|WWE POLICY||INTERVIEWS||E MAIL||ORDER INFO|
ANOTHER THREE PART INTERVIEW!
PART 1: ERNST TALKS ABOUT:
* MORE SUN INFORMATION!
* THE BIG D JAMBOREE!!
* DCC ELVIS IS BACK RELEASE!!
* MOVIE OUTTAKES!!
* MUCH, MUCH MORE!!
This is the second interview that Ernst Jorgensen has granted WORLDWIDE ELVIS and is probably the longest and most extensive one he has ever done for anyone! I really appreciate him taking the time (almost three hours!) to sit down and talk with me and to answer all of the questions with frankness and honesty! book will be out around June 1. We will have exclusive copies for sale somewhere around June 8.
NOTE: Many thanks to the following people who supplied me with some of the questions: Dangerous Dale Hampton;Sebastian Jeansson; Paul and Maria Alner; Mike Hermenet; Jeff Marsho;Andy Klein; Bill Matlack; Bryan Gruszka; Fabrice Demanes; Rob Stafford; Ernie Boyes; Nikos Kalampalikis; Scott Packer; Mike Ross Trevor; J. Martin Perez; Alan Graveen; Ron Chavez; Stein Skar; Steve Braun; Keith Huotari; Jarle-Viggo Jensen; Andrew Wolczyk; Urban Hellbergh; Mark Jungheim; Lon (sorry, I forget your last name!!); Germain Tremblay; Charles Sigmon; Joe Passos; Adam Kuligowski; Wolfgang Pesch; Bill Waters; and John Onda.I hope I haven't left anyone out. Without their help this interview would not have been that interesting and I REALLY appreciate it!! Thanks everyone!!
WWE: Is "Tomorrow Night" (found on the 50'S MASTERS BOX SET) mastered from any of the original SUN tapes?
ERNST: It's mastered from a first generation RCA copy made in 1956. We don't have the original tapes.
WWE: This question concerns the SUN outtakes of "I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE" ; "BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY"; and "I'LL NEVER LET YOU GO" on the GOLDEN CELEBRATION box set. It seems that RCA never bought the tape for the original release in 1986 but made a transfer from the bootleg LP GOOD ROCKIN TONIGHT (Bopcat 100, later reissued as Bopcat 101). Stereo clicks can be heard between the takes (even on the recent CD release) and it appears that the speed was increased by almost 2% as well. There are several reasons why this is important, but the main one is that the complete "alternate" take of "I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE" actually is the master take! The sound quality of the second Bopcat LP implies that it was mastered from a tape of first generation or so. This would make sense because this particular song sounds absolutely terrible on the 50'S box set (noisy, distorted, and probably too fast)! The main question is - if that tape can't be located today, would BMG consider making a new master from Bopcat 101 instead as it sounds better than the one on the original Bopcat 100 that RCA used?
ERNST: There are so many good answers in there! We know who's got the tape and he hasn't been willing to sell it to us so that's one thing so that's a "yes" that we would acquire that tape if it could be acquired. Secondly, you're dead right about the awful sound quality of "I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE". It applies to four songs. There were four songs where RCA NEVER got the masters from SUN and it's "BLUE MOON OF KENUTUCKY"; " I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE"; "MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE"; and "YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER". And anybody who's really into audio like you are (WWE: Actually, this was NOT my question but Sebastian Jeansson's who's web site MASTER & SESSIONS is a MUST for recording sessions fans!!) will be able to spot that these are NOT taken from tapes but from what originally were 78 RPM's. I mean, they're taken from SUN 78's. That's where they dubbed them from.
WWE: That leads us into the next question (thanks again to Sebastian!!) Concerning "MILKCOW" and "HEARTBREAKER" - we know that these were mastered from a 78 RPM as you have just mentioned (since the original tapes were of course not turned over). This can be verified by measuring the time between the three clicks at the end of "MILKCOW". Is it known whether this was done from a SUN 78 or the RCA one mastered in November 1955?
