands Off Of It have common roots in songs such as ‘Keep Your Hands off My Mojo’, 1932, Coot Grant & Kid Wilson, and ‘Keep Your Hands Off Her’ by Leadbelly. Got My Mojo Working was recorded by Ann Cole [‘57, Baton 237] and Muddy Waters [‘57, Chess 1652] and became famous with his live version at the 1960 Newport Folk Festival. Keep Your Hands Off Of It is a western swing version by Billy Hughes and his Pecos Pals [‘46, 4 Star], which was recorded by others as ‘Birthday Cake Boogie’ and was also the source of Priscilla Bowman’s ‘Hands Off’.
It Ain’t No Big Thing (But It’s Growing) was written in 1965. Jack Barlow released it as a single in 1968 [Dot 17139] and Charlie Louvin included it in his 1969 LP Hey Daddy I Just Can’t Help Believin’ [LSP 4445 Elvis - That’s the Way It Is] was recorded by Barry Mann [‘68, Capitol 2217] and Bobby Vee [on ‘69 LP Gates, Grills and Railings, Liberty LST-7612] before it became a hit by B.J. Thomas [’70, Scepter 12283].
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ has become a perennial classic since its hit version by the Righteous Brothers, a Phil Spector production [‘64, Philles 124]. Other charted versions include those by Dionne Warwick [’69, Scepter 12262] and Hall & Oates [‘80, RCA 12103].
Where Did They Go, Lord [47-9980] was recorded by its writer, Dallas Frazier, on the LP My Baby Packed Up My Mind and Left Me [‘71, RCA 4569]; it is not clear which was recorded first.
Rags to Riches was a major hit for Tony Bennett [’53, Columbia 40048] and an r&b hit for the Dominoes, with a Jackie Wilson lead [’53, King 45-1280]. A version by Texas group Sunny & the Sunliners [aka Sunglows] charted in 1963 [Tear Drop 3022]. [47-9980]
Snowbird was a hit for Nova Scotia‘s Anne Murray [’70, Capitol 2738]. [LSP 4460 Elvis Country - I’m 10,000 Years Old]
Whole Lot-a Shakin’ Goin’ On is the rock ‘n roll classic by Jerry Lee Lewis (‘57, Sun 267], a remake of a Roy Hall record [‘55, Decca 29697].
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face [74-0672] was written by British folk-singer Ewan MacColl, premiered by Kitty White, and also sung by Peggy Seeger, MacColl’s wife and Pete Seeger’s sister [‘62, The New Britain Gazette, Vol. 2, Folkways #8734], Bonnie Dobson [’62, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Vol. 1 [?], Prestige International], Kingston Trio [‘62, New Frontier, Capitol 1747], Chad Mitchell Trio [‘64, Reflecting, Mercury SR-60891], Peter, Paul and Mary [‘65, See What Tomorrow Brings, Warner 1615], We Five [‘66, A&M 820], Gordon Lightfoot [‘66, Lightfoot!, United Artists UAL-3847], Bert Jansch [’66, Jack Orion], and many others over the years. The most famous version is Roberta Flack’s, from her 1970 LP First Take [Atlantic 8230], which was released as a single in 1972 due to its inclusion in the movie Play Misty For Me and became a huge hit [Atlantic 2864].
Amazing Grace [LSP 4690 He Touched Me] is perhaps the best-known hymn in America, written in 1779 by John Newton, with a tune similar to ‘Loch Lomond’ added in 1844. It has been recorded several times by artists in both the white/country and black religious music traditions, beginning with the Original Harp Sacred Choir [1922, as ‘New Britain’, Brunswick 5150]. Mahalia Jackson’s version was from 1947 [Apollo 194]. Joel Whitburn lists over 50 appearances on charting LPs, beginning with The Weavers at Carnegie Hall, Vol. 2 [‘61, a 1960 live performance, Vanguard 9075]. Versions by Judy Collins [‘70, Elektra 45709] and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards [’72, RCA Victor 0709] became top 20 hits. It was the title song for Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel album [Atlantic 906].
Early Morning Rain [LSP 4671 Elvis Now], although recorded by Gordon Lightfoot in 1964, did not appear until his debut album [‘66, Lightfoot!, United Artists UAL-3847]. Meanwhile, it was introduced by Ian & Sylvia [‘65, Early Morning Rain, Vanguard 79175] and covered by Peter, Paul & Mary [‘65, See What Tomorrow Brings, Warner 1615; single Warner 5659].
