‘I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.’
– Bob Dylan (1997)
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977). Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”. Elvis Presley would have been 81 years old today.
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and when he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.
Bob Dylan and Elvis clearly love/loved the same kind of music, blues, rock’n roll, country and gospel.
Elvis has done a few Bob Dylan songs.
Tomorrow Is A Long Time:
“the one recording I treasure the most.”
– Bob Dylan
“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. Dylan’s version first appeared on the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. IIcompilation, released in 1971.
Dylan’s officially released version of the song is a live recording from his April 12, 1963, concert at New York’s Town Hall. Dylan had recorded the song in December 1962 as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons, his publishing company. This particular recording, long available as a bootleg, was released by Columbia in 2010 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964. A studio version of the song, an outtake from the June 1970 sessions for New Morning, has also been bootlegged.
It is one of Bob Dylan’s most covered songs.
This is my favorite cover, Thåström – Bara Om Min Älskade Väntar (audio in Swedish):
And 10 more very good versions:
According to Ernst Jorgensen’s’ book Elvis Presley: A Life In Music – The Complete Recording Sessions, Presley first heard the song via Charlie McCoy, who had previously participated in the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde sessions. McCoy played the 1965 Odetta album Odetta Sings Dylan before an Elvis session and Presley “had become taken with ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time.'”
Dylan has said that this was his favorite cover of any of his songs. He once said that Presley’s cover of the song was “the one recording I treasure the most.”
Yeah, Elvis Presley. I liked Elvis Presley… Elvis Presley recorded a song of mine. That’s the one recording I treasure the most… It was called Tomorrow Is A Long Time. I wrote it but never recorded it.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner, Nov 1969)
“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” is an example of an exceptional Dylan song from 1962-63 that as far as we know he never chose to record in any of his Columbia studio sessions, although many lesser songs were recorded, sometimes more than once.
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan Performing Artist I: The Early Years 1960-1973 )
Here are 6 fantastic live versions of this beautiful love song.
We’re caught in a trap
I can’t walk out
Because I love you too much baby
Recorded between four and seven in the morning, during the landmark Memphis session that helped return the King to his throne, “Suspicious Minds” — the final Number One single of his lifetime — is Presley’s masterpiece: He sings so intensely through the fade-out that his band returns for another minute of the tear-stained chorus.
Together with “Mystery Train” this is my fav Elvis song (although not this version).
When I first heard Elvis’ voice I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock & roll religion as it exists in today’s form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.
~Bob Dylan (1987)
His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.
~President Jimmy Carter August 17, 1977
Elvis Presley is a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons. … The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues. … Elvis has emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of schlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and, yes, a great American.
~Greil Marcus (The Village Voice – Apr 7, 1975)
And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way