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On June 10, 1958

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  • On June 10, 1958

    This is an important day in music history. On June 10, 1958 Elvis Presley did his last recording session in the 1950s. This was his last recording session before being shipped out to serve in the Army in December of 1958. Elvis did this recording session in his army uniform, as was on temporary leave from the army and RCA pushed for Elvis to get in the studio before he left in December. This was his last session. It was also his first major recording session in Nashville (all his previous sessions for RCA were done in Hollywood). Elvis, as well as many other artists, hated recording in Nashville due to the poor facilities and equipment, but RCA built a brand new facility which Elvis recorded at on this day in 1958. It was at their new facility on Music Row in Nashville. It was his final session until he came back from the Army and the first (aside from "Love Me Tender") to use "mainly" studio musicians. It was becoming the norm in Nashville and elsewhere that, in the studio, recording was done with the "house band", not the "touring band". The last sessions with the original band, aside from DJ Fontana, had been at Radio Recorders in February. The band put together by Chet Atkins consisted of Nashville A-Teamers Hank Garland on guitar, Bob Moore on bass, Floyd Cramer on piano and Buddy Harman along with DJ on drums. The Jordanaires were brought in on vocals with newcomer Ray Walker replacing Hugh Jarrett as the new bass singer with the group from then on. Elvis was a perfectionist, doing over 20 takes on each song, spending hours in the recording studio.

    Though the new RCA Nashville recording studio was state of the art when it opened the musicians that recorded there initially didn't like the sound of the room. There were areas of standing waves and washy, muddy acoustics. Bob Moore (Elvis' bass player) said, "Bill Porter changed the sound of the room when he got there in 1959." Bill described how he did it this way, "Tommy Strong and I went out and bought these acoustical tiles, 24 inches wide and four feet long. We cut those up into sections of three and made triangle tents out of them. We hung them from different heights around the ceiling, and it solved so much of the problems that musicians would come in during playback and say, 'My God, it's never sounded so good in here before.' 2

    Sessions at Studio B were typically scheduled for 10:00, 2:00 and 6:00 (though often subject to musician availability times could vary) with the standard expectation for a 3-hour session to produce 4 cuts. With Elvis though, there was essentially no clock. Gordon Stoker describes a typical Elvis session; "He'd get into the studio around seven at night for a six o'clock session. If he was hungry he'd order out for Krystal burgers, then we'd eat and go sit with him around the piano. He liked to get warmed up with old spirituals, gospel stuff. This would help him get relaxed. After a couple of hours, we'd get around to recording." Chet said he initially tried to keep up after recording all day but eventually he would "just come down, say 'hello' and go home to bed while they recorded all night."

    During this recording session, Elvis recorded dozens of takes (often over 20 of each track) of 5 songs:
    I Need Your Love Tonight J2WB 3253-18
    A Big Hunk O' Love J2WB 3254-SP
    Ain't That Loving You Baby J2WB 3255-04
    (Now And Then There's A) Fool Such As I J2WB 3256-09
    I Got Stung J2WB 3257-24

    Elvis hated all the takes (over 20) of "Ain't That Loving You Baby" and would not let RCA release this single in 1958. The recorded take in 1958 which eventually became the master single was finally released by RCA in 1964 against Elvis' wishes. "Now and Then There's a Fool Such as I" was the first secular song that earned Elvis a grammy nomination for. Once again, with several takes, for the master take, Elvis brought his Ray Walker, the new bass singer, over and told him to share his microphone with Elvis during the song. Elvis knew that the remastering would cut Ray Walker's vocals out if Ray used a separate mic. Since Ray shared the mic with Elvis, he couldn't be cut out which Elvis wisely knew. You can hear Ray sing an octave lower than Elvis in the opening line of the song.

    Here are some great photos of the RCA Nashville recording studio, studio B, where Elvis recorded and some shots of Elvis from this day in history, 1958. See the link: http://www.scottymoore.net/studio_b.html
    Last edited by Analog21; 06-10-2016, 08:59 PM.

  • #2
    Here are Takes 4 and 5 of "(Now and Then There's A) Fool Such as I" from this grueling session from Elvis' recording session June 10, 1958
     

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    • #3
      Here is Take 4 of "A Big Hunk O' Love"
       

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      • #4
        Here is the fast tempo take of "Ain't Loving You Baby" - the track that Elvis would not let Elvis release
         

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        • #5
          Here is the first take of "Ain't Loving You baby" - much slower than the take above. Elvis loved to experiment with the sound in his recording sessions
           

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          • #6
            Here are some photos of the session

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