Elvis Elvis Presley covered more than 500 originals Presley
The Originals

Information about 513 original versions of recordings by singer and entertainer Elvis Presley. See when the original was 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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Last update: Sunday, 1 August 2021; 513 numbers listed!List available as free ebook (epub format)

Tennessee Waltz recorded by Elvis on February 1966-early 1967; Informal Original Recording Label of Tennessee Waltz by Cowboy Copas
Written by: King; Stewart
Originally recorded by Cowboy Copas in 1947 Play button Pause button
One of THE country classics, though it is generally associated with Patti Paige, who had a no.1 US hit with her more pop version in 1950.
The origins of "Tennessee Waltz" are unclear. It was probably inspired by Bill Monroe's "Kentucky Walz," with Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart providing lyrics to their own "No Name Waltz" tune in 1946.
Cowboy Copas, sometime singer with Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys, probably recorded the number first in April 1947, though his version was not released until March 1948 (with the label showing the title as "Tennesee Waltz" -- note the missing "s" -- and strangely indicating Copas as one of the writers) on King 696.
Pee Wee King's own version, recorded with His Golden West Cowboys, was recorded in December 1947, released in January 1948, and entered the US Country charts in April 1948, peaking at number 3. Co-writer Redd Stewart, who played fiddle with the Cowboys, sang the lead. Tom Parker was Pee Wee King's road manager in the early 1940s. He went on to manage Eddy Arnold, a former Cowboy himself, and later, of course, Elvis.
On 17 February, 1965, Governor Frank Clement proclaimed "Tennessee Waltz" as the fourth Tennessee state song.
That's All Right Mama recorded by Elvis on Monday, 5 July 1954; Studio Original Recording Label of That's All Right Mama by Arthur Big Boy Crudup
Written by: Crudup
Originally recorded by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup in 1946 Play button Pause button
Crudup's original was entitled simply "That's All Right." Things weren't going too well at Elvis's audition for Sam Phillips, when, during a break in the procedings, Elvis started messing with this up tempo number — up to then he'd attempted only ballads. Scotty Moore and Bill Black joined in, Sam Phillips was stunned, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Elvis never attempted to "steal" his music from the blacks who developed it. He was the first to give credit where it was due, as witness his remarks in 1956: "The coloured folks been singing it and playing it just like I'm doin' now, man, for more years than I know... I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now and I said if I ever got to the place where I could feel what old Arthur felt, I'd be a music man like nobody ever saw."
Interestingly, Crudup seems to have used the various verses of "That's All Right" separately in other recordings he made in earlier years (notably "I Don't Know It," which is perhaps the number that Elvis remembered), so it seems to be an amalgam of remembered, previously composed bits and pieces.
See also My Baby Left Me and So Glad You're Mine.
That's Amore recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 29 March 1975; One-liner Original Recording Label of That's Amore by Dean Martin
Written by: Brooks; Warren
Originally recorded by Dean Martin in 1953 Play button Pause button
Ah, Elvis, the great fan of Dean Martin! Honestly, he was (no, I don't understand it, either!), and so he sang a line of Deano's double-million-seller in a Las Vegas dinner concert in the 1970s, when his idol was in the audience. Dean Martin recorded the song originally together with Jerry Lewis for the soundtrack of the 1953 film "The Caddy" (the song was recorded in 1952 or 1953), but the track that was released on record was not recorded until 13 August 1953 for Capitol. Actually, Martin wasn't at all keen on the song at first, but probably changed his mind somewhat when the royalties started to arrive... The record reached number 2 in the Billboard charts.
That's My Desire recorded by Elvis on Tuesday, 4 December 1956; Informal Original Recording Label of That's My Desire by Russell Wooding And His Grand Central Redcaps
Written by: Loveday; Kresa
Originally recorded by Russell Wooding And His Grand Central Redcaps in 1931 Play button Pause button
Carroll Loveday (words) and Helmy Kresa (music) published "That's My Desire" in 1931 and it was recorded for the Victor label in the May of that same year by little-known dance band leader Russell Wooding and his orchestra, with vocals by Frank Luther and released on Victor 22718. The number remained largely unknown, however, until Frankie Laine turned it into an emotional ballad during his first Decca recording session in August 1946. It went on to be his first hit in 1947, turning him into a major star. The recording made at the "Million Dollar Session," an informal session at the Sun recording studio that included Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, is dominated by Jerry Lee. Indeed, he might be the only one of the "quartet" actually performing! Elvis never recorded the number officially, but another informal recording was made in June 1968 during rehearsals for the "Singer Presents Elvis" TV special. This version is available on a number of "unofficial" releases, including "The Complete Dressing Room Session."
That's When Your Heartaches Begin recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 13 January 1957; Studio Original Recording Label of That's When Your Heartaches Begin by Shep Fields And His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra
Written by: Raskin; Brown; Fisher
Originally recorded by Shep Fields And His Rippling Rhythm Orchestra in 1937 Play button Pause button
Elvis recorded his first version of this number together with "My Happiness" as a private recording — his very first recording, in fact, in the summer of 1953 (and, no, it wasn't a present for his mother's birthday) It was also included in the jam session that took place at the Sun Studios, Memphis, in December 1956, known to the world as "The Million Dollar Quartet." This might have made Elvis think of the song again enough to include it in his next studio session for RCA, which took place at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Shep Fields was born in 1910 in Brooklyn, New York. He played saxophone and formed his own band, broadcasting on NBC. He would open his shows with a "rippling" sound that he produced by blowing through a straw, the end of which was submerged in a bowl of water and this can also be heard on his original version of "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," which was recorded on 3 June 1937, with lead vocal by Bob Goday. It was released on Bluebird B-7015 as the B-side to "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," perhaps better known nowadays as the theme tune for Looney Tunes. Shep Fields died in 1981.
