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Today: Elvis Presley recorded “Long Black Limousine” in 1969 – 44 years ago

elvis_band_american_studios_1969

 ..But it is “Long Black Limousine” and “I’ll Hold You in My Heart” which mark the high point of the album and indeed may mark the high point of Elvis’ career to date. “Long Black Limousine” is the almost quintessential C&W ballad, whose melody bears traces of such mournful standards as “Old Shep” and “Green, Green Grass of Home”.
~Peter Guralnick (Rollingstone Magazien – Aug 1969)

One of the strongest songs from one of the best albums ever released… nothing less.

Wikipedia

Released June 17, 1969
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 3:44
Label RCA Victor
Writer Vern Stovall, Bobby George
Producer Chips Moman, Felton Jarvis

Long Black Limousine is a song written by Vern Stovall and Bobby George; the best known version is probably the one by Elvis Presley, who turned the original country tune into a soulful rhythm and blues song.

Stovall and George, country musicians based in southern California, probably wrote the song in 1958, when it was first recorded (but not released until many years later) by Wynn Stewart. The first released version was Stovall’s, in 1961, followed by Glen Campbell’s in 1962. The only charting single of the song (in 1968 it reached #73 on the US country charts) was Jody Miller’s, her version was also on her 1968 album The Nashville Sound of Jody Miller. O. C. Smith’s version was released as the B-side of his million-selling crossover hit “Little Green Apples” in 1968. Elvis Presley’s version appeared on his classic 1969 From Elvis in Memphis album.

Elvis - from elvis in memphis

The sound produced at American had little to do with high-tech equipment and everything to do with its stable of musicians, who had developed a heavily R&B-influenced style that far transcended any bluesy  edges the Nashville players might have boasted.
~Ernst Jorgensen (Elvis Presley – A life in music)

Chipc Moan & ElvisElvis & Chips Moman

All southerners, all close to Elvis’s age, they shared a musical heritage that blended country, gospel, and rhythm and blues.
To the musicians Chips Moman was a godfather-like figure in the studio, who would tolerate nothing less than total commitment.
~Ernst Jorgensen (Elvis Presley – A life in music)

An even better version – Long Black Limousine (Take 6):

Lyrics

There’s a long line of mourners driving down our little street
Their fancy cars are such a sight to see, oh, yeah
They’re all of your rich friends who knew you in the city
And now they’ve finally brought, brought you home to me

When you left you know you told me that some day you’d be returnin’
In a fancy car all the town to see, oh, yeah
Well, now everyone is watching you, you finally had your dream
Yeah, and you’re ridin’ in a long black limousine

You know the papers told of how you lost your life, oh, yeah
The party, the party and the fatal crash that night
Well, the race upon the highway, oh, the curve you didn’t see
When you’re riding in that long black limousine

You’re riding in that long black limousine

Through tear filled eyes I watch as you ride by, oh, yeah
A chauffeur, a chauffeur at the wheel dressed up so fine
Well, I never, I never, never, never, oh, my heart, all my dreams
Yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine

Yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine
Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine
Yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine

Producer: Chips Moman & Felton Jarvis

Produced by Felton Jarvis and Chips Moman
Engineered by Al Pachucki
Overdubs arranged by Mike Leech and Glen Spreen
Digital Engineer: Dick Baxter

Personnel

  • 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

Overdubbed:

  • Wayne Jackson, Dick Steff, R.F. Taylor – trumpets
  • Ed Logan, Jack Hale, Gerald Richardson] – trombones
  • Tony Cason, Joe D’Gerolamo – french horns
  • Andrew Love, Jackie Thomas, Glen Spreen, J.P. Luper – saxophones
  • Joe Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Mary Greene, Charlie Hodge, Ginger Holladay, Mary Holladay Millie Kirkham, Ronnie Milsap, Sonja Montgomery, June Page, Susan Pilkington, Sandy Posey, Donna Thatcher, Hurschel Wiginton – backing vocals

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Today the late Elvis Presely was born in 1935 – 78 years ago

elvis 1969

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)

My Way:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Elvis Aaron Presley
Born January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Mississippi, U.S.
Died August 16, 1977 (aged 42)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, pop, rockabilly, country, blues, gospel, R&B
Occupations Musician, actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1953–77
Labels Sun, RCA Victor
Associated acts The Blue Moon Boys, The Jordanaires, The Imperials
Website elvis.com

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is commonly known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King“.

