Yes Linda also. I do hope that someday she writes a book about Elvis.
Yes Linda also. I do hope that someday she writes a book about Elvis.
I would rather believe someone from Elvis' musical entourage than a MM member. Although some of them, like Jerry Shilling for instance, were very loyal to Elvis during his life time, most of them turned very commercial after 1977.
Another point is that Elvis did not discuss every detail with his inner circle especially when it had something to do with his relationship with the Colonel. He could never be sure who would go around behind his back.
However with his fellow musicians like the Imperials or the Stamps he could talk easily about his frustrations especially if it would concern Gospel music.
And don't forget the Colonel did try to prevent him several times recording specific songs. Remember the arguing about Suspicious Minds?? If Tom Diskin was't there on the spot we might never heard of the song. And that's just an argument that leaked out. I'm pretty sure there are more stories in the same line.
When my friend approached the Imperials it was because he wanted them to autograph his picture. Because they are very friendly and interested in their fans and Elvis' fans my friend was able to start a conversation and just out of curisosity and being an admirer of Elvis Gospel music he asked about it. He could never imagine he would get this kind of answer from Terry Blackwood.
I can imagine easily that the members of the Imperials, who worked on both Elvis? awarded Gospel albums might have asked Elvis the same question.
I see what your saying Leroy, but I do feel that I feel that his friends are more reliable than the musicians. Regardless, it is a strange response from Terry Blackwood. I just find it so bizzare, I can't see Elvis ever allowing such a clause from the Colonel. Especially with plans in 74' for a Gospel TV special. I'm not syaing the Colonel didn't try and interfere, but usually it was to do with what cut he could get out of the song financially.
The Col. may have argued with Elvis over a lot of things- but lets face it he recorded Suspicious Minds despite the Col. and it was a hit. He loved Gospel music more than any other, if you believe his own words, so its hard for me to fathom he would ever allow such a thing. Also I think the Parker would be smart enough to know that and would never ask for it. Some people thought the Col. hypnotised him, a book that came out in 2002 and (went nowhere) said the Col. had proof Elvis was a homosexual and that was what held him in place. Elvis for all his talent was not a business man. Parker was, and he had got Elvis many good deals, movies, merchandising etc. but in the 70s Parker just did not negotiate for Elvis-he negotiated for himself. Elvis did not fully know it, and trusted him on the basis of the work he did in the 50s&60s. If he had known it maybe it would have been different. There is not always a mysterious answer to such questions as this, like I said loyalty(and bad judgement on Elvis's part)are what held him to the COl. Look at his 70s albums and you find a gospel song on many of them. Talk About the Good TIme, I've Got A feeling in My Body, Life,If That Isn't Love, etc. He recorded them when he wanted to. I just wish whatever he had recorded he had got to the studio more often, Such a shame. As far as Terry saying this maybe he believed it but was just wrong.
The Colonel was far too intelligent a man to stop Elvis recording gospel music - the bedrock of Elvis' life AND a big profit turner to boot! In other words, gospel music was valuable to both men for entirely different but equally powerful reasons. Further, although not many gospel albums were produced, one must put this into its proper context: when a gospel album was made, it was purely gospel (i.e. a high density of material ALL belonging to the same genre) and therefore the well was visited extensively in a short time. Moreover, the spirit of gospel was embodied in almost every song Elvis recorded/performed - no matter the genre - so there was not necessarily a fervent drive for Elvis to churn out gospel album after gospel album. Lastly, as much as Elvis wanted to share his gifts with others, I think gospel was essentially private to him: hence all the gospel-based "warm ups" and "warm downs" he did purely for relaxation and that, by definition, weren't recorded. The application of a little logic goes on a long way when dealing with issues such as this.
I HOPE SHE DOES TOO!! I BET SHE HAS SOME VERY INTERESTING STORIES TO TELL, AND SHE SEEMS TO BE A NO-NONSENSE TYPE OF PERSON THAT WOULD TELL IT LIKE IT IS, SO TO SPEAK! I DON'T THINK SHE WOULD WRITE A BOOK THAT WOULD SLANT THE STORIES TOWARD MAKING HERSELF LOOK GOOD (AS MANY OTHER PEOPLE FROM THE INNER CIRCLE HAVE DONE THROUGHOUT THE YEARS!)....I TRULY BELIEVE SHE WOULD TELL THE STORIES AS THEY ACTUALLY HAPPENED, GOOD OR BAD!!! :hmm:Quote:
Originally Posted by 0349054
EXCELLENT POINTS LEROY!!! (y)Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy
I had the chance to meet Jerry Schilling in Memphis during Elvis Week 2000, and he is such a great guy!! He tells the stories as they happened with no embellishing of the facts! I honestly think he is one of the most reliable storytellers from Elvis' inner circle!!
