Thursday, January 7, 2010

Elvis Today - Behind The Scenes

Looking back on my time with Elvis Today so far I'd say the three posts I've enjoyed the most to write have also been the most difficult ones. They can all be found under the label Special moments with FTD, and deal with what was going on in the studio when Elvis recorded a certain song.

If you've read my latest post about "Suspicious Minds" you know what I'm talking about. Maybe you even remember the other two, describing the recordings of "It's Easy For You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone."

The challenge is to combine what's made available from the recording session by FTD with facts and memories from those that were there when it happened. Ultimately, you also have to guess a lot and even make up some stuff for it to work.

For one thing, it's not easy to hear everything that's being said in the studio. Some of the dialogue in the post about "Suspicious Minds" was very difficult to pick up, and I had to press my headphones to my ears with the volume turned way up high to finally succeed. When the music began I almost lost my hearing, but that's part of the job of running an Elvis blog, I guess.

For another, what's presented as facts in different books doesn't always concur. To take an example: In A Life In Music Ernst Jorgensen writes that Chips Moman urged Elvis to try his hand at "Suspicious Minds" just after midnight while in Peter Guralnick's book Careless Love it says that it was almost 4:00 in the morning when Elvis began to work on the song.

It's also hard to describe what's taking place when the persons who actually were there with Elvis paint different pictures of what was going on. According to Marty Lacker in Elvis And The Memphis Mafia Elvis wasn't too sure of recording "Suspicious Minds" after listening to the demo. But his buddy Alan Fortras states in Elvis From Memphis To Hollywood that Elvis said he liked it it and wanted to record it.

Then there's also the issue of what clothes Elvis wore. In my latest post about "Suspicious Minds" I had great help from A Life In Music where Ernst Jorgensen mentioned that Elvis was clad in white shirt and trousers during a rare, early morning interview taking place on January 23. I figured it was the same outfit that he'd worn during the night, and felt it was a pretty safe bet as Elvis is wearing white trousers and a white shirt under a black jacket on a lot of the photos available from this session.

A final detail I was pretty pleased with was the fact that I found out that it was three hours to sunrise when Elvis recorded "Suspicious Minds" (if he started at 4:00 in the morning, which I think is correct). Thanks to Google I found a site run by the U.S. Navy Observatory where you can punch in the year, month, day, state and city and get the sun and moon data for that particular date.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Elvis!

Troy Y. said...

Thomas, as a fan of your blog, I just want to say thank you for all of your effort. The time and thought you put into your posts are what makes Elvis Today stand so far above the others. Anytime people ask me for an example of a blog or what a blog should be, I always point them here. Much kudos, and keep those posts coming!