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The New York Sessions 1956

New York RCA Studio 1: The Complete Sessions CD / DVD / Book
Elvis Presley

After making his first appearance on National TVon the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show in New York on January 28, Elvis stayed in town and at around 11 a.m. on Monday, January 30, he and the band headed for the RCA Studio, 155 E. 24th Street. They recorded for seven hours that day, then three hours on January 31. These sessions yielded 'Blue Suede Shoes' and five other tunes: 'My Baby Left Me', 'One-Sided Love Affair', 'So Glad You're Mine', 'I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Over You' and 'Tutti Fruitti'.

'Blue Suede Shoes' was the only hit single in the bunch, but the sessions were crucial in Elvis history because they marked the point at which he started moving away from his raw, pure Sun sound to the more commercial and mainstream sound RCA envisioned for him.

Elvis returned twice more to the New York Studios.

On February 3, Elvis returned to New York for a second recording session at RCA's New York Studio, prior to his second appearance on the 'Dorsey Brothers Stage Show', the following day. These sessions yielded 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' and 'Shake, Rattle and Roll'. Elvis returned for a final time to the New York studios on Monday, July 2, 1956, this time following an appearance on the Steve Allen Show. Over seven hours recorded 'Hound Dog' and 'Don't Be Cruel', which would be released five weeks later and become his most successful single to-date, racking up 11 weeks at No. 1. Elvis also recorded a nice ballad, 'Any Way You Want Me'.

Colonel Parker tells RCA vice president Larry Kananga during the day that 'Hound Dog' may become such a big hit that RCA may have to change it's corporate symbol from the 'Victor Dog' to the 'Hound Dog'.

This is the first time that Elvis takes over full leadership of a session, and he insists on completing each song to his satisfaction, continuing with 'Hound Dog' (thirty-one takes) and 'Don't Be Cruel' (twenty eight) well past the point that nominated producer Steve Sholes would have quit. Elvis is the producer.

The action finally starts when Sholes calls for a test of all the equipment and instruments. Microphones have to be strategically placed around the room to get the sound they're after. Immediately DJ Fontana picks up his drumsticks and taps out a rhythm, while Bill Black slaps his bass and Scotty Moore plucks out a beat. Where is Elvis amid all this? Right where he wants to be - at the piano playing Gospel tunes and singing spirituals with the Jordanaires. Finally, the recording session is set to begin. After the levels have been set, Steve and Elvis trade thoughts and decide they should record Hound Dog first.

Gordon Stoker remembers that RCA had brought in Big Mama Thornton's version of 'Hound Dog' as a demo: 'They had demos on almost everything that Elvis recorded, and we'd take it from the demo. We'd listen to the demo, most of the time, and we'd take it from the demo. We had (Big) Mama Thornton's record on 'Hound Dog', since she had a record on that. After listening to it we actually thought it was awful and couldn't figure out why Elvis wanted to do that'. He didn't know at the time of course, that Elvis' version wasn't based on Thornton's rendition of 'Hound Dog' at all but on the version he saw in Las Vegas by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys.

Although Shorty Long does play piano on the other two songs they recorded that day, he is not available for the recording of 'Hound Dog'. They need a piano player for the track and in steps Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires. Since they can't set up a microphone at the piano for him, Gordon won't be able to sing his tenor part during this song. Recording sessions were done much differently back in 1956. It was monaural sound back then. The sounds were mixed as they were recorded, using single track tape recorders. Patching two or more takes together was not widely done at the time (It would be more common even two years later), so if you didn't get the sound you wanted you had to go back and do a re-take. The standard procedure called for the musicians and singer(s) to record what they dubbed as a rehearsal take, and then listen closely to the playback thereby deducting what needed to be changed or altered to get the sound they wanted to achieve for the actual recording.  Without Gordon singing tenor, the Jordanaires try to come up with a combined sound as best they can to cover it, and Gordon laughs as he states, 'That's one of the worst sounds we ever got on any record!'  However Elvis insists on doing the song, and the results, albeit without Gordon singing tenor, will still do more than please the masses. Gordon also related that Elvis very much knew in his mind what he wanted the final results to be so they didn't spend a lot of time working out tempos.

What made Elvis so unique were the liberties he took in the studio. Stoker confers that 50 years ago most musicians were extremely serious and cut-throat in the studio - but not Elvis. He had fun with it, he enjoyed himself and thereby created a different atmosphere than most musicians and singers were used to in the studio. Perhaps that's part of the reason why Elvis' sound was so unique, so vibrant.  As long as they came up with a sound that Elvis liked, the group was happy as Gordon relates.

