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Interview with Joe Tunzi #2 - Part 1

By For Elvis CD Collectors
Source: FECC
December 11, 2004 - 3:19:00 PM

This is the first part of a new interview with Joe Tunzi from J.A.T. Publishing following the release of his book Elvis- Sessions III.

Included are some images of documents provided by J.A.T. Publishing. Near each image - Except the first - is a link you can click on to bring you to a larger version. Some documents aren't directly related to the questions / answers but to the subject only.



Recently, the song author, Brazilian composer Morris Albert came in saying that he was contacted about legal matters on releasing his song sung by Elvis. For the first time, I believe', Feelings 'is listed in the sessions log as a rehearsal. Is this a indicative of what is to come, and how you confirmed this song is really preserved? I would also like some clarification on this. The fact that 'Feelings 'isn't listed in the Unreleased Highlights section seems to suggest that there is no proof, or even rumour, that it exists. Joe...?

Joe: The song 'Feelings 'is listed in Elvis Sessions III as a rehearsal. It was the first song that was tried out with new guitar player Billy Sanford. It was rehearsed a few times and they shelved it. I listed it because the possibility of it existing on tape, although unlikely, still remains. If indeed BMG contacted Morris Albert about 'Feelings 'I doubt it was in relation to Elvis 'rehearsal of it after all Morris Albert was an RCA recording artist.

Will you be part of the CD and book project promised by Joey Kent -- in an interview on this Web site -- to release the tape recording of Elvis 'final 'Louisiana Hayride 'show from December 1956?

Joe: I really don't know. There is a chance that a book will be out of the last Hayride show from December, 1956. Whether this will contain a CD of the last Hayride show I don't know. I think after talking to Joey Kent there is no definitive answer whether this material will come out by him, me or anybody at this time.

Can you give any other information on the Alabama radio station recording of 'Shake, rattle & roll 'from 1954 or 55 thats listed in the uneleased hightlights chapter. As regarding the existance of it. Is it on a one sided acetate or on tape? do BMG or FTD have access to it for a future release?, whats the sound quality like? and finally have you been fortunate to hear it?

Joe: This is a one-sided acetate that is definitely from 1955. I believe BMG will eventually acquire it and release it. The sound is adequate.

Click here for a larger view of image - J.A.T. Publishing

Do any alternate takes of Who Am I?, I'll Be There or The Fair's Moving On exist in the BMG vaults, or are these latter tapes from the American Sound sessions missing? If so, there may be a Memory Revival with vocals after all...

Joe: There is no Elvis vocal to 'Memory Revival'. To my knowledge there are no alternate takes of 'I'll Be There', Who Am I?', or 'The Fair Is Moving On'.

Why didn't he use the up to date take numbers for My Baby's Gone? Why didn't he have a song index showing which page(s) you can find each song on? Ernst did. It's a pain trying to find songs where you might not know the recording date. A cross reference for the RCA 'unreleased 'songs where available on import, would have been useful.

Joe: This is a good question. We made a mistake with regard to the 'I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone' situation or did we? Joan Deary's notes had them as we listed them. We went with her scenario. The most recent scenario is takes 1-7 or it's possibly takes 1-6. And this is most likely what we will change it to in the reprint. Irregardless, the facts still remain that most likely we will never know what all was done at Sun and also that the Sun sessions were given take numbers after the fact. I guess that adds to the mystique of the Sun sessions.

The book is 656 pages. When you get down to it the book becomes an index. I think most fans will get more enjoyment out of the book by having to search throughout the book rather than using an index at their fingertips. I know that sounds odd, but in a way it makes the reader go through the entire book, possibly reading sections of the book that they otherwise would have passed over.

Is there any unreleased song outtakes from the movies 'Change of Habit', The Trouble With Girls', Live a Little, Love a Little 'in existence ?

Joe: There are unreleased outtakes to 'Change Of Habit'. These are owned by a private source'. The Trouble With Girls 'and the 'Live A Little, Love A Little 'outtakes were purchased by BMG several years ago from producer Billy Strange.

Click here for a larger view of above image - J.A.T. Publishing

Weren't there no more infos about the EOT rehearsals available ? It is still very hard to get the snippets of songs from ' Between Takes ' into the right recorded order. More detailed infos such like these from TTWII would have been much appreciated.

