Gotta Find My Baby!

June 01, 2022

Dixieland Delight (CD - FTD, 2009)

Dixieland Delight
FTD [FTD 081] [88697 51482 2]
Double CD
Number of tracks:
Running time:
Type of album:
Linked to:
FTD discography
May 31, 1975 AS / June 1, 1975 AS
May 2009

Dixieland Delight was the eighty-first FTD CD. It covers May 31 and June 1, 1975 concerts in Huntsville, Alabama. The title is currently out of print.

1975 was a troubled year in Elvis' life. Without having recorded anything in the previous year, his career survived on leftovers from the 1973 sessions, re-releases of classics on budget records and compilations that extended to the absurd album "Having Fun With Elvis On Stage", conceived and released by the Colonel in 1974, which featured only Elvis talking in concerts from 1969 to 1973.

This was also the first year since 1970 that Elvis didn't kick off the show schedule with the already famous and long-awaited Las Vegas season in January. Since October 1974, the King of Rock had shown little desire to perform, which is why there was also no season in Las Vegas later that year, and his health was in full deterioration when his 40th year of life began.

On January 25, 1975, the day before the Las Vegas season was supposed to begin, Elvis was very unwell and there was a rush to cancel the shows and reschedule the dates. In the following days the excuse was that Elvis had returned to Memphis to rest and cure himself of a stomach flu, but the truth is that he was rushed to Baptist Memorial Hospital on January 28 due to an overdose of medication.

Vernon would be admitted to the hospital on February 5, after suffering a heart attack, and father and son would share a room until they were both discharged on the 13th of that month.

After nearly a month of lounging in his Malibu mansion and with RCA on his heels to produce new tracks, Elvis returned to RCA Studio C in Hollywood between the night of the 10th and the early morning of the 13th of March to record exactly ten songs, which would be made available on the LP "Today" in May of that year.

It only remained to know if Elvis' disposition would still be the same for the postponed season in Las Vegas, which would start on March 18. Fortunately, that would be one of the best seasons of the King of Rock at the Hilton Hotel after a long time and many mediocre performances. The singer was enthusiastic, wanted to give his best and expected nothing less than the total satisfaction of the audience.

By mid-1975, Elvis was back in good shape and having fun on stage. The 5 shows in Huntsville, Alabama, between May 30th and June 1st, sum up well what US audiences received when they went to an Elvis performance. The singer has always performed best in the opening and closing shows of his seasons, and the opening concerts of the May/June 1975 tour in Huntsville captured him in a sensational way. He was slimmer and looked fantastic in his new "Phoenix" jumpsuits, looked rejuvenated and willing to spontaneously throw a lot of songs into the setlist.

"Dixieland Delight" is an excellent complement to 2006's "Southern Nights", which its core consists of 12 tracks from the sensational Huntsville shows. As reported by The Huntsville Times, "Trying to put the experience into words is difficult as Presley joked, seemed at ease, and you could see there was no doubt in his mind that the crowd was getting what they paid for."

Below is our review of this work.

CD 1 - MAY 31, 1975 - 2:30 PM

- 1. Love Me: As in 1975 the sound engineer was no longer recording "Also Sprach Zarathustra", "See See Rider" and "I Got a Woman / Amen", we start the show halfway through the rendition of the 1956 hit. The rendition and audio mix are satisfying in this song that always opened up direct interactions between the singer and his fans.

- 2. If You Love Me (Let Me Know): Despite being in the repertoire since August 1974, the song always seems to be a favorite of Elvis and the audience. The fans screaming hysterically at various times give the impression that the singer is willing to pay attention to everything and everyone that afternoon.

- 3. Love Me Tender: "My first movie was 'Love Me Tender', and I made it about five or six years ago... That's all it is, it  just seems longer. So I'd like to sing a little bit of that for you." Elvis begins his 1950s hits medley with the 1956 classic, going from singing several lines to kissing fans.

- 4. All Shook Up: Continuing the medley, Elvis does an average but pretty good version. In the end, he talks to some fans and distributes scarves, kisses and hugs.

- 5. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Elvis decides to open up to a fan he's just kissed: "The other night I kissed somebody on stage and I got the creeping crud. Whatever it is, you got it." Whether it's true or not, that's a phrase he repeated a lot that season. Overall, the version is very good, although it suffers from Elvis being more fan-centric than the music.

- 6. The Wonder of You: "Thank you very much. And this is a song we did about three years ago, called 'The Wonder of you'." This is one of the rarities brought back to the setlist in 1974 and kept in most of the shows from the end of that year until mid-1975. Asking for the music to be restarted, Elvis kids: "Wait a minute. It's very difficult to sing and have water in mouth, an old Chinese proverb." the version heard is very good and certainly brings an air of renewal to the performance.

- 7. Burning Love: For a song that returned to the setlist after a long time, this is an excellent version. The next day, Elvis couldn't sing it because he couldn't remember the lyrics, oddly enough.

