A Man Reborn
From Elvis In Memphis
With the success of the '68 Comeback Special, Elvis and his manager realised they needed to follow up with an album that matched the quality of the broadcast on TV. That meant Elvis had to find songs, and a way of working, that challengeed him to the limits.
Elvis' triumphant return to form started at a little run down studio at 827 Thomas Street, in a neglected part os South Memphis, but American Sound Studios had hit-making credentials, in an 18 month period starting 1n 1968 through 69, there was 64 chart records recorded there, with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield gracing it's doors. American's fiercely independent owner, Chips Moman, had produced many of these himself and gathered a stable of promising songwriters and excellent musicians (guitarist Reggie Young had played in the Bill Black Combo).
The sounds emerging from American were soulful, full of meaning and seemed to capture the essence of how Elvis feeling, now he had left the movie soundtracks behind him. So with his producer Felton Jarvis, he decided to turn his back on Nashville and produce his next album under a man who demanded absolute commitment to his cause.
So on the cold evening of January 13th 1969, Elvis arrived at American, feeling a little nervious, and unwell with a cold, he had something to prove, "most everybody in Memphis, took Elvis fro granted", recalled Moman in 1994. "Remember he was a home-town boy, " the presence of Elvis' entourage made some of the musicians uncomfortable, but this was Moman's show just as much as it was Elvis'.
Moman ruled the roost at American and had something of a reputation, but his coatching of Elvis on the firts track that night, Long Black Limousine, was all patience and encouragement, Elvis grew in confidence, he delivered an electrifying elegy for the doomed girl brought back to her home town in "a fancy car for all the town to see", his cold made his voice more ragged than he would have liked, but it also gave it an edge, that fitted the sentiments of all songs recorded that night
Venue: American Sound Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Guitar / Sitar: Reggie Young
Guitar: Elvis Presley
Bass: Tommy Cogbill / Mike Leech Drums: Gene Chrisman
Piano: Bobby Wood / Elvis Presley Organ: Bobby Emmons
Steel Guitar: John Hughey
Harmonica: Ed Kollis
Overdubbed Session Musicians
Guitar: Reggie Young
Bass: Tommy Cogbill
Drums: Gene Chrisman
Piano: Bobby Wood / Ronnie Milsap
Organ: Bobby Emmons
Harmonica: Ed Kollis
Trombone: K. Adkins
Trumpet: R.F.Tayloy / Wayne Jackson / Dick Steff
Sax / Trombone: Jackie Thomas / Andrew Lowe / Glen Spreen / J.P.Luper
Trombone: Ed Logan / Jack Hale/Gerald Richardson
French Horn: Tony Cason / Joe D’Gerolamo
Vocals: Mary Green, Donna Thatcher, Susan Pilkington, Mary Holladay, Dolores Edgin, June Page, Hursche Wiginton, Joe Babcock, Ginger Holladay, Millie Kirham, Sandy Posey
Release Date: June 1969
Chart Position: 13