The Roots of Elvis

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
By this time, it ought to be reasonably clear to most people who know rock & roll history that Elvis Presley's music was the product of a diverse variety of influences, but most of the time, when someone writing about Presley's formative days talks about his sources, "white boy who liked the blues" usually ends up being the beginning and end of the story. Sure, Elvis liked the blues, but his taste for the blues ran from the rough and ready rural sounds of "Hardrock" Gunter and "Big Boy" Cruddup to the downtown swing of Big Joe Turner and Ray Charles and the more polished approach of such harmony groups as the Robins and the Drifters. Presley was also big on gospel, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
By this time, it ought to be reasonably clear to most people who know rock & roll history that Elvis Presley's music was the product of a diverse variety of influences, but most of the time, when someone writing about Presley's formative days talks about his sources, "white boy who liked the blues" usually ends up being the beginning and end of the story. Sure, Elvis liked the blues, but his taste for the blues ran from the rough and ready rural sounds of "Hardrock" Gunter and "Big Boy" Cruddup to the downtown swing of Big Joe Turner and Ray Charles and the more polished approach of such harmony groups as the Robins and the Drifters. Presley was also big on gospel, country, pop, and nearly anything else that came his way over the radio, all of which seemed to find a way into his musical worldview if you're willing to look for it, and this compilation offers a fascinating perspective on Elvis' wildly eclectic musical tastes. The Roots of Elvis features original or at least seminal recordings of 25 songs that made their way into Presley's repertoire over the years, and listening to these performances you can hear what Elvis drew from them, but you can also recognize how much of his own personality spilled over into his later renditions. While some folks still subscribe to the theory that Elvis simply white-washed the blues for consumption by the pop audience, the truth is that Willy & Ruth's "Love Me" and the Eagles' "Trying to Get to You," both featured here, are great vintage R&B but they lack the fierce passionate edge central to Presley's versions. The gospel sides are equally revelatory; Darrell Glenn's "Crying in the Chapel" is tepid compared to Presley's cover, which speaks powerfully of sincere belief, and "There's a Leak in This Building" by Brother Claude Ely is hard white gospel that speaks to the strength of his religious upbringing. And while it's hard not to listen to this as archeology for Elvis fans, this also happens to be a great collection of fine tunes of the 1950s that confirms, if nothing else, that Presley had a really great record collection. Fascinating stuff.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/12/2005
  • Label: Rev-Ola
  • EAN: 5013929439924
  • Catalog Number: 99

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Too Much - Bernard Hardison (2:24)
  2. 2 Love Me - Willy & Ruth (2:48)
  3. 3 Hearts of Stone - Red Foley (2:20)
  4. 4 Satisfied - Martha Carson (2:35)
  5. 5 Crying in the Chapel (3:00)
  6. 6 Fool, Fool, Fool (2:14)
  7. 7 Tryin' to Get to You - The Eagles (2:38)
  8. 8 Baby Let's Play House (2:45)
  9. 9 Reconsider Baby (3:11)
  10. 10 When It Rains It Pours (3:06)
  11. 11 There's a Leak in This Old Building - Brother Claude Ely (4:32)
  12. 12 I Got a Woman - Ray Charles (2:52)
  13. 13 Feel So Bad - Chuck Willis (2:55)
  14. 14 Shake, Rattle and Roll - Joe Turner (2:59)
  15. 15 Hound Dog - Bell Boys (2:39)
  16. 16 How Do You Think I Feel (2:03)
  17. 17 Faded Love - Bob Wills (2:53)
  18. 18 (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I - The Robins (3:00)
  19. 19 Money Honey - Clyde McPhatter (2:57)
  20. 20 Tiget Man (King of the Jungle) - Rufus Thomas (2:50)
  21. 21 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) - Roy Hamilton (2:59)
  22. 22 Tweedle Dee (3:11)
  23. 23 That's When Your Heartaches Begin - Billy Bunn & His Buddies (2:34)
  24. 24 White Christmas - Clyde McPhatter (2:40)
  25. 25 Peace in the Valley - Red Foley (3:13)
  26. 26 Hearts of Stone - The Charms (2:34)
  27. 27 Love Me (2:40)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nick Robbins Synthesizer
Joe Foster Synthesizer
Technical Credits
Lowell Fulson Composer
Joe Hill Louis Composer
Johnnie Lee Wills Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Ray Charles Composer
Arthur Neal Gunter Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Howard Biggs Composer
George "Funky" Brown Composer
Ahmet Ertegun Composer
Rudy Jackson Composer
Webb Pierce Composer
Dave Penny Producer, Liner Notes, Annotation
Winfield Scott Composer
Charlie Singleton Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Jesse Stone Composer
Wayne Walker Composer
Bob Wills Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey Composer
Joe Foster Producer
Artie Glenn Composer
Brother Claude Ely Composer
Billy "The Kid" Emerson Composer
Fred Fisher Composer
Renald Richard Composer
William Trader Composer
Sam Burns Composer
Charles E. Calhoun Composer
Rose Marie McCoy Composer
Andy Morten Artwork
Bernard Weinman Composer
William Raskin Composer
Joe "Cornbread" Thomas Composer
Lee Rosenberg Composer
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