Elvis 1969

 I know he invented rock and roll, in a manner of speaking, but … that’s not why he’s worshiped as a god today. He’s worshiped as a god today because in addition to inventing rock and roll he was the greatest ballad singer this side of Frank Sinatra—because the spiritual translucence and reined-in gut sexuality of his slow weeper and torchy pop blues still activate the hormones and slavish devotion of millions of female human beings worldwide.
~Robert Christgau (December 24, 1985)

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal….
More important from a music lover’s perspective, however, are his remarkable artistic achievements.
~Ricihe Unterberger (allmusic.com)

… and his 3 best songs:

Suspicious Minds (alternate take):

Mystery Train:

If I Can Dream:

Album of the day:

From Elvis In Memphis (1969):

ElvisinMemphis

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Today: Ryan Adams is 38

“I’ve never been to Vegas, but I’ve gambled all my life.”
― Ryan Adams (Oh My Sweet Carolina)

“Some people want to go forever, I just want to burn off hard and bright.”
― Ryan Adams (Firecracker)

From Wikipedia:

Birth name David Ryan Adams
Born November 5, 1974 (age 38)
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Origin Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Genres Rock, alternative country
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter,poet, painter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica,bass guitar, drums, banjo,mandolin, ukulele
Years active 1991–present
Labels Bloodshot, Lost Highway, PAX AM, Capitol
Associated acts Whiskeytown, The Cardinals,The Finger, Patty Duke Syndrome, Blank Label
Website http://www.ryan-adams.com/

David Ryan Adams (born November 5, 1974) is an American alt-country/rock singer-songwriter, from Jacksonville, North Carolina. Adams left the group Whiskeytown and released his first solo album Heartbreaker in 2000. The album was nominated for the Shortlist Music Prize and Adams released six additional solo albums, including the UK certified-gold Gold. He released five albums with the rock band The Cardinals and in 2009 Adams married singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore. Adams left The Cardinals and announced that he was taking a break from music. He resumed performing in October 2010 and released his thirteenth studio album, Ashes & Fire, on October 11, 2011. The album peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.

Oh My Sweet Carlonina:

Mark Deming (allmusic):
Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse. Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina in 1974. While country music was a major part of his family’s musical diet when he was young (he’s cited Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash as particular favorites), in his early teens Adams developed a taste for punk rock and began playing electric guitar.

Album of the day:

Gold (2001):

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Today: The late Albert Collins was born in 1932 – 80 years ago

From Wikipedia:

Born October 1, 1932
Leona, Texas, United States
Died November 24, 1993 (aged 61)
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Genres Blues, blues rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals, harmonica
Years active 1952–1993
Labels Alligator

Albert Collins (October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993) was an American electric blues guitarist and singer (and occasional harmonica player) whose recording career began in the 1960s in Houston and whose fame eventually took him to stages across North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. He had many nicknames, such as “The Ice Man”, “The Master of the Telecaster” and “The Razor Blade”.

From allmusic.com – Richard Skelly:

Albert Collins, “The Master of the Telecaster,” “The Iceman,” and “The Razor Blade” was robbed of his best years as a blues performer by a bout with liver cancer that ended with his premature death on November 24, 1993. He was just 61 years old. The highly influential, totally original Collins, like the late John Campbell, was on the cusp of a much wider worldwide following via his deal with Virgin Records’ Pointblank subsidiary. However, unlike CampbellCollins had performed for many more years, in obscurity, before finally finding a following in the mid-’80s.
…read more @ allmusic.com 

Iceman:

 

Album of the day – Ice Pickin’ (1978):