The Caisson Song recorded by Elvis on Tuesday, 21 January 1969; One-liner Original Recording Label of The Caisson Song by Sousa's Band conducted by John Philip Sousa
Written by: Gruber
Originally recorded by Sousa's Band conducted by John Philip Sousa in 1917 Play button Pause button
Elvis had started recording "In The Ghetto" quite late in the evening of 20 January, 1969. It was early the following morning when he was about to begin take 20, that he decided to sing a couple of lines of an old army song called "The Caisson Song."
"The Caisson Song" was written in 1908 by General Edmund Louis Gruber (a distant relative of Franz Gruber, who wrote "Silent Night"). It was originally recorded on 21 December 1917 by the band of John Philip Sousa, as "The U.S. Field Artillery March" and published in sheet music form with different lyrics. The recording was released as a double-faced 10-inch single on Victor 18430, with "Liberty Loan March" on the other side. The usual legal battles ensued regarding the rights to the song and these were never properly settled.
The song was rewritten again in 1956 as "The Army Goes Rolling Along," when it became the official song of the U.S. Army.
The Christmas Song recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 12 December 1973; One-liner Original Recording Label of The Christmas Song by The King Cole Trio
Written by: Tormé; Wells
Originally recorded by The King Cole Trio in 1946 Play button Pause button
Written during the hot summer of 1944, by Bob Wells and Mel Tormé, Nat King Cole made the original recording of "The Christmas Song" (subtitled "Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire," or even, "Merry Christmas To You"), perhaps in June 1946, but a second recording was made on 19 August and it was this that was released on Capitol 311 in November of that same year. He went on to record it on at least three other occasions.
Elvis sings the "Merry Christmas to you" line a couple of times during the takes of "Thinking About You."
The Eyes Of Texas recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 10 July 1963; Studio
Written by: John L. Sinclair
Originally recorded by John Sinclair in 1903
Encouraged by Lewis Johnson, John Lang Sinclair wrote "The Eyes Of Texas" in 1903, basing the tune on the traditional "I've Been Working On The Railroad." It was first performed on 12 May 1903 at the Hancock Opera House in Austin, Texas, by the Varsity Quartet, accompanied by John Sinclair himself on banjo. Sinclair would sing the song in blackface at later shows. Elvis recorded it for the film "Love In Las Vegas" (US title "Viva Las Vegas") in a medley with "Yellow Rose of Texas."
Did Sinclair really record the number in 1903? Other candidates for original recording? contact me.
The First Noel recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 16 May 1971; Studio
Written by: arr. Elvis Presley
Originally recorded by Tally-Ho! in 1902
"The First Noel" is a seventeenth century Christmas carol, originating from the west of England, where it was originally titled, "The First Nowell" (note spelling), whose composer is unknown. The oldest printed copy of both music and text appeared in "Christmas Carols," by William Sandys in 1833. Tally-Ho! was a male vocal trio, whose members were Ernest Chester (tenor), William Doust (tenor), and Eric Farr (bass). Their recording of "The First Nowell" was made in London in 1902 for Edison-Bell (6629).
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face recorded by Elvis on Monday, 15 March 1971; Studio Original Recording Label of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger
Written by: MacColl
Originally recorded by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger in 1962 Play button Pause button
Long before Roberta Flack's 1972 number one version (recorded in 1969 for her album "First Take"), "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was recorded by the woman for whom it was written, Peggy Seeger, the sister of American folk music legend Pete Seeger. She made the recording together with the man who wrote the song for her, Ewan MacColl, and it was included on their "New Briton Gazette, Volume 2" album. MacColl wrote the song in 1957 (some reports give 1956) in less than ten minutes, whilst on the phone with Peggy Seeger: he was in London and she was in Los Angeles (he was not allowed into the USA because of his political tendencies, which the USA perceived as anti-American). She sang the song in concert that same evening.
Flack's version gained notice when it was used as background music in the Clint Eastwood film "Play Misty For Me."
Ewan MacColl, the writer of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," was born Jimmie Miller in 1915 in Salford, Lancashire. He later took the name of a nineteenth century poet. He was the father of Kirsty MacColll (one of Kirsty's first hit records was "There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" and very good it was, too!).
Ewan MacColl died on 22 October, 1989, following heart surgery.
The Fool recorded by Elvis on After April 1959; Studio Original Recording Label of The Fool by Sanford Clark
Written by: Ford
Originally recorded by Sanford Clark in 1956 Play button Pause button
Writing credit for this song was given to Naomi Ford, Lee Hazlewood's wife, although Hazlewood probably wrote the number himself. According to Clark, the different drum sound on the record was made by splitting a piece of bamboo and beating it on a guitar case! Clark's version was originally released on the MCI label, but was re-released a few months later on the Dot label, when it became a hit. Elvis recorded this number originally at home in Goethestrasse, Bad Nauheim, Germany, whilst on military service. Over ten years later, he used the number again during the "Elvis Country" recording session on Thursday, June 4, 1970.
The Girl Of My Best Friend recorded by Elvis on Monday, 4 April 1960; Studio Original Recording Label of The Girl Of My Best Friend by Charlie Blackwell
Written by: Ross; Bobrick
Originally recorded by Charlie Blackwell in 1959 Play button Pause button
Charlie Blackwell was born in Seattle, Washington, on 11 May, 1921. As a child he was trained as a classical pianist, but he soon became interested in jazz and by fourteen had his own quartet. Following a car accident in which both his legs were broken, he began to play drums and percussion as part of his recovery therapy. During his twenties, Blackwell worked as a drummer with Stan Kenton, Dave Brubeck, and other bands, and also started to develop his own singing style, eventually becoming a popular singer in clubs throughout the western states of the USA. He was still performing his lounge act in the mid-1970s.
Original pressings of the LP "Elvis Is Back" listed (Beverly) Ross and (Sam) Bobrick in the songwriter credits, whereas Blackwell's recording shows Ross and Barry. To add to the confusion, some later issues of Elvis's version list Bobrick and (Ross) Butler. The song remains the same. Charlie Blackwell's original recording of "The Girl Of My Best Friend" was his fourth single release on the Warner Bros. label, number 5132, with performers listed as Charlie Blackwell with The Big Sound of Don Ralke. The release was reviewed in the Billboard issue of 30 Novemebr 1959, when the A-side was indicated as "Choppin' Mountains."
