'Elvis At Stax' Collection Due August 6

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 06:33 AM Written by 

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He recorded some of his greatest music in Nashville, LA and New York, but the magic of Elvis Presley and Memphis transcended the fact he lived there for most of his life.   He made his groundbreaking rockabilly records at Sun Records at 706 Union in 1954-55.

15 years later, in 1969, he returned to a Memphis studio (American Studios) with Chips Moman producing, to record songs that became standards in his repertoire like "In The Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain." The producer: Nashville's Felton Jarvis, who handled a large chunk of Elvis's RCA material.

Four and a half years later, in July and December of '73, he recorded at the iconic Stax studios, the converted Memphis movie theater on McLemore Avenue where Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & The MG's, Carla Thomas and Eddie Floyd created "Soul Man," "Green Onions," "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay," "Gee Whiz" and "Knock On Wood."  It seems Isaac Hayes even postponed one of his own sessions so Elvis could use the facility.

40 years after those sessions, Legacy Recordings is releasing a 3-CD set chronicling the material on Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition, covering 28 of the master recordings with 27 more outtakes.   From these sessions came a number of songs not necessarily huge rock hits, but some of his last great recordings before he began to slip away.

Among them are Chuck Berry's "Promised Land," the Top Ten country singles "It's Midnight" and "I've Got A Thing About You Baby," "My Boy" and "Mr. Songman" (both country Top 20), and "If You Talk In Your Sleep." The material ended up on albums like Promised Land, Good Times and Raised On Rock/For Ol' Times Sake.

The collection was produced by Elvis recording expert Ernst Jorgenson and includes include an illustrated with liner notes by Memphis music authority Robert Gordon and rare photos.

From the sessions: "Promised Land," truly one of his final great rock records.

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