Joe: We listed all we know about the 'Elvis On Tour 'rehearsals in Elvis Sessions III. Most of this information came directly from the tapes which I had the good fortune of listening to back in 1994. We do mention snippets and one-liners such as 'Oh How I Love Jesus', El Paso', Over The Rainbow'. This can be found on pages 364-368. We think this covers most if not all of it.

You list 'Yellow Rose of texas / The Eyes of Texas as being recorded on September 13, 1963. This date conflicts with the date in Ernst book 'A life in music 'and I believe your own two previous sessions books which I don't have anymore unfortunatly (so perphaps someone can confirm this for me), which lists the song as being recorded on 10th July 1963. Of interest according to Guralnick & Jorgensen's book Elvis - Day by Day, the nearest entry to September 13 is the 11th Sept which says that Elvis completes stills and dubbing for Viva Las Vegas and then returns to Memphis (same day I presume).

Click here
for a larger view of above image - J.A.T. Publishing

Joe: 'Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas 'was recorded on September 13, 1963. The master most likely was added to the master reel with other songs recorded on July 10, 1963. There are several items of interest to support this. The first is a union contract dated September 13, 1963 for the motion picture 'Viva Las Vegas'. The second item of interest is in listening to 'Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas'. There clearly is a banjo player on the record. However, all the paperwork for the July sessions does not list a banjo player. However there is a banjo player listed for the September 13, 1963 session. Also the backup singers on the record sound nowhere like the Jordanaires or for that matter any regular vocal group and most likely were done by the musicians participating at the September 13, 1963 session.

The final item is in the fact that no outtakes of 'Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas' were used on last year's Follow That Dream release of the 'Viva Las Vegas' soundtrack. This supports the logic that possibly the master was added to the July 10, 1963 masters reel and that the outtakes of 'Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas' were not purchased by BMG several years ago along with the other outtakes from the film 'Viva Las Vegas'. The 'Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas 'outtakes would still be owned by Turner/MGM (Time-Warner). The flute and trumpet were overdubbed on October 16th.

You have produced an excellent book so top marks for a truly enormous effort. I was hoping to see some info on the long speculated third pre-Sun acetate. So while researching Sessions 3 did you come across any kind of evidence to suggest that Elvis may have recorded a third acetate prior to July 5, 1954. If not, in you own opinion do you think that he did make a third acetate.

Joe: In my opinion, there is no third acetate. We looked over several pieces of information that could have proved that one might have been recorded but in the end that information proved to be not authentic.

Click here for a larger view of above image - J.A.T. Publishing

Why have you included soundboard recordings from Las Vegas Summer '71 in the 'Unreleased Highlights' sections of 'Sessions III' when they don't appear in the list of concert recordings. and are you sure that the photo on p.184 dates from 1966? Excellent book BTW!

Joe: We did take note of this and it will be corrected in future reprints but the key is that we do mention this. The photo on page 184 is from 1966. All of the photos taken outside Studio B. were taken by a fan who resided in Nashville and was present almost every time Elvis recorded there from the mid '60s to the early '70s. All of these Polaroid snapshots were dated.

In your unreleased highlights section, you list the 'Blue Moon of KY' as coming from a better tape source, who has this tape? Are there any other Sun outtakes on this tape? Also, do you you know the date of the version of Suspicions Minds found on the Behind Closed Doors bootleg? Is is from 1969 or 1970? Finally, you note that there is a more complete version of 'Hound Dog' from March 25, 1961 Benefit Show. How much was cut from the original EAP Box release? Where did this tape originate?

Joe: 'Blue Moon Of Kentucky' was purchased by BMG from the Joan Deary collection. They also purchased a few other Sun tapes we're familiar with in better quality. The version of 'Suspicious Minds' on Behind Closed Doors is from February, 1970.