The Impossible Dream recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 10 June 1972; Concert Original Recording Label of The Impossible Dream by Jack Jones
Written by: Leigh; Darion
Originally recorded by Jack Jones in 1966 Play button Pause button
This number was written for the 1965 Broadway musical "Man Of La Mancha," in which it was first sung by Richard Kiley. It summed up the ambitions of the show's hero, Don Quixote, the character played by Kiley. In the notes to his "Greatest Hits" LP, Jones says, "I didn't even want to sing the song. I love Richard Kiley, but when I saw the show, I didn't think I could make the song work for me." Jones's version reached #1 in the easy listening chart and #35 in the pop chart of the USA in 1966, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Male Vocal Performance.
The Last Farewell recorded by Elvis on Monday, 2 February 1976; Studio
Written by: Whittaker; Webster
Originally recorded by Roger Whittaker in 1971
Yuck! For me (a personal opinion, of course!), this has to be one of the biggest pieces of overproduced false sentimentality that Elvis sang (and I'm a fan!); there isn't a lot of such junk in Elvis's catalogue, I hasten to add! I disliked Whittaker's original and Elvis's is hardly an improvement—"Tomorrow for old England she sails," my foot! Anyway, Whittaker had a radio series in 1971 in Britain and people were invited to send in poems or lyrics, some of which were put to music and performed on the show. "The Last Farewell" was a poem by Ron Webster, a silversmith from Birmingham (England). The number first appeared on Whittaker's 1971 LP, "New World In The Morning," released in the UK on Columbia SCX6456 (the US album of the same name, released in 1970, had a different tracklist and did not include "The Last Farewell"). The song eventually became a hit single in 1975.
The Lord's Prayer recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 16 May 1971; Informal Original Recording Label of The Lord's Prayer by David C. Bangs
Written by: Jesus (?)
Originally recorded by David C. Bangs in 1895
"The Lord's Prayer" is, of course, the prayer prescribed in the Bible. Elvis's version is described in the sleeve-notes of "A Hundred Years From Now" as being an "Informal Performance"—it most certainly is!
In 1884 Emile Berlin himself recorded "The Lord's Prayer" on an Edison cylinder for his own purposes. In about 1889 he recorded the prayer again, this time on a 5-inch demonstration disc to show the benefits of his own recording process.
The first commercial recording of this prayer seems to have been made by David C. Bangs some time before May 1895 and was issued on at least three different one-sided Berliner 7-inch discs: Berliner 617, together with "Sweet Bye And Bye" as its additional title (presumably two songs on one side); Berliner 618, with "Nearer My God To Thee" as the additional title; Berliner 618(a), with Psalm 100 as the additional title.
(The disc shown—rather than the label—is Berliner 618a.)
The Mickey Mouse Club March recorded by Elvis on Tuesday, 1 April 1975; Concert Original Recording Label of The Mickey Mouse Club March by Jimmie Dodd And The Merry Mouseketeers
Written by: Dodd
Originally recorded by Jimmie Dodd And The Merry Mouseketeers in 1955 Play button Pause button
Jimmie Dodd was born in March 1910 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is best known as the host of the Mickey Mouse Club TV show in the second half of the 1950s. Dodd died in Honolulu, Hawaii, in November 1964. His original recording of The Mickey Mouse Club March was released on a 10" 78 RPM EP on the Walt Disney Productions label, number DBR-50.
Elvis as a Mousketeer? Yes, and he wore the mouse ears on stage, too! Well, it was April Fool and the man always enjoyed a laugh!
Elvis sang the song during the midnight show during a Las Vegas stint; he sang it again during a Lake Tahoe engagement on 9 May 1976—perhaps April Fool's Day was later that year... Neither of his renditions have been released officially, but the first is available on an unofficial CD.
The Most Beautiful Girl recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 27 January 1974; One-liner Original Recording Label of The Most Beautiful Girl by Norro Wilson
Written by: Bourke; Sherrill; Wilson
Originally recorded by Norro Wilson in 1969 Play button Pause button
This number was written in 1968 as "Hey Mister, Did You Happen To See The Most Beautiful Girl In The World," which was probably too long to fit on a 45. Norro Wilson helped in the writing and recorded the original version in 1968. The recording was released on the Smash label, number S-2192 that same year. The title on the label was simply "Hey Mister" and the track was issued as the B-side to "Only You (And You Alone)." Charlie Rich had a worldwide hit with the song several years later, including a number 1 in the US C&W charts. Co-writer Rory Bourke also wrote "Patch It Up" and "Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming," both recorded by Elvis. Elvis sang just one line of the song in a concert in the 1970s.
The Titles Will Tell recorded by Elvis on November (?) 1959; Informal
Written by: Underwood
Originally recorded by Barbara Pittman in 1957 Play button Pause button
This track is incorrectly listed on Elvis releases as "Number Eight" or "Number 8 On The Jukebox" (presumably because part of the text sounds like "number eight," though it is actually "number A-17"). The correct title is "The Titles Will Tell" and the song was written by Charles Underwood, a Memphian who also wrote "Ubangi Stomp." Barbara Pittman, one of the few women to sing for the Sun label, recorded a version of "The Titles Will Tell" in 1957 or 1958, but the recording was not released until the 2002, when it formed part of a Bear Family compilation. Barbara Pittman deserved more attention and recording success than she received, so I am including her recording here, even though it is reported to have been "just" a demo: it sounds much too good to be a demo. Barbara Pittman died in October 2005.
B.J. Thomas recorded his own version of the number for his 1966 album "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry/Tomorrow Never Comes," using the title "The Titles Tell."
