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Guitar Man / Help Me (45rpm + CD)


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In 1980 Felton Jarvis, Elvis’ record producer for the last decade, came to the remarkable idea to freshen up some of Elvis’ recordings. The idea was to add total new backing tracks to Elvis’ voice. This resulted in the 1981 LP release of Guitar Man.

Love it or hate it, Felton was convinced Elvis would have loved it.

The title track was written and first performed by Jerry Reed, who was part of the original recording by Elvis in 1967. Jerry was back in the studio with Felton to work on the new album in 1980 and besides the guitar work, he also recorded a “duet” version of the song. This version of Guitar Man never made it to the album, but it probably should have. Felton finished the track most likely for his own pleasure, or maybe it was actually considered for the album. We’ll probably never know as Felton sadly passed away early January 1981, before the album even came out.

The second track on this 45rpm / CD combo is Help Me. The song written by Larry Gatlin of Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers. This track was not used on the Guitar Man album. This track has overdubs by the Gatlin Brothers and when you listen to it you will notice this version was probably not finished by Felton Jarvis, this is either an “early version” or he never got to the point of finishing it due to his untimely death.

Before the album was released a so called open-ended interview with Felton for the radio stations was due to be recorded. Disk jockeys would be able to ask a question and Felton’s answer would be played from that recording. The recording for this open-ended interview was to take place some time during the last week of December 1980, as on the 16th Jerry Flowers visited Felton to discuss the questions and prepare the recording. Jerry Flowers recorded the meeting as a test for the upcoming interview but the main interview never took place as Felton suffered a stroke on December 19th resulting in his death January 3rd 1981.

RCA decided to release the informal recording on a record for Radio Stations. This complete recording is now available on this CD.

This 45rpm plus CD is available in yellow and purple vinyl.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 4th, 2019 at 1:03 pm and is filed under General Elvis News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.