I believe there is a complete version of 'Hound Dog' based on the tape notes from Joan Deary. The tape originated on a bootleg in the late '70s. The source of this tape and the Joan Deary tape are one in the same

Have you found any information regarding the session tapes from Girls, Girls, Girls and Roustabout? Were the tapes ever turned over to RCA by Paramount? Or, was just the master reels turned over to RCA? Might the tapes reside with the Hal Wallis or Jospeh Hazen estates? It seems strange that these reels were never given to RCA in light of the fact that all the other sessions from the Paramount films were turned over to RCA? Thanks again for answering the questions.

Joe: In reference to the missing Paramount sessions tapes for the motion pictures 'Loving You', King Creole', Girls!, Girls!, Girls! 'and 'Roustabout', it is my conclusion that no tapes from these sessions other than the master reels and a few outtakes which were contained on the master reels were turned over to RCA. These tapes are still buried deep in the vaults at Paramount. They do not reside with either the estates of Hal Wallis or Joseph Hazen. I have based this opinion not on speculation but rather on my visits to the Paramount film archives over the years. I also believe that Elvis' screen test for 'The Rainmaker' is also contained in the Paramount film archives.

Regarding the Aloha rerecording of Blue Hawaii (CPA5 4756), all sources that I have seen to date list the master as take 2 and yet you list it as being take 10. Is this just a typo error or have you seen paperwork which suggests otherwise.

Joe: I believe that there were several false starts before a master was completed. This would make take 9 what you refer to as take 1 and take 10 what you're referring to as take 2. I'm not basing this on paperwork but on a tape that was recorded by an outside source.

One question I wanted to ask is when were the 'Backup Vocal Overdubs' done to the following songs? I can't find any mention of them anywhere in the book .

Power Of My Love
February 18 1969
Take 7 (Undubbed Master) = Unsurpassed Masters 13 / There's Always Me Vol 2
February 22 1969
Harmony Vocal Overdub = Memphis Memories (Acetate)
March 19 1969 (Evening)
Brass Overdubs = Unreleased
Unknown (?)

Backup Vocal Overdubs (After all previous overdubs) = From Elvis In Memphis / The Memphis Record

Kentucky Rain

February 19 1969
Take 10 (Undubbed Master) = Memphis Memories (Acetate)
March 18 1969 (Afternoon)
Strings Overdubbed = Unreleased
March 18 1969 (Evening)
Brass Overdubs = Unreleased
Unknown (?)
Backup Vocal Overdubs (After all previous overdubs) = Great Country Songs / Second To None

Only The Strong Survive

February 20 1969
Take 29 (Undubbed Master) = Unreleased
March 18 1969
Brass Overdubs = Unreleased
March 21 1969
Strings Overdubbed = Unreleased
Unknown (?)
Backup Vocal Overdubs (After all previous overdubs) = From Elvis In Memphis / The Memphis Record

Any Day Now

February 20 1969
Take 6 (Undubbed / Unrepaired Master) = Unsurpassed Masters 13 / There's Always Me Vol 2
February 22 1969
Vocals Replaced / Repaired = Unreleased
March 18 1969 (Afternoon)
Strings Overdubbed = Unreleased
March 18 1969 (Evening)
Brass Overdubs = Unreleased
Unknown (?)
Backup Vocal Overdubs (After all previous overdubs) = From Elvis In Memphis / The Memphis Record

Joe: We did forget these. These will be added in the second printing'. Power Of My Love 'was done on the evening of March 19, 1969'. Kentucky Rain', Only The Strong Survive 'and 'Any Day Now 'were most likely done on the evening of March 18, 1969. We spent a lot of time with AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio) regarding the backup vocal overdubs for these sessions because a lot of the original contracts were faded or missing for various reasons. Through AFTRA and the Pension Fund we were able to get as much information to insure that the book is accurate as possible.

Click here for a larger view of above image - J.A.T. Publishing �

Are all Shows mentioned in your Soundboard list recorded completely, or only in parts?? If we watch out for the Asheville Performance of July 23rd, 75,... we can read 'only in parts'...after it. But i can't find any comments on other shows in this list,.... are ALL other shows recorded completely?

Joe: In regard to the soundboard list, It's my belief that for the most part, a lot of shows are recorded completely. There are also a good many performances that are missing a few songs, most notably in the beginning or middle of the show. And in a few instances, there are a few shows that were only recorded in parts, presumably Asheville, July 23, 1975.