- 8. Introductions: The band intros follow as usual. The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner and The Stamps, and Kathy Westmoreland are first. John Wilkinson follows, James Burton does a quick solo of "What'd I Say", followed by solos by Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff and Glen Hardin, and ending with the intros of Charlie Hodge, the group Voice, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 9. Trouble: "We have a new record out, ladies and gentlemen, that's been out for about a week or two weeks now, called 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E'. And I don't know all the words to it. It goes like this..." Improvising, Elvis starts to sing "Trouble", one of the tracks from "King Creole" in 1958. It's a shame he doesn't remember all the lyrics and stops at the second stanza.

- 10. T-R-O-U-B-L-E: Although Elvis does have problems with parts of the lyrics, the music recorded two months earlier is rendered quite usably. James Burton makes a great finishing.

- 11. Hawaiian Wedding Song: "I'd like to sing the 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' from 'Blue Hawaii'." Elvis could have done one of the best versions of this song here, as the instrumental accompaniment is very good. But, as usual, it's time to meet the fans again and the singer is almost entirely dedicated to it.

- 12. Let Me Be There: It is a short version, but very well interpreted. The faster-than-usual tempo helps to refresh the music. As usual, Elvis reruns the last stanza.

- 13. An American Trilogy: The rendition of the 1972 classic goes off spectacularly, with Elvis in control of the performance and JD well positioned in the mix.

- 14. Funny How Time Slips Away: "Now that you've had the chance to take a look at us, I'd like to turn the house lights up so I can see you, 'cause I can't see out there." After interacting with the audience for a while, Elvis speaks to a fan who claims to have attended Humes High School in Memphis and sarcastically responds to another who asks why he doesn't do many shows in the area: "I haven't been over here too much and I'll tell you the reason why. Because I haven't really wanted to come over here that much." Elvis does an average version, worrying about the fans in the midst of it.

- 15. Blue Suede Shoes: Elvis presents the 1956 classic in the same way he normally does, with a quick rendition dedicated to lure to his pelvic thrusts.

- 16. For the Good Times: "Okay, I'll tell you what we can do. We can do 'For the Good Times', 'cause JD likes it." This is one of the strongest and most cohesive versions of this song after 1972. It would mark the penultimate live rendition, the next and last taking place until December 29, 1976.

- 17. Little Darlin': Elvis is in a good mood and this is reflected in this rarity that he chose only for the best shows. Here, the second time it appeared on the setlist, it is rendered as in the original Del Shannon version.

- 18. Can't Help Falling in Love / Closing Vamp: After thanking the audience for the excellent show, Elvis ends his performance with a quick version of the 1961 song while distributing the last scarves and kisses to the fans. The song has a long fade and ends before the end of the "Closing Vamp".


- 19. Johnny B. Goode [31/05/75 ES]: The three bonuses of this first CD come from the 8:30 PM concert on May 31, 1975. Rare since 1973, the song became part of James Burton's solos in 1975. Elvis gets a little lost in the lyrics, but the music is very well interpreted by everyone.

- 20. Hound Dog [31/05/75 ES]: Although Elvis has been tired of rendering the 1956 classic for some time, the version heard here is actually quite fruitful. During the rendition, the singer interacts with fans.

- 21. I'm Leavin' [31/05/75 ES]: "I'd like to do a song that we did about two years ago, that we all like to sing, called 'I'm Leavin'. I'd like to tell the sound engineer to bring the tenors up and the guys that do the falsetto." Despite being a song that Elvis flirted with since 1971 in his shows, the last and rare versions were made in 1975, this being the second in the year. The rendition heard here is one of the best, narrowly losing to those of 1971.

CD 2 - JUNE 1, 1975 - 8:30 PM

- 1. Love Me: Again we haven't recorded the beginning of the show with "Also Sprach Zarathustra", "See See Rider" and "I Got a Woman / Amen". Unlike CD 1, here the classic version is complete. The audio state and mix are better than the previous show, with Elvis' voice and backing vocals very clear. After a longer finish, the singer jokes with his musicians: "I' just checking to see if you guys are able to hold those notes, that's all. You know, you're supposed to be able to hold those notes out."

- 2. If You Love Me (Let Me Know): After chatting with fans for a few minutes, the King of Rock delivers an excellent version of Olivia Newton-John's hit. Despite being in the repertoire since August 1974, the song always seems to be a favorite of Elvis and the audience. If RCA were smart, they would have released this rendition as a single.

- 3. Love Me Tender: "My first movie was 'Love Me Tender' so I'd like to sing a little bit of that for you." Despite being a moment in which he privileges contact with the fans, Elvis sings very well and doesn't leave a single line out. Here begins the medley of hits from the 1950s.

- 4. All Shook Up: Being a more laid-back song, Elvis naturally indulges his fans. From his laughs, you can imagine that the women are pretty sassy.

- 5. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: This version is better sung than many previous ones, with Elvis focusing on the lyrics as he kisses and hugs his fans.