ERNST: Well, like I just said, and the same thing applies to the two other songs, it was done from a SUN 78 because otherwise they couldn't even have released the RCA release of it. I mean, I think that's pretty logical if you think about it. They put out the RCA single in December 1955 and the only source they had to do that single was the SUN 78. It is also in the list of tapes that RCA got and subsequently destroyed, it's worth noticing that there was never a tape from the session. There were no outtake tapes in the fifteen tapes we got of anything on "MILKCOW" or "HEARTBREAKER whereas there were originally outtakes on "BLUE MOON OF KY." and "I DON'T CARE IF THE SUN DON'T SHINE". So, what I'm trying to say is that we have a pretty good picture of what Elvis recorded for SUN that wasn't recorded over at least. But one session we know nothing about is the one that produced "HEARTBREAKER" and "MILKCOW". We know nothing about what other songs were even tried out and, if you look at the session before that that produced "GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT" and the one after that that produced "BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE", we know that they recorded a bunch of songs and picked what was going to be released. So there's every reason to believe that there could have been more songs recorded on the session of "HEARTBREAKER" and "MILKCOW". The mere fact is that, even back in 1955, Sam couldn't find those tapes!
WWE: Has anybody bothered to search for tapes at any of the three pressings plants used by SUN in New York, Los Angeles, or Memphis?
ERNST: Yes, but nothing has ever been found!
WWE: Is the intro on "MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE" from the 50's box set edited from another tape?
WWE: In an article printed in the MAN AND HIS MUSIC magazine four years ago, a copy of "BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY" with 4 outtakes was reported as being in the BMG vaults. Is this true?
ERNST: No. I don't know that it was...I mean, it could read like that, but that's misinterpretation. The notes to the tape we had (Joan Deary had) of Steve's Sholes' notes (and we have all of Steve Sholes' notes) and that's what is reproduced in the booklet (WWE: I think he was referring to the MAN & HIS MUSIC article here!) which could lead you to believe that we actually had the tape as well but not so. I mean, Joan Deary also reproduced Sholes' handwritten notes on, I think it was, "PARALYZED" or something from the second album session, but that was because she had the notes but not the tapes and I trust Joan on that. Had she had the tapes we would have known. She would have used that.
WWE: On "I LOVE YOU BECAUSE" - the master is a few percent slower than the released alternate versions. Was this done during the splicing process in 1956 to make Elvis' voice sound deeper?
ERNST: I have no clue.
WWE: When will BMG release "(IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME) WITHOUT YOU"?
ERNST: Soon, within the next two years.
WWE: Is there a 1968 version of "BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE"?
ERNST: There was a rumour. This actually ties in pretty well with some tapes we are now pursuing (WWE: The tapes Ernst is referring to contain "SINCE I LOST MY BABY"; "I ALMOST LOST MY MIND"; and "PUPPY LOVE", all supposedly done in 1966 - 1968!!) First of all, there's these Donna Lewis diaries (and I don't remember what the entry is in there) but she talks about a home recording tape that was played around '68 or '69, not that she has it, but that she was at the house and heard it. So you can look that up and figure out what songs she mentioned in there. Maybe that's where it's coming from. But also, there was one of Elvis' own tapes that he played to a lot of people that had a rerecording of "BABY LET'S PLAY HOUSE" with some other guy who sounds remarkedly like Elvis and that might be what people have confused it with.
WWE: Have you ever heard any "live" recordings by Elvis or any other artists from the "BIG D. JAMBOREE"?
ERNST: No, but, just as likely as somebody has tapes of the HAYRIDE, are those other radio transmitted shows like the BIG D . Remember Elvis was only on this show four times in 1955. The first one was April 16 and the last one was I think September 2.
WWE: Do you know what he sang?
WWE: Is it definite that there are no other outtakes from January 1956, not even false starts?
ERNST: Well, there are a few little bits and pieces but nothing worth releasing.
WWE: When did Elvis record the spoken parts for the PERFECT FOR PARTIES promo sampler EP? Did he do it during a normal recording session? Are there any outtakes from this?
ERNST: Unfortunately, I have no information about this. Sorry.
WWE: Based on your previous interview with me, it sounds like "LET ME" is available in STEREO as were the other LOVE ME TENDER tracks but this was just released on the 1997 soundtrack with Elvis' voice only. Assuming there might be some 50's or other type compilation in the future, is there any chance we might get this track released in STEREO as were the other three?
ERNST: In principle-yes, but there are no immediate plans.
WWE: There was vocal backing added to "I WAS THE ONE" (from the Feb. 18, 1956 DORSEY TV SHOW) when this appeared in the long version of the THIS IS ELVIS movie in 1984. Why was this done
ERNST: There was overdubbing but I never went too much into that and I don't have the answer now.
