Saturday, May 29, 2021

Writing I’m Leavin’ For The King

Michael Jarrett wrote "I'm Leavin'" which was recorded by Elvis in 1971.

After publishing my latest blog post about “I’m Leavin’” I emailed Michael Jarrett who wrote the song, telling him it was 50 years since Elvis recorded it. I thought his reaction was so interesting that I asked his permission to use it on my blog.  

50 years! Wow! I can still remember writing this song while sitting on a tiny stool in a glass-covered shower (water off, of course). The natural sound in that environment was; lots of reverb. :-) There was barely room for me and my guitar in that small space and I was enjoying the heavy reverb sound and was just fooling around with a few things when the La La La's came out in place of lyrics that had not yet popped into my head. 

As it turned out, I didn't have to replace the La La's with lyrics. My writing partner, Sonny Charles, convinced me that the La La's could actually be the "hook" of the song. So we continued to compose the rest of the piece together that day.

Sonny was very important in the writing of "I'm Leavin'". He didn't contribute all that much regarding the music and lyrics as much as his suggestion to me about the build up to the words, "I'm Leavin". He suggested that we sing the build up twice before the resolve into, "I'm Leavin''." I believe that suggestion really made the song happen. Some things we never forget, eh? 

Reading this I had to ask Michael Jarrett another question. Did he also remember the first time he heard Elvis' recorded version of the song and what he felt at that moment? This is his answer: 

Yes, I'll always remember. Sonny Charles and I were playing chess one late afternoon at his Laurel Canyon home when Sonny's girlfriend came running up the stairs into his house excitedly saying, "It's on the radio, It's on the radio!" Sonny asked, "What is?" Judy said, "It's Elvis singing I'm Leavin’!". 

When we got down the stairs to her car, the car door was still wide open and there blaring on her car radio was Elvis' golden voice singing our song. Judy turned to me and said, "Elvis is singing the song just like you singing like him!!” To preface her statement, I must tell you that when making the demo of "I'm Leavin'" to give to Joe Esposito to take to Elvis, I sang the song as much like Elvis as I could to try and peak his interest.

The L.A. radio station was KRLA. I also must confess that; I stayed up most of that night listening to our song being played once an hour as Elvis' latest release. It's difficult to really convey in words how I felt that wonderful day other than to say, I was extremely elated!! 

I’d like to thank Michael Jarrett for sharing his memories of writing “I’m Leavin’” and hearing Elvis version for the first time. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Additional reading:

Thursday, May 20, 2021

I'm Leavin' 50 Years Ago

A treasure: My copy of "I'm Leavin'" signed by Michael Jarrett.

Today in 1971, exactly 50 years ago, Elvis recorded "I'm Leavin'," one of  my all time favorite songs. With its haunting quality I find it irresistible, and I know many fans share my opinion. Elvis obviously liked it too.

I am honored to know Michael Jarrett who wrote the song. Not only did he write a really nice foreword to my second book The Elvis Today Blog: Volume 2.  He also went to the trouble singing my copy of the single "I'm Leavin'," pointing out that "we'll have to send Elvis across the ocean a couple of times to do this, but I think it will work." And it did. That single is now one of the records in my collection that I value the most. 

Ten years ago, I wrote a post on my blog where I, with the help of outtakes, some studio banter, information in books and last, but not the least, some imagination, tried to describe what was going on when Elvis recorded "I'm Leavin'" on May 20, 1971, at RCA Studio B, Nashville. In a comment to that post Michael Jarrett wrote the following:

Thank you Thomas for painting us a great picture of the "I'm Leavin" recording session. It's so cool to hear these outtakes and the coming together of the song ... It's like being right there in the studio as it's happening when they were "carving it out " ... they all worked extra hard on it and it shows.

Elvis recording what was then - and probably now - a song considered in the music business to be 'esoteric'; meaning that it had personal meaning to him; like it did for me when I wrote it.

I'm still amazed each time I hear him sing it; especially knowing that it had such meaning to him ...

Additional reading:

Friday, May 14, 2021

Harum Scarum: The Ralph Strobel (Oboe) Interview

Interview with Ralph Strobel who played the oboe on the Harum Scarum soundtrack.

