Information about 506 original versions of recordings by singer and entertainer Elvis Presley. See when recorded and by whom, with interesting historical data. Hear soundbites of original versions.
This is the original site of information about original versions of numbers recorded by Elvis Presley, which I began in about 1995. Other sites have copied it, some have translated it, but this site is the one that is best maintained.
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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Researching originals is not as easy as might first be imagined. If records of recording sessions were kept at all, this was often in a very haphazard fashion, with scribbled, almost illegible notes on tape boxes or pieces of paper that tended to get lost or, worse, simply thrown away. Memories fade, people die, old recordings are thrown out, or, if the medium can be reused, simply recorded over. Even where records do exist, they are sometimes wrong themselves, with writers credits incorrectly assigned, dates wrongly noted, etc. As a result, questions arise. I have spent many, many hours over many years trying to find the truth about the origins of the titles listed in this site, but I still have questions that need answering. If you think you can help, please contact me.
Can you provide a copy (mp3) of the Bob Atcher and Bonnie Blue Eyes recording? Can you let me have a scan of the label?
Can you provide a recording date for the Joe Henderson version?
Did Elvis sing "Lovely Mamie"?
Can you confirm/disprove that Thomas was the first to record "Always On My Mind"?
Any earlier commercial recording than that of Herman?
Can you provide an accurate recording date?
Can you provide proof of the Cameo 967/Lincoln 2540 release?
Do you know of an earlier recording? Was Decca 5130 released?
Can anyone provide a recording date for the version by The Oak Ridge Boys?
Can you provide more information about the Albert Piccaluga recording on the Pathé label?
Anyone know the original recording?
Can you confirm the date of the James Last recording?
Can you provide a date for the Wayne Newton recording?
Can you provide the recording date of Humperdinck's version?
Did Lulu Belle and Scotty record their number before Gene Autry?
"He" was probably released by the Blackwood Brothers in the mid-1950s, but might have been recorded some years earlier. Can you provide the recording date and other relevant information?
The Manna Music site states, "The first major American recording of How Great Thou Art was by Bill Carle." This statement seems to suggest that there were lesser American recordings, or recordings made outside the USA, prior to Carle's recording. Any suggestions?
Can you provide a recording date?
So who did record this number first, and when?
Can you provide accurate recording date information for the Tony Joe White and/or Billy Lee Riley versions?
Recording dates for Clanton's and Wood's versions, please!
Can you provide an accurate recording date?
Can you provide a label scan?
An earlier version?
Was an earlier version recorded?
Can you provide a recording date for Ivory Joe Hunter's original?
Any earlier version? Did Derricks record the song in 1937?
There is a possible earlier version: a number called "Just Because" was recorded by the Hawaiian Serenaders on 14 November 1928 (a whole year earlier!) for release on Jewel 5510 and Oriole 1442, but was this the same song?
Can you provide a recording date for the version by The Golden Chorus Featuring Jimmy Carroll?
Who was Ruth? What became of her?
Can you provide a date for the recording by The Fantastics?
Can you provide recording dates for the Dobie Gray or the Tom Jans versions?
Can you provide a recording date for Timi Yuro's version?
Any details about The By Liners or date of original recording?
Can you provide accurate recording dates for the Nick Noble and/or Tony Perkins versions?
But did the Marlin Sisters record the number first? (Their recording was made in December 1947.)
Can you provide a recording date for the Damone version?
Can you provide recording dates for the remaining original candidates?
Any more information about Roger Douglass?
An earlier recording?
Who really made the first commercial recording?
Note that some reports refer to Willis Arthur, others to Arthur Willis.
Any information about the Propes Quartet?
Can you provide an accurate recording date for The Rivingtons' version?
But did Leo Price record his own song first, or was it Little Richard?
But is this the Joel Grey of Cabaret fame? In that Joel Grey's autobiography, "Master Of Ceremonies," there is no mention of a venture into pop music.
Any information about Madame Magdalene Tartt Lawrence?
Is there an earlier recording of "Greensleeves"?
But did Harry Owens himself record an earlier version (I know he recorded the number in the 1940s)?
Is there an earlier recording?
Did Sinclair really record the number in 1903? Other candidates for original recording?
Was Hallett's recording the first? When was it made?
Can you provide a date for Sonja Stadlin's recording?
Can you provide accurate recording dates for the Pusinelli & Hackert and the Oskar Wagner versions? (Note that the Cylinder Preservation Project is unable to do so for Wagner.)
Thanks to all the people who have provided feedback and additional information that I've been able to use to improve this site and its contents: Garth Bond (UK?), Sebastiano Cecere (Italy), Chris Deakin (UK), Stig Ericsson (Sweden), Mark Hillier (UK), Joop Jansen (Netherlands), Torben Jensen (Denmark), Robin Jones (Saudi Arabia), Bob Moke (USA), Henk Muller (Netherlands), Rami Poutiainen (Finland), Aad Sala (Netherlands), Trevor Simpson (UK), Leroy Smith (Netherlands), Philippe Spard (France), Kris Verdonck (Belgium). If I've forgotten anyone, please forgive me!
The best site for other originals is probably The Originals Project
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