WWE: Have any of the COMPLETE alternate versions of "GOT A LOT O' LIVIN' TO DO" or "MEAN WOMAN BLUES" been found of which only the endings and / or intros were used for the spliced soundtrack versions?
ERNST: Only as acetates not as tapes. Elvis had some test records in his collection. That's one of the places that they existed.
WWE: Why is the sound on "TRUE LOVE" on the 50's box set in such bad sound quality while the rest of the songs from the same session are pretty clear?
ERNST: The problem is in the recording. It's nothing to do with what was done after that. It's just because it's such a quiet recording that there's so much tape hiss so they should have recorded it louder than they did because then the signal would have been louder and you wouldn't have to turn it up so much to get the proper level. It's when you turn up the level that all the noise comes up. And with a sound that is so naked ,as this one is, if you start using all these moden techniques of reducing noise, it cuts into the voice. It makes the voice sound flatter so you either have to live with the noise (the hiss) or you have to accept that Elvis sounds more lifeless.
WWE: Is it possible that the master of "JAILHOUSE ROCK" was spliced?
ERNST: It's possible but there is no paper work that would indicate that it was. It was faded as we know.
WWE: Does BMG have the two complete takes of "DON'T LEAVE ME NOW" (hit record version, Production #2017) that RCA received from MGM? Both have been issued on bootleg!
WWE: Regarding the KING CREOLE soundtrack sessions - it seems there are no other takes or versions on acetate other than those listed on the original document of what Paramount turned over to RCA initially. Is this correct?
WWE: Has any information on the movie version of "STEADFAST, LOYAL, AND TRUE" been found?
WWE: Was it done on the set or recorded at the same time as "DANNY"?
ERNST: It was recorded at the same time as "DANNY".
WWE: Has the spliced version of "BIG HUNK O' LOVE" been lost or is it the generation loss that is the reason this is being avoided nowdays?
ERNST: Well, basically I made a mistake on the 50'S BOX SET. I didn't hear in the studio...I was so excited with the version we had that I forgot that...well, I didn't know because all of the notes actually that we have on "BIG HUNK O' LOVE" shows that it was Take 3 that was used. The original splice is not lost. It still exists.
WWE: Why did BMG put an unlabeled, half alternate take of "A BIG HUNK O' LOVE" on the 50's box set?
ERNST: Because we think that that is a greater version than the spliced version which is the original master and which actually has a tempo problem. So musically the tempo changes in the middle of the song and it's not supposed to.
WWE: Wouldn't it be easy to insert the solo from Take 4?
ERNST: Yes, it would be very easy.
WWE: Was the film version of "TREAT ME NICE" left out of the 50'S MASTERS box set for any reason or was it an oversight?
ERNST: It was left out because there was a limit as to how many outtakes we could fit into it and those that were more familar to people had already been released fairly recently at the time and "TREAT ME NICE" was one and "YOUR CHEATIN' HEART" (the country version) was another one. I mean, there were a number of should we or shouldn't we ones. It even goes back to should we have released yet another version of the JAILHOUSE ROCK stuff. So that was by choice. I remember "TREAT ME NICE" (the movie version) was in and out of that box set I don't know how many times but eventually it had to give way for stuff like "FOOL, FOOL, FOOL" because we found more. You can always argue that some of the stuff on the box set is of less significance than the movie version of "TREAT ME NICE". I think we were looking for stuff that people hadn't heard and people had heard the movie version of "TREAT ME NICE".
WWE: Will BMG ever release the 1955 THE FIRST YEAR and the 1956 LITTLE ROCK "live" tapes that are available on non BMG CD's?
ERNST: Not in the form that they were released in originally but the performances on there could definitely be a part of a future something but at this time there are no specific plans.
WWE: What about all the LA. HAYRIDE material?
ERNST: The problem is that these have not been located yet. We all think there's got to be more of it out there but I haven't heard or seen any of it. You've been closer to it than I have.
WWE: Why wasn't "RECONSIDER BABY" (from the MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET sessions) which was on the 50's box set included on the MDQ release?
ERNST: Because somebody made a mistake because it was on the tape.
WWE: Do you have any more MDQ tapes?
