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Elvis Presley lost massive song to British rocker – but recorded it anyway | Music | Entertainment


After Elvis Presley returned from being in the US Military he was keen to get right back to further his singing career. The Mississippi star was drafted into the army in 1958, before being sent to a barracks in Friedberg, Germany for two years.

At the time, he was worried it would destroy the career he had been building. But in 1960 he returned with an incredible record, Elvis Is Back, his first new batch of songs since his 1957 Christmas album.

But Paul Evans, a songwriter, made a grave mistake while sending songs out to Elvis.

Elvis never wrote his own songs, but he would never record something that someone else had already released. Of course, there were exceptions to this rule. He would happily cover standard tracks, such as Are You Lonesome Tonight and Always on my Mind.

But for his return record, he wanted a string of brand new original songs to show off his post-military career comeback.

Elvis’ first song trod a “dark” path to the King, as Paul revealed in his book, Happy Go Lucky Me: A Lifetime of Music.

Paul wrote: “Presley recorded four of my songs. The first was I Gotta Know, a song that took a shadowy path to get to Elvis.”

Paul explained that he had already set the gears in motion for Elvis to release I Gotta Know in his comeback album. But a mistake left the song at the hands of a young British star: Cliff Richard.

Paul remembered: “By mistake, the song found its way into a package of songs sent to the Hill & Range London office to be shown to Cliff Richard.”

And Cliff was ecstatic by the newfound track – which he thought was his.

Paul said that Cliff’s recording of the song was pushed under the rug. “[Music publisher] Freddy Bienstock managed to keep the Cliff Richard recording quiet,” he recalled. “And my song came out on a Presley single as a B-side to Are You Lonesome Tonight?”

The key difference was that Cliff’s version of I Gotta Know was not released as a single, and therefore did not chart on the Billboard 100.

Meanwhile, Elvis had much better success with Are You Lonesome Tonight? and, in turn, with I Gotta Know, as well.

Elvis’ version of I Gotta Know peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 100, and remained there for 11 weeks.

The same version was later released again on the album Elvis’ Golden Records Volume 3.

The album was another hit, reaching number three on the Billboard 200, and stayed on the charts for 63 weeks.

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