As my ten-year-old daughter is playing the flute (I played the clarinet for some 20 years and my brother the oboe), I started thinking about Elvis music with woodwind instruments in it. The flute led me to the recording sessions for Elvis’ movie Harum Scarum from 1965, where the studio musicians were joined by Rufus Long on flute and Ralph Strobe on oboe in order to lend a middle Eastern touch to the soundtrack. The recordings took place on February 24-26, that year.

A bit of research revealed that Rufus Long unfortunately had passed away in 2016. However, I also found out that Ralph Strobel is an assistant professor emeritus at Ball State University. Therefore, I contacted him, asking if he would like to answer some questions for my blog. I was delighted when he wrote a long letter back and I can’t thank him enough for taking the time sharing his memories of recording with Elvis.

First, can you tell me a little bit about your background in music?

In the fifth grade I took a year of piano lessons. I am glad I learned to read both the treble and bass clefs before starting a wind instrument. A year later at the age of 11, my parents bought me a metal clarinet for $27.50. That seemed like a great deal of money for an instrument in 1952. I liked the clarinet, but other woodwind instruments fascinated me, and at the age of 13 a school oboe was available so I decided to try it. When I was 14, I also learned to play the saxophone. The clarinet and saxophone were played in marching band, pep band, and dance band. I continued to play the oboe in our high school band and symphony orchestra.  

The oboe is is a type of double reed woodwind instrument.
In 1958 I graduated from Coeur d'Alene High School in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Since I liked performing in ensembles and music in general, I decided to major in music and graduated from the University of Idaho in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in performance. I studied all the woodwind instruments privately, but the oboe was my major instrument. I had previously studied the oboe with a lady who was principal oboist in the Spokane, WA Symphony.  She invited the conductor to her home and he listened to my playing. He was impressed and asked if I would like to become the 2nd oboe player in the orchestra. I was 18 at the time. The violin teacher at the University of Idaho would drive us to Spokane for rehearsals and concerts. This was my first professional experience and I was paid a bit for performing. Spokane has a very fine orchestra.  

After leaving Idaho, I was given a graduate assistantship scholarship at the University of Michigan. I taught a beginning oboe class to other music majors five days a week each semester. While there, I also studied all the woodwind instruments privately and received a master's degree in 1964 in performance.  

After leaving Ann Arbor I went back to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, not knowing what would be next.  In August of 1964 I received a phone call from Nashville, Tennessee. My name had been given to a professor there at Peabody College. A new music school was opening in Nashville that was a part of the college. It was the Blair Academy of Music. (Now known as Blair School of Music and a part of Vanderbilt University). I was interviewed over the telephone to teach oboe and bassoon at Blair. I was also told I could begin a doctorate at Peabody College which I did. Unfortunately, I did not complete the doctorate which I now regret. I was hired at the Blair Academy and also auditioned for a 2nd oboe position in the Nashville Symphony and was hired.

How did you end up playing on the soundtrack sessions for Harum Scarum?

In November of that year I received a phone call from RCA Studios regarding my first recording session. Another oboe player was originally scheduled to play these sessions but had a conflict so gave my name as being capable of doing so. I was told the sessions would be February 24-26, 1965 with Elvis Presley and would begin each night at 10 p.m. Since I am a night owl that was fine with me and I certainly could use the money.

RCA Studios in Nashville.

In late February of 1965, Nashville was hit with a terrible snow storm, but fortunately I was able to drive to the RCA studio which was on 17th Ave. S., less than a mile from my apartment. I arrived at the RCA building before 10 p.m. The building is on a corner and on the side street, there were two police cars with flashing red and blue lights and what looked to be over 100 young female fans on the side of the building, apparently waiting to greet Elvis. Policemen were outside their cars watching these screaming females jumping up and down in a very cold temperature of 10 degrees.

I went to the front of the building and found the door to be open. A lady was working at the front desk and I told her I was to be the oboe player. She told me to go straight back to Studio B. I did so and noticed my friend Rufus Long, principal flutist from the Nashville Symphony, was also playing the session. We were the only wind players.  

And when did Elvis arrive?

The musicians waited for some time and finally at 11 p.m. Elvis walked into the studio with his manager Col. Tom Parker and the man who conducted the ensemble. Elvis was dressed to kill, wearing a blue suede suit, bow tie, and blue suede shoes. Finally, everyone was ready to begin recording one of the songs.

The conductor told Rufus and I, "We won't be needing you on this first song, so just sit over there on the other side of the room until we do." Then we were told there would be no sheet music handed to anyone.  I thought, "Oh no, I'm not a jazz musician, I can't improvise. How will I know what to do?" 