ERNST: Not with Elvis. there's a little bit more with Carl Perkins and his band playing around. Not complete songs but that part also has Carl and his band playing Christmas music. I mean, not like they're doing the real songs but you can hear them sit down and play in the studio.
WWE: Do you have the session notes for the ELVIS IS BACK sessions?
ERNST: Yes, most of them. What is missing is the part from ,I think, "I GOTTA NOW"; "ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT"; and "SUCH A NIGHT". We don't have the complete notes on that and I cannot find any trace of when we had the tape, almost suggesting..maybe even suggesting, that, back when we had the ELVIS IS BACK session tapes or we knew where they were the last part of the session may have been missing since the session, maybe even implying that there were only bits and pieces on the tape. But the whole first session (the March session) and the following session at least up to "THE GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND" I remember that we have the notes on it but we don't have the tapes on all of it.
WWE: Was the recent DCC ELVIS IS BACK CD actually taken from the original "master tapes" as they advertise it to be from?
ERNST: That album is made from exactly the same source as the 60's box set because, on these particular masters, we only have the original album masters. We have NO original masters. They got lost at some stage so DCC is using the same thing as we do. What they do is that they change the sound from what it was to what they think they like which is a subjective thing and if people want to hear Elvis' masters changed from what they were into something that some engineer thinks is better sounding...I mean, that's their choice and I don't want to put a verdict on that. It's a very subjective thing but, to give you the worst example, of course someone at one time invented electronic stereo and that was tampering to a degree where I think we all think that that was really bad. My policy on this is that you can take ANY Elvis master and change it and add more top, more bottom, compress, do this, that, and the other. I think that is dangerous territory in that it's rewriting of history and I do that, they do that..it's always a question of judgement on how far you go and I feel that, in relation to that specific release (and this is NOT an RCA viewpoint but my viewpoint), itwas very unnecessary seen from the consumer's point of view..it may have been very necessary for the company.They had to say something about why people should buy their release instead of the regular one. I can take every Elvis master and change the EQ on it and it will sound different and you can go actually go in and manipulate and it will sound a lot more contemporary in that it gets a very agressive sound but remember one thing - that what Elvis liked and what Elvis approved was the tape as it was and not as they re EQ'd it and very often Elvis would be very mad at people who re EQ'd the stuff, like he might be very mad at me for remixing stuff. So, this is not black and white at all but that is what's behind it - you can change any Elvis master that suits your fancy.
WWE: Were the master tapes from the FOLLOW THAT DREAM soundtrack sessions physically cut from the original tape in 1961?
WWE: Then how come "ANGEL" survived?
ERNST: Because they didn't move "ANGEL" away from.....Actually, they spliced "ANGEL" and "A WHISTLING TUNE" back on one of the outtakes tapes. I don't know why but they did. We found the masters on one reel of outtakes. I also found a box in Indianapolis where the 3 track was supposed to be in but there was no tape in it. I don't believe anybody stole that tape. I would assume that it's in the vault just put in any box that might say "Skeeter Davis" or something like that and with a million tapes in the vault there's no chance in the world (except for just happenstance) that that tape will turn up again. Of course, if someone was into "Skeeter Davis" tapes for example and they were going through them and they found Elvis singing "FOLLOW THAT DREAM", someone will call me immediately and say we have this problem but that's where we are with that and I think its' one of those with the least likelihood of ever materializing . Also, from a commercial point of view it won't mean a lot anymore. To be more specific about masters and outtakes - in general, the master tapes were cut from the reels. What they did when they were through with the session through all of Elvis' career) only with the odd exception that happens in life because people don't do things the way they should all the time) was everytime you have a master you cut it off the reel with the outtakes. Then you assemble (splice together) the reel with each of the master takes and that would be a separate reel.
WWE: I keep hearing that the original STEREO version of this song is on CD's from Argentina, Greece, etc.!
ERNST: Well, send me a copy. I'd love to hear it!!!
WWE: Are the original masters of songs available in Binaural likely to be used at any stage?
ERNST: We don' t have a lot of Binaural. We have used what we think is most of it, but, in principle, the answer is yes. We may release one or two from time to time but it's not that there is a lot in there to play with. STEREO '57 was the main thing and then there's the odd movie song here and there from LOVE ME TENDER and JAILHOUSE ROCK but that's about it.
