On Friday, RCA and Legacy Recordings announced the release of From Elvis in Nashville, a 4-CD box set due on November 20 which promises to be the definitive chronicle of Presley’s marathon Music City recording session fifty years ago.
In June 1970, Elvis arrived at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville to begin what would become a legendary five-night recording session. Along with an additional session on September 22, these tracks would form the core of three celebrated albums: That’s the Way It Is, Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old), and Love Letters from Elvis. (All three original albums have previously been addressed by Legacy in expanded editions; Love Letters was paired with Elvis Country.
Following the success of his American Sound sessions the year before, Elvis was eager to hit the studio again. Never a fan of overdubbing, he chose instead to perform live in the studio with the top session players in the city, colloquially known as the Nashville Cats.
You couldn’t pick much better collaborators than multi-instrumentalist Charlie McCoy, bassist Norbert Putnam, and pianist David Briggs. On guitar for the June session was longtime Elvis collaborator James Burton, while Muscle Shoals house band guitarist Eddie Hinton played on the September session. Over the course of the sessions, they recorded over 40 songs hand-picked by Elvis. Together, these songs form something of a bridge between his roots in bluegrass and country, the rockabilly style with which he revolutionized all of music in the ’50s, and the contemporary pop sounds he was embracing in his live shows.