Then it was explained that all the songs used in the film would be older songs that had been recorded some years ago by various singers. The conductor had brought a small record player with a 45 rpm recording of each song. Once he put the needle down on the record, each of the four outstanding guitar players began writing each chord in every measure on a piece of staff paper. I was impressed that these men could identify each chord without hesitation. They could also easily identify the key the song was in and would write C Major, G Major, etc. The record was played a number of times. Another impressive musician was the pianist, Floyd Cramer. Floyd played piano for many country singers and Elvis. He was a genius at improvisation.

Chords for "Shake That Tambourine," the only song recorded on February 24.

So what happened next?

There was quite a bit of rehearsal time before the recording began. It was obvious that Elvis was not prepared at all. When the recording began, Elvis was having problems with the lyrics and rhythm. The conductor would stop and everyone would try again. This happened over and over many times. Finally, Elvis got upset with himself and every time he made a mistake he would say, "Oh ---- !! (I told my Music History 100 classes at Ball State that Elvis's favorite cuss word rhymed with mitt, fit, and a few other words I best not mention. The students laughed)!

After numerous tries to get the song recorded, we were told there would be a thirty minute break. Someone had gone to a restaurant and brought in huge boxes of food for all of us. The boxes were filled with coffee, cold drinks, all types of sandwiches, French fries, etc. We had a nice snack. Then it was back to work.

I asked Rufus, "If it takes this long to get one song on tape, how is it possible in the next two nights, to get ten more?" He didn't have any idea! Now it was 2:30 a.m. and Rufus and I were getting paid just to watch. Elvis was still upset with himself cussing away, but the men in the control room and the conductor were always very polite.

Finally, at 5 a.m. the 50th take of the song was perfect and we could stop for the night. Rufus and I hadn't played a note, but were making money. Also, the Musician Union rules state that after two and a half hours, all musicians are paid time and a half. We liked that rule!! Upon leaving, the police cars with flashing lights and the young screaming girls were still outside in the freezing cold.

And how was it when you came back for the second night of recordings?

The second night was quite similar. Police cars were there with flashing lights, and many young girls screaming and carrying on. We began promptly at 10 p.m. as I recall. Elvis wore the same blue suede suit and boots. Now it was time to record a song that required both flute and oboe. The conductor would play a recording of the piece and while the record was playing, he would tell us what we were to play. There were no problems for either of us to quickly write down the melodies and identify the key the song was in.

Elvis at RCA Studio B on February 25. 1965.

It was obvious that Elvis had done some major practicing and was having no problems. I don't recall any of his cussing that night. Again, at 2 p.m. we took a break with more boxes and nice food. 

That night there were five songs put on tape that could be used in the film and long play record. We went home at 4:30 a.m. Again, police cars with flashing lights and young girls were still outside in the cold. I imagine these girls got rested up in the day like Elvis did?

What are your recollections of the third and last night of the sessions?

The third night had the last five songs to be recorded. The same situation with the cold weather, snow, flashing lights on police cars, and screaming young females outside. Elvis was decked out in the same beautiful suit as usual. Again, Elvis was prepared and no problems, so five more songs could be recorded. I recall that after one of the songs, the engineer said, "Good, that was a take!" Floyd Cramer piped up and said, "We'll have to do it again. I played one wrong note!" So we went through it again with Floyd commenting, "Now, it's right!" I believe we finished at 5 a.m. that morning.

Elvis then went to each of us individually and shook hands with all. He commented that he thought there would be some really good acting in the film Harum Scarum. If you have read the book Elvis and Me by his ex-wife Priscilla Beaulieu, Elvis was disappointed that was not the case. When I left the RCA building the same situation was outside with the police cars and screaming females. In all three nights, all the musicians cleared well over $500.

Did you see Harum Scarum and what did you think about the soundtrack?

Yes, I did see the movie when it came out and also have the recording. The disappointing part is that the flute and oboe tracks are very much in the background and can not be heard well. One thing I should have done that I didn't think to do what to ask Elvis for his autograph. Today, it would be worth some money.  

The back cover of the album Harum Scarum, released in November, 1965.
I believe that other than myself there is only one other living musician that performed in the soundtrack of Harum Scarum. That musician is outstanding guitar player Charlie McCoy. Charlie was born March 28, 1941. I was born September 23, 1940. We are both 80 years of age.  