The Twelfth Of Never recorded by Elvis on Friday, 16 August 1974; Studio Original Recording Label of The Twelfth Of Never by Johnny Mathis
Written by: Livingston; Webster
Originally recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1956 Play button Pause button
The melody used for "The Twelfth of Never" is based on the 16th century English folk-song, "I Gave My Love A Cherry" (also known as "The Riddle Song"). Johnny Mathis began his recording career in 1957 and is still recording in the 21st century. His album Johnny's Greatest Hits spent no less than 490 continuous weeks in the Billboard Top Albums Chart, starting in 1958. Elvis's recording was made during studio rehearsals preceding the August Las Vegas shows.
The Whiffenpoof Song recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 23 October 1968; Studio Original Recording Label of The Whiffenpoof Song by Rudy Vallee
Written by: Galloway; Minnigerode; Pomeroy
Originally recorded by Rudy Vallee in 1937 Play button Pause button
The Whiffwnpoof Song is based on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, "Gentlemen Rankers." Guy Sculls (a Harvard man!) is said to have written music to the poem in 1894, though his version seems to be lost. A more appropriate opening verse was added in 1908 by Meade Minnigerode and George Pomeroy specifically for the Whiffenpoofs, with the now familiar tune composed by Tod B. Galloway. The Whiffenpoofs? They were (and still are) a group of songsters made up of Yale students. Apparently, the name of the song is derived from the name of the Yale society that adopted the number as its theme song (and they took their name from that of an imaginery character in the operetta "Little Nemo"). Rudy Vallee was a Yale graduate and remembered the song from his college days, when he was a member of the Whiffenpoofs in 1927.
Elvis's version was recorded in medley with "Violet (Flower of NYU)."
The Wonder Of You recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 18 February 1970; Concert Original Recording Label of The Wonder Of You by Ray Peterson
Written by: Knight
Originally recorded by Ray Peterson in 1959 Play button Pause button
Apparently written by Baker Knight for Perry Como, but then given to Ray Peterson, who scored a Top 30 US hit in the summer of 1959 (apparently, Ray had a 4 1/2 octave range at the time). RCA reissued Ray's version in 1964, when it reached number 70 in the US Pop charts. Elvis's version reached considerably higher. Peterson himself relates a telling tale: "He [Elvis] asked me if I would mind if he recorded 'The Wonder of You.' I said, 'You don't have to ask permission; you're Elvis Presley.' He said, 'Yes, I do. You're Ray Peterson.'" Peterson died in January, 2005. Note that the version on the CD "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits" is not that which was released as a single or used on the albums above; instead, it is an inferior version—apparently the compilers didn't notice this error, as there is no indication in the liner notes of it not being the #1 hit version!
There Goes My Everything recorded by Elvis on Monday, 8 June 1970; Studio Original Recording Label of There Goes My Everything by Ferlin Husky
Written by: Frazier
Originally recorded by Ferlin Husky in 1965 Play button Pause button
Ferlin Husky was born on 3 December 1927 in Missouri, USA. Husky's first recordings were made about 1950 for Four Star Records, singing under the name He signed a recording contract with Capitol in 1952 or 1953 (sources differ). Now singing as both Ferlin Husky and Simon Crum, Husky had numerous hits in the second half of the 1950s until the mid-60s, followed by fewer and smaller successes. He recorded "There Goes My Everything" in 1965, releasing it in May 1966 on his "I Could Sing All Night" LP. "There Goes My Everything" became really well known, however, when Jack Greene's recording of it made a big impact not only on the charts, where it reached the top of the US Country Chart, but also on the 1967 "1st Country Music Association Awards," where it was voted Single of The Year and Song of The Year.
There Is No God But God recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 9 June 1971; Studio Original Recording Label of There Is No God But God by Bill Kenny
Written by: Kenny
Originally recorded by Bill Kenny in 1966 Play button Pause button
The Ink Spots started performing together in 1934. Two years later, Bill Kenny, who became the voice of the Ink Spots, joined and they then went from strength to strength. After an argument in 1951, Bill Kenny's was the only voice heard on subsequent Ink Spots recordings made for the Decca label. Some sites list 1951 or 1952 as the date for Kenny's original recording of "There Is No God". However, I have been unable to confirm this date. Indeed, I have found evidence that the number was copyrighted only in 1963 and the earliest release by Kenny that I am able to find is on the 1966 Dot album, "Remember Me" (DLP-3738/25738).
There's A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In) recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 15 December 1973; Studio Original Recording Label of There's A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In) by Troy Seals
Written by: Seals; Rice
Originally recorded by Troy Seals in 1973 Play button Pause button
Co-writer Troy Seals recorded this song for his debut album "Now Presenting Troy Seals." Conway Twitty took the number to the top of the US country charts. Cliff Richard's version was withdrawn from the UK market as soon as Cliff discovered exactly what a Honky Tonk Angel was! Seals also wrote "Pieces Of My Life," recorded by Elvis.
There's No Place Like Home recorded by Elvis on Tuesday, 4 December 1956; Informal
Written by: Payne; Bishop
Originally recorded by John Yorke AtLee in 1891
This number is also known as "Home Sweet Home." Originally an operatic aria from Sir Henry Bishop's largely forgotten opera "Clari," also called "The Maid of Milan," with words by John Payne. The tune was partly based on a Sicilian Air. The song was the first popular tune to become a "hit," being the first to be intentionally sold so that the "ordinary" person could play it at home (we're talking about the early 19th century here, remember—that's 18.., incidentally!). Rossini seemed to like it, too, for he used the tune in his rather better-remembered "Barber of Seville"—more opera!
AtLee, also known as "Whistling John Atlee" is sometimes labelled "the first recording star." He was a governmet clerk and an amateur "artistic whistler" when Columbia began recording in Washington in 1889: AtLee was one of their first signings. He made the original whistling solo recording of "Home Sweet Home" as a wax cylinder for Columbia in 1891. On 24 September, 1898, he rerecorded the number, which was released on a 7-inch disc, Berliner 433. The earliest vocal recording dates from some time before April 1899, was performed by Mabel Casedy, and was released on Berliner 393.