This was the last time Elvis held a recording session in New York.

Elvis Presley New York July 2, 1956
Elvis Presley New York July 2, 1956

January 30 1956 RCA Studio's - New York

Blue Suede Shoes G2WB 1230-10
My Baby Left Me G2WB 1231-09
One Sided Love Affair G2WB 1232-08
So Glad You're Mine G2WB 1233-10

January 31 1956 RCA Studio's - New York

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) G2WB 1254-18
Tutti Frutti G2WB 1255-10

February 3 1956 RCA Studio's - New York

Lawdy Miss Clawdy G2WB 1293-10
Shake Rattle & Roll G2WB 1294-12
Shake Rattle & Roll (Backup Vocal Overdub) G2WB 1294

July 2 1956 RCA Studio's - New York

Hound Dog G2WB 5935-31
Don't Be Cruel G2WB 5936-28
Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be) G2WB 5937-12

References

References References

Elvis Day By Day : By Ernst Jorgensen & Peter Guralnick is a complete account of public, private, rare, forgotten, and renowned moments, captured with such detail and immediacy they read like diary entries in a life--from first steps to the first time the young 'hillbilly cat' stepped on stage; from the creation of a revolutionary new sound to the last days of a universally known, tragically misunderstood music legend.

Elvis A Life In Music - The Complete Recording Sessions Book (Ernst Jorgensen) is a superlative book combining beautiful illustrations and searching text. The author, responsible for BMG's modernisation of the Elvis Presley catalogue, has dug well beneath the surface to present the definitive story behind Elvis Presley's recording sessions. In the process the reader is taken into the recording studio to experience the atmosphere: 'Altering the lyrics, laughing as his voice cracked, throwing in the first two lines of 'A Little Less Conversation'. Elvis was relaxed and energetic as they ran through a series of incomplete takes, finally making it to the end at take ten'. If you are interested in Elvis' recoding sessions you will without doubt consider this your most prized possession - book wise. Both are No longer in print. Grab one if you find one.

CDs / Audio DVDs

CD Elvis Presley FTD Special Edition 2 CD Set

January 1956

TV Appearance = Elvis on TV : 1956 : One incredible year !!!

Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos 1956 business contract signed by Colonel Parker and Elvis for The Elvis Presley Show
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : January 28, 1956 TV Appearance

February

Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 4, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black : February 9, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Backstage February 10, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 11, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : February 18, 1956 TV Appearance

March

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley's 1956 Home : 1034 Audubon Drive, Memphis, TN

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Lousinana Hayride : March 10, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : March 17, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley singing and playing gospel music : March 17, 1956 New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Jimmy Dean and Elvis Presley on the Jimmy Dean WMAL-TV Show, March 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show : March 24, 1956 TV Appearance

April

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Milton Berle Show : April 3, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arena : San Diego : April 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Wichita Falls, Texas : April 9, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Fair Park Coliseum, Lubbock, TX : April 10, 1956
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley- RCA's McGavock St Studio : January 10 and 11, April 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : San Antonio : April 15, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Oklahoma City : April 19, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : April 20, 1956 : North Side Coliseum, Forth Worth
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley, New Singing Find, Booked Into New Frontier : April 21, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at The New Frontier Hotel : From April 23, 1956
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas Sun : April 26, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : April 28, 1956 Link

May

Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Review : Elvis Presley at The New Frontier : Las Vegas SUN : May 1, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley CD, Book and DVD Reviews Letter to the editor : Las Vegas SUN : May 12, 1956 Link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota : May 13, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : May 14, 1956 : LaCrosse Wisconsin
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : May 15, 1956 : Ellis Auditorium
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Detroit, MI. Fox Theater May 25, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Columbus, Ohio : May 26, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis, Scotty, Bill and DJ performed two shows at the UD Fieldhouse in Dayton : May 27, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley Dayton, Oh., as Elvis left for Memphis : May 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Video Elvis greeting fans at Los Angeles Airport, 1956