I also agree with your point that the guys from The Imperials and/or The Stamps probably would also be very reliable in terms of the stories they tell about Elvis....I'm sure that Elvis confided in them often, particularly J.D. Sumner!!!
I'm affraid a lot of you give the Colonel too much credit. He was not intelligent, he was smart and foxy. That's a difference. He was also not a religion man although he pretended to be. He did a lot of wheelin' and dealin' behind Elvis back and mostly not in favour of Elvis although he used his name. He walked over people. Remember that the 50/50 contract was made up in 1967. For someone who's able to do things like that adding a clausule is easy, almost a daily routine. Elvis just did have no say in this. The "Suspicious Minds Battle" was won not because of Elvis but because of Tom Diskin who recognized a potential hit. And he was one of the few people who was able to go against the Colonel. But he was not always around.
Somewhere in the middle of the sixties the Colonel decided that Elvis' voice was to be mixed more to the front in recordings, something that made Elvis explode. An important part of the Elvis sound was his voice blending with the harmony vocal (also a Gospel trick). He went over to the Colonel's office to fight it and lost. The Colonel did not say what to record or how to record it but simply created the circumstance in a way that Elvis could not do anything else but the Colonel's way. That's the most tricky things of all because that way it looks as though it's Elvis own desicion.
Leroy, it may or may not be true, but I believe it is quite possible that either Terry Blackwood did a little bit of embellishing to your friend there, or Elvis told a tall tale to him.
The first seems logical to me because such stories are in keeping with the position that Colonel controlled Elvis and kept him artistically bankrupt. I am not saying that isn't a true statement, but it is convenient for the estate or us fans to in many cases make Elvis out to be the victim, someone who simply wasn't in control of his own destiny.
I've noticed that just in the last few years the estate has gone from nearly glorifying the Presley-Parker relationship to pointing out all its faults at every opportunity, sometimes misrepresenting things a bit ( :supriced: ).
Terry Blackwood has been involved with several EPE projects, so it makes sense that he would be out there telling the official versions of stories, or those that are in keeping with them.
My other thought was that Elvis may have said something to that effect to the Imperials, perhaps when seeing them after not having worked with them for a few years and they asked him if he had any plans to record any more gospel.
Regardless, to me it seems pretty unlikely that Elvis would have stood for such a restriction. If anything, had there been one, that probably would have prompted a gospel session and a declaration from him that he would record no further music until his gospel music was released!
Also, when would this have happened? Let's see...If That Isn't Love was recorded in the studio in 1973, so it would have been after that. How Great Thou Art was a live recording, but it won a Grammy and it's hard to imagine Elvis being told to record no more gospel after that happening! And when you think of how infrequently Elvis went into a studio subsequent to that--there was actually only one more session in an actual recording studio--it seems very unlikely that anyone would have restricted him in that way when they were so anxious to get new material out of him.
To use an Elvis word... FANTASTIC points made by all!
Leroy, of course The Colonel was not necessarily smart/intelligent/intellectual in all the ways use of those broad words imply (and yes, he was also a formidable presence - a sneak, a bully boy, a paranoid sociopath) - but he surely knew enough that preventing Elvis from recording gospel material was bad for Elvis and bad for ol' Colonel! Like Lonnie, I don't believe Elvis would have stood for that kind of restriction, anyway! Getting his voice amped up - even if that move alone was antithetical to gospel - was, as you've said, something The Colonel could and did get away with, but I'm really not so sure that a flat-out ban on an entire genre - Elvis' favourite genre - of music was even on the cards. It seems completely self-defeating from almost every angle.
This certainly is an extraordinary claim we're dealing with here. And in the words of Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
Glad you agree, Cryo.
One last point...Though the project was scrapped, at least for a while there were plans for Elvis to do an Easter TV special in '74, as was indicated on the single for I've Got A Thing About You Baby (*COMING* ELVIS 1974 EASTER TV SPECIAL was the extent of it). Presumably, this would have predominantly featured gospel performances.
I guess someone might say that didn't happen for the very reason of the restrictive clause being added to Elvis' contract, but I highly doubt it. The fact that it was planned in the first place is telling, I believe.
It's a shame that special that didn't happen isn't something in our current DVD rotation, or something that we are waiting to have officially released, like Elvis In Concert.
