Monday, July 2, 2012

Elvis’s historic recording occurred on January 10, 1956, at RCA’s Nashville studios. The label’s commitment to their new artist was reflected in the quality of the musicians who were assigned to work the session. In addition to Elvis’s regular band of Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D.J. Fontana, two top Nashville musicians, guitarist Chet Atkins and pianist Floyd Cramer, were in the studio. According to Presley recording session authority Ernst Jorgensen, “It would have been hard to say what genre ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was written in—perhaps it was more like a blues than anything else—but Elvis and his band had been doing it live for months, and they knew what to make of it. With just a few takes and a change in the lyrics (‘they pray to die’ became simply ‘they could die’), Elvis’s first hit was in the can.”

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