Yesterday there was another e-mail from Arjan Deelen waiting for me when I turned on my computer. For those of you who follow my blog you know I've written about the shows he's putting together called the Original Elvis Tribute 2009. I'd like to share this e-mail with you as well. It's titled "30 years after The King's death, Michele Jarrett found out that Elvis once sang about her."
Michele Jarrett was barely 10 years old when Elvis died, but nevertheless she's one of the very few people who can rightfully claim that The King really sang about her - a claim that even his ex-wife Priscilla or his daughter Lisa Marie cannot make. It's even more remarkable when you realize that Elvis never met Michele nor even knew about her existence.
So what's the story behind this? Well, Michele is the daughter of songwriter Michael Jarrett, who wrote a.o. 'I'll Be Home On Christmas Day' for Presley. Jarrett often used his personal life as an inspiration for his writing, and he wrote this melancholic song on Christmas Eve 1969, right in the middle of a painful divorce. He was completely alone and missing his family, when the words came to him.
On the original demo that Michael recorded for Elvis, there was a verse about his children: "Been so long since I've seen little John, Michele, Christine and Kelly; And I almost forgot with all the presents, that I bought a purse for little sister to carry".
When Elvis' version of 'I'll Be Home On Christmas Day' was released in late '71 on 'Elvis Sings The Wonderful World Of Christmas', Michael was not surprised to find out that Elvis had skipped that verse. After all, it was a very personal verse about Michael's kids, and he understood that Presley could not relate to it.
Imagine Michael's surprise 30 years after Elvis' death, when he heard an outtake of the song where Elvis did sing the 'missing' verse! The first thing he did was call his daughter Michele, who was completely flabbergasted. "It's so crazy", she says today, "I remember it was shortly after my mom passed away, and my dad sent me a clip of it. Talk about a wild thing! I played it for my family, and we were all just looking at each other like, is that really what I'm hearing!".
Both Michael and Michele Jarrett are part of 'The Original Elvis Tribute 2009' (www.elvisnews.dk), which will be touring Europe in May. "I have always been so proud of my dad", she says, "and I'm so excited for this tour. I know this will be an amazing trip for him, as well as everybody on the tour. I know I'm so thankful to be a part of it!".
Now, is that a great story, or what? Imagine hearing Elvis singing about you and your family. I too, have three brothers and sisters, but as my dad didn't write any songs I guess it's highly unlikely I will ever hear the King singing about me. Michele, I envy you!