In 1968-69, Did The Band Help Invigorate Elvis Presley's Music?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by S. P. Honeybunch, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, The Door Into Mike Love Thread Starter

    California, USA
    It's a common line of reasoning that The Band helped The Beatles, Eric Clapton, solo Beatles, rock music in general, etc. What about Elvis Presley in particular, though? Did The Band inspire Elvis to reach greater heights with his artistry? By 1966, Elvis had already begun to record Bob Dylan songs. In 1968, was he also listening to The Band and their approach to rock 'n roll?
    twicks and 905 like this.
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Never considered it, but probably for good reason. I hear no influence.
  3. jeendicott

    jeendicott Forum Resident

    His own band did.
  4. zphage

    zphage genre fluid

    What did the Band do for the other artists that it would have done for Elvis? Back to roots?
    Delaney and Bonnie with their crazed back to roots revival show that rolled across the US and Europe with a religious fervor enveloping Harrison, Clapton, Allman then spinning off to Mad Dogs and Englishmen and Derek and the Dominos may have had more to do with a back to roots revival than the Band. Delaney and Bonnie may have had an actual impact/connection with Elvis, whereas the Band probably did not.
  5. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, The Door Into Mike Love Thread Starter

    California, USA
    Sorry, forgot to reference the "roots" influence or "back to basics" approach. That was what I meant to mention in the OP.
    Saint Johnny likes this.
  6. fretter

    fretter Forum Resident

    From what I read, when Elvis met the Beatles, John told him to leave the movies and get back to making music.
  7. Graham

    Graham Forum Resident

    London, UK
  8. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    Well, Elvis was obviously hearing it, Dylan maybe more so than The Band per se, though probably the musicians were aware of the music of The Band. There's that great clip of Elvis singing "I Shall Be Release a capella at a '71 recording session. Too bad he didn't record the tune, that would have been a PERFECT one for Elvis and I can only image with what he had to offer the song he could have recorded a definitive version. The Col. though didn't really let a lot of that kind of music through. I don't think Elvis returning to the road (vs. movies), or doing a stripped down informal circle jam in the '68 TV special had much if anything to do with The Band, it had more to do with TV producer Steve Binder seeing what Elvis did best, and a generation's memories of Elvis and rock and roll at the start (along with the budding '50s nostalgia of the time, remember it wasn't only The Band who played Woodstock, it was also Sha Na Na).

    elgoodo, LennyC., Hi Lizard and 3 others like this.
  9. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident

    Kansas City, MO
    I think that The Band had zero influence on Elvis. I just don’t see it or hear it at all.
  10. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Think maybe we got this backwards and Elvis's music invigorated the approaches of The Band and all those other rock artists.
    Shawn, BeatleJWOL, laf848 and 4 others like this.
  11. FunkFather

    FunkFather Well-Known Member

    I’d be surprised if he’d even heard of the Band.
  12. IndyTodd

    IndyTodd Forum Resident

    Fishers, Indiana
    I was just getting ready to post something along the same lines. With only one single even reaching the Top 30 and nothing breaking the Top 20 I think it’s entirely possible he had little to no exposure to them.

    Based on what we know of his record collection, they would not have been something he would have been likely to have heard much from, if at all. From the time the Band put out their first album onward, there isn’t much evidence of Elvis listening to that type of music. His exposure from that point until the end seemed to be much more along the lines of very mainstream middle of the road stuff to country and some Too 40.
  13. I333I

    I333I Forum Resident

    He didn’t have a band during this time.

    But my response to the OP is no.
    Hot Ptah likes this.
  14. FunkFather

    FunkFather Well-Known Member

    He did keep up with developments in the gospel field to a degree in the ‘70s, which led to him recruiting the white gospel group Voice for his concerts from 1973. The trio included Donnie Sumner, son of Elvis’ legendary gospel bass singer J.D. Sumner.

    There is of course the fantastic story of Elvis being introduced to Eric Clapton. Elvis didn’t recognise/hadn’t heard of him and said, ‘I can introduce you to my great guitar player James Burton from my band, son, who could show you some useful stuff ‘.

    Elvis had heard of Led Zeppelin by the mid-70s (via younger family members who hipped him to them) and actually met them backstage a couple of times. He apparently said they weren’t really his kind of music though.

    He also attended concerts by Elton John and the Jacksons when his daughter Lisa Marie wanted to go.
    Suncola, BeatleJWOL and Hot Ptah like this.
  15. George Blair

    George Blair Forum Resident

    Portland, OR
    Elvis being told about The Band:
    "El, they have a great song called "The Weight."
    "Uh Huh. Is it about me?"
    "No, there's a guy in it called Virgil Cane."
    "Oh yeah, my Daddy knew him... "
    Spy Car, keyse1 and S. P. Honeybunch like this.
  16. cwitt1980

    cwitt1980 Senior Member

    Carbondale, IL USA
    Maybe some of the guys in Elvis's band were influenced but sort of doubt Elvis was. Elvis was already dabbling in his getting back to the roots stuff in '67 with stuff like "Guitar Man" when The Band was just a blip on anyone's radar. I do think he would have done some pretty great versions of their stuff if he was tuned into them.
    BeatleJWOL likes this.
  17. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, The Door Into Mike Love Thread Starter

    California, USA
  18. numer9

    numer9 Beatles Apologist

    Philly Burbs
  19. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i am not feeling any direct connection between the music of the band and elvis.
  20. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Steve Binder and Chips Moman invigorated Elvis' music in 1968-1969.
  21. Saint Johnny

    Saint Johnny Forum Resident

    Asbury Park
    I always thought it was boredom and being defined as mostly 'washed up', and 'has-been', by most observers, that is what invigorated Elvis in '68, culminating in the TV special.
    BeatleJWOL likes this.
  22. Jon-A

    Jon-A Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    I think saying The Band 'helped' all those musicians doesn't entirely capture the nature of their broad influence. With Clapton, for example, they played a major role in turning an indulgent (yet dazzling) Blues appropriator into a humdrum narcoleptic Americana poser. Not exactly a success story IMO.

    Regarding the main question - Elvis certainly used blasts from the musical past to reinvigorate his thing, but did he ever embrace the rough-hewn, loose rustic charm that typified The Band? Not being rhetorical there - I don't know his later discography that well...
  23. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    This was the answer I thought of when I read the thread title.
  24. CatchAsCan

    CatchAsCan Forum Resident

    The Band didn't influence that many people. They existed alongside other acts that were less psychedelic, such as CCR and Canned Heat, so you could credit those bands about as much as the Band. Also, Elvis had 50s contemporaries who were being booked both in Nevada and at rock clubs.
    Hot Ptah likes this.
  25. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    And his own TCB band too.
    I think that, in the summer of 1969, while rehearsing with his new live band, Elvis must have felt euphoric trying out all kind of genres (Rock, R&B, Pop, Soul, etc) until figuring out the final tracklist for his very first Vegas season. I can imagine him listening to The Band but not being influenced by it: he already had a clear vision of what he wanted to present at that particular moment. Too bad he deviated so much from it during the following years...

Share This Page