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February 19 / 20 1969
(+ means you need both    ~ means same material    °° means stereo or binaural    ° means mono)
(SFS = Short False Start | FS = False Start | LFS or BD (Breakdown) = Long False Start | PB (Playback) or Complete = Complete Take)

American Sound Studio - Memphis, Tennessee
Producers : Felton Jarvis / Chips Moman
Engineer: Al Pachucki
Technician: Roy Shockley

Musicians:    
Guitar: Reggie Young  
Drums: Gene Chrisman  
Organ: Bobby Emmons  
Bass: Tommy Cogbill  
Piano: Bobby Wood  

Kentucky Rain
XPA5 1271
  Feb. 19 1969 (Wed: 7.30pm - 10.30pm)
Take 1 FS+LFS
3:53   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°° (LFS only)+The American Way
Volume 1°~Finding The Way Home (2-1-1)°
Take 2 4xLFS 0:41 (Piano Intro of The Fair's Moving On
after 1st FS)
From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°° (1st 3xFS)+The American Way
Volume 1°~Finding The Way Home (2-1-2)°
Take 3 PB 3:32   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°+Suspicious Minds - The Memphis
1969 Anthology°°~The American Way Volume 1°~Finding The Way Home
(2-1-3)°
Take 4 FS 0:22   The American Way Volume 1°~Finding The Way Home (2-11-1)°
Take 5 FS+LFS 2:28   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°+The American Way Volume 1°
~Finding The Way Home (2-11-2)° (Listed as Take 7)
Take 6 FS 0:05   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°~The American Way Volume 1°
Take 7 PB 3:38   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°~The American Way Vol 1°
~American Crown Jewels° (Listed as Take 8)

Kentucky Rain (Remake)
XPA5 1271
  Feb. 19 1969 (Wed: 11.00pm - 2.00am)
Take 8 FS+PB 4:24 (Preceded by Rehearsal - Slightly
Slower)
60's Box 5°° (PB only - Listed as Take 9)+From Elvis At American Sound
(FTD)°°~The American Way Volume 1° (FS+PB)~Finding The Way Home
(2-11-3)° (FS only)
Take 9 3xFS+PB 3:52   Memphis Sessions (FTD)°° (1st FS+PB)+From Elvis At American Sound
(FTD)°° (1st 2xFS+PB)+The American Way Vol. 1° (3xFS+PB)~Finding
The Way Home (2-11-3)° (3xFS+PB)
Take 10 (M) 4:19 (Undubbed Master) From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°+Memphis Memories (LP)°
(Acetate - Too Fast - 3:16)
         
Overdub (M)   String overdubs on March 18 (Aft)  
Overdub (M)   Brass overdubs on March 18 (Eve)  
Overdub M 3:20 Backup V.O's on March 25 (Eve ?)
(SPA1 4140)
Complete Elvis Presley Masters 18 (Sony)°°~Songs Of The Sixties
(Franklin Mint Complete Masters Collection 2)°°~Elvis 75 - Good Rockin'
Tonight 3 (Legacy)°°~Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°~Country (DSD)°°
~From Elvis In Memphis (2000)°°~Great Country Songs (DSD)°°~Comp.
Single Collection 6°°+Suspicious Minds - The Memphis 1969 Anthology°°
+60's Box 5°°+Second To None°°+Gold Records Vol. 5°°+The Memphis
Record°°+From Elvis In Memphis (Legacy)°

Only The Strong Survive
XPA5 1272
  Feb. 20 1969 (Thur: 2.30am - 5.30am)
Take 1 LFS
3:12 (Followed by Rehearsal)

From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°° (LFS only)~The American Way Vol. 2°
(LFS+Rehearsal)~Finding The Way Home (1-12-1)° (LFS only)
Take 2 4xFS+LFS 1:56   The American Way Vol. 2° (4xFS+LFS)~Finding The Way Home (1-12-2)°
(1st & 4th FS+LFS only)
Take 3 PB 2:47   The American Way Volume 2°~Finding The Way Home (1-12-3)°~A Leg.
Performer Vol. 8°
Take 4 3xFS+LFS 2:50   The American Way Volume 2°
Take 5 3xFS 0:54   The American Way Volume 2°~Finding The Way Home (2-10-1, 2-10-2,
2-10-3)°
Take 6 PB 3:07 "Dear Georgie" The American Way Vol 2°~Finding The Way Home (2-10-4)°~American
Crown Jewels° (Faded)
Take 7 FS+LFS 2:20 "Let's do one more for me..." The American Way Volume 2° (FS+LFS - LFS Listed as Take 8)
~Finding The Way Home (1-4)° (LFS only)
Take 8 LFS+LFS 2:07   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°+The American Way Volume 2°
(Listed as Takes 9 & 10)~Finding The Way Home (1-7)° (Faded)
Take 9 LFS 2:11   The American Way Volume 2° (Listed as Take 11)~Finding The Way
Home (1-9)°
Take 10 FS+FS      
Take 11 LFS 0:48   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°°
Take 12 FS+PB
3:04   From Elvis At American Sound (FTD)°° (PB only)
Take 13 FS+LFS      
Take 14 PB      
Take 15 FS   (Preceded by Rehearsal)  
Take 16 LFS+FS      
Take 17 FS+LFS 0:38   From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°° (LFS only)
Take 18 FS+LFS      
Take 19 2xFS+LFS      
Take 20 2xFS+PB      
Take 21 3xFS 0:36 (Preceded by Rehearsal) From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°° (2xFS only)
Take 22 PB 3:18   From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°°~Memphis Sessions (FTD)°°
Take 23 LFS
     
Take 24 2xLFS+FS      
Take 25 LFS+FS      
Take 26 PB      
Take 27 LFS      
Take 28 PB      
Take 29 (M)   (Undubbed Master)  
         
V.O. PB 3:21 Vocal Repair on February 22 ?
(0:00-2:27 & 2:41-2:56 used for
Final Master)
From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°°
         
Overdub PB   Brass overdubs on March 18 (Eve)  
Overdub (M)   Brass overdubs on March 18 (Eve)  
Overdub PB   String overdubs on March 21  
Overdub (M)   String overdubs on March 21  
Overdub PB 2:38 Backup V.O's on March 25 (Eve ?)
(SPA1 4122)
The Memphis Record°° (Faded)
Overdub M 2:42 Backup V.O's on March 25 (Eve ?) From Elvis In Memphis (FTD)°°~Comp. Elvis Presley Masters 18 (Sony)°°
~The Memphis Sessions (Franklin Mint Comp. Masters Collection 33)°°
~Elvis 75 - Good Rockin' Tonight 3 (Legacy)°°~From Elvis In Memphis
(Legacy)°°~From Elvis In Memphis°°~Suspicious Minds - The Memphis
1969 Anthology°°~60's Box 5°°+The Memphis Record°°+The Other Side
Of Memphis°°

Notes

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 1".

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 six tracks.

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 stereo version.

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.

Session Logs
Recording Information
February 19 1969
February 19 1969
Acetate
Kentucky Rain
Kentucky Rain
 

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