(That’s What You Get) For Lovin’ Me [APL1 0283 Elvis ‘73] was recorded by Canadian Gordon Lightfoot in 1964, and was released as a single [Warner 5621] after Peter, Paul & Mary’s version [1/65, Warner 5496, included on A Song Will Rise, 4/65, Warner 1589]. It appeared on his debut album [‘66, Lightfoot!, United Artists UAL-3847] and was again released as a single in 1966 [United Artists 50055]. Fellow Canadians Ian & Sylvia also recorded it [‘65, Early Morning Rain, Vanguard 79175]
May 15-21 ‘71
Until It’s Time For You To Go was by Cree singer Buffy Sainte-Marie [’63, Vanguard 35028]. Charted versions were by Neil Diamond [’70, Uni 55204] and Kentucky r&b band New Birth [’73, RCA 0003]. [74-0619]
He Touched Me [74-0651] from William J. Gaither - ‘63 Bill Gaither Trio
It’s Only Love [48-1017] charted for B.J. Thomas in 1969 [Scepter 12244].
Miracle of the Rosary [LSP 4671 Elvis Now] Although Leane’s Elvis website states that this was written and recorded by Lee Denson in 1960, the notes to the 2-CD collection Amazing Grace state that it was a new song offered by Denson; Tim Neely’s Standard Catalog of American Records [1998 ed.] shows the Denson recording of the song as appearing in 1973 [Enterprise 9086]. Although his other recordings were from the late ‘50s.
Fools Rush In was originally recorded by Mildred Bailey [4/40, Columbia 35463]. Glenn Miller made it a big hit [6/40, Bluebird 10728], covered also by Tommy Dorsey, with Frank Sinatra vocal [8/40, Victor 26593] and Tony Martin [8/40, Decca 3119]. In the rock era, it charted for Brook Benton [’60, Mercury 71722], Etta James [’62, Argo 5424], and Rick Nelson [’63, Decca 31533] - this last was the version Elvis’s is based upon.
Padre [APL1 0283 Elvis ‘73] is ‘Padre San José’, a French song from 1956 by Gloria Lasso. The English version was a hit for Toni Arden [‘58, Decca 30628]. It was a country fit for Marty Robbins in 1971 [Columbia 45273].
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right was from Bob Dylan’s 1963 LP The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan [Columbia 1986]. It was a hit single for Peter, Paul & Mary [‘63, Warner 5385] and included on their album In the Wind [‘63, Warner 1507]. It was recorded by several other artists, including Joan Baez and Johnny Cash, and became a hit again in a somewhat bizarre version by the Four Seasons, under the name of Wonder Who? [‘65, Philips 40324].
I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen is an 1876 song which was popular for Will Oakland [‘12, Edison Amberol 1102] and Walter Van Brunt [‘16, Edison 80160].
I Will Be True was written and recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter in 1952 [MGM 11195].
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead was written by a team of British songwriters and recorded by the British-based American group the Fantastics [Bell 45,157].
Help Me Make It Through the Night was from Kris Kristofferson‘s 1970 LP Kristofferson [Monument SLP 18139, reissued as Me and Bobby McGee], and became a country crossover hit for Sammi Smith [’70, Mega 0015]. There were r&b charted versions by Joe Simon [’71, Spring 113], O.C. Smith [‘71, Columbia 45435] and Gladys Knight & the Pips [’72, Soul 35094]. . [LSP 4671 Elvis Now]
Lead Me, Guide Me [LSP 4690 He Touched Me] black gospel diva Doris Akers ‘52 [or ‘54]; picked up by George Beverly Shea.
I’ve Got Confidence recorded by Sherman Andrus [title song of Impact LP 3019, ‘69] wr. by Andraé Crouch. Recorded by Imperials in ‘69.
An Evening Prayer turn of century; recorded 1915 by Homer Rodeheaver on Victor; by Blackwood Brothers, Jim Reeves; featured by Mahalia Jackson at Newport ‘56.
Seeing Is Believing
A Thing Called Love was recorded by Jerry Reed [‘69, RCA Victor 74-0242].
Jun. 8-10 ‘71
Bosom of Abraham [47-0651] [see also ‘So High’] - aka ‘Rock My Soul’, Golden Gate Quartet [‘38], Trumpeteers [’49 Score 5031], Jordanaires [‘54 Decca 29188], Peter, Paul & Mary [‘64]
My Way [posthumous] was a hit for French idol Claude François in 1967 as ‘Comme d’habitude’. Paul Anka wrote the English lyric for Frank Sinatra [‘69, Reprise 0817]; his own version appears on the 1972 LP Paul Anka [Buddah 5093]. Many others have recorded the song, including the Sex Pistols in 1978.