June

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley swap autographs, Memphis : June 1, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Arriving in Oakland : June 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : In Concert : Oakland California : June 3, 1956 New page link
Elvis Presley Photos The Milton Berle Show : Los Angeles : June 5, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : June 7, 1956 : Long Beach Municipal Auditorium
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : June 8, 1956
Articles about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley Video June 16, 1956 : Wink Martindale TV Show
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Red West at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 14, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley Video The Wink Martindale Show : June 16, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Vernon, Gladys and Elvis Presley sing at the piano : 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 17, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn : June 19, 1956 : Fairgrounds Amusement Park, Memphis
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Barbara Hearn at Elvis' 1034 Audubon Drive House : June 19, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley with Susan Hayward : June 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Mosque Theater, Richmond, Va : June 30, 1956

July

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 1956 : March : June : July New page link
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Hudson Theater : New York City : Steve Allen Show : July 1, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : RCA Studio One, Memphis, Tennessee : July 2, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : On The Train to, Memphis, Tennessee : July 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Russwood Park, Memphis, Tennessee : July 4, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : St. Joseph's Hospital Memphis Tennessee : July 5, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Ocean Springs, MS. : Thursday, July 12, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis performs with The Statesman Quartet at Ellis Auditorium : July 27, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Water Skiing : Biloxi : July 31, 1956 New page link

August

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Love Me Tender Movie Set Photos
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Olympia Theater, Miami, Florida : August 3, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : August 5, 1956 : Tampa Florida
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Florida Theatre St. Petersburg : August 7, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Jacksonville, FL. Florida Theater (3 shows per day) : August 10-11, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at the Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood : August 18, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Love Me Tender Recording Sessions : August 24, 1956
Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Elvis Presley : August 29, 1956 : Hollywood, California (The Truth About Me) + Out Takes [Audio only]
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : August 31, 1956 : On the set of Love Me Tender

September

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : 1956-1957
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : September 1-3, 1956 Recording Sessions
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : First Appearance : The Ed Sullivan Show : September 9, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley: Asleep In Flight : Back To Memphis September 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : September 26, 1956 : Tupelo, MS. Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley at the Mid-South Fair : Memphis September 29, 1956

October

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : October 5, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : Cotton Bowl, Dallas : October 11, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos
Elvis Presley : October 18, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : October 19, 1956 : Assault Charge
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show Rehearsals : October 26-28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Dress Rehearsals : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : Press Conference : October 28, 1956

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley gets his Polio Shot : October 28, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : The Ed Sullivan Show : October 28, 1956 TV Appearance
Elvis Presley Photos Natalie Wood and Elvis Presley outside the Hotel Chisca : October 31, 1956

November

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis : Toledo : November 22, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : Cleveland Arena, Ohio : November 23, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : E.H. Crump Memorial Football Game : November 30, 1956

December

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley : December 11, 1956 : Mobbed by fans in Memphis after running out of gas
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley's Last Louisiana Hayride Performance : December 15, 1956
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Touch Football : Dave Wells Community Center : December 27, 1956

1957

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley: The Ed Sullivan Show : His third and final Appearance : January 6, 1957 TV Appearance

The Movies Of 1956

Elvis Presleys Movies 1956, Love Me Tender, Twentieth Century Fox

The Movies In Photos

Elvis Presley Photos Love Me Tender New page link

DVDs

DVD Elvis : The Ed Sullivan Show : The Classic Performances DVD
DVD The Milton Berle Shows DVD
DVD Elvis : The King Of Rock n Roll 30 Hit Performances And More DVD

Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Shows

CDs

CD The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956
CD Greatest Live Hits of the 50’s CD From MRS
CD Elvis At SUN
CD Elvis Presley : FTD Special Edition 2 CD
CD The Million Dollar Quartet
CD The King Of Rock 'N' Roll : The Complete 50's Masters
CD Elvis' Golden Records CD

Books

Book The Elvis Files Volume 1 : 1953-1956
Book A Moment In Time : 4 Days in '56 : Hardcover book from FTD
Book
Rock, Sex, and Roll : Elvis Presley Hardcover Book [JAT]
Book The Rock 'N Roll Years : My Wish Came True : 1954-56
Book Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool The '50s inc, Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen Shows
Book Flashback Book + 2 CDs
Book Elvis : The Hottest Thing That's Cool - Elvis Book
Book Elvis Presley: The Family Album BookElvis Australia : Official Elvis Presley Fan Club : www.elvis.com.au

Elvis Presley Video Video Preview: Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered Unreleased Film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don’t Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it. The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people.

We love Elvis Presley !!!!!!!! : So ... Stop, look and listen baby that's our philosophy ... First thing in the morning, last thing at night ... look, stare everywhere and see everything inside ... Stop, look and listen!

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