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Are You Lonesome Tonight? by Arjen

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Arjen 48


Are You Lonesome Tonight?


Elvis Presley




3 Comments | 274 Views

ArjenLEVEL 48

Recording information by ArjenGOLD

Havin' some fun with this one, adding a verse from the movie Top Secret! and a line from the 'laugh' version of this song by Elvis.

"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" is a popular song with music by Lou Handman and lyrics by Roy Turk. It was written in 1926, first published in 1927 and most notably revived by Elvis Presley in 1960 (with the title spelled Are You Lonesome To-Night?).

Even if it is sometimes reported as recorded in 1926 by Bob Haring & the Cameo Dance Orchestra, there is no known existing copy of the disc "Cameo #967" so it can't be checked as the original recording or a different one. A number of artists recorded "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" in 1927. The song was first recorded by Ned Jakobs on May 8, but not released until 17, so the first published recording belongs to Charles Hart, on May 9. Composer Lou Handman himself played piano while his sister Edith provided the vocals for a recording released on the Gennett label on June 27. Vaughn DeLeath (also known as "The Original Radio Girl") recorded the song twice, first on June 13, as solo and later on September 21, as vocalist for The Colonial Club Orchestra. On August 5, another version was released by famed tenor Henry Burr. The Carter Family also recorded a version in 1936.

The first charting version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" was recorded by Blue Barron for MGM Records as catalog number 10628. The record first reached the Billboard pop chart on April 7, 1950 and lasted eight weeks there, peaking at number nineteen. This version introduced an additional spoken part to the song loosely based on Shakespeare's As You Like it using Jaques' speech on Act II Scene VII: "All the world's a stage, and all men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts." Only a few weeks after Barron's recording, Al Jolson recorded a version of the song on April 28, 1950; it was released by Decca Records as catalog number 27043. Jolson also included the spoken section.

In 1959 American songstress Jaye P. Morgan had a Billboard #65 hit with it on the MGM label, backed by "Miss You". Morgan omitted the new spoken part. Elvis Presley may have heard it while he was in the army in Europe, as he also heard and was inspired by other songs like "O Sole Mio" and "Return To Sorrento", which he made into hits on his return in 1960.

Morgan's version was followed by the best-known recording, by Elvis Presley, recorded on April 4, 1960 along with I Gotta Know, and engineered by Nashville sound pioneer Bill Porter. Colonel Parker (it was one of his wife's favorite songs) persuaded Elvis to record his own rendition of this song. Elvis' version was based on the Blue Barron Orchestra version from 1950 with spoken segment. It went on to be one of the biggest-selling singles of 1960, peaking at number one on the Billboard pop chart for six weeks and peaking at number three on the R&B charts .

Elvis, occasionally during live performances, would randomly change lyrics to give them humorous connotations. One popular instance was recorded at the International Hotel in Vegas on August 26, 1969. During the performance, instead of singing: "Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there", he sings "Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair". Moments later, he saw a bald man in the audience (as legend has it), and burst into laughter which continued into the next lines. The audience was treated to additional laughter during the spoken verse singing: "You know someone said that the world's a stage, and each must play a part." Seeing the irony of his own lyrics, Elvis was again overtaken by laughter and barely recovered. The audience enjoyed the sincerity of the moment while Elvis regained his composure. Meanwhile the band and backup singers continued to keep the song going. It is speculated that much of Elvis' mirth derived from the solo backing singer whose falsetto remained resolute throughout. To this, Elvis comes back just in time for the line: "And I had no cause to doubt you" followed by more laughter. So overtaken, Elvis encourages the backup singer to "sing it, baby" drawing even more laughter which nearly brings the house down. In the end, the song is finished to a round of applause as Elvis says, "That's it, man, fourteen years right down the drain...boy, I'll tell ya. Fourteen years just shot there." The version is considered to be a popular underground classic, and was a UK Top 30 hit in 1982 after first being commercially released by RCA in the 1980 box set Elvis Aaron Presley.

According to Dr. Demento, who plays the version on his show, there is nothing on the label of the recording to indicate that it is anything other than an ordinary recording of the song--"People must have been surprised when they took it home and played it."

In 1977, Presley again performed the song for the Elvis in Concert TV special. Similarly to 1969, he also appears to mess up the spoken interlude, ad-libbing jokes throughout. Whether this was intentional or not is unknown; the 1981 documentary film This is Elvis uses footage of this performance to illustrate Presley's physical deterioration near the end of his life. Darrin Memmer's book "Elvis Presley - The 1977 CBS Television Special," published in 2001 by Morris Publishing, suggests it was intentional. It is suggested that Elvis would purposely ruin the song because, as stated, it was one of Parker's wife's favorite songs, hence a dig at Parker, who Presley had begun to despise toward the end of his life.

Elvis's version was listed at #81 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all time.

Source: Wikipedia

stxDixieChickLEVEL 40

Comment by stxDixieChickGOLD

*giggles* without any hair .... *****

ArjenLEVEL 48

Comment by ArjenGOLD

"Do the tears on your pillow
roll down when you turn?
Do they short out your blanket...
and make your sheets burn?"


Comment by soon_to_come

WOW you have a super voice! that extra verse =) your speaking voice is great too! ....sure enjoyed my listen.....without any hair??....hahaha