Put Your Hand in the Hand [LSP 4671 Elvis Now] Anne Murray ‘70. Pop hit for Ocean ‘71. Shirley Caesar’s version won a Grammy [‘71]
Reach Out to Jesus [LSP 4690 He Touched Me] - Ralph Carmichael & Orchestra, ‘68
He Is My Everything ‘68 title song of Charlie Walker LP - writer Dallas Frazier (based on his ‘There Goes My Everything’]
There Is No God But God Ink Spots ‘51 or ’52, written by them
I, John according to website: written in ‘61, recorded on ‘62 King LP A Festival of Spirituals Songs as ‘I John Saw a Mighty Number’ by the Mighty Faith Increasers. There is also a claim that it is written by William J. Gaither. There are many black gospel songs with similar titles dating back to the 1870’s. Arizona Dranes’ ‘26 ‘John Said He Saw a Number’ may be the source or at least an inspiration.
Never Been to Spain was recorded in January 1971 by Hoyt Axton for his Joy to the World album [4/71, Capitol SMAS 788], and became a hit for Three Dog Night [12/71, Dunhill 4299].
You Gave Me a Mountain was a country hit by Johnny Bush [3/69, Stop 257] and a pop hit for Frankie Laine [2/69, ABC 11174]. It’s writer, Marty Robbins, recorded it on his LP It’s a Sin [7/69, Columbia 9811].
The Impossible Dream was sung by Richard Kiley in the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha, based on Don Quixote. It became a frequently recorded standard, led by the hit version for Jack Jones [6/66, Kapp 755]. (The musical was brought to France by Jacques Brel.)
It’s Impossible [APL1 0283 Elvis ‘73]. According to the Elvis song website, this is the same song as ‘The Way of Love’ - a Belgian entry in a 1965 music competition, sung by Lili Castel, but maybe not recorded, translated into English and sung by British songstress Kathy Kirby [9/65, Parrot 9775]. ‘Somos Novios’ was written and sung by Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero, for the film of the same name; made famous in English by Perry Como [11/70, RCA 0387], it became a much-recorded standard.
An American Trilogy is a collage by Mickey Newbury [’71, Elektra 45750] of ‘Dixie‘, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic‘, and ‘All My Trials‘. [74-0672]
Burning Love originally showed up on Arthur Alexander‘s 1972 eponymous LP, and was released as a single [’72, Warner Brothers 7658]. [74-0769]
Fool [74-0910] was an instrumental, ‘No Words’, by German bandleader James Last [‘71, Star Portrait]. The version with words was introduced by Wayne Newton [12/72, Chelsea 0109].
Always On My Mind was introduced by Brenda Lee [’72, Decca 32975]. In the 1980s there were major hit versions by Willie Nelson [‘82, Columbia 02741] and the Pet Shop Boys [’88, EMI-Man. 50123]. [74-0815]
It’s a Matter of Time [74-0769]
Where Do I Go From Here [APL1 0283 Elvis ‘73] was recorded by its writer, Paul Williams [‘72, Life Goes On, A&M SP-4367].
For the Good Times was, according to the website, first recorded by Bill Nash [‘68, Smash 2178]. Recoreded by writer Kris Kristofferson for his 1970 LP Kristofferson [Monument SLP 18139, reissued as Me and Bobby McGee], it became a big hit for Ray Price [8/70, Columbia 45178].
Steamroller Blues [VPSX 6089] was James Taylor’s ‘Steamroller’ from his 1970 LP Sweet Baby James [Warner Brothers WS 1843].
If You Don’t Come Back [APL1 0388 Raised on Rock/For Old Time’s Sake] was a 1963 Drifters song, the flip side of ‘Rat Race [Atlantic 2191], with Johnny Moore on lead, and is also on T-Bone Walker’s 1973 LP Very Rare [Reprise 2RS 6483].

Three Corn Patches is from bluesman T-Bone Walker’s 1973 LP Very Rare [Reprise 2RS 6483], produced by Leiber & Stoller.
