Newschannel 3's I-Team has uncovered a recording that could change music history.
Elvis fans have been living in the heartbreak hotel since his death, wanting to hear anything new from the king.
Now, a new, never before heard recording, potentially a demo track, has surfaced that could be Elvis Presley.
This is the story of a king, and a recording of a song called 'Living to Love You.'
According to Battle Creek attorney Violet Hinton, that recording has Elvis Presley singing. She says the song comes from songwriter Jimmie Crane and producer Albert Leigh, recorded in 1976, the year before Elvis died.
There was a series of unfortunate events, Hinton says Jimmie Crane passed away, Albert Leigh had a stroke, his studio was broken into and Leigh died after a second stroke. The recording disappeared, only to be rediscovered years later, collecting dust in the attic of Albert Leigh's wife's home.
“Her house was foreclosed on,” said Hinton. “She just recently gave what was left of Albert Leigh's things to her sons. They were going through it, they found all this stuff.”
One of those sons lives in Battle Creek and brought the recording he believed to be Elvis to Hinton along with a table full of documents.
“All the tapes, all the contracts, all the songs written by Jimmie Crane, copyrights,” said Hinton.
Hinton, a lifetime fan of Elvis, couldn't help but be 'all shook up' by the possibility of an undiscovered recording.
“He was the greatest. There's no one like Elvis Presley, never will be,” said Hinton. “When I heard that, I knew that was Elvis Presley. I knew it.”
Hinton says she's verified the authenticity of the documents and says they connect Elvis, Jimmie Crane and Albert Leigh to the song. Perhaps most important are shipping records, on the song line, “Living to Love You,” on the artist line, “Elvis.”
However, Hinton admits there's no smoking gun, no one piece of evidence that proves the recording is Elvis Presley.
Hinton brought the case to Newschannel 3 and we tracked down forensic audio expert Ed Primeau and noted music journalist Gary Graff to help solve the mystery.
“A complete, previously unreleased song by Elvis is a grail, maybe not a Holy Grail, but it's still a significant find,” said Graff.
Primeau has done forensic audiovisual analysis work on dozens of legal cases. He says the best case scenario would be having Elvis sing the song today and matching the recording to that, but that's obviously not an option.
“So what we do is we go back to that same era, we pull a piece of music,” said Primeau. “We find a similar phrasing vocally in the music and call that our exemplar. We compare that to the sample that we want to know if it is indeed Elvis or not.”
The files in, and his ears ready, Primeau takes a close listen to the recording.
And then, Primeau listens, and listens and listens some more, to 'Living to Love You,' to 'What Now My Love' and 'I'll Remember You' off 'Aloha From Hawaii.'
He also analyzes the audio spectrum, watches the waveforms bounce and eventually the veteran witness from dozens of court cases, delivers his verdict.
“Putting you under oath, is this Elvis?” asked Newschannel 3's Mike Chesney.
“Yes,” said Primeau. “It's Elvis Presley, there's no doubt in my mind.”
The tonality, vibrato, phrasing and the spectrum, all a match.
And we took it one note further, comparing the out the audio from a known Elvis song and our mystery recording to an Elvis impersonator and another performer, we used Neil Diamond. They clearly didn't match.
“There's no two Elvis Presleys on this planet,” said Primeau. “We heard several nuances that were similar in the impersonator and Elvis, but at the end of the day, it's different.”
“Ed Primeau is one of the leaders in his field,” said Graff. “His word carries a substantial amount of weight.”
It's enough weight for Graff to also believe that the recording is Elvis.
Graff says by the mid-70s, Elvis wasn't doing much recording, which makes this find even more special.
“You're really talking about one of a handful, if that many, of new songs that Elvis recorded in that time period,” said Graff. “Who knows what the intent was here. Was this the beginning of a new Elvis album? Was he starting to look for material? Were there discussions about putting him back in the studio?”
“What you've discovered here is an update to an estate that has been quiet for a long time,” said Primeau.
“There's going to be a lot of commercial possibilities for this,” said Graff.
We want back to Hinton with the news, telling her that the forensic audio expert says the recording is in fact, Elvis.
“I knew it, I just knew it,” said Hinton. “I knew the first time I heard it that it was really Elvis. I know there are impersonators, but I knew this was Elvis.”
Now Hinton hopes to start the ball rolling for her clients, the family of producer Albert Leigh.
“I'm hoping this gets enough notoriety that the people I've been trying to reach, I'll be able to get through to now,” said Hinton.
And Hinton hopes to eventually make it so other Elvis fans across the world can enjoy the king's 'newest' song as well.
