Thursday, June 16, 2011

Young Man With The Big Beat

Over three years ago I learned that Ernst Jorgensen had bought a tape of Elvis performing his last show for the Louisiana Hayride, on December 15, 1956. The problem then, according to Ernst, was that the show wasn't commercial enough to release on Sony/BMG. Yesterday I found out that he's fortunately changed his mind and is going to make this historical recording available in September as part of a Sony Legacy 5-CD box set devoted to Elvis incredible achievements in 1956.

Centered around his two first long playing albums Elvis Presley and Elvis (which will be released as a 2 CD Legacy Edition, too), the box set will also include the rest of the 56 masters as well as live recordings, outtakes and interviews. As all the outtakes have been previously released, as well as the live material from Las Vegas (May 6) and Little Rock (May 16), it's the complete show from the Hayride that excites me the most.

The first time I learned about this show was back in 1984 when I bought an LP titled Elvis: The First Live Recordings. On it were never before released songs recorded live at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana in 1955 and 1956. The last track on Side B was a breathless rendition of "Hound Dog" from Elvis final appearance on December 15. Listening to it now, I have to fully agree with the sleeve notes written by Richard Goldstein.
He'd returned [...] for a final performance at the Hayride, before an audience of 10,000 teenage girls. As he sings, their screams wash over him like a tide of shards. No synthesizer can duplicate that innocence in the face of ecstasy. But through this remarkable recording, we can be present at the creation. And ready for its return.
Soon we can be present at the creation of the whole show (see track list below). Judging by the versions of "I Was The One" and "Love Me Tender" (not found on any BMG/RCA releases but featured on several Louisiana Hayride compilations, such as the Music Mill Entertainment release Good Rockin' Tonight), there will be screaming from start to finish. I can't wait to join the mass hysteria.

Track listing for the final Louisiana Hayride show, December 15, 1956:

  • Heartbreak Hotel
  • Long Tall Sally
  • I Was The One
  • Love Me Tender
  • Don’t Be Cruel
  • Love Me
  • I Got A Woman
  • When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
  • Paralyzed
  • Hound Dog


Troy Y. said...

It's definitely good to see some FTD-style material on the mainstream label again. I'm looking forward to finally hearing the final Hayride show in its entirety.

Anonymous said...

as always, Ernst wants me to spend top dollar for material I already have just to get to this Hayride show that I dont have. This kind of thinking on Ernt's part can drive a man to illegally download things...

Troy Y. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Troy Y. said...

Anonymous: Who's to say that you won't be able to legally purchase and download just that portion of the release? At this point, we don't know if they will be "album exclusive" tracks.

Besides, however you want to justify it, illegal is illegal. Doing that kind of thing does nothing to help future releases. It just makes them either cost more for people that do the right thing or not even be released at all.

Michael said...

Live 1956 performances are a particular favorite of mine (especially the wonderfully haunting "I Was the One"). It's a shame we don't have more of them but then again, I suppose we're very lucky to have the ones that we do.

Thomas said...

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the box set will be made available on iTunes or the like, and that the tracks can be bought individually. In that way it will be a lot cheaper if it's just the Hayride show you're after.

random ntrygg said...

I can't wait to give that concert a listen - I've given up on the vapour SUN Project FTD release.

but I might just be screaming too loud when I play it to hear it the first time around