Just a Little Bit was recorded by female blues singer Tiny Topsy in 1959 [Federal 12357] and by Roscoe Gordon, who claimed to have written it [9/59, Vee Jay 332]. There have been charting versions by Roy Head [‘65, Scepter 12116] and Little Milton [‘69, Checker 1217], and it appeared on T-Bone Walker’s 1973 LP Very Rare [Reprise 2RS 6483].
Take Good Care of Her [APB0 0196 ] was a pop hit for Adam Wade [‘61, Coed 546].
I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby [APB0 0196 ] was released in 1972 by its writer, Tony Joe White [Warner Bros. 7607, from The Train I‘m On, BS 2580] and by Billy Lee Riley [Entrance 7508].
For Ol’ Times Sake [APB0 0088] is from the Tony Joe White LP Homemade Ice Cream [‘73, Warner Bros. BS 2708].
It’s Different Now was, according to the Leane website, recorded by English pop singer Cilla Black in her 1971 LP Images [Parlophone 7128].
Are You Sincere was a pop hit for Andy Williams in 1958 [Cadence 1340]. It may have been recorded as a demo by its writer, Wayne Walker, in 1957.
My Boy was a 1967 song for French pop star Claude François as ‘Parce que je t’aime, mon enfant.’ The English version was introduced by Richard Harris in 1971 [Dunhill 4293].
Loving Arms was Dobie Gray’s 1973 follow-up [MCA 40100] to his big hit ‘Drift Away’.
Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues was a hit for Spokane, Washington, singer-songwriter Danny O’Keefe [‘72, Signpost 70006].
Talk About the Good Times was a minor country hit for Jerry Reed [‘70, RCA 9804].
If That Isn’t Love was written and recorded by the southern gospel group the Rambos, and was the title song to their 1969 LP [Vista 1228].
Spanish Eyes was a Bert Kaempfert instrumental [‘65, as ‘Moon Over Naples’, Decca 31141] and a hit for Al Martino [‘65, Capitol 5542].
She Wears My Ring originated as a Spanish-language number, ’La Golondrina (The Swallow)’ by Señor Francisco, who recorded it in 1906 and 1909 [Victor16065]; Golden Inspirations presents a 1912 version by Juan Arvizu. (According to AMG, the writer, Narciso Sarradel Sevilla, was Mexican; Leane says it ‘probably originated in Argentina‘). There was a 1929 French vocal version, on Starr, by Charles-Emile Brodeur, and an English-language radio transcription in 1934 by Rosa Ponselle. (All this is from the Leane website.) The modern version credited to Felice and Boudreaux Bryant was recorded by Jimmy Bell [‘60, Hickory 45-1136], appeared on Roy Orbison’s 1961 LP Crying [Monument SM 14007], and became a pop hit in England in 1968 for Kentucky native Solomon King [Columbia DB 8325].
Promised Land [BP 10074] charted for Chuck Berry [‘64, Chess 1916]. Among the many recorded versions is a swamp-pop version by Johnnie Allan [‘71, Jin 244].
You Asked Me To [APL1 0873] was a single release [‘73, ‘You Ask Me To,’ RCA 0086] from Waylon Jennings landmark album Honky Tonk Heroes
There’s a Honky Tonk Angel was on Troy Seals’ debut LP [‘73, Now Presenting Troy Seals, Atlantic SD 7281] and became a #1 country hit for Conway Twitty [‘74, MCA 40173].
Help Me [APB0 0280] was from the Kris Kristofferson LP Jesus Was a Capricorn [‘72, Monument 31909], as a duet with Larry Gatlin, and was released as the B-side of the hit ‘Why Me’ [‘73, Monument 8571].
Fairytale [APL1 1039] was an unusual country-flavored hit for the Oakland R&B group the Pointer Sisters [‘74, ABC/Blue Thumb 254]
Green, Green Grass of Home was first recorded in 1965 by Johnny Darrell [United Artists 869] and its writer Curly Putnam (according to Leane). It became a country hit for Porter Wagoner [‘65, RCA 8622] and a mammoth English hit for Welshman Tom Jones [‘66, Parrot 40009].
I Can Help was a #1 pop and country hit for Missouri-born Billy Swan [‘74, Monument 8621]
And I Love You So was written and recorded by New York singer-songwriter Don McLean [‘70, Mediarts 108]. There were charting versions by Bobby Goldsboro [/71, United Artists 50776] and Perry Como [‘73, RCA 0906].
Susan When She Tried was a modest country hit for the Statler Brothers [‘74, Mercury 73625].