Lonnie, I don't think it's about recording a Gospel type song every now and then to put on an album like "Help Me", "If That Isn't Love" or "Talk About The Good Times". It's about recording Gospel albums.
Off course even Parker had to admit Gospel and Spirituals were always at the base of every piece of music Elvis ever recorded. And on stage Elvis dictated the music. On the other hand remains the fact Elvis never recorded a full Gospel album again despite the success of the awarded "How Great Thou Art" and "He Touched Me".
It was very hard to get Elvis into the studio in the second part of the seventies. The thought of recording a new album with his favourite music could have turn the events. If the Colonel was the manager he ought to be he should have recognized this
Well while I don't believe in the clause, the time between How Great Thou Art and He Touched Me, was roughly 5 years. How Great Thou Art was recorded in May 66' I believe and released in 67'? Not sure if it was late 66' or 67' think 67' though. He Touched Me won a grammy in 72', so we can say about 5 years. 72'-77' is the same 5 year gap, coupled with an Elvis who wasnt that motivated to record anything. I don't think he was prevented from doing an album, I think he just didn't do one.
The reason the TV Special in 74' never happened is because some ***** based its popularity on a re-run of Aloha, which basically everyone had seen, and unless I'm a huge fan of someone I'm not going to watch the same TV special from a year earlier again, ( except Elvis ) and I think thats the reason the re-run didn't pull in big numbers.
The real mystery is not gospel albums, its why was Elvis so hesitant to record?
I think maybe he needed another challenge there also, Jerry Lee Lewis went to London and did an album called" Session" in 1970 I think. Chuck Berry also went to London and did one similar to it. They used great players from, at the time, current popular rock. Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr,Albert Lee, Alvin Lee Peter Frampton etc... My dream is that Elvis would go into the studio with McCartney,or someone of his talent, as producer and have Clapton, Harrison and other rock heavyweights to set in on the cuts. I think if he could have got excited about going in with people he inspired, maybe it would have got his fire back for recording. Unfortunately he just avoided it for whatever reason. Maybe with touring and Vegas he just did not want anymore of a workload. Maybe being told all the time he had to have 3 singles and an album a year he felt pushed and it was his way or saying don't push me. Sad
I see. I'm still skeptical but thanks for pointing that out.Quote:
Originally Posted by Leroy
KPM, that scenario sounds wonderful to me too, and would have given Elvis much more critical appreciation for his later years. But I think his insecurity would have prevented that from ever happening. When Elvis met the Beatles, I think it was John who asked why he didn't go "back to his old style of record." I'm sure that type of comment bothered him. And in the seventies, working with the chart-toppers of the day who were probably most familiar with his earlier sound and songs would have meant inevitable comparisions, spoken or otherwise. I don't think he would have liked that too much.
Thats exactly right, I think he worried that they thought of him as a joke in theQuote:
Originally Posted by Lonniebealestreet
60s, remember he was 30 and no one thought you could stay in rock past 30 back then. So maybe he did feel a little out of the loop. Its funny when he did meet other rockers in the 70s, I think he felt more secure since he was selling out every place he went and was seeing not just older fans but many teenagers.
In 76 when I saw him there were just as many teeny boppers as people my age and older. Plus some acts , like Zepplin, were out and out fans who wanted him to know it. But he just was never really at ease with other stars or bands(with a very few exceptions)
This is all fascinating in its own right.
One thing I'm still struggling with... Was Elvis ill at ease with most music people or did he simply feel indifferent to them? If it's the former (though I suspect it's a bit of both), then that says something profound about his character. Not meaning to criticise or generalise at all - but people within the field of music can be pretty passsionate and opinionated. Maybe it was all a bit too rich for Elvis. I kinda like that idea. Although reverence is on a different scale to simply liking (i.e. I'm going off on a slight tangent), Elvis reserved true reverence for few. Roy Hamilton is about the only one that springs easily to mind.
Anyway, returning to the issue of gospel music...
Elvis might have told his backing singers a white lie. Remember back to the 1972 MSG press conference. Paraphrasing: "Oh, so Elvis, why haven't you recorded much rock 'n roll recently?..." "Well, sir... it's hard to come by good rock material". While there was probably some truth in that - the musical landscape had shifted and the rock 'n roll now making the rounds was very different to what Elvis started with - I think he was also being a little dishonest about his own feelings. If only he could have said that, yes, he still liked rock 'n roll, but no, it wasn't a central concern for him anymore.