- 6. The Wonder of You: "This next song is a song that we did about three years ago, it's called 'The Wonder of You'." The band starts playing, but Elvis is not ready and jokes: "Hold on! Old Chinese proverb say 'cannot sing and drink water in mouth'." After the restart, the singer stops the band again: "Wait a minute, forgot the words to the damn thing." The third attempt also fails: "Wait a minute, wait a minute. These ain't the words of the song, is it, son? Are we all going crazy?" This is a spectacular version, with a great tempo and good finishing.

- 7. Burning Love: The song starts, but Elvis misses the timing and loses himself: "Wait a minute, wait a minute! Forget it, forget it, forget it, forget it. Start it again." After discussing the lyrics with the backing singers and saying that someone stole all of his, Elvis decides to end the attempt: "I don't even want to do it anymore. I'll just do 'Polk Salad Annie'."

- 8. Polk Salad Annie: The band quickly starts the classic from 1970. The version here already has the touches we would get used to hearing from then on, with the bass in evidence and Elvis finishing with karate chops.

- 9. Introductions: After talking to some fans, the band's intros follow as usual. The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner and The Stamps, Kathy Westmoreland and John Wilkinson are the first. James Burton does his quick solo of "Johnny B. Goode", followed by solos by Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff and Glen Hardin, and ending with the introductions of Charlie Hodge, the group Voice, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 10. I Can't Stop Loving You: "You know what I can't do, baby?" Rare after 1974, it has only two versions in 1975 and one last in 1977. This rendition is the second of the year, the first having also been performed in Huntsville the night before. It is a spectacular version, given its rarity.

- 11. T-R-O-U-B-L-E: "We have a new record that came out in the past couple of weeks, ladies and gentlemen. It's called 'T-R-O-U-B-L-E'." Compared to the May 31st version, when Elvis still had problems with the lyrics, this is an excellent overnight evolution. The singer makes no mistakes and the rendition is one of the best.

- 12. I'll Remember You: "This next song is from the special we did in Hawaii about a year and a half ago, called 'Aloha'. It's called 'I'll Remember You'." Elvis delivers a satisfying version, albeit without the same gloss as 1973.

- 13. Let Me Be There: Very well performed, it is rendered with a passion greater than what was heard the day before. Elvis reruns the last stanza as usual.

- 14. Why Me Lord: The music that was part of the repertoire since 1974 is already beginning to take on the contours of what would come later that year. Elvis teases JD to try to make him laugh, usually succeeding and "complaining" about his friend's acting afterwards. The rendition is standard, but it takes on a fresh air with the joking.

- 15. An American Trilogy: The rendition is taken a bit in jest, with Elvis talking to fans and inserting improvised lyrics during the start of the performance. The solo near the end, usually done with a flute, is played here with a trumpet, making it sound a little strange. The finishing is very good.

- 16. Funny How Time Slips Away: "I'd like to turn the house lights up so we can take a look at you. Now that you've had a look at us, we'd like to take a look at you, you know." After interacting with the audience for a while, Elvis makes the same joke as the night before: "I gotta tell you something, really. A couple nights ago I kissed a girl... She get to kiss me. Well, I got the creeping crud, you see? So whatever I got, you got it. You okay? She said, 'I don't care!" The singer makes an average version.

- 17. Little Darlin': Elvis is in a good mood again in this rarity. Here it is rendered in a slightly faster tempo than in Del Shannon's original version.

- 18. Can't Help Falling in Love / Closing Vamp: After thanking the audience for the excellent show, Elvis ends the last show of the year in town with a quick version of the 1961 classic. The song fades and ends before the end of the "Closing Vamp".


- 19. I Got a Woman / Amen [01/06/75 AS]: The four bonus features on this second CD come from the 2:30 PM performance on June 1, 1975. This is a rare opportunity where the sound engineer recorded part of the beginning of the show. Elvis tells the audience that it's been less than two hours since he woke up and that the spotlights and camera flashes bother him a little. The pace used here is much faster than later in the year and later, refreshing the version a bit. Included in this performance are the striptease routine and a spectacular dive bomb by JD.

- 20. Heartbreak Hotel [01/06/75 AS]: "We're supposed to do 'Burning Love' in this spot, but instead I'm going to do 'Heartbreak Hotel', okay? Is that okay with you, Charlie? I wanna your permission before I do it." Elvis laughs as he forgets the lyrics at first, but makes a good rendition.

- 21. Release Me [01/06/75 AS]: "Do we know 'Please Release Me'? 'Please Release Me', we got that? Okay, let's wing it." Rare since 1973 and absent from the setlist since March 1974, this is a true novelty rendered only this time in 1975. The version is quick, but Elvis and his musicians deliver a spectacular rendition.

- 22. How Great Thou Art [01/06/75 AS]: "I'd like to do a Gospel song that we did about five years ago, this also features The Stamps. I won't bug you JD, I'll leave you alone. 'How Great Thou Art'." Sometimes Elvis' sense of time surprises us, as the song was recorded eight years ago, not five. The version is short and the singer misses some entries, but nothing that takes away the pleasure of listening to this Gospel classic.

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