Woman Without Love was recorded in 1968 by Bob Luman [Epic 10416] and Johnny Darrell [United Artists 50481].
Shake a Hand was a major R&B hit for New Jersey singer Faye Adams [‘53, Herald 416]. Other charted versions were by the Mike Pedicin Quintet [‘58, Cameo 125], LaVern Baker [‘60, Atlantic 2048] and Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins [‘63, Brunswick 55243].
Bringing It Back charted in a version by Brenda Lee [‘75, MCA 40442].
Pieces of My Life was from Charlie Rich’s 1974 LP The Silver Fox [Epic 33250].
Tiger Man was recorded for Sun by Joe Hill Louis, but unreleased [11/17/52]. The released version was by Rufus Thomas [6/30/53, Sun 188].
Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall [APL1 1506] charted for Larry Gatlin on the country charts [‘74, Monument 8602].
The Last Farewell was first recorded by Kenya-born British crooner Roger Whittaker in 1971 on A Special Kind of Man [RCA LSP-4505] and became a hit when released as a single four years later [‘75, RCA 50030].
Solitaire was the title song of a self-produced LP by Neil Sedaka, recorded in England [‘72, Kirshner KES-117]. Andy Williams’ version [‘73, Columbia 45936] was a hit in England; the Carpenters charted in 1975 [A&M 1721].
I’ll Never Fall In Love Again was a 1962 release for British skiffle singer Lonnie Donegan [Pye 7N 15446], and a hit for Tom Jones, first in England [‘67] then in the U.S. [‘69, Parrot 40018]. The tune was based on a folk song. ’Wanderin’’, collected by Carl Sandburg in Minnesota [according to Jacobs], and recorded by Sammy Kaye & his Orchestra, vocal by Tony Alamo [‘50, RCA Victor 47-3203]. The Leane website says that this is the same ‘Wanderin’ recorded in 1928 by Vernon Dalhart [Columbia 1585].
Danny Boy was based on the traditional Irish tune ‘Londonderry Air’, published in an 1855 collection. The German contralto Ernestine Schumann-Heink popularized the song in 1918 [Victor 88592] and it was revived in 1940 by Glenn Miller [Bluebird 10612]. There have been charting versions by Conway Twitty [’59, MGM 12826], Sil Austin [’59, Mercury 71442], Andy Williams [’61, Columbia 42199], Patti LaBelle [’64, Parkway 935], Jackie Wilson [’65,Brunswick 55277] and Ray Price [’67, Columbia 44042].
Love Coming Down, according to Leane, was recorded in 1975 by Razzy Bailey. It appeared on his 1979 LP If Love Had a Face [RCA Victor AHL1-3391].
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain was recorded by Roy Acuff [‘47, Columbia 37822], and revived by Willie Nelson as a #1 country hit [‘75, Columbia 10176].
She Thinks I Still Care [PB 10857] was a #1 country hit for George Jones [‘62, United Artists 424].
Moody Blue [PB 10857]was recorded by its writer, Mark James [‘75, Mercury 73718].
Hurt [PB 10601] was an R&B hit for Roy Hamilton, one of Elvis’ favorite singers [‘54, Epic 9086], and revived as a pop hit for Timi Yuro [‘61, Liberty 55343].
Pledging My Love [PB 10998] was a huge posthumous R&B hit for Memphis singer Johnny Ace [Duke 136].
He’ll Have to Go, recorded by rocker Billy Brown [‘59, Columbia 41380], and was a big country and pop hit for Jim Reeves [‘59, RCA 7643]. Solomon Burke charted with an R&B version [‘64, Atlantic 2218].
Unchained Melody [AFL1 2428], from the film Unchained, was one of the big hits of 1955, with several popular versions. One was by Elvis favorite Roy Hamilton [4/55, Epic 9102]; other big versions were by Al Hibbler [4/55, Decca 29441] and Les Baxter [4/55, Capitol 3055]. Vito & the Salutations did a doo-wop version in 1963 [Herald 583], but the most familiar version was the hit by the Righteous Brothers [‘65, Philles 129] - basically a Bobby Hatfield solo.
Little Darlin’ was a minor R&B hit for the Gladiolas, led by Maurice Williams [‘57, Excello 2101]. It became a huge hit in a cover version by the Toronto group the Diamonds [‘57, Mercury 71060].
If You Love Me (Let Me Know) was a pop and country hit for Australian-English singer Olivia Newton-John [‘74, MCA 40209].

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