The Perfect Popsong - In The Ghetto

A new five-part series "In Search of the Perfect Pop Song" starts tonight on BBC Radio 2. This edition focusses on songwriter Mac Davis, who penned down "In The Ghetto". In this documentary Davis relates the story of how he got the song to Elvis’ attention – by following him into the toilet! The series starts tonight and is presented by Guy Chambers, the Ivor Award winning songwriter behind some of Robbie Williams hit records. BBC Radio 2 - 21.30. Also available online all week on the BBC website.
Source: BBC / Updated: Feb 27, 2007 
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Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 3, 2007report abuse
Wow, thankfully Dolly turned it down. Cant imagine that voice singing this song at all!!
Jamie (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 1, 2007report abuse
Hello, the sheer quality of Elvis's delivery is made more striking when compared with Bobbie Gentry's cover version. Bobbie's performance is perfectly okay but is nonetheless light years behind the King's haunting interpretation. I think it was John Lennon who said something to the effect that Elvis died (as a serious artist) in the Army 1958-60. Songs like ITG and Long Black Limousine, and projects like How Great Thou Art and the '68 Comeback Special, all demonstrate that Elvis was capable of reaching the stars for at least another decade.
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 1, 2007report abuse
Dolly Parton also turned "In The Ghetto" down. Elvis does a perfect job on this, certainly one of the best recordings ever.
Jamie (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 1, 2007report abuse
Hello again, I think it's true that Elvis only sang In The Ghetto live for a couple of years 1969-70. But that doesn't necessarily mean he didn't rate it. It's a uniquely poignant and moving song which didn't translate well to the 'Vegas stage. The country feel and wailing choir on the 'Elvis In Person' rendition detract from the fragility of the song IMHO. I think Elvis's best days were in the '50s, and that he recorded only a small number of stellar performances in the '60s. Two of these are If I Can Dream and In The Ghetto. A handful of his '70s recordings were terrific (eg, I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water, It's Still Here, I Will Be True) but I feel that ITG was his last truly great artistic moment.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
elvis really cared for this songs. But it will never be one of my favourites and considering the times he performed this (live), it wasn't one of his either
ta2k (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
I'd heard/read that In The Ghetto was originally intended for Sammy Davis Jr to sing but HE suggested that Elvis would be perfect for it, Any thoughts on that ? TCB.
Jamie (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
Hello, Elvis's performances on several ballads were fabulous. Loving You (slow, take 10) on Essential Elvis and In The Ghetto are just about the most moving pieces of art I know of. It Hurts Me, In My Way, Fame And Fortune and It's Still Here are also very intimate performances. But, in terms of the perfect pop song, I agree that more uplifting songs such as Don't Be Cruel, All Shook Up and I Need Your Love Tonight are nearer the mark.
Shakingruud (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
In my opinion SUSPICIOUS MINDS is the PERFECT pop song. Superb vocal and mix!
Anton (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
June and elvisimon, you are both wrong. Elvis was not impressed at first with the song, but wanted to check it out anyway (was actually not so hot to do message songs... except HDog). And as many times in his career, he tried and conquered his followers. Yes BMG, we want "all" ItGh outtakes, also all others of Amercian sessions 1 thru 10... great bootleg stuff already available. Just listen to outtakes like If I'm your GXXDXX clown/fool and you'll get our drift why 450,000 fans want to get access to these outtakes, all of them (Stranger imy own htown, Keeps a-hurtin, Y'll think of me, etc etc) However, we want BMG to eliminate and replace 14 CDs for general public (double albums with "added" outtakes of Today/Now, EPBlvd/GTimes, LLetters/Today,PromL/Fool or any other combination but always with added outtakes). An extended Double CD should be breleased of those on FTD fans fans with "all outtakes"... same work and minimal expense for BMG but cashing in twice... BMG should also "purchase" from bootleggers the missing movie outtakes (great songs, fantastic materials like GGG) .When BMG is not going fast, others take it away and are more creative and know the fandom's expectations better and cater to those 250,000 fans. Don't blame them; rather, buy their materials....Fans' opinions welcomed on this board, please !?
elvisimon (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
In The Ghetto - undoubtably one of the greatest performances by Elvis from argubaly the best recording period of his career. As for the perfect pop song I would have chosen maybe Don't Be Cruel or All Shook Up - to me these define the pop song with catchy, bouncy lyrics, lifting tune and (as ever) fantastic vocal performance. All ready these songs are away from the aggression of the Rock and Roll tunes and fall between this and the soft pop of the early 60's - Now Or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight, etc. - for which Elvis wiped the floor with allcomers. At the risk of restarting long running debates one could argue with these songs that along with R & R Elvis also invented the perfect pop song. But maybe I am being biased - hey it's not my fault Elvis was so good.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
Its a great song, Elvis sang the guts out of it and was very soulful, but the perfect pop song? A bit depressing for that dont you think. A perfect pop song would be more upbeat & happy I would think.
June (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2007report abuse
It was a song that Elvis was quite impressed with..........

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