This may only be the beginning of the journey for the recording. Graff says if the right people hear about it, they could raise ownership questions. Also, the original reel to reel may also exist, but the Leigh family doesn't have that.
Newschannel 3 reached out to Graceland and Sony Music Entertainment about this story, but we did not get a response.
I'm not convinced at all that this is Elvis but would have to hear the full song instead of these pieces. If Sony buys it, then there would be credible evidence for this being Elvis. My question is why does not anyone recall that Elvis was making informal recordings with these guys. Did they have a connection? Would not someone from the Memphis Maffia know about this episode or have quoted about it in later stories or books? I would love to believe this but think it is another hoax.
This is a hoax. The voice on the tape is way too high for Elvis circa 1976. They should of pawned it off as Elvis in 1956, since they went to the trouble of adding pops and scratches normally associated with acetate recordings. I laughed when I saw Neil Diamond on the sound spectrum. You need an expert to figure out that Neil Diamond doesn't sound like Elvis? Maybe they should have tried to stump the expert by using Bob Dylan's voice! That would've caused him to sweat!! So here we go again. This is just like the secret recording of Teddy Bear wherein "Elvis" says he heard about Ronald Reagan being shot. Graceland will dismiss it, the owner will publish a book and include a remastered CD of the song, with the lyrics, and a fold out poster, all for 100 Euros through your favorite Elvis club. I best hurry up and submit my pre-order.
Also, beleive me, if there was an existing Elvis song out there, someone would know about it already and would have said something. But then again, when I'm A Roustabout was found, I wonder why no one remembered recording it nor said anything about it until the songwriter found the recording in his archives. It could happen again, but it seems unlikely. I wouldn't doubt that in private elite circles there are things that no one else has somewhere. But this isn't Elvis. This is just wishful thinking.
I have got a VERY GOOD ear for voices, (I do impersonations and you HAVE to have it naturally), and although I would love to have an undiscovered Elvis song surface, I would bet big money that this is NOT Elvis! First, there is too much fluttering at the end of almost every word. Elvis did this some, but usually at the end of a line, not during every word. Second, in 76, his voice was deeper and richer than this, this would be more like his voice was in about '61-'64 ballads. Third, its just not a "powerful" enough sound to the voice, [and I don't mean loud, just powerful], its too, uh, "soft n powder-ee." And, lastly, they need to do a voice analysis with this song and Johnny Mathis in '76, for it seems to be MUCH more like his sound and style, and my professional ear's first impression is that this isnt Elvis. Whoever it is, did come close on a couple quick notes but, sorry, not good enough to be our guy!!
Experts??? I rember well..when these special peoples..stated that the singer along JERRY LEE LEWIS was Elvis..instead of Jimmie Ellis (Orion) on the "famous" Sun lps..same for the 45rpm Tell Me Pretty baby.. ridiculous!!..WHO DO YOU THINK ..WE ARE??
I think there is a difference between this 'lost song' (as well as some others) and I'm a Roustabout. The latter was found in the archives of the company itself. This one is found on an attic of a sort. It is also interesting to read responses from fans, who know Elvis song better than computer programs and 'experts'. Also, I won't accept their claims as long as renowned band members on the tape do not state it is Elvis. And if they are not renown the claim is worthless.
I agree with what Lefty writes: if its Elvis, its not Elvis from 1976, the voice sounds higher than Elvis'voice in 1976. In 1976 Elvis' voice had a much bigger (sometimes too big) vibrato. This voice reminds me of the english singer The King who made a (very good) album called Graveland. He also sounds like a younger Elvis.
If you can't hear that this is NOT Elvis, man, you're not an Elvis-fan - or at least you haven't been listening a lot to Elvis' music. It's just another hoax. All though the guy singing sounds a little bit like Elvis it's not, and real Elvis-fans have no problem telling the difference. I can't believe people going thru so much trouble to fake a recording. This has happened a few times before, and everytime it failed. Still people keep trying...
Going from the few seconds heard together with the opinion of the expert in matters audio I would say it was Elvis and typical of the stuff he was singing around this time. The question is, if the tape does get the complete go ahead will the Elvis estate , Sono and the copyright owners. Will they ever reach an agreement to put it out commercially?