WWE: Were all the outtakes of "THANKS TO THE ROLLING SEA" recorded the same way the version used on the ELVIS ARON PRESLEY box set was recorded and the percussion overdubbed on the master?
ERNST: They were different. What we have on the tape are a master of two different arrangements like we don't have anything else. The reason why we have the different version is that at the time of putting together the master reel there were a number of things where they were considering either one or the other and that goes for several songs in there. I think we have two takes of "WHERE DO YOU COME FROM" because it was a spliced version. Both "EARTH BOY" and "PLANTATION ROCK" were unfinished in that what they (the movie company) sent us were bits and pieces but the real outtakes from the sessions are sadly missing. And it's a shame because I think Elvis is singing really well on the session. The songs may not all be very good but I think he's singing really beautiful.
WWE: This reminds me of something. Have you ever seen "WHERE DO YOU COME FROM" (cut out during the final editing from the movie) on film?
WWE: Isn't a bit of it supposedly in the GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! trailer?
ERNST: That's what I've heard but I don't have the trailer. I also have heard from someone that should know that the actual piece has been located or someone has it but it's one of those grapevine stories but I think the credibility of it is on a level of having Paul Dowling call me and say I actually know that this exists (WWE: Thanks, Ernst!!) so it may be with a private collector.
WWE: I had heard in the late 70's that Sean Shaver claimed he had a copy of the film WITH the COMPLETE "WHERE DO YOU COME FROM" included!
ERNST: It could have been Sean who is the source of this because I got the story through someone who had contacted with Sean Shaver.
WWE: Are the "UNRELEASED" versions of "TAKE ME TO THE FAIR"; "I THINK I'M GONNA LIKE IT HERE"; and "THE BULLFIGHTER WAS A LADY" (that are listed in Joe Tunzi's RECORDING SESSIONS book) actual movie versions?
ERNST: No, these are just alternate versions.
WWE" Are there any outtakes from GIRL HAPPY, HARUM SCARUM, or CLAMBAKE?
ERNST: Yes, there are outtakes from all of them.
WE: Do you ever plan to release them?
ERNST: A few. Actually, on the PLATINUM box set at one time, the alternate version of "HEY LITTLE GIRL" was to be included but there was a battle for space on that set and that one lost out because historically it might not have been as interesting as..it's a fun thing musically because it's different.
WE: Will there ever be a movie soundtrack CD box set?
ERNST: At this time, looking at what is selling and what has been selling, it's very unlikely that this is something that will happen in the next five years. The double features as such are basically being deleted because they don't sell. Those people who really needed them, those collectors who wanted to have everything on CD, I think they bought them. I mean, if you sell 80 or 120 copies per year it doesn't make sense anymore.
WWE: Do any movie outtakes exist that have never been seen before? If so,could they be released in the future?
ERNST: It's up to the movie companies who own that material but I'm sure there are outtakes. The exercise I did with MGM for ELVIS IN HOLLYWOOD came up with footage that hadn't been seen before. But remember, in those days when they made a movie, the pictures may be there but the sound that goes along with it would never be attached it it. It was something that they were not going to use because that was a time consuming and a costly thing so, in most of these situations where there are movie pictures of Elvis that have not been seen (and there's a lot more from JAILHOUSE ROCK than what was used in ELVIS IN HOLLYWOOD)there will be no sound to it. You have to recreate a sound or use the sound of the origianal which is a fake anyway but it may work if its' fun but, if for instance Elvis goofs in a scene and you have that on film, you will not have the audio side to it so how much fun could it be!
WWE: I have never thought of that! So therefore if, say, "WHERE DO YOU COME FROM" does exist on film, it might and probably wouldn't have sound?
ERNST: Right, but that wouldn't be a problem because the sound would feed the record but if it's a fun outtake and Elvis goofs there would be no sound because they destroyed the daily sound!
WWE: I guess, like everyone else, I figured the sound went along with the film but that's not true!
WWE: I think I asked you this in our last interview - is there an audio of the two Memphis concerts from February 1961?
ERNST: It's funny because we've had so many rumours on so many things but I've never had a solid rumour that anything exists on those shows. I would think that that, if anyone had it, it would have shown up by now. I'm not saying that there isn't somebody who hasn't taped it but maybe he's now in his late 60's and he doesn't care about Elvis anymore and he's already dumped it when he moved from one address to another. We've never been approached by anyone claiming that they had it.