PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VISIT “THE KING OF MUSIC” POLLING SITE AND VOTE FOR ELVIS EVERY SINGLE DAY DURING 2016. WE SIMPLY CANNOT LET ANYONE ELSE CLAIM ELVIS’ RIGHTFUL TITLE. BELOW IS THE LINK TO THE SITE FOR VOTING:
There is a book coming out in August titled “From Elvis to Elvira” by Richard Sterban which is a memoir of Richard’s life and career. Fans will recall that Richard was a member of The Stamps and sang with them as backup for Elvis in the 70’s. He left the stamps and Elvis to become a member of The Oak Ridge Boys who continue to perform to this day.
Since a part of the book will be about the time that Richard worked with and knew Elvis, I think this book will be of interest to my visitors. Below is an excerpt from an interview with Richard in which he talks about his time on stage with Elvis.
Before joining the Oak Ridge Boys, Sterban sang with J.D. Sumner and the Stamps. In 1971, Elvis Presley hired the group to sing backup, and Sterban spent a year and half sharing the stage with the King of Rock and Roll.
Sumner – who was considered the world’s lowest bass singer – and Presley were both major influences on Sterban, he said.
“Even though Elvis was the King of Rock and Roll, I really believe that his favorite music was gospel music,” Sterban said. “He loved gospel songs. And some of my fondest memories with Elvis were actually getting around a piano and singing gospel quartet songs and spirituals, the kind he really liked.… I remember one night in particular we were up in his suite singing, and he came over and stood next to me and he started singing bass. He got close to my ear to show me he could sing bass, too.”
At the time, Sterban said, Presley was arguably the world’s biggest star. And so, when William Lee Golden called and asked Sterban if he would join the Oak Ridge Boys, Sterban was faced with a major decision.
“Even though I was singing with the King of Rock and Roll, I was very interested in joining the Oak Ridge Boys,” he said. “I was a big fan of the Oak Ridge Boys.… I made a major decision in my life to leave Elvis and join the Oak Ridge Boys. A lot of people back then questioned that decision. How could you do that? How could you leave Elvis? … But I felt in my heart I was making the right choice.”
The Oak Ridge Boys have been touring extensively ever since, and they have scored a number of hits, including the major crossover hit “Elvira” 35 years ago.
Below is Richard’s introduction to his own web site where we will be able to buy autographed copies of his book.
FROM ELVIS TO ELVIRA
Welcome to my new website. While OakRidgeBoys.com is still very active and very current, here, on RichardSterban.com you’ll find some additional information about things going on in my life. The news I’m most excited about right now is my memoir, “From Elvis to Elvira: My Life On Stage” which will be released on August 1.
Writing a book is something that I have thought about doing for many years, and the time finally felt right. I have been blessed with an amazing life — one of which I could have never dreamed. Just think about it: raised in New Jersey, I not only came to love gospel quartets, I somehow found my way to make a living singing with one. But more than simply making a living, I soon found myself onstage with the greatest performer in the history of music, Elvis Presley. And while that should have been enough for any dreamer, I somehow found the faith to leave that job to join a group that I truly loved and believed could become something great. Forty years later, I’m still thrilled to be the bass singer for The Oak Ridge Boys.
That’s my life in a paragraph, but there’s so much more. I hope you’ll enjoy reading about my life both on stage and off. Its been an amazing ride, and I’m so thankful that it’s not over yet!
Here is one of the many photos from Richard’s site.
This image is of the front cover of Richard’s book.
Jesse phoned me late this afternoon and we had a very good visit. He is well and all was fine with him today. He said that he wants everyone to know that he can still sing. He strums his guitar and plays piano. He said that some of the small children in his neighborhood come over sometimes and they like music so he plays and sings with and for them. They do not know who he really is. He said that they are cute and that they try to harmonize with him sometimes. One of them said recently, about one song that he sang, “That sounds like an Elvis song“. Jesse said that he replied “That’s right“. I told him that I wish I could have been there for that. He is going out for rides more lately and is enjoying that very much. Tom is having his second eye surgery tomorrow for cataracts and so Jesse was calling to wish Tom well with the surgery. I am stillnot feeling well and I told Jesse that his phone calls are the best medicine in the world.
The day of this show was a red-letter day for me and Tom. We saw Elvis in Charlotte on March 20, 1976. We attended the afternoon show. In the description of this video it says it was the afternoon show. But, on the image shown in the video, I see that it says it was the evening show. I hear Elvis mentioning “tonight” so it was actually the evening show. I do wish it were the matinee show which we saw as I vividly recall my joy in seeing and hearing everything Elvis said and sang. Anyway, I was thrilled to find a tape of him on the day and in the location where we saw him. He was just fantastic. We were naive and did not carry a camera because we were under the impression that photos were not allowed. I am just sick that we did not get any photos of that show. Believe it or not, I still have part of the outfit which I wore that day as I saved it for the memory of that afternoon.
As you will hear, Elvis was in top form. However, when Jesse and I spoke of the show (many years ago) which we saw, I mentioned something that he had said to someone in the audience and he said that he remembers who that was. Then he said that it was not a good show. I told him otherwise of course. He was absolutely magnificent!!!!!
