Kentucky Rain is listed twice in the session
logs. It's also listed as a "Remake"
(10.00pm listing probably meaning 11.00pm), but
I think this is a simple issue of just paperwork
explanation for a recording that took longer to
record than just one session. The most likely
reason is that Elvis went out, arrived late, or
studio time was spent just talking. At least with
this explanation, the musicians got paid for two
sessions, as is listed in the session logs!
The Long False Start of Take 5 of Kentucky
Rain is incorrectly listed as Take 7 on the
bootleg "Finding The Way Home". The
False Start from Take 8 along with the three False
Starts and Complete take of Take 9 were also incorrectly
listed as being Take 10 on the bootleg "Finding
The Way Home". Take 7 is incorrectly listed
as being Take 8 on the bootleg "American
Crown Jewels". All are presented in their
correct order on "The American Way Volume
Take 8 of Kentucky Rain on the '60's Box'
has left and right channels swapped.
The date is also unknown when the Backup Vocal
overdubs were added to Kentucky Rain and
Only The Strong Survive - A possible explanation
of this could be as follows:-
There is a page missing from the session logs
between March 25 and May 5 1969, and as there
appears to have been no backup vocals overdubbed
to any songs in May (Apart from May
6 & 7
where Brass was also overdubbed) it is safe to
assume that it is from March. The date of the
job number at the bottom of the March
25 overdub session log is March 28, so it
would be safe to assume that this missing overdub
session would be before March 28. The March 25
overdub session was for "Strings" and
"Backup Vocals" and was held from 2.00pm
until 5.00pm but it may well be that another session
was held in the evening of March 25 but just for
the backup vocalists (Sonja Montgomery, Millie
Kirkham, Dolores Edgin, Hurshell Wigington and
Joe Babcock) to add their vocals to the missing
The original Mono version of Kentucky Rain
is 3:20 and the same mix and length of the song
in Stereo was released on 'Elvis' Gold Records
Volume 5' in 1985. This would be the definitive
The original Mono version of Kentucky Rain
can be found on the 'Legacy' edition of 'From
Elvis In Memphis'.
When the '60's Box' set came out, Ernst insisted
it was the stereo mix that Chips Moman had made,
even though it was instantly obvious it was a
different mix to the original master.
From then on, in constantly varying lengths, the
song bounced around on various dubious compilations.
Different remixed Stereo versions of Kentucky
Rain can be found on 'Suspicious Minds - The
Memphis 1969 Anthology', 'The Memphis Record',
'Second To None' and 'Elvis' Gold Records Volume
5' among others.
Kentucky Rain is very 'cinematic'. If
ever a song needed a long fade, this is it. In
the original version he sings "...in the
cold Kentucky Rain" NINE times (the last
time being the absolute end of the song), but
on some compilations it's over by the sixth. Plus,
starting with the above-mentioned '60's Box',
they discovered a counter-melody in the background
and turned it way up to add to the confusion!
The 1999 'Suspicious Minds' 2-CD set had one of
the worst versions of all. First, it was much
too short (another 3:14 version), and second,
Elvis' voice was way out in front in what I understand
he used to call "The New York mix".
The version on 'Second To None' was very good
and virtually as long as the original. Now with
the new remaster as heard on 'Elvis 75 - Good
Rockin' Tonight', the 30 disc 'Complete Elvis
Presley Masters' collection and the Franklin Mint
set it sounds tampered with again!
A remixed version of of Only The Strong Survive
can be found on 'The Memphis Record'.
By taking out two of the four channels from the
rare Japanese Quadraphonic LP of 'From Elvis In
Memphis' is how the "Previously Unreleased
Versions" were created on the bootleg "The
Other Side Of Memphis" (Bilko).
In March of 2007, Sony decided to go through all of Elvis' masters. They retransferred everything and remastered all tracks including repairing as many clicks, pops, bad edits and dropouts as they could. They have used these newly mastered recordings on their new releases since 2007 including budget soundtracks, 'Legacy' releases, the 30 disc 'Complete Elvis Presley Masters' collection and the Franklin Mint package.
Thanks to Glen Johnson for comparisons on different
releases of the song Kentucky Rain.