There's No Tomorrow recorded by Elvis on April 1959 (or later); Informal Original Recording Label of There's No Tomorrow by Tony Martin
Written by: Hoffman/Corday/Carr
Originally recorded by Tony Martin in 1949 Play button Pause button
This was a version of "O Sole Mio," the song Elvis recorded as "It's Now Or Never." Elvis's home recording, made in Germany during his military service, together with "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen," "I Will Be True," "It's Been So Long Darling," and "Apron Strings" was released as "Bad Nauheim Medley" on "Platinum: A Life In Music" in 1997.
Tony Martin was born Alvin Morris on 25 December, 1913, in San Francisco. He became involved with popular music already in his school and college days. In the 1940s and 1950s he enjoyed some popularity as a radio peronality. His recording career began in earnest in the mid-1940s (an earlier attempt having been cut short by WWII), when he signed with Merury Records. Success on that label prompted RCA Victor to take him over in 1947. He recorded the original version of "There's No Tomorrow" in 1949, releasing it on RCA Victor 20-3582 (78 rpm) and 47-3078 (45 rpm). The number reached number two on the Billboard charts, with a run of 27 weeks.
Tony Martin died on 27 July, 2012.
This Time recorded by Elvis on Monday, 17 February 1969; Informal Original Recording Label of This Time by Thomas Wayne
Written by: Moman
Originally recorded by Thomas Wayne in 1958 Play button Pause button
Chips Moman wrote this song and went on to have his own recording studio and production company in Memphis. It was at this studio that Elvis recorded some of his very finest work—and for those of you who think that Elvis died in the army, listen to his late 60's work, especially the magnificent "From Elvis In Memphis" LP/CD, and be impressed! Elvis was recorded singing part of this song in combination with "I Can't Stop Loving You" during a session at Chips' studios.
Thomas Wayne was born Thomas Wayne Perkins in 1940, in Batesville, Mississippi. He was the brother of Luther Perkins, guitarist for Johnny Cash. Wayne's original recording of "This Time" was first released in March 1958 on the Fernwood label, number 106, and again a few weeks later on Mercury 71287X45.
Thomas Wayne died in 1971.
This Train recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 24 July 1971; One-liner
Written by: Traditional
Originally recorded by Florida Normal Industrial Institute Quartet in 1922 Play button Pause button
This title is not listed on the tracklist of the CD indicated, nor on any other Elvis release. However, during this particular recording, Elvis demonstrates the origins of "My Babe" (see its own entry) by singing a full couplet of the song that was more than likely its influence—"This Train" —during a Lake Tahoe concert.
The version of the song recorded by the Florida Normal Industrial Institute Quartet in October 1922 was called "Dis Train" on its Okeh 40010 release, which did not appear until 1924.
Three Corn Patches recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 21 July 1973; Studio Original Recording Label of Three Corn Patches by T-Bone Walker
Written by: Leiber; Stoller
Originally recorded by T-Bone Walker in 1973 Play button Pause button
Aaron Thibeaux Walker—the "T-Bone" is a corruption of Thibeaux—was born in 1910 in Linden, Texas. Under the name Oak Cliff T-Bone, he recorded his first tracks in 1929 for Columbia Records and can be regarded as the first electric bluesman, a great influence on the likes of B.B. King, Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughn amongst many others (even Chuck Berry admits to being influenced). His original recording of "Three Corn Patches" was part of his 1973 album, "Very Rare" (Reprise 2XS 6483), which was produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also wrote three of the ten tracks on the album.
T-Bone died in 1975. The last Leiber-Stoller number Elvis recorded in a studio?
Thrill Of Your Love recorded by Elvis on Monday, 4 April 1960; Studio
Written by: Kesler
Originally recorded by Carl McVoy in 1958 Play button Pause button
Stan Kesler wrote five songs recorded by Elvis: "I'm Right, You're Left, She's Gone," "I Forgot To Remember To Forget," "If I'm A Fool For Loving You," "Playing For Keeps" and this gospel-like "Thrill Of Your Love." Carl McVoy was an older cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis and seems to have given him some early piano-playing lessons! His 1958 version of "Thrill Of Your Love" was called "A Woman's Love" and remained unissued at the time, but has since appeared on compilations.
Tiger Man recorded by Elvis on Thursday, 27 June 1968; Concert Original Recording Label of Tiger Man by Rufus Thomas, Jr. (but see note on Joe Hill Louis)
Written by: Louis; Burns
Originally recorded by Rufus Thomas, Jr. (but see note on Joe Hill Louis) in 1953 Play button Pause button
Rufus Thomas was born on 26 March, 1917, in Cayce, Mississippi. He moved to Memphis when he was about three years old. By the time he was a young teenager, he was already acting as master of ceremonies for talent shows on Beale Street. His academic studies seem not to have been neglected, however, for he started studying at the Tennessee A&I University, but shortage of funds forced him to leave in order to pursue a career as a full-time entertainer and presenter of new talent (he discovered B.B. King, Bobby Bland, and Johnny Ace). He began writing and performing his own songs in the 1940s and in 1950 made his first recording. By 1953 he was recording for Sam Philips's Sun Studio.
Rufus Thomas's release prior to "Tiger Man" was also animalistic — "Bear Cat," an answer-song to "Hound Dog." Joe Hill Louis (or was it Lewis?), one of the writers of "Tiger Man," played on the original recording, though it was credited to Rufus Thomas. The other name in the writing credit, Burns? Well, that was Sam Phillips getting in on the deal, but using his wife's maiden name (she was Rebecca Burns) instead of his own family name. "Tiger Man" had earlier been recorded for Sun by Joe Hill Louis himself on 17 November 1952, but his recording was not released until it appeared on a compilation in 1986. A recording of Elvis rehearsing the number, made on 25 June 1968 has also been released on the set, "Platinum, A Life In Music."
Rufus Thomas died on 15 December, 2001.
Time Has Made A Change In Me recorded by Elvis on Friday, 31 March 1972; Informal Original Recording Label of Time Has Made A Change In Me by Stamps Quartet
Written by: Frye
Originally recorded by Stamps Quartet in 1964(?) Play button Pause button
Harkin Frye copyrighted this number in 1948, so it is possible that it was recorded before the Stamps Quartet recorded it for inclusion in their 1964 album, "Go Ye," released on Skylite SRLP 6028. (This was before the time that JD Sumner joined the Stamps.)
