Sunday, July 8, 2012

They Wrote Upon It Too!

Some four months ago I wrote about the records that I value the most – those signed by musicians I've talked to who once played or sang with Elvis. Since then I've added another two singles to that category.

In fact, they were both signed at the same night, when The Original Elvis Tribute 2012 played the Swedish town of Vara, on April 7. This show features some of Elvis' original musicians, among them bass player Duke Bardwell.

The first single happens to be one of my favorite Elvis songs, the 1975 rocker “T-R-O-U-B-L-E.” As it's also the only recording from the March sessions in Hollywood where Duke Bardwell's bass parts weren't removed, I thought it the perfect record for him to sign.

“It's a great song,” I told him during the intermission. “Yeah, it is, isn't it,” he answered while writing his name on the cover as well as the label on the record itself.

A couple of minutes later I managed to get a few moments with backing vocalists Mary and Ginger Holladay, who turned out to be two very nice and charming ladies. As the first time they sang backup for Elvis was during the famous 1969 American Sound sessions in Memphis, I thought it appropriate to bring along one of the resulting singles.

Handing over “Don't Cry Daddy”/”Rubberneckin” I asked them, “You did sing on 'Rubberneckin''?” fully well knowing that no female voices were present on “Don't Cry Daddy.” Mary assured me that they did, and then they both signed the cover.

Attending the show and meeting these musicians was an incredible experience, and the autographed singles will always remind me of that. Now, the only thing that could have made that night even more special would have been the presence of musician and songwriter Michael Jarrett. He was part of The Original Elvis Tribute in 2009 and 2010, but unfortunately I was never able to attend any of the shows back then.

I am, however, honored to have Michael Jarrett among my readers, so recently I sent him an e-mail, asking if I could send my copy of the single “I'm Leavin'” for him to sign. “I'm Leavin'” is one of the best songs Elvis ever recorded, so this would really mean a lot to me.

When Michael Jarrett answered that he would be honored to sign it, adding “we'll have to send Elvis across the ocean a couple of times to do this, but I think it will work,” it really made my day.

So, right at this moment, next to my computer, lies a package marked “fragile, handle with care,” the single resting securely inside. Tomorrow it will begin its journey across the ocean, and I can't wait for it to return.


Anonymous said...

Why didn't you just send the sleeve?

Thomas said...

Good question! I sent the single as well because I've asked Michael Jarrett to sign the label on the record too, as his name is listed there. Thanks for asking!