Did you record with other artists while living In Nashville?

I also recorded for two of Floyd Cramer's piano solo albums playing oboe and English horn. They are The Class of 1967 and The Class of 1968. These albums are instrumental versions of songs that were popular in those years. Floyd was born October 27, 1933. Being a heavy smoker, he succumbed to lung cancer on December 31, New Year's Eve, 1997 at the age of 64.

In May of 1968 I recorded with the famous country singer, Eddy Arnold. Eddy was born May 15, 1918 and died May 8, 2008 at the age of 89. The album I'm playing on is called The Romantic World of Eddy Arnold. Many of these songs were hits at the time. The arrangements were made by Bill Walker, a man from Australia who conducted the orchestra for these sessions. There were many wonderful oboe and English horn solos in the arrangements. Rufus Long was the other woodwind player, who played flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone. The tracks the woodwinds are on are prominently heard on the recording.

The Romantic World of Eddy Arnold includes three songs that Elvis would later record: "It's Over," "What Now My Love" and "Gentle On My Mind."

Every couple of years I receive a royalty check for these recording and the Harum Scarum film. It's not a big amount, but I always save the check stub to prove to anyone I am being truthful. The check stub has my name and those I performed with.

You are now an assistant professor emeritus of music performance at Bell State University, Muncie, Indiana. What road took you there?

The second year I lived in Nashville I taught elementary band in the public schools. I heard one band director say that young players couldn't play with good intonation so it wouldn't do any good for them to tune their instruments. I could not believe such a stupid remark! I made a point with fifth and sixth graders to learn good intonation, rhythm, dynamics and phrasing. I was even complemented by a principal of one school that he could identify the songs the students were playing. He said, "Previous band directors just let the kids make noise." I told him it didn't have to be that way at all.

The following year the Nashville Symphony was given a government grant to begin a chamber orchestra made up of 16 musicians. I was then the principal oboe player in the symphony. The 16 full time members would travel by bus to perform in Central Tennessee schools during the day and evenings. Unfortunately, after two years the grant money had run out and the chamber orchestra folded.

The following year I left Nashville and lived in Durham, NC where I played full time with the North Carolina Symphony. From 1968-72 I taught oboe and played principal oboe in the symphony at the Brevard Music Center, a large summer music camp. In 1969 I got into college teaching at taught at Jacksonville University in Florida. A year later I taught at Texas A & I University in Kingsville, TX and performed with the Corpus Christi Symphony.

In 1971 I heard about an opening at Ball State University, Muncie, IN for an oboe professor and principal oboe position with the Muncie Symphony. I applied for the job. Dr. Robert Hargreaves was the director of the Ball State School of Music and was also the conductor of the Muncie symphony. Dr. Hargreaves had been a guest conductor for the Nashville Symphony when I performed there. He remember me and my oboe playing. 

I auditioned in August of 1971 for Dr. Hargreaves and a committee of six music faculty members. I played the first movement of a concerto for them and expected to play other solos material. Instead, the committee wanted to hear oboe solos from the entire orchestral literature. There was no music brought and everything was from memory. This group drilled me for more than thirty minutes mentioning works that had major oboe solos. Fortunately, I have a good memory for this, and no matter what they asked I played it for them. Even today, although I am retired, I could still play these solos from memory. Melodies go through my mind every day. I'm sure this is what got me the job. I began teaching here in September of 1971 and retired after 35 years in July of 2006.

Finally, I understand I am not the first one to contact you about your Elvis sessions?

I believe it was 2002 when I received an e-mail from a man who wanted to know if I was the Ralph Strobel that played in the soundtrack of Harum Scarum. I assured him I was. He wanted to know if he could send me a picture postcard of the Harum Scarum album cover for my autograph. I told him that was fine. In a few days I got his letter and returned his card signed Ralph Strobel "oboe" as he wanted. He later told me he was a police officer in Lakeland, Florida who collected autographs of famous people. I told my Music History classes I had no idea I was a "famous" individual until this man pointed it out to me.

Track listing of the album Harum Scarum, on which Ralph Strobel played the oboe.

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Swedish RCA LP's

Examples of Elvis LP titles manufactured in Sweden in the late 1970's.
Photo: The "RCA Elvis" Facebook page.