From allmusic – Thom Owens:
Ice Pickin’ is the album that brought Albert Collins directly back into the limelight, and for good reason, too. The record captures the wild, unrestrained side of his playing that had never quite been documented before. Though his singing doesn’t quite have the fire or power of his playing, the album doesn’t suffer at all because of that — he simply burns throughout the album.
….read more over @ allmusic.com

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Today: George Jones is 81

By most accounts, George Jones is the finest vocalist in the recorded history of country music.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Be real about what you do. Stay true to the voice inside you. Don’t let the “business” change what it is you love because the people, the fans, respond to what is heartfelt. They can always tell when a singer is faking it.
~George Jones

From Wikipedia:

Birth name George Glenn Jones
Also known as No Show Jones
The Possum
Born September 12, 1931 (age 81)
Saratoga, Texas, USA
Origin Vidor, Texas, USA
Genres Country
Occupations singer-songwriter
Instruments acoustic guitar
vocals
Years active 1954–present
Labels Starday
Mercury
United Artists
Musicor
Epic
MCA Nashville
Asylum
Bandit
Associated acts Tammy WynetteMerle Haggard
Website www.GeorgeJones.com

George Glenn Jones (born September 12, 1931) is an American country music singer known for his long list of hit records, his distinctive voice and phrasing, and his marriage to Tammy Wynette.

Over the past 20 years, Jones has frequently been referred to as the greatest living country singer. Country music scholar Bill C. Malone writes, “For the two or three minutes consumed by a song, Jones immerses himself so completely in its lyrics, and in the mood it conveys, that the listener can scarcely avoid becoming similarly involved.”

Throughout his long career, Jones made headlines often as much for tales of his drinking, stormy relationships with women, and violent rages as for his prolific career of making records and touring. His wild lifestyle led to Jones missing many performances, earning him the nickname “No Show Jones.” With the help of his fourth wife, Nancy, he has been sober for more than 10 years. Jones has had more than 150 hits during his career, both as a solo artist and in duets with other artists. The shape of his nose and facial features have given Jones the nickname “The Possum.” Jones said in an interview that he has chosen to tour only about 60 dates a year.

Jones’s identity was closely tied to his alcoholism. One of the best known stories of Jones’ drinking days happened when he was married to his second wife, Shirley Corley. Jones recalled Shirley making it physically impossible for him to travel to Beaumont, located 8 miles away, and buy liquor. Because Jones would not walk that far, she would hide the keys to each of their cars they owned before leaving. She, however, did not hide the keys to the lawn mower. Jones recollects being upset at not being able to find any keys before looking out the window and at a light that shone over their property. He then described his thoughts, saying: “There, gleaming in the glow, was that ten-horsepower rotary engine under a seat. A key glistening in the ignition. I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour. It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did.”

From allmusic.com – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

By most accounts, George Jones is the finest vocalist in the recorded history of country music. Initially, he was a hardcore honky tonker in the tradition of Hank Williams, but over the course of his career he developed an affecting, nuanced ballad style. In the course of his career, he never left the top of the country charts, even as he suffered innumerable personal and professional difficulties. Only Eddy Arnold had more Top Ten hits, and Jones always stayed closer to the roots of hardcore country.
…read more over @ allmusic.com 

Number one country hits:

  1. “White Lightning” (1959)
  2. “Tender Years” (1961)
  3. “She Thinks I Still Care” (1962)
  4. “Walk Through This World with Me” (1967)
  5. “We’re Gonna Hold On” (with Tammy Wynette) (1973)
  6. “The Grand Tour (song)” (1974)
  7. “The Door (George Jones song)” (1975)
  8. “Golden Ring (song)” (with Tammy Wynette) (1976)
  9. “Near You” (with Tammy Wynette) (1977)
  10. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” (1980)
  11. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (with Barbara Mandrell) (1981)
  12. “Still Doin’ Time” (1981)
  13. “Yesterday’s Wine” (with Merle Haggard) (1982)
  14. “I Always Get Lucky with You” (1983)

Check out: List of George Jones’ awards

He Stopped Loving Her Today – Live 1980:

She Thinks I Still Care – Live 1962:

Album of the day – The Essential George Jones: The Spirit of the Country (1994):

 

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