A recently unearthed collection of Glen Campbell recordings will be released next month, it was announced today. Glen Campbell Sings For The King is due out on November 16th via Capitol/UMe.
The 18 songs featured on the album were originally recorded between 1964 and 1968 when Campbell, in between recording sessions with the Wrecking Crew, touring with the Beach Boys and recording his own albums, was recruited to lay down tracks for Elvis Presley.
These recordings were originally intended only for the King’s ears. The reel-to-reel tapes lay tucked away for 50 years before they were discovered by executive producer Stephen Auerbach in a storage space belonging to his uncle-in-law, Ben Weisman.
Sings For The King includes numerous songs written by the songwriting team of Ben Weisman and Sid Wayne. Weisman is noted as the composer with more songs recorded by Elvis Presley than any other, with a total of 57.
Weisman and Wayne turned to Campbell – who not only had perfect pitch but also possessed an uncanny ability to match Elvis’s key and even mimic his delivery – to record fully fleshed out studio versions that they could present to the King for his recording consideration. Campbell also brings his phenomenal guitar virtuosity to the material.
Campbell’s versions of the songs will be appearing together on CD, LP and digitally for the first time, and as a limited edition, 180-gram clear vinyl edition exclusively at Campbell’s website.
Of the 29 recordings that were rescued, 12 of those went on to be recorded and released by Elvis including “Stay Away Joe,” “Clambake,” “Spinout” and “Easy Come, Easy Go,” the latter of which is available today on all streaming services and as an instant grat download with digital pre-order.
Sings For The King opens with a digital duet of Presley and Campbell performing the gospel song ‘We Call On Him’ – giving listeners a sense of how Glen’s performances teed up these songs for Elvis, and then where The King took them and made them his own. The album also features a variety of styles ranging from the country-tinged ‘Any Old Time’ to ballads like ‘I’ll Never Know’ and the more rock’n’roll ‘I’ll Be Back.’ Campbell begins ‘I Got Love’ in his own style but subtly morphs the delivery to match Presley’s signature tone.
Glen and Elvis first met in 1956, when Elvis performed in Albuquerque, where Glen had recently moved to join his uncle’s band, Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys. “I saw him in the rough,” Glen later said. “He was so electrifying.”
In 1960, Glen headed to L.A. to find work as a session musician and took a regular gig at a club called the Crossbow, where Elvis and his friends would sometimes come watch from a small private room.
The relationship between these two Hall of Famers might have become more extensive: When Elvis was assembling his TCB band in 1969, his top two picks for the lead guitar chair were Glen Campbell and James Burton. However, Campbell’s own success as a solo artists rendered him unavailable whereas Burton, who took the role was free since his previous boss, Ricky Nelson, had recently broken up his backing band.
“With their genre-bending musical exploration and rural Southern roots, it’s no surprise that Glen Campbell and Elvis Presley formed something of a mutual admiration society. ‘Elvis and I were brought up the same humble way,’ Campbell once said, ‘picking cotton and looking at the north end of a south-bound mule.’ The friendship between the Rhinestone Cowboy and the King of Rock and Roll spanned three decades, and they often orbited each other professionally,” writes noted music journalist and author Alan Light in the liner notes.
Glen Campbell Sings For The King Track Listing
1. We Call On Him (A Duet With Elvis Presley) *
2. Easy Come, Easy Go *
3. Any Old Time
4. Anyone Can Play
5. I Got Love
6. I’ll Never Know *
7. All I Needed Was The Rain *
8. How Can You Lose What You Never Had *
9. Spinout *
10. Magic Fire
11. I’ll Be Back *
12. Love On The Rocks
13. Stay Away, Joe *
14. Cross My Heart And Hope To Die *
15. Clambake *
16. There Is So Much World To See *
17. Do The Clam *
* Recorded by Elvis Presley