This week I started collecting Swedish RCA LP's in earnest. But the fact is I have done this unknowingly since I bought my first Elvis album Blue Christmas back in the late 1970's. That one was manufactured in Sweden, as stated on the back cover which also included some text in Swedish. And although in time I came to realize that other Swedish pressings existed, I never really gave it any serious thought. Until 2016.

That's when I bought How RCA brought Elvis To Europe, released through FTD the same year and written by the Norwegians Sigbjørn Stabursvik and Hans Otto Engvold. It's a fantastic book, and a treat especially for fans living in the Nordic countries, as it, among other things, includes a full history and discography for Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. 

I spent a lot of time with it the following weeks, reading how RCA Victor launched Elvis and the RCA label globally in 1956. For a Swede like me, it was fascinating to learn how Electra Grammofon AB, one of Sweden's largest record companies, engineered most of the early Elvis activity in Northern Europe. In fact, Sweden was one of the first countries worldwide to release an Elvis Presley record. 

Cover of How RCA brought Elvis To Europe. It's a great book.

How RCA brought Elvis To Europe is one of those Elvis books I found myself revisiting from time to time. One such occasion took place early in 2019, when I once again read the introduction to the pages dealing with the Swedish RCA LP's: 

Original stock of Moody Blue sold out immediately after the tragic death message on 16 August 1977. This prompted a Swedish Moody Blue pressing, the first of many LP titles manufactured in Sweden that fall. [...] Eleven titles were probably made in 1977, and two in 1980.

It was while studying the list of Swedish RCA LP's that I noticed that Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3 wasn't among them. As I stated earlier, I was aware of other titles manufactured in Sweden. And now I suddenly remembered that I had owned a worn copy of one of them, namely the third volume in the Golden Record series, later exchanging it for a copy in far better condition (a German pressing). Apparently a dumb move.

I decided to pay a visit to a store not far from where I live that sells used records. Grabbing my jacket, I went out the door, and in a couple of minutes stood leafing through all the Elvis albums for sale. Suddenly I spotted Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3. Holding it in my hands, I turned it over, and there on the back cover, in small print, it said, "Manufactured by Grammofon AB Electra, Solna Sweden."

Proof it's a Swedish pressing.

Feeling like a true detective, I took a couple of pictures of it and then wrote to the authors via their "RCA Elvis" Facebook page that they had listed at the end of the book:

Thomas: "Hi! Today I found Elvis' Golden Records Vol 3 manufactured in Sweden."

RCA Elvis: "Excellent find. Thank you Thomas. We'll inform our Swedish contacts about this one and hear their opinion about how rare it is."

About two weeks later the authors posted this on their Facebook page:


Not long ago Thomas Melin alerted us to the existence of a Swedish Elvis' Golden Records Vol. 3. So ... could there possibly be a Swedish Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4 out there as well? That was the question we needed to ask ourselves. And the answer turned out to be, oh yes indeed, there is a Vol. 4 also. And as if that isn't enough, Elvis In Hollywood turns out to have been made in Sweden as well!

All three seem to have been made at approximately the same time, during late 1977 or 1978. Labels are orange, with n©b, and the second type of label.

Covers are similar to late 70's German issues, although with "Manufactured by Grammofon AB Electra, Solna Sweden" at the back, plus SIB Tryck Tumba in the lower right corner. SIB Tryck was (and still is) a printing company located at Tumba on the outskirts of Stockholm.

Thank you's to Thomas Melin, Paul Dowling and Jarle Jensen.

It felt really cool reading that I had contributed in a small part to new findings when it came to Swedish Elvis LP's on the RCA label. But for some reason it would take another two years before I felt the time was right to start collecting those pressings from Sweden. Just a few weeks ago I spotted a Swedish copy of Pure Gold (with the Take Off! cover) on the online marketplace Tradera. So I placed a bid and won the auction for a ridiculous small sum of money.  

Pure Gold with Take-Off! cover and two extra songs.

The album arrived just the other day, in excellent condition. I noticed that it featured Frankie And Johnny and Clean Up Your Own Back Yard, which are not on US editions. (I wonder what is the story behind that one?)

Then another thought hit me, Maybe some of my other LP's were Swedish pressings as well? A little while later I had the answer. No less than five of them (not counting Blue Christmas, Elvis´Golden Records Volume 3 and Pure Gold) were manufactured in Sweden: Blue Hawaii, Moody Blue (one of my first LP's as well), Burning Love And Hits From His Movies, Elvis In Concert and Elvis Forever Volume 2

Maybe this should come as no surprise as I live in Sweden and started to buy Elvis records in the late 70's and early 80's. Nevertheless, half of my collection of Swedish pressings is now completed, with a minimum of effort from my side. I wonder how hard it will be to find the other eight? 