The number is often listed as "traditional," but this seems not to be the case (indeed, numerous composer credits can be found, but the consensus seems to be in favour of Harkins Frye, even though his surname is sometimes written "Freye").
(Note that the Jimmy DeBerry number, "Time Has Made A Change" is a completely different song.)
Tiptoe Thru The Tulips recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 29 June 1968; One-liner Original Recording Label of Tiptoe Thru The Tulips by Nick Lucas
Written by: Dubin; Burke
Originally recorded by Nick Lucas in 1929 Play button Pause button
Published in 1926, the song was first used in the 1929 film, "Gold Diggers Of Broadway," in which it was sung by the very popular "Singing Troubadour," Nick Lucas, who made the original recording of the number in May of that year. The track, with its full title of "Tip-toe Thru The Tulips With Me," was released on Brunswick 4418.
Nick Lucas was born Dominic Nicholas Anthony Lucanese in 1897. This number was his greatest success, selling over two million copies. Lucas was still active in 1975, when he recorded songs for the soundtrack of "The Day Of The Locust." Lucas died on 28 July, 1982.
Nowadays the number is probably more associated with one of pop music's more eccentric characters, the late Tiny Tim, who had a hit with it in 1968. His version sounds as if it was inspired by Lucas's original.
Elvis sang just a few lines of the song during the filming of his 1968 Singer TV Special.
Today, Tomorrow And Forever recorded by Elvis on Thursday, 11 July 1963; Studio Original Recording Label of Today, Tomorrow And Forever by Frank La Forge
Written by: Giant; Baum; Kaye
Originally recorded by Frank La Forge in 1911 Play button Pause button
Hungarian-born piano virtuoso Franz Liszt wrote three versions of "Liebestraum" between 1847 and 1849, finally publishing in 1850. The third version, "Liebestraum No 3 in As-dur opus 62," became the best known and it is on this version that "Today, Tomorrow and Forever" is based.
I have been unable to verify earlier claims of an original recording dating from 1910 (the recording of "Liebenstraum" from that year by the Johann Strauss Orchester is of a different tune). Frank La Forge's piano solo recording was made on 24 May, 1911, and released as a 12" disc on Victor 70065.
Elvis's original release was a solo number, but an interesting duet featuring Elvis with Ann-Margret, who co-starred with him in "Viva Las Vegas" can be found on the 4-CD set, "Today, Tomorrow And Forever."
Tomorrow Is A Long Time recorded by Elvis on Thursday, 26 May 1966; Studio Original Recording Label of Tomorrow Is A Long Time by Ian & Sylvia
Written by: Dylan
Originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia in 1963 Play button Pause button
Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker were Canadian folk singer/songwriters, who together formed the duo Ian & Sylvia. Their original recording of Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" appeared on their 1963 (some sources say 1964) album, "Four Strong Winds" (Vanguard VRS-9133/VSD-2149). Bob Dylan's own version of this beautiful song did not appear until 1971.
Elvis's superb version was hidden as a "bonus song" on the film LP "Spinout"—a real scandal that such a track should have been reduced to that status and therefore still remains unknown to the general public. (The same happened with "Suppose" of course!)
Tomorrow Never Comes recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 7 June 1970; Studio Original Recording Label of Tomorrow Never Comes by Ernest Tubb
Written by: Tubb; Bond
Originally recorded by Ernest Tubb in 1944 Play button Pause button
Ernest Tubb was born in Crisp, Texas, in 1914. His big success came with his self-penned number, "Walking The Floor Over You" in 1942, a million-seller that led to him joining the Grand Ole Opry in February 1943. Tubb's original version of "Tomorrow Never Comes" was recorded in 1944 and released as a single on Decca 6106 the following year.
Elvis's moody, dramatic interpretation of "Tomorrow Never Comes" contrasts greatlt with Tubb's inappropriately jaunty original version.
There's another connection between Ernest Tubb and Elvis, apart from this song: Tom Parker, Elvis's (in)famous manager, acted as one of Tubb's advance promo men at the time he made his original version of "Tomorrow Never Comes."
Ernset Tubb died in September 1984.
Tomorrow Night recorded by Elvis on Friday, 10 September 1954; Studio Original Recording Label of Tomorrow Night by Henry Russell and His Romancers
Written by: Coslow; Grosz
Originally recorded by Henry Russell and His Romancers in 1939 Play button Pause button
This track was first released on the "Elvis For Everyone" LP in 1965, 11 years after its original recording, which is to be found on the collection "The Sun Sessions." The '63 release contains overdubs.
Henry Russell and His Orchestra recorded their version of "Tomorrow Night" on 8 August 1939, the day before Horace Heidt made his more famous version. Russell recorded with a hodge-podge of a band, often, it seems, using members of Horace Heidt's own orchestra, for which Russell was vocalist. Other names that Russell recorded under were Henry Russell and His Orchestra and Henry Russell and His Mystic Music. The original was released on Vocalion 5090.
Russell might well have had the original version, but Elvis's interpretation sounds as if he was more familiar with Lonnie Johnson's 1947 recording of the number. Wilhelm Grosz was also known as Hugh Williams (and André Milos) and he worked with Jimmy Kennedy to produce "Harbour Lights," another number sung by Elvis. Grosz was born in Vienna in 1894. After a full classical training and enormous success in that field, he moved to England in 1934 and from there to the USA in 1939, where he died just three months later, in December of that same year.
