Tag Archives: Thomas Cogbill

Today: Elvis Presley recorded “Long Black Limousine” in 1969 – 44 years ago


 ..But it is “Long Black Limousine” and “I’ll Hold You in My Heart” which mark the high point of the album and indeed may mark the high point of Elvis’ career to date. “Long Black Limousine” is the almost quintessential C&W ballad, whose melody bears traces of such mournful standards as “Old Shep” and “Green, Green Grass of Home”.
~Peter Guralnick (Rollingstone Magazien – Aug 1969)

One of the strongest songs from one of the best albums ever released… nothing less.


Released June 17, 1969
Genre Rhythm and blues
Length 3:44
Label RCA Victor
Writer Vern Stovall, Bobby George
Producer Chips Moman, Felton Jarvis

Long Black Limousine is a song written by Vern Stovall and Bobby George; the best known version is probably the one by Elvis Presley, who turned the original country tune into a soulful rhythm and blues song.

Stovall and George, country musicians based in southern California, probably wrote the song in 1958, when it was first recorded (but not released until many years later) by Wynn Stewart. The first released version was Stovall’s, in 1961, followed by Glen Campbell’s in 1962. The only charting single of the song (in 1968 it reached #73 on the US country charts) was Jody Miller’s, her version was also on her 1968 album The Nashville Sound of Jody Miller. O. C. Smith’s version was released as the B-side of his million-selling crossover hit “Little Green Apples” in 1968. Elvis Presley’s version appeared on his classic 1969 From Elvis in Memphis album.

Elvis - from elvis in memphis

The sound produced at American had little to do with high-tech equipment and everything to do with its stable of musicians, who had developed a heavily R&B-influenced style that far transcended any bluesy  edges the Nashville players might have boasted.
~Ernst Jorgensen (Elvis Presley – A life in music)

Chipc Moan & ElvisElvis & Chips Moman

All southerners, all close to Elvis’s age, they shared a musical heritage that blended country, gospel, and rhythm and blues.
To the musicians Chips Moman was a godfather-like figure in the studio, who would tolerate nothing less than total commitment.
~Ernst Jorgensen (Elvis Presley – A life in music)

An even better version – Long Black Limousine (Take 6):


There’s a long line of mourners driving down our little street
Their fancy cars are such a sight to see, oh, yeah
They’re all of your rich friends who knew you in the city
And now they’ve finally brought, brought you home to me

When you left you know you told me that some day you’d be returnin’
In a fancy car all the town to see, oh, yeah
Well, now everyone is watching you, you finally had your dream
Yeah, and you’re ridin’ in a long black limousine

You know the papers told of how you lost your life, oh, yeah
The party, the party and the fatal crash that night
Well, the race upon the highway, oh, the curve you didn’t see
When you’re riding in that long black limousine

You’re riding in that long black limousine

Through tear filled eyes I watch as you ride by, oh, yeah
A chauffeur, a chauffeur at the wheel dressed up so fine
Well, I never, I never, never, never, oh, my heart, all my dreams
Yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine

Yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine
Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine
Yeah, yeah, they’re with you in that long black limousine

Producer: Chips Moman & Felton Jarvis

Produced by Felton Jarvis and Chips Moman
Engineered by Al Pachucki
Overdubs arranged by Mike Leech and Glen Spreen
Digital Engineer: Dick Baxter


  • Elvis Presley – vocals, guitar, piano
  • String and Horn Arrangements – Glen Spreen
  • Ed Kollis – harmonica
  • John Hughey – pedal steel guitar on “In the Ghetto”
  • Reggie Young, Dan Penn – electric guitar
  • Bobby Wood – piano
  • Bobby Emmons – organ
  • Tommy Cogbill, Mike Leech – bass
  • Gene Chrisman – drums


  • Wayne Jackson, Dick Steff, R.F. Taylor – trumpets
  • Ed Logan, Jack Hale, Gerald Richardson] – trombones
  • Tony Cason, Joe D’Gerolamo – french horns
  • Andrew Love, Jackie Thomas, Glen Spreen, J.P. Luper – saxophones
  • Joe Babcock, Dolores Edgin, Mary Greene, Charlie Hodge, Ginger Holladay, Mary Holladay Millie Kirkham, Ronnie Milsap, Sonja Montgomery, June Page, Susan Pilkington, Sandy Posey, Donna Thatcher, Hurschel Wiginton – backing vocals


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Today: Tom Waits is 63

[He’s got a voice sounding] “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.”
~Daniel Durchholz

“I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.”
― Tom Waits

“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits

Neil Young inducts Tom Waits into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

Clap Hands:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Thomas Alan Waits
Born December 7, 1949 (age 63)
Pomona, California,United States
Genres Rock, experimental
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, actor, composer
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar
Years active 1972–present
Labels Asylum Records, Island Records, ANTI-
Website Official website

Thomas Alan “Tom” Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by critic Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.” With this trademark growl, his incorporation of pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and has acted in supporting roles in films including Paradise Alley and Bram Stoker’s Dracula; he also starred in the 1986 film Down by Law. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.

16 shells from a thirty-ought-six – live 85:

Lyrically, Waits’ songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places—although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads. He has a cult following and has influenced subsequent songwriters despite having little radio or music video support. His songs are best-known through cover versions by more commercial artists: “Jersey Girl”, performed by Bruce Springsteen, “Ol’ ’55”, performed by the Eagles, and “Downtown Train”, performed by Rod Stewart. Although Waits’ albums have met with mixed commercial success in his native United States, they have occasionally achieved gold album sales status in other countries. He has been nominated for a number of major music awards and has won Grammy Awards for two albums, Bone Machine and Mule Variations. In 2011, Waits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Waits lives in Sonoma County, California with his wife, Kathleen Brennan, and three children.

Alice – Live from Amsterdam 2004:

Album of the day:

Swordfishtrombones (1983)

……. The music can be primitive, moving to odd time signatures, while Waits alternately howls and wheezes in his gravelly bass voice. He seems to have moved on from Hoagy Carmichael and Louis Armstrong to Kurt Weill and Howlin’ Wolf (as impersonated by Captain Beefheart). Waits seems to have had trouble interesting a record label in the album, which was cut 13 months before it was released, but when it appeared, rock critics predictably raved: after all, it sounded weird and it didn’t have a chance of selling. Actually, it did make the bottom of the best-seller charts, like most of Waits’ albums, and now that he was with a label based in Europe, even charted there. Artistically, Swordfishtrombones marked an evolution of which Waits had not seemed capable (though there were hints of this sound on his last two Asylum albums), and in career terms it reinvented him.
~William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)

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