This is the complete list (so far) of Swedish RCA LP's (Maybe there are others out there?):

  • Burning Love And Hits From His Movies
  • Elvis' Golden Records Volume 1
  • Elvis' Gold Records Volume 2
  • G.I. Blues
  • Blue Hawaii
  • Elvis In Concert
  • Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3
  • Elvis' Gold Records Volume 4
  • Elvis - NBC-TV Special
  • Pure Gold (Take Off! cover)
  • Elvis In Hollywood
  • Welcome To My World
  • Moody Blue
  • Blue Christmas
  • Elvis Forever Volume 2
  • The Las Vegas Years (Same content as record 6 on the Elvis Aron Presley box set, with liner notes in Swedish)

This post is dedicated to Sigbjørn Stabursvik & Hans Otto Engvold, authors of the book How RCA brought Elvis To Europe.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Let Us Pray – That’s The Way It Never Was

The close up with the guitar (middle shot) is in fact taken from the "Rubberneckin'" scene earlier in the movie. The clothes and the guitar itself gives it away.

I thought I had it all figured out. This was going to be a great post. However, it didn’t turn out that way at all, despite some hard work behind the keyboard. Here is what happened.

It all began while watching a video clip on YouTube of Elvis singing “Let Us Pray” in Father Gibbons’ Church at the end of the movie Change Of Habit. Suddenly it hit me that there was something wrong with the close-ups that showed Elvis’ hand strumming his guitar. The clothes and the guitar itself were not the same as in the other shots. In fact, they were taken from the beginning of the film where Elvis is belting out “Rubberneckin’” in Dr. John Carpenter’s apartment above the clinic.

Now, why had I not noticed this before? I did a quick google search, typing, “elvis let us pray scene movie blooper” but found nothing. Was I really the first one to have spotted this? I googled a bit more, changing the words some, but the result was the same. Not a thing.

I then looked up the editor on Wikipedia. Douglas Stewart (March 29, 1919-March 3, 1995) was an American film and television editor who won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing for the film The Right Stuff (1983) along with four co-editors. Could such a professional really have cheated while editing the ending of Change Of Habit, using close-ups from another scene? Or had he somehow mixed up the footage, not realizing his mistake?

Whatever the reason, I got the idea to write a blog post about how those close-ups ended up in the final scene, using a bit of fiction. To get some inspiration, I read a couple of passages in Jerry Schilling’s book Me and a Guy Named Elvis that dealt with him becoming a film editor during the late 60’ and early 70’s. 

I was then ready to start typing something like this:

Douglas Stewart’s editing room in the basement of one of the post-production buildings at Universal Pictures was full of various reels of dialogue, songs and sound effects. As an assistant editor, it was my job to allow Douglas Stewart to work uninterrupted and I took great pride in maintaining order and structure in the editing room.

My plan was to have the assistant editor make a blunder, handing over close-up footage from the “Rubberneckin’” scene to Douglas Stewart who was busy editing the final of the movie, neither of them noticing the mix up. The assistant editor would spot the mistake when Change Of Habit was about to hit the cinemas, but by then it would be too late. Or something like that.

As I attended the premiere on November 10 I felt a sense of pride, having played a minor part in the editing of the movie. But that feeling was replaced by a chill running down my spine as I realized that the close-ups of Elvis guitar didn’t match the rest of the footage in the "Let Us Pray" movie final. What had happened?

Getting comfortable in front of my laptop I decided to watch the clip on YouTube once more before starting to hammer away at the keyboard. As I watched the scene unfold it was painfully clear that Douglas Stewart wasn’t to blame. Neither was my fictional assistant editor. In fact, no one was, as the clip was clearly re-edited and remixed long after the actual movie was finished in 1969. 

No doubt the footage from "Rubberneckin'" had been used intentionally to create this version (which was released on a bootleg DVD called Born To Rock 3, something I would have known had I bothered to read the text under the video clip).  

Why hadn't I spotted this before? I found another clip, this time of  the real ending, and sure enough, the close-ups with the guitar were nowhere in sight. And of course the whole scene was edited completely different. I felt like a fool.