From the THREE Elvis sessions volumes I now own I can honestly say you have printed throughout them some of the most interesting and 'rare' Elvis images, have you ever thought about a' QUALITY' printed photo album compiling these images?

Joe: A few years back, I thought about this very idea of compiling some of the best sessions photos of Elvis 'recording career into a photo book. And I can honestly say that this is a project that we are currently working on. Hopefully we'll be able to release it in late 2005.

I think I noticed a missing person (Carol Montgomery ) in the overdubbed sections and although she is mentioned in Ernst's book (albeit not fully) I can find no mention of her in your editions, why?

Joe: We have listed everything we believe Carol (Sonja) Montgomery sang on with Elvis. We have also listed her name as it appears on the union contract or the RCA sessions log as it appears. We have listed both Carol Montgomery and Sonja Montgomery. They are one in the same person.

What is the real master take of It`s A Matter of Time ?? Is it 3 or 5 ??

Joe: The master take of 'It's A Matter Of Time' is take 5. It goes as follows :

Take 3 - Incomplete - listed incorrectly on the FTD release 6363 Sunset

Take 4 - Complete - this is the version that appears on the FTD 6363 Sunset

Take 5 - Master

It's worth noting that Elvis ends take 3 with the following comment: 'How the hell does that fit in there anyway'.

Could you please tell us more about the vocal replacement sessions held at American Sound studios 1969 ?? When they took place ?? How was this done practically ?? Which were the new master takes of these vocal replacements ?? Is any audio left from the replaced vocals ?

Joe: This is a tricky situation because we really don't know everything for sure but I based my opinion on the union contracts that the Memphis Chapter of the American Federation Of Musicians supplied me with. I think the dates and times noted on these new contracts speaks volumes about how much work Elvis did at these sessions. I would like to thank them for their assistance.

There really wasn't a lot of vocal replacements. There were many vocal repairs. The vocal replacements that Elvis did are listed in Elvis Sessions III and are pretty self-explanatory. I believe we list the dates and where they took place. Also the master takes are listed. As for how they were recorded, they were done and considered a vocal overdub with the rhythm track remaining intact. Since they were recorded in this fashion, that leads me to believe that the original vocal may have been erased and that possibly an acetate would be the only source of the original vocal. The only known original vocal that is known to exist is for 'And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind' which wasn't redone until September 1969. Ironically the original vocal was kept for 'Let Us Pray 'which was also re-done in September. So it seems that in 1969 Chips Moman's practice was to erase the original vocal but in Nashville the practice was to keep it.

Click here for a larger view of above image - J.A.T. Publishing

What chance do us Elvis fans have of seeing the Boston 11/11/71 (?) show on film? I've heard that many collectors have seen this, filmed in professional quality as a test for Elvis On Tour.
Joe: I have no idea where this film may be if it was filmed at all. No records indicate it was turned over to MGM. So obviously it's not in their film archives which I have been through. Maybe the footage that some of the collectors have seen is good quality amateur-shot footage. As for the reporter who questioned Elvis about filming in Boston at the Madison Square Garden press conference, it's quite possible that the reporter just simply meant to say Buffalo instead of Boston, considering the fact that the MGM cameras were in Buffalo on April 5, 1972 and they filmed some of Elvis 'rehearsal there. It seems that after Elvis was asked the question, he seemed puzzled by the question, not quite sure what the reporter was referring to, which leads me to this scenario.

On the 'VIVA LAS VEGAS' sessions, when Elvis recorded the duets with Ann-Margret, were the two of them singing together in the studio at the same time, or did they record their parts separately, at different times?

Joe: The duets with Ann-Margret were done live in the studio. We have included a picture in Elvis Sessions III on page 148 of Elvis, Ann-Margret, George Sidney and piano player Calvin Jackson. Apparently Elvis and Ann-Margret were inseparable on and off the screen as well as in the studio.

On behalf of all our readers we would like to thank you very much for your collaboaration and for your time. We know that 'Sessions III' is a huge success and all the best of luck with your future project.

- Interview with Joe Tunzi #2 - Part II

- Buy Sessions III
- Read our Sessions III book Review
- Read First Joe Tinzi Interview


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