‘I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.’
– Bob Dylan (1997)
Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977). Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as “the King of Rock and Roll”, or simply, “the King”. Elvis Presley would have been 81 years old today.
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and when he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee.
Bob Dylan and Elvis clearly love/loved the same kind of music, blues, rock’n roll, country and gospel.
Elvis has done a few Bob Dylan songs.
Tomorrow Is A Long Time:
“the one recording I treasure the most.”
– Bob Dylan
“Tomorrow Is a Long Time” is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. Dylan’s version first appeared on the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. IIcompilation, released in 1971.
Dylan’s officially released version of the song is a live recording from his April 12, 1963, concert at New York’s Town Hall. Dylan had recorded the song in December 1962 as a demo for M. Witmark & Sons, his publishing company. This particular recording, long available as a bootleg, was released by Columbia in 2010 on The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964. A studio version of the song, an outtake from the June 1970 sessions for New Morning, has also been bootlegged.
It is one of Bob Dylan’s most covered songs.
This is my favorite cover, Thåström – Bara Om Min Älskade Väntar (audio in Swedish):
And 10 more very good versions:
According to Ernst Jorgensen’s’ book Elvis Presley: A Life In Music – The Complete Recording Sessions, Presley first heard the song via Charlie McCoy, who had previously participated in the Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde sessions. McCoy played the 1965 Odetta album Odetta Sings Dylan before an Elvis session and Presley “had become taken with ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time.'”
Dylan has said that this was his favorite cover of any of his songs. He once said that Presley’s cover of the song was “the one recording I treasure the most.”
Well, I’m tired and so weary
But I must go along
Till the lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yeah
Well the morning’s so bright
And the Lamb is the light
And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes.
(There will be peace in the valley for me, some day)
“Peace in the Valley” is a 1937 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey, originally for Mahalia Jackson. The song became a hit in 1951 for Red Foley and the Sunshine Boys, reaching No. 7 on the Country & Western Best Seller chart. It was among the first gospel recordings to sell one million copies. Foley’s version was a 2006 entry into the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
Important recordings of ‘Peace In The Valley’ include the Red Foley version that established the song, Elvis Presley’s 1957 single, and Johnny Cash’s 1969 recording, which was included on the massively successful album “Johnny Cash At San Quentin”.
Other recordings of note are those by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and the Original Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. By the time Dylan came to perform the song in 1989 he would surely have known all of the above recordings.
~Derek Barker (The Songs He didn’t Write)