Today, I got an e-mail from Arjan Deelen, who's producing The Original Elvis Tribute 2010. The show features, among others, songwriter Michael Jarrett, who wrote "I'm Leavin'" and "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day."
In the letter, Arjan writes that he decided to give Michael Jarrett a call and play him the previously unreleased outtakes of his song "I'm Leavin'" that are now available on the new Elvis Now FTD album. Here are some of Michael's observations upon listening to them:
"Amazing to hear these things some 40 years later. I used my nylon string guitar to make the original demo that was sent to Elvis. I'm glad they liked that guitar sound and James eventually got the "intro" the way I composed it, which is now a 'signature' part of the song. Hearing how things evolved is so cool. Wonderful to hear Charlie singing the high harmonies, it was his voice coupled with E's that gave it that haunting sound. They always blended so beautifully together.
I believe it was the nylon string guitar that was the key element that made this song so different and unusual at that time in E's career, although it threw a lot of his fans for a loop in accepting such a change of musical style for Elvis during that period I believe. I used my nylon string guitar to write the Christmas song as well. I always played my nylon string and took it with me on the road… I still have it and play it occasionally".
Arjan also included the photo above, showing the original nylon string guitar that Michael Jarrett used to compose both" "I’m Leavin’" and "I’ll Be Home On Christmas Day." He will be performing both songs while on tour in Europe next month.