Tonight Carmen recorded by Elvis on Thursday, 4 June 1970; One-liner Original Recording Label of Tonight Carmen by Marty Robbins
Written by: Robbins
Originally recorded by Marty Robbins in 1967 Play button Pause button
Marty Robbins was born in Arizona in 1925. After a hard childhood, he joined the US Navy, where he first dabbled in music and songwriting. After leaving the navy in 1946, he built a local reputation as a performer, eventually signing with Columbia in 1951. A waning career was revived with his cover of Elvis's own cover of Crudup's "That's All Right, Mama" at the end of 1954. He went on to become a regular country hit-maker and songwriter (including "You Gave Me A Mountain," also recorded by Elvis). Marty Robbins was awarded the first ever Grammy for a country song, "El Paso," in 1961. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982, the year in which he died. As well as being a huge country artist, Robbins was also a keen stock-car racing driver. Elvis is heard singing just the first line of the song before going into "A Hundred Years From Now." The song is not listed in the CD playlist.
Tonight Is So Right For Love recorded by Elvis on Wednesday, 27 April 1960; Studio
Written by: Wayne; Silver; Lilley
Originally recorded by Friedrich Kark in 1906
The melody is based on (well, copied from...) "Barcarolle" by Jacques Offenbach. For copyright reasons, this track couldn't be released in Europe, so Wayne, Silver and Joe Lilly altered their original lyrics to fit a similar melody taken from "Tales From The Vienna Woods" by Johann Strauss, calling the song "Tonight's All Right For Love." Copyright problems did not affect release elsewhere in the world, apparently. Indeed, the Barcarolle melody had previously been recorded in a "jazzed up" fashion by pianist Frankie Carle and His Sunrise Serenaders in 1940, in purely instrumental fashion. It was an original arrangement by Carle. Carle's version was released on a single with the band's version of Rachmaninov's "Prelude in C sharp minor" (opus 3, No. 2) on the flip. The record was released by Columbia on #35573. The original recording of the standard music seems to have been made in Berlin in 1906 by Friedrich Kark on Odeon X34630.
Tonight's All Right For Love recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 6 May 1960; Studio
Written by: Wayne; Silver; Lilley
Originally recorded by Metropolitan Orchestra in 1901
Because of copyright problems in Europe with the melody used for "Tonight Is So Right For Love", the words originally written for that song were adapted to fit the similar melody of Opus 325 of "Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald" ("Tales From The Vienna Woods") by Johann Strauss, written in 1868.
The recording by the Metropolitan Orchestra was made for Victor on 17 January, 1901 and was probably issued in 1902—unclear records seem to indicate that 100 copies of the 7-inch disc were received from the pressing plant that year. Records are equally unclear as to where the recording was made, though this was likely to have been at the Johnson Factory Building, Camden, studio. In any case, the number was released on Victor A-396, a 7-inch single-sided pressing.
The Metropolitan Orchestra was active in the recording studio from June 1900 until May 1906, with its peak ending in July 1903.
Too Much recorded by Elvis on Sunday, 2 September 1956; Studio Original Recording Label of Too Much by Bernard Hardison
Written by: Rosenberg; Weinman
Originally recorded by Bernard Hardison in 1955 Play button Pause button
Hardison was a flamboyant singer and pianist who recorded the original version of "Too Much" two years before Elvis took it to the top of the charts in 1957. The recording was made by Tennessee/Republic co-founder Bill Beasley and released on Republic 7111.The Louise Brook's Band provided the backing for Hardinson. It seems that Beasley and his wife, Joan Norris, wrote the number, but publishing deals and lawsuits led to the credits going to the song's publishers, Lee Rosenberg and Bernard Weinman. Lee Rosenberg was a former secretary of Bill Beasley's; her share of the songwriting credits were passed to Elvis.
Too Much Monkey Business recorded by Elvis on Monday, 15 January 1968; Studio Original Recording Label of Too Much Monkey Business by Chuck Berry
Written by: Berry
Originally recorded by Chuck Berry in 1956 Play button Pause button
Chuck Berry was born Charles Edward Anderson Berry on 18 October, 1926, in St Louis, Missouri. He was introduced to music from a young age at school and church. In the early 1950s he joined Johnnie Johnson's band and in 1955 met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Chess Records. As a result, Berry recorded "Maybellene" for that label, the first of a succession of hits that included "School Days," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Johnny B. Goode," as well as "Too Much Monkey Business," which he recorded on 16 April, 1956. The number was released on the Chess single catalogue number 1635.
Elvis covered numerous Berry numbers — see also "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," "Johnny B. Good," "Long Live Rock And Roll (School Days)," "Maybellene," "Memphis, Tennessee," "Promised Land."
Chuck Berry died on 18 March, 2017.
True Love recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 23 February 1957; Studio Original Recording Label of True Love by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly
Written by: Porter
Originally recorded by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in 1956 Play button Pause button
"Tru Love" featured in the 1956 MGM film "High Society," one of the most popular Hollywood musicals of the 1950s, a remake of the 1940 film "The Philadelphia Story," which itself was based on the Broadway play of the same name. Cole Porter wrote the music and lyrics to the songs featured in "High Society" and "True Love" was sung by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. This was Kelly's last movie appearance before she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. The recording was made on 22 January, 1956 (other sources give 9 February and 22 February, 1956, as the recording date), and was released on Capitol F3507 in August of that year. The first record release of the number, however, was by Jane Powell, also in 1956. Her recording was not made until June, but was released first, in July, on Verve V-2018. Elvis's version appeared on the soundtrack album of his second film, "Loving You."
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road recorded by Elvis on Monday, 17 February 1969; Studio Original Recording Label of True Love Travels On A Gravel Road by Duane Dee
Written by: Owens: Frazier
Originally recorded by Duane Dee in 1968 Play button Pause button
Duane Dee was also the first person to record the very well-known country classic, "Before The Next Teardrop Falls," which he did in 1967. "True Love Travels..." is no slouch in the country stakes, either, having been recorded by The Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash) as well as less obvious candidates as Welshman Shakin' Stevens, Nick Lowe and The Grateful Dead!