Something similar might be going on with this latest anecdote. Now, I'm not for one moment suggesting Elvis cared less for gospel all of a sudden - heck, no! - but that his enthusiasm for recording in general had slid and gospel suffered as much as any other genre. Perhaps, in some senses, gospel actually suffered MORE. For gospel music was always something Elvis treated with the utmost respect. Thus, if his drive for recording as a whole had diminished, there was probably no way in his mind he would be doing gospel unless he felt he could give it 110%. So, why did he do it on stage? Well, it seems pretty evident to me that live performances and audiences stirred something in him that the cramped confines of a studio couldn't; his last Grammy was for a LIVE performance of a gospel song, afterall. Felton Jarvis could barely budge Elvis on the issue of studio-based albums in his closing years. The stage was where Elvis wanted to be and the stage was where he gave some of his best twilight performances.
Just a little more food for thought.
There is so much interesting information and comments on this thread I don't know where to begin. Although I do have to agree that Elvis not doing any more gospel albums had more to do with his inability to get into the studio and lack of enthusiasm than a supposed clause. The Colonel truly had a hold on him, and I think Elvis was very insecure about how he would do if the Colonel left. Vernon and Elvis had virtually no experience in this aspect of his career, always deferring to the Col. because that is what he did best. We also have to remember that Elvis wasn't exactly selling alot of albums ( compared to early on) late in his career, which could have added to the insecurities and gave the Col. more ammunition with Elvis as in "It's you that decides the album content and look how well that's doing! YOu let me handle all the rest and we'll pay the bills" kind of thing.
Elvis did know what was going on though as is evident in the famous Red West phone call where Elvis talks about the Col. losing touch with Elvis, and being only about the money. He was stuck, or atleast he felt so. All of which added to all else; the book, his little girl gone, the lawsuits, paternity suits, slow record sales, father's health, increased medicine intake, all the ailments and health problems, I could go on and on. Noone could help him, or would help him.
Ok, I went off on a tangent there, sorry. I just get upset talking about the Col. and all the people that used him. He was like an organ donor hooked up to a life support system and everytime someone needed an organ they just came and took it until there was nothing left. Thank God he had performing to look forward to. He truly did love that.
O.K....I've been reading all of your posts here and trying to soak everything in, so forgive me if I say/ask something here that has already been addressed above...
The one BIG thing I wonder....if Elvis truly wanted to record another gospel album, why didn't he simply do it? After the Stax Sessions in 1973, Elvis would only step foot into a recording studio once more in March, 1975 for the TODAY sessions. After that, he had no interest in going back to a recording studio again and had to have the recording studio come to him in 1976 for the Jungle Room Sessions. BUT WHY didn't Elvis just announce that he wanted to record a new gospel album and just go into the studio and do it? I can't believe that Elvis wouldn't have gone to a recording studio to record a new gospel album if the opportunity presented itself. But what is the reason for Elvis not simply saying "I want to do a new gospel album, and I'm going to do it period!" Of course, we all know that Elvis didn't like standing up to The Colonel, and this probably was the main reason....and I'm not saying that there is some underlying restriction or "deal" (so to speak) that would keep Elvis from recording a new gospel album. But if The Colonel was such a con man, why didn't he tell Elvis "look, you go into the studio and record some tracks for a new non-gospel album, and while you are in the studio, you can record some tracks for a new gospel album too!"? :hmm: This way, Elvis' RCA contract for new recordings was fulfilled by having him record in an actual studio!! Let's face it, I am sure that having all the recording equipment moved into Graceland for the Jungle Room Sessions in 1976 was probably an expensive project....one that most likely cut into The Colonel's profits somehow. I can't believe RCA would simply absorb all of the cost of moving all that equipment to Graceland, without taking some of the cost out of the profits from the recordings that was paid to Elvis and The Colonel. Maybe I'm overanalyzing this too much... :hmm:
Just a thought....sorry if it sounds a bit disorganized.... :blink:
Elvis by the late 70's was depressed. I don't think he had any desire to record. He was depressed and struggling with a prescription drug dependency and a fluctuating weight problem as well as ever more increasing visits to hospitals. I don't think he wanted to record anything, so I doubt it was a concious decision to alienate a prospective Gospel album.
Elvis wanted Tom Hulett or Jerry Weintarub to be his manager after the 74' disagreement, and it's a pity he never hired one of them. He should of payed the Colonel his dues, and bid the old money sucker farewell once and for all. As for RCA moving everything into Gracelabd, Elvis really wasnt that bothered to record even when they came. It was difficult for them to get him to come down and record and even when he did he was easily distracted. January 77' in Nashiville shows how little he cared for recording at this stage.