Elvis Presley: Running for President: March 20th, 1976 Full Show
This is a wonderful page and I highly recommend it.
THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 2016
Every album Elvis ever made, and then some
Randy Lewis Los Angeles Times
Most people who know anything about Elvis Presley know that his career ignited in 1954 with his recording of the old Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup blues song “That’s All Right.” It became a signature number in his live shows, and it was something fans always waited for in the last years of his life during his seemingly endless stream of concerts in Las Vegas.
Yet it was several years before anyone living outside the vicinity of Memphis, Tenn., where he recorded that number at Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio, knew anything about “That’s All Right.”
“’That’s All Right’ is widely acknowledged as the beginning of the explosion of his career,” said John Jackson, senior vice president of A&R (artist development) for Sony’s Legacy Recordings catalog division, which has just released “Elvis Presley — The Album Collection,” a monstrous 60-CD box set containing all 57 albums released by his label, RCA Records, during Presley’s lifetime. It also includes three CDs of rare tracks, alternate takes and other bonus material from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
“That’s All Right,” Jackson noted, “was released to the public originally as a single from the small Memphis label Sun Records. It sold about 20,000 copies. It didn’t come out to the public at large until 1959, on (RCA’s) ‘Something for Everybody’ album, a compilation the label put together because Elvis was in the Army and they thought, ‘Hey, let’s put something out.’
“It was on a compilation of singles that had already come out and sold millions, songs like ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and Jailhouse Rock.’ I can’t imagine what impact it might have had as sort of a leftover dropped in among those huge hits.”
The new box set follows Sony Legacy’s release of every track Presley recorded officially — all 711 of them — on the 30-CD box set “The Complete Elvis Presley Masters” in 2010.
That project put his recording career into chronological order — a drastically different sequence compared to how those songs were originally released to the public. Several of the songs Presley recorded with Phillips at Sun in 1954 and 1955, for instance, were dribbled out on RCA albums for several years after the label bought his contract from Phillips — for the then astronomical price of $35,000 (plus a $5,000 signing bonus to Presley).
“We’re pretty much constantly working on the Elvis catalog,” said Jackson, who earned a college degree in rock music history and wrote his thesis on Presley’s career. He had joined Legacy in 1998, at which point the label had nothing to do with Presley’s music. But a corporate merger in 2004 brought the RCA catalog under the Sony umbrella, a serendipitous development that couldn’t have made Jackson happier.
“His masters are well represented everywhere,” Jackson said, “but the idea here was to have all the original albums in tip-top shape for digital, for downloading and for CD, rather than just doing a few at a time. This is the first time all the album masters have been up to the same quality at one time. We’ve gone back and done them all over again, from scratch, for this package for the hi-res audio providers, for the ‘Mastered for iTunes’ program, for Spotify and all the streaming services. This is not a piecemeal exercise.”
The CD set, which is selling for around $250 on Amazon — about $4 per CD — is timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the original release of Presley’s first RCA album, “Elvis Presley.” It includes a 300-page small-format book with pages devoted to each release, including song titles, songwriter and musician credits and other relevant archival information.
“What really comes across, more than just the music,” Jackson said, “is the marketing and the promotion of Elvis as a famous person. You see how sometimes they would include a new poster: Here’s a picture of what he’s up to in Germany (during his two-year stint in the Army), here’s a fold-down calendar with the date circled of when he’s coming home from Germany, here’s a picture of him in concert for all the people around the world who couldn’t go see him perform live.
“Everything was one large idea to the colonel (Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker) and RCA Records. Sometimes the music wound up suffering, but he continued to come back by recording great tracks along the way.”
One intriguing example: 10 songs into the soundtrack for Presley’s 1966 car-racing movie “Spinout,” lurking among pedestrian numbers such as “Adam and Evil,” “Beach Shack” and “Smorgasbord,” is his version of Bob Dylan’s “Tomorrow Is a Long Time.”
Among the book’s 52 pages of session information detailing each of his stints in a recording studio, it shows that during three days in 1957, amid recording songs for “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” he also knocked out two soon-to-be hit singles, “Treat Me Nice” and “Don’t.”
“He was always looking to record songs he liked,” Jackson said, even though, especially early on, the fare offered to Presley was drastically limited by Parker’s insistence that songwriters share their publishing royalties with Presley and Parker’s music publishing firm.
In some cases, signature tracks that weren’t included on studio albums — a practice common in the 1950s and even through much of the ‘60s — have been added to the appropriate records. The original studio recording of Presley’s 1969 hit “Suspicious Minds,” for instance, didn’t appear on an album until the “Elvis Gold Records, Volume 5” compilation in 1984, seven years after his death at age 42.
Jackson is part of a team that also includes producer-engineer Ernst Jorgensen, who has done much to restore order to the chaos RCA subjected Presley’s recorded legacy to in the years immediately after his death, and Roger Seamon.
During the ‘70s, Jackson notes, “It must have been genuinely confusing for fans. There are more than a dozen albums where the cover shows him in a white jumpsuit against a black background. Is it new studio stuff, is it live stuff, is it a mixture — what is this stuff? At the time, I don’t think it bothered them, but I think it would have been very confusing to people.”