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A BIG HUNK O’ ELVIS

Keystone/Getty

Elvis made only one trip to the studio during his US Army service, when he returned to RCA’s infamous Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee, to cut the tracks that would keep his fans happy while he was gone. During the two-day session he laid down several big tunes, including A Big Hunk O’Love, the frenetic, piano-driven rockabilly charge that would slowly rise to the top of the Billboard in summer 1959, 60 years ago. It was the very first Elvis session not to include his trusted buddies Scotty Moore and Bill Black on guitar and bass respectively. Instead, a select team of Nashville’s finest were enlisted to support the King, including Hank Garland on guitar, DJ Fontana and Buddy Harman on drums, Floyd Cramer on piano and Bob Moore on double bass. The Jordanaires were installed to provide a rich vocal backing, and the foursome would quickly become a constant in his career. It took just four takes for Elvis and his team to be satisfied with the cut, with the final version adapted from the last two takes.

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