Trying To Get To You recorded by Elvis on Monday, 11 July 1955; Studio Original Recording Label of Trying To Get To You by The Eagles
Written by: Singleton; McCoy
Originally recorded by The Eagles in 1954 Play button Pause button
Elvis tried recording this number during a February 1955 Sun session, but the result was unsatisfactory and that particular track has not resurfaced since. Several months later a new, this time successful attempt was made and the number was considered for release as a Sun single, though this never happened. Instead, RCA released the number on its own label, having taken over the track as part of their deal with Sun when they bought out Elvis's contract. The Eagles' recording was released in mid-1954 on Mercury 70391. (As an aside, it's interesting to note that Roy Orbison also recorded this track in 1955, when it was released on the Je-Wel label as the B-side of his original recording of "Ooby Dooby," a track he would later re-record at Sun.)
Tumblin' Tumbleweeds recorded by Elvis on ca.1966; Informal Original Recording Label of Tumblin' Tumbleweeds by Sons Of The Pioneers
Written by: Nolan
Originally recorded by Sons Of The Pioneers in 1934 Play button Pause button
Writer Bob Nolan was leader of the Sons Of The Pioneers.The lead singer on the original track is Leonard Slye, later to be better known as Roy Rogers. Their original recording was released on Decca 5047 in the USA, with "Moonlight On The Prairie" on the B-side. The title used on this original release was the less colloquial "Tumbling Tumbleweeds."
It seems that Elvis also recorded the Pioneers' "Cool Water," but this has yet to be found.
Turn Around, Look At Me recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 13 November 1971; Concert Original Recording Label of Turn Around, Look At Me by Glen Campbell
Written by: Capehart
Originally recorded by Glen Campbell in 1961 Play button Pause button
The original version of "Turn Around, Look At Me" was Campbell's first hit, released on Crest 45-1087 in October, 1961. The Vogues made the Top Ten with the number in 1968. Campbell was a frequent session musician in Nashville and even played on some Elvis recordings, notably those from the sessions that gave us the excellent "Viva Las Vegas" soundtrack. Only poor audience recordings exist of Elvis singing this song in concert, the first dating from the 13 November 1971 performance in Dallas, Texas. Another, rather better recording, was made at Asheville on 23 July 1975, as well as numerous other impromptu performances during 1974 and 1975.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus recorded by Elvis on Friday, 31 March 1972; Studio Original Recording Label of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Singspiration Quartet with Johnny Hallett
Written by: Lemmel; Clarke
Originally recorded by Singspiration Quartet with Johnny Hallett in late 1950s Play button Pause button
Helen Lemmel was responsible for over 500 hymns during her lifetime (1864 - 1961). She wrote the hymn "O Soul Are You Weary And Troubled" (the correct title of this number) in 1918, after having read a gospel tract written by Lilian Trotter and based on the biblical passage Mat 4:1-12. It was first published in 1922. The original version by the Singspiration Quartet features Johnnie Hallett on piano and was released on Singspiration S-1070-8-45. Elvis's version was made at an informal studio session during the filming of "Elvis On Tour," sung together with "Nearer My God To Thee." It was not included in the film, and was not released until 1994.
Was Hallett's recording the first? When was it made? contact me.
Tutti Frutti recorded by Elvis on Tuesday, 31 January 1956; Studio Original Recording Label of Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
Written by: Labostrie; Penniman
Originally recorded by Little Richard in 1955 Play button Pause button
Little Richard was born Richard Penniman on 5 December, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. in 1947 he was spotted by Sister Rosetta Tharpe when he was singing as a warm-up act prior to her concert at Macon City Auditorium. She invited him to sing during the concert. In late 1951 and early 1952 he recorded eight tracks for RCA Victor, but these enjoyed little success and he moved to Peacock Records, recording a further eight numbers with a group he called The Tempo Toppers. Again, success eluded him, so in 1955 he sent some demo recordings to Specialty Records. On 14 September 1955, Little Richard recorded his original version of "Tutti Frutti" for Specialty, which was released as a single in November 1955 on Specialty SP 561 and became an instant hit. Hit after hit followed on both sides of the Atlantic. His chart success faded in the early 1960s, but Little Richard's frantic, raucous style is still remembered and he remains one of Rock'n'Roll's true originals.
Elvis covered no less than four Little Richard originals in 1956. In addition to "Tutti Frutti," see also "Long Tall Sally," "Ready Teddy," and "Rip It Up."
Little Richard died on 9 May, 2020.
(A song by the same title was recorded in about 1938 by a duo called Slim & Slam, but it sounds very different indeed and, in my opinion, can't be considered the original of the Little Richard number.)
Tweedlee Dee recorded by Elvis on Saturday, 18 December, 1954 (but see comment!); Concert Original Recording Label of Tweedlee Dee by LaVern Baker and The Gliders
Written by: Scott
Originally recorded by LaVern Baker and The Gliders in 1954 Play button Pause button
Baker was born Dolores Evans on 11 November, 1929, in Chicago. Shortly after the Second World War she started singing in Chicago clubs under the name Little Miss Sharecropper. She signed to Atlantic Records in 1953 and had her first major success with her 1954 recording of "Tweedle Dee" (note difference in spelling), which was released on both 45 and 78rpm formats on Atlantic 1047.
LaVern Baker died on 10 March, 1997.
Winfield Scott, who wrote "Tweedlee Dee," also co-wrote "Return To Sender" and "I'm A Roustabout" for Elvis.
Elvis did not make a studio recording of "Tweedlee Dee," but three live versions exist: in addition to that on the set mentioned above, whose sleevenotes indicate not only the date, but also the location as Gladewater, Texas, the CD "Sunrise" has a version from 22 January 1955 (?) and "The First Live Recordings" (and numerous other CDs) reproduce a recording from 30 April 1955, also purporting to have been made in Gladewater, Texas... But there's a problem, for on 18 December 1954, Elvis was appearing at the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, so either he was double-dating, or RCA/BMG have the date incorrect in The Complete 50's Masters. Furthermore, Guralnick and Jorgensen's "Elvis Day By Day" provides a list of numbers that Elvis performed on 22 January, 1955—"Tweedlee Dee" is not included! Interestingly, when Elvis appeared in Lubbock in January 1955, he told a young Waylon Jennings that this number would be his next single.
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