Gotta Find My Baby!

July 28, 2022

Elvis Sails (EP - RCA, 1958)

Title:
Elvis Sails
Label:
RCA Victor [EPA 4325]
Format:
EP
Number of tracks:
3
Running time:
10:00
Type of album:
Interview
Linked to:
Official discography
Year:
1958
Recorded:
September 22, 1958
Lançamento:
November 18, 1958
Singles:
---

Elvis Sails is the King of Rock's first talk-only album, released on the occasion of his trip to Germany to serve in the US Army. It contains excerpts from interviews recorded on his departure day, September 22, 1958.


When he was finally called up to serve in the US Army on March 24, 1958, Elvis had some uncertainties about the future of his career. His meteoric rise since signing his contract with RCA in November 1955 could very well have been interrupted by those two years of media absence, but he also had some confidence in Parker, who had pulled his strings so the singer could record plenty of material in advance and not leave the market empty in the period in which he would serve.

Taken to Waco, Texas, to begin his training, Elvis was stationed at Fort Hood and received all the necessary instructions to become an exemplary soldier. He was soon given permission to rent a house at 2807 Lasker Avenue, right next to the home of radio DJ Eddie Fadal, with whom he had formed a solid friendship while performing in Waco in 1956. There, he had the presence of his parents, grandmother Minnie Mae, his girlfriend Anita Wood and friends who often accompanied him to Fadal's house for moments of leisure.

Between June 10 and 11, 1958, the singer went to RCA Studio B in Nashville, at the request of Parker and RCA, to record some more backup songs. The Masters from that session would be released over the course of the following year and would become known as some of his greatest hits.

On August 9, Gladys was hospitalized and Elvis, after threatening to go AWOL, was granted new leave to visit his mother on the 12th. The Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis was packed with people who had been with the King of Rock until Gladys's inevitable passing was announced two days later. On August 16, Eddie Fadal flew to Memphis to take his downcast friend for a helicopter ride over the city.

For this reason and for the upcoming departure to Germany, Elvis would not enter the studio for almost two years, but even so, his fame would remain intact.
 
The rock legend would spend less than 18 months in Germany, but Parker and RCA had cards up their sleeves for his absence. Between March 24 and October 1, 1958, the record company moved its equipment to capture individual audios and complete interviews with the singer, with the intention of perhaps releasing them later as a bonus on one of his albums.

The most important place visited by the recording team was the port of Brooklyn, in New York, where the ship that would take Elvis to Germany would leave on September 22nd. There, a 24-minute long interview showed Elvis reflective about his success so far and the possibilities, good or bad, that would await his return. There were also brief conversations with journalist Pat Hernon and a video recording for Newsreel, which would show the footage in theaters.

Parker, of course, had a brilliant idea that was sure to make a profit for Elvis and RCA - and especially for him. Instead of releasing the audios as bonus in albums, he proposed to Steve Sholes that the label should make an EP with excerpts from the interviews on September 22 and release it separately, since the singer's fans would be eager for news of what was considered one of the most important moments in the life of their idol.

The label's management was skeptical about the potential of such a thing, but Sholes' support for the project, albeit timid, conveyed a little confidence. Thus, the green light was given for the creation of the album.

Sholes was responsible for putting together the EP and choosing the parts of the interviews that would be sold in the product. He ended up deciding to create an album of only 10 minutes of audio, needing to pore over the 24 minutes of that day's main interview to extract just over five minutes of material for the A side of the EP. The B-side was already decided and would bring the interviews to Newsreel and to Pat Hernon in their entirety, since together they were less than five minutes long.

As an appeal to fans, the album would feature on the back cover a 1959 calendar with markings of the most important dates in the King of Rock's life since his birth (although incorrectly stating that the singer bought his first home in Memphis on April 10, 1956, when it was actually in 1957) and a hole for hanging on the wall.

Upon its release on November 18, 1958, as Elvis' last work that year, it came as a big surprise to discover that Parker's keen nose for profit sources was once again right.

The record spent twelve weeks at the top of the Billboard EP charts, peaking at number two for some time. This unexpected result led RCA to re-release the EP over the next two years, making this first edition a rare collector's item worldwide.
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RECORDING SESSIONS

Date:
September 22, 1958

Studio:
U.S.S. Randall

Location:
Brooklyn, New York


SEPTEMBER 22, 1958
                            Press Interview with Elvis Presley J2PB 7302
                            Newsreel Interview J2PB 7303
                            Interview For Pat Hernon in the library of the U.S.S. Randall J2PB 7304
                            Newsreel Interview Excerpt (A Legendary Performer, Vol. 1 - 0:34) J2PH 7305

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EP TRACKS (RCA, 1958)

ELVIS SAILS (EP)

November 18, 1958

1. Press Interview With Elvis Presley
2. Elvis Presley's Newsreel Interview
3. Pat Hernon Interviews Elvis at the Library of the U.S.S. Randall at Sailing















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COMPLIMENTARY WORK

Title:
The Complete '58 Sessions
Label:
Chrome Dreams [CDCD5031]
Format:
Double CD
Number of tracks:
34
Running time:
71:00
Type of album:
Studio
Linked to:
Unofficial discography
Year:
2008
Recorded:
January 15 - October 1, 1958
Released:
2008
Singles:
---


The Complete '58 Sessions was one of the first bootleg CDs to complete all official 1958 recordings featuring complete and unreleased rarities from Elvis' days in the Army. It contains audio captured by journalists in several never-before-released interviews in an official or unofficial work, in addition to the Masters of singles from that year. Also present were the full content of the King Creole LP and the Elvis Sails EP. The work includes the following tracks:

CD1
SINGLES
1. Don't
2. I Beg of You
MARCH 24, 1958
3. Draft Board
4. Interview - Fort Chaffee
SINGLES
5. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
6. Doncha' Think it's Time
KING CREOLE LP
7. Hard Headed Woman
8. Don't Ask Me Why
9. King Creole
10. As Long As I Have You
11. Trouble
12. Dixieland Rock
13. Lover Doll
14. Crawfish
15. Young Dreams
16. Steadfast, Loyal and True
17. New Orleans
OCTOBER 1, 1958 (Friedberg, Germany)
18. Interview
19. One Night
JUNE 10/11, 1958
20. I Got Stung

CD2
ELVIS SAILS EP
1. Press Interview With Elvis Presley
2. Elvis Presley's Newsreel Interview
3. Pat Hernon Interviews Elvis at the Library of the U.S.S. Randall at Sailing
JANUARY 15/16, 1958 (KING CREOLE LP - MOVIE VERSIONS)
4. Turtles, Berries and Gumbo / Crawfish
5. Lover Doll
6. Trouble
7. Banana
8. Dixieland Rock
9. Young Dreams
10. New Orleans
11. King Creole
12. Don't Ask Me Why
13. As Long As I Have You / Outro
SEPTEMBER 22, 1958
14. The Truth About Me Interview (Full Lenght)
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