Wonderful interview--definitely worth revisiting.
One Q & A that still serves as great food for thought:
AD: The info in your "Day to Day" book is quite detailed on rehearsals, even mentioning songtitles:
Then there is this exchange, which bugged me when I first read it several years ago:
Jan. 19, 1972 ? ?The Sun Ain?t Gonna Shine?, ?I?m Leaving It Up To You?, ?Delta Lady?, ?The Last Time I Saw Her Face?. July 21, ?73 ? ?She?s Not You?, ?I Feel So Bad?, ?A Mess O Blues?, ?Twelfth Of Never?, ?Are You Sincere?. Jan. 15, ?74 ? ?Born To Lose?, ?Twelfth Of Never?, ?I?m Leavin? It Up To You?. March 16, ?75 ? ?You Can Have Her?, ?Susie Q?...
Is any of this info based on tape-recording?
Ernst: That?s a ?no comment? situation. RCA doesn?t want me to comment on this. I don?t print stuff in my book without paper documentation, and I don?t say that these tapes exist and I don?t comment on how they sound. I think in general Elvis rehearsed at RCA before every Vegas engagement in the earlier years. If Elvis started a song and stopped it halfway through, it would be written on the list, even if they couldn?t play a decent version. Other paperwork suggests very clearly that arrangements were written for songs, but that may have been in anticipation, just an idea that Elvis had, "We should do that", or that Charlie or Felton thought that it would be a great idea, and Elvis said "yes", then when they were going to do it, he said "no". Because Elvis changed his mind a lot, even during shows. Suddenly, he?d just drop a song.
AD: What?s your favorite FTD release so far?
Ernst: There?s two ways of looking at that. Musically, I think it?s LONG LONELY HIGHWAY, because I love the Nashville 60?s sound. But from a professional point of view, I think JUNGLE ROOM SESSIONS is the one I like the most, because it was possible to make Elvis sound a lot better than I thought he did at the time. So that was a personal triumph in a way.
I have always taken that to mean that using the magic of digital enhancement, Elvis' voice was improved in such a way that in the finished product he ended up sounding much better than he actually did on those tapes...as if the outtakes released previously (and even the masters) feature an Elvis in obviously much weaker voice.
But I wonder if maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant to convey that by presenting Elvis' voice in undubbed form and optimal clarity, he was better able to showcase the vocal quality that still existed and cast a more positive light on the previously oft-derided Jungle Room sessions. The sound really is fantastic on that CD, from Elvis' voice to the instruments to the ambience in the room.
No, I'm still leaning toward my initial impression as being accurate. Could someone convince me otherwise?