Information about original versions of numbers recorded by Elvis Presley.
(Please note that this list only includes numbers that were recorded by someone before Elvis's own version: it does not include numbers that Elvis recorded first.)
If you have any information or comments, contact me.
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FAQs for Elvis Presley: The Originals.
Why did you make this site?
I heard a programme on a Flemish radio station in the early 1990s about original versions of songs later recorded by Elvis. I decided to make my own collection of such numbers. Little did I know that it would grow so large. I then thought that someone else might be interested!
Is the list complete?
Probably not. I still find the occasional new title and more frequently receive information that leads to the discovery of an earlier original.
Why can't I find "Jailhouse Rock"/"King Creole"/"Queenie Waheenee's Papaya" etc.?
Well, you might wish to read the announcement at the top of this and every other page of "Elvis Presley: The Originals." It reads, "Please note that this list only includes numbers that were recorded by someone before Elvis's own version: it does not include numbers that Elvis recorded first
." The link will take you to a simple list of numbers that Elvis recorded first, which will probably include the title you are searching for. However, the purpose of this site is to identify the originally recorded versions of numbers later recorded by Elvis. Got it?
Why can't I find "Blackbottom Stomp" which is included on the Million Dollar Quartet recordings?
Because Jerry Lee Lewis is playing on the recording and Elvis had already left the building (where have I heard that before) by that time.
Why can't I find "Could I Fall In Love" which I believe was based on a Philippine children's song called "Bahay Kubo"?
Because the writer of "Could I Fall In Love" (Randy Starr) assured me in an email of 13 August 2009 that this is not the case:
When I wrote the melody for "Could I Fall InLove," I had never heard of "Bahay Kubo", so any similarity is coincidental.
I tried the YouTube link you sent me and listened to "Bahay Kubo." I also listened to other versions of the song on YouTube. The Philippine song is in waltz tempo, whereas "Could I Fall In Love" is in 4/4 time and differs melodically in some phrases as well.
Your website has lots of interesting information I hadn't known regarding many of the songs you've researched. Keep up the good work.
Why can't I find "Don't" which was first recorded by Eddie Boyd?
Because although Eddie Boyd did indeed record a number called "Don't" in 1956, it was not the same number as recorded by Elvis in 1957 (both numbers were written by Leiber and Stoller).
Why can't I find "Is It So Strange" which was first recorded by Faron Young in 1956?
Because I have been unable to find any concrete evidence to support claims that "Is It So Strange" composer Faron Young recorded his number before Elvis did so in 1957.
Why can't I find "Let Me Be The One" which is included on the Let Me Be The One/Behind Closed Doors CD?
Because the CD liner notes incorrectly identify the track as the number written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams and earlier recorded by Jack Jones (though probably better know in the version by the Carpenters). Rather than the Nichols/Williams number, or any other song by the same title previously recorded (there were at least two other different songs), Elvis's "Let Me Be The One" was, in fact, written by Jimbeau Hinson and had not yet been commercially recorded. The first commercial recording seems to have been made in 1978 by the Oak Ridge Boys and Barbara Fairchild had some success with the number in about 1980. The number is catalogued with ASCAP, Work ID 420229756.
Why can't I find "One Sided Love Affair" which was recorded by the Marveleers in August 1953 on Derby 829?
Because the Marveleers' "One Sided Love Affair" is a totally different song (a vocal harmony doo-wop type number) that just happens to have the same title. While we're at it, Buddy Weed and his orchestra released a song called "(I'm On The Wrong Side Of) A One-sided Love Affair" in 1952 (MGM 11294); this is also a totally different number.
Why can't I find "Where Did They Go, Lord?" which was written and recorded by Dallas Frazier for his LP "My Baby Packed Up My Mind And Left Me" (LSP 4569)?
Because Dallas Frazier recorded his version after Elvis's. Elvis recorded the number, which was written by Dallas Frazier, on 22 September, 1970. Frazier made his recording on 28 May, 1971. Here's
the contract for the recording session.
Why can't I find "Yeah, She's Evil" by Bill Haley, which is the same song as Elvis's "The Meanest Girl In Town"?
Because although Haley's version was released before Elvis's, it was recorded later. Elvis recorded "The Meanest Girl In Town" on 10 June 1964; Haley recorded his version on 16 June 1964. Elvis made the first commercial recording, so the number is not listed in "Elvis Presley: The Originals."
Why can't I find "You're a Heartbreaker" which was first recorded by Ray Anthony in 1952?
Because the song recorded by Ray Anthony is a totally different number (as was the 1953 Jimmy Heap release of the same name).
Why don't you list such-and-such a number that clearly influenced Elvis more than the one you do list?
I'm not trying to indicate influences. I do not believe it is possible to do so. Please read these notes.
I know an earlier original than that listed. Are you interested?
Certainly. Please send as much information as possible to me here.
This must take up an awful lot of time and cost quite a bit to maintain, too. Do you accept donations?
Indeed, I've been working on Elvis Presley: The Originals since about 1993 (1995 on the Web). Books, web space, software, etc. — it all adds up. Donations are gratefully received.
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