Well old shep....i had my doubts in the past....but now i'm sure....you are are TRUE Elvis fan! Ofcourse it's Elvis, anyone can hear that!! It's HIM!!! HIM!!! HIM!!!!! sometimes i really feel embarresed to call myself a fan knowing that are people ( oh no....they are 'experts'...) that can't even hear the difference between fiction from reality....what a joke... oh wait... .let me give you a hint.. it's NOT Elvis., it's hardly SOUNDS like him... but please don't tell anybody else, ok? case closed
Hello, I may be misusing this because I've clicked the "Give your opinion" link though I don't have an opinion. I(nstead, I'll just state as fact that the recording is NOT one of us Elvis. The so-called expert validating it as a recording of The King is either a mistakenincompetent, an opportunistic charlatan or a plausible hoaxer. My Auntie Wendy in a jump suit and sunglasses would make a more convincing Elvis.
Clearly not Elvis---at least from what we can hear. Very obviously not Elvis, in fact. They didn't need a "voice expert", just a fan. And if it was from 1976 why are they comparing it to 1973 recordings? Elvis' life is pretty well documented; we know where he was and what he was doing down to a lot of detail. We have whole books dedicated to telling us what Elvis was doing every single day. We are supposed to believe that no one knew he went to Battle Creek Michigan to record a demo at some non-RCA studio? If they can point to the time and place that this could have even been possible, I would take it a lot more seriously. Or if this was discovered as part of the Jungle Room sessions. (I'm sure he was touring and has played Battle Creek, but to learn a new track and record it there? And are we talking about a studio? It certainly sounds more informal, like the Linda Thompson tape, but there he is messing around with songs he knows. This story sounds very very unlikely. And of course, it doesn't sound like Elvis either.)
Come on guys if you think this is really Elvis singing on this track then sorry you have got it wrong!!!......surely after all these years we the fans can tell straight away between a geniune Elvis track and some so called 'new discovery'. Anyway love the story and ca nnot wait for the dvd when released???........Anyway lt's get back to listening to the REAL ELVIS.
guys .. its the Larry the Lamb quiver you have to listen out for to distinguish an imposter ! this little song has Larry written all over it !! ; ) ... Nice thought, nice tune, not a bad voice but sadly not our Elvis ... in my humble opinion ! ; )
Elvis singing, Hendrix on guitar and Keith Moon on drums (and I swear I heard John Lennon singing backing vocals, or am I wrong: maybe Jim Morrison? Jacko?)...
Compliments: Fantastic and outstanding experts!
On the other hand, the informal recordings Elvis DID do in the 70's sound very little like his studio stuff from the same period. I think his informal 70's material is much more reminiscent to the 60's studio recordings than the 70's studio recordings. He sounds far more relaxed on the informal stuff than the studio stuff.
Jerome - I appreciate the levity in your post, but please don't invoke the name of my late friend Jimmy Ellis in discussing this scam. Other than the 1972 release on "That's All Right" on SUN (which Jimmy never autorized as being released without a name), Jimmy never passed his recordings as Elvis.
I am not dismissing this recording as not being Elvis, but I would like to have the opinion of Elvis' close friends an musicians on this. People like Joe Esposito, Kathy Westmorland, James Burton, etc. They heard Elvis singing for years, at rehearsals, at home, everywhere...so they would be what I would call 'experts' in confirming if this really is Elvis. Also remember that Elvis was scheduled to record new music in February 1977, so this could be a rehearsal, or demo, for new material. He also did a lot of private recordings.
The reason why they only supplied small portions of the song is obvious; if they released the whole recording on the internet, it would be copied by others who could then put it on CD. We did get a 'newly discovered' song recently; 'Let me be the one' so there may be undiscovered songs out there.
But again, I would like the opinion of Elvis' close friends over other so-called experts. Although they have not commented on this, I have no doubt that EPE and Sony are probably looking at this carefully. TCB
Well, I don't know if it's Elvis or not, make your own choice but for sure these folks are after one thing in my opinion... $$$$$, Even if it is Elvis and is proved to be, it's just not that great a recording to get worked up about. I know I am not going to be handing over any cash to hear/own this recording!
This is a genuine recording !!! There is no doubt about it guys ! This is definitley Larry the Lamb at his most romantic !!!!! Wow what a find ! ..... Troubleman and benny so you think you cant rely on your own hearing and instinct to tell if this is Elvis or not ?? You realy think you need someone else to tell you what you think ???? ... Lol thats gold man !! LMAO
Hi Robbyboy, did I or Troubleman wrote we personally believe it's Elvis ? No way. IMO the shortest way do get rid of this " news" is come up with the opinion of people who worked with our man, in the first place the many musicians, give 'em the chance to listen to the complete song and then let them make their conclusion.I have more trust in such professionals than other so-or selfcalled "experts". There are already fans who think it's El, and, no, I'm not one of them !. Simply found Troubleman's suggestion a good one. So no need to insinuate we both are idiots. Always El.
