June 17: Elvis Presley released From Elvis In Memphis in 1969


“Suddenly, Elvis had to be taken seriously because, suddenly, Elvis was taking the music seriously again. He was expressing his soul, which was plenty deep.”
~Robert Gordon

From Wikipedia:

From Elvis in Memphis is the ninth studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor. The recording took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis in January and February 1969 under the direction of producer Chips Moman and with the backing of the house band, informally known as “The Memphis Boys”. A direct consequence of the success of Presley’s 1968 Christmas television special and its soundtrack, the recording marked the definite return of Presley to non-soundtrack albums after the completion of his movie contract with Paramount Pictures.

Released June 17, 1969
Recorded January–February 1969 at American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Blue-eyed soul, country, rhythm and blues, pop
Length 36:42
Label RCA Victor
Producer Chips MomanFelton Jarvis

Presley’s entourage convinced the singer to leave RCA studios and record this album at American Sound, a new Memphis studio that was in the midst of a successful hit-producing streak. In making the record, Moman and his arrangers made the creative decision to shift from Presley’s pop sound aimed at established audiences to a new sound that could refresh his image. They worked to blend his early influences in country, rhythm and blues, and gospel with soul, which was trending in Memphis. The arrangements on the album used the Memphis soul inspired emphasis on the rhythm section with a reduced reliance on the string, brass and woodwind sections.

Elvis Presley @ American Studios 1969

From Elvis in Memphis was released in June 1969 to favorable reviews. The album peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200, number two on the country charts, and number one in the United Kingdom. The single “In the Ghetto” reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1970 and it was ranked number 190 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time released in 2003.

After a 14-year absence from Memphis, Elvis Presley returned to cut what was certainly his greatest album. .. The result was one of the greatest white soul albums (and one of the greatest soul albums) ever cut, with brief but considerable forays into country, pop, and blues as well. Presley sounds rejuvenated artistically throughout the dozen cuts off the original album, and he’s supported by the best playing and backup singing of his entire recording history.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)


Side one

  1.  “Wearin’ That Loved On Look” (Dallas Frazier, A.L. Owens)  – January 13, 1969
  2. “Only the Strong Survive” (Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff) – February 19, 1969
  3. “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms)” (Eddy Arnold, Thomas Dilbeck, Vaughan Horton) – January 22, 1969
  4. “Long Black Limousine” (Bobby George, Vern Stovall) – January 13, 1969
  5. “It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'” (Johnny Tillotson) – February 20, 1969
  6. “I’m Movin’ On” (Hank Snow) – January 14, 1969

Side two

  1. “Power of My Love” (Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye) – February 18, 1969
  2. “Gentle on My Mind” (John Hartford) – January 14, 1969
  3. “After Loving You” (Janet Lantz, Eddie Miller) – February 18, 1969
  4. “True Love Travels on a Gravel Road” (Dallas Frazier, A.L. Owens) – February 17, 1969
  5. “Any Day Now” (Burt Bacharach, Bob Hilliard) – February 20, 1969
  6. “In the Ghetto” (Mac Davis) – January 20, 1969


  • Elvis Presley – vocals, guitar, piano
  • String and Horn Arrangements – Glen Spreen
  • Ed Kollis – harmonica
  • John Hughey – pedal steel guitar (on “In the Ghetto”)
  • Reggie Young, Dan Penn – electric guitar
  • Bobby Wood – piano
  • Bobby Emmons – organ
  • Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech – bass
  • Gene Chrisman – drums


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4 thoughts on “June 17: Elvis Presley released From Elvis In Memphis in 1969”

  1. Whoops! the prior comment was about Bobby Dylan, Not Elvis . My 81 year old in box is sometimes over stuffed with memories. Bobby gave me a mention in “Chronicles” as did Suze Rotolo in her book “A Free Wheelin’ Time ” In Dave Van Ronks Memoir “The Mayor of Mac Dougal Street” on page 160 I get a nice mention from David and he tells a story of a night when Bobby Dylan, Ed McCurdy, Van Ronk and I joined in an impromptu session of singing early English Madrigals . Suze also mentions it in her book. Here’s link to a song I wrote as a tribute to the late, great Dave Van Ronk.

  2. I was an active folk singer in the early 60’s and I was one of the first to hear the stories of his “Imaginary” youth. We were sitting in a booth at the Gaslight and he was regaling me with tales of riding the rails, being an orphan who ran away from an Indian reservation to travel with the circus etc. I took them with a shaker of salt as did most of us who were village regulars in those days. But he was an engaging dude and though his rambling yarns were just stories, but they were good stories. Here’s a link to a video I recently did of “Tomorrow is a Long Time” that he invited me to hear the morning that he wrote it. The circumstances of that meeting are explained in a brief intro on the video and then I sing it as I heard it some 50 odd years ago Here’s the link :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiPBnKph70w PS This is an amazing blog, I love it.

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