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Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                      July 1, 1956 (Sunday)


The Hudson Theatre, 141 West 44th St, Broadway, New York City. (8:00 pm)

Musicians: Rhythm Guitar & Vocals: Elvis Presley - Lead Guitar: Scotty Moore - Bass: Bill Black - Drums: D.J. Fontana.

Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires: 1st Tenor: Gordon Stoker  - 2nd Tenor: Neal Matthews - Baritone: Hoyt Hawkins - Bass: Hugh Jarrett.


Due to the furore created by Elvis' previous performance of "Hound Dog" on "The Milton Berle show", it was decided to present him in a toned down version for the Steve Allen show. Elvis wore a tuxedo and a pair of blue suede shoes. Standing in front of an ancient  Greek backdrop he sang "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"(video) As the song ended, Allen wheeled out Sherman, a basset hound that wore a top hat and Elvis had to sing a much more subdued version of "Hound Dog", (video) a song that Allen told the watching audience "Elvis was going in the studio tomorrow to record".


Later he appeared in a comedy sketch titled; "Range Round Up"  with Steve Allen, Andy Griffith and Imogene Coca.


Elvis was paid $5,000 for this appearance.

"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"/"Hound Dog"

(improved sound)

"Range Roundup" (comedy sketch)

"Hy Gardner Calling"

After the show Elvis went back to his hotel room, where he was interviewed over the telephone by syndicated columnist reporter for The New York Herald Tribune:

Hy Gardner . (video)

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                      July 2, 1956 (Monday)


RCA Studio 1, 155 East 24th Street, Manhattan, New York. (2:00 pm - 5:00 pm) and (6:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

Producer: Steve Sholes

Engineer: Ernie Oehlrich.

Musicians: Lead Guitar & Vocals: Elvis Presley - Electric Guitar: Scotty Moore - Bass: Bill Black - Drums: D.J.

Fontana - Piano: Shorty Long. (except on "Hound Dog") - Piano: Gordon Stoker. (only on "Hound Dog")

Backup Vocals: The Jordanaires: 1st Tenor: Gordon Stoker  - 2nd Tenor: Neal Matthews - Baritone: Hoyt Hawkins - Bass: Hugh Jarrett.

Elvis left the Hilton Hotel with his cousin Junior Smith and joined the musicians in RCA's New York Studio. Between 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm they recorded three songs and this was the first session were Elvis made it clear that he was the producer from now on. "Hound Dog" took 31 takes to get the satisfied master, while "Don't Be Cruel" took 28. This was the first song brought directly to Elvis by Hill and Range representative Freddy Bienstock, who was designated as the song's publisher with his cousins Jean and Julian Aberbach as special emissary to the singer. Also present was RCA's publicist, Anne Fulchino who again hired photographer Alfred Wertheimer to capture images from the session.

Songs recorded: "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel (to a heart that's true)" and "Any Way You Want Me (that's how I will be)". (audio)

RCA Studio 1 New York.jpg
Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
00:00 / 00:00
Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
00:00 / 00:00
Any Way You Want Me - Elvis Presley
00:00 / 00:00
Tape Log.jpg

Fans waited outside the building while the session was in progress, holding placards with the message; "We want the real Elvis" and not the one that appeared on yesterday's TV show.

Elvis: "A Day in the Life"                                                                                                                                   July 3, 1956 (Tuesday)

Elvis arrived at Penn Station (photo) for a 27 hour train ride back home to Memphis. He was joined by Scotty, Bill, D.J., Junior Smith, Colonel Parker, Tom Diskin and Alfred Wertheimer.

While at the station, Elvis met fellow rocker Gene Vincent and congratulated him on his recent success with "Be Bop A Lula". Vincent thanked Elvis and assured him that he wasn't trying to copy him.


The party boarded the 11:30 am train bound for Memphis.

Around this time, William Morris informed Universal International Films that the Bill Randle short; "A day in the life of a famous DJ" were not authorised to use any footage of Elvis unless they pay him at least $50,000. 


Elvis left the train in Memphis and walked home to Audubon Drive. He arrived as a new swimming pool was being installed. He spent the afternoon with his family and a female friend, Barbara Hearn whom he played the acetates of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Anyway You Want Me".