Oh, I almost forgot :One small remark about your posting Robby : "You really think you need someone else to tell you what you think" should have been "you really think you need someone else to tell you what THEY think". Capito? Always El.
Hello, I couldn't give a damn what Elvis's old cohorts think about this - it plainly is not Elvis singing. The voice 'expert' in the trailer is a joke. Comparing the phrasing of a different song taped live 3 years earlier with this hoax is bad enough, but he hasn't even got separate (ie, Elvis only) vocal tracks to make such a contrast. Sure you can listen out subjectively for similarities, but what on earth is that ridiculous digital graph he's got comparing Elvis and Neil Diamond (and, of course, the bad Elvis impersonator trying to make some money out of this latest heist to insult the intelligence of the Elvis world)? What a wretched fall from 'Baby Let's Play House' to the indignitry of this tasteless charade. I'd like to 'greet' the perpetrators of this sham with an accolade we're quite fond of using in England: "Get stuffed".
I agree with you Benny Scott regarding RobIreland's posting. From what we can hear of the recording (snipets only), I do not think it is Elvis. However, I do not consider myself and 'expert' on Elvis, even if I have over 300 CD's of him! Compared to people like James Burton, the Sweet Inspirations, and all the other musicians who worked with Elvis for many years, they would be better placed to confirm if it's Elvis than any fan (including myself). The reason this story is getting this kind of attention is simply because they got a 'so-called' voice expert who confirms, without any doubt, that it's Elvis!
If these reporters would have bothered to check with Elvis' friends and musicians first, instead of this unknown expert, maybe this recording would have been dismissed from the beginning, and the story would have died a quick death. For most of us fans, we can tell the difference between an impersonator and Elvis' voice. But does that make us experts in the field? TCB
How ridiculous. Doesn't sound at all like Elvis. Any fan of Elvis who plays his music everyday knows that. I'm sorry for the "fans" who even consider it MAY be Elvis. Perhaps these fans should start listening to the real Elvis and not the hundreds of impersonators who swamp YouTube. Elvis my a*se!
Ahem ..... benny and trouble man .... in regards to my posting about this song in relation to your posts. Just let me say that how it was worded by you both suggested to me that you would take the word of those who knew Elvis best as to weather this was Elvis singing or not. If I misinterpreted that then my apologies . Im sure you can hear as much as I can that it really is not El.
Although hang on on sec here ; ) .... just read troublemans latest post there on the subject . troubleman you say quote
..... Compared to people like James Burton, the Sweet Inspirations, and all the other musicians who worked with Elvis for many years, they would be better placed to confirm if it's Elvis than any fan (including myself). So troubleman you really would believe it was Elvis if one of these guys said it was .. LOL ... I for one cannot understand that ; ) ..... Elvis" voice is unique and no sund alike, to me anyway , has got it right yet. Rly on your own instincts troubleman, I'm sure you know Elvis" voice well enough yourself to make up your own mind ; )
Rob : 1) Nor Troubleman or myself think it's Elvis but.... 2) what Troubleman says has sense : if the tape would have been given to one of the musicians who worked countless hours with our man instead of the so-called "expert", there would have been not a ghost of a chance one of them would have said "it's him", and the whole discussion that takes (took) place now would not have happened, and some of those who now believe it is Elvis would have been convinced it wasn't him because I suppose they'd rather believe the statement of one of Elvis' men than un unknown "expert".As far as I'm concerned : case closed, but no hard feelings ! Always El.
Rob - let me just say that I enjoy having these types of discussions on my favorite subject: Elvis. I just want to clarify a few things:
1 - I do not believe that it is Elvis singing on the tape. Even though we only hear a few lines, it doesn't sound like Elvis to my ears, and I do trust my instinct on this.
2 - Regarding the so-called expert that was used, and who confirms that it is Elvis, using his nice little gizmos does not change my opinion (even if he says it's Elvis). It's not enough to change my mind.
But, if the people I mentionned (Sweet Inspirations, his friends, etc.) would have come out and said something like 'Yes it is Elvis, he was trying this song in 76, he was ill at that time and he sounded bad, etc'... THEN I would seriously consider what they would have to say... it doesn't mean that I would agree with them 100%, but it would definitely have more credence to the story. In the end though, I would still make my own opinion about it.
Again, the fact that the reporters talked to no one who knew Elvis about this, that they didn't even bother to contact EPE either, only adds to my conviction, and belief, that it's not Elvis! No hard feelings. TCB
If anyone thinks this is Elvis is tone deaf, including that expert. So what if the singer is singing in the same key or copying Elvis' style at the time, the singer on this song is just not very good. It's lousy. It's lacking the real Presley spark.