A song has a life of its own. Conceived in the mind of the songwriter and born when pen meets paper, it takes on a personality with its first artist and continues to change and grow every time it's covered by another.
"The feel he had for the music, I feel the same things basically as he felt. I enjoy the same style of music he enjoyed," explained Elvis D. Presley of Star City as he sat in a Nashville recording studio. If you ask Presley, some songs are so iconic, rather than recreating them you attempt to duplicate.
"You can't surpass perfection. You just have to achieve."
Achieving that iconic sound is the dream of Arkansas's Elvis and what better place to try than in a town built on dreams.
"A lot of great recordings came out of Nashville. It's Music City."
Elvis Presley's songs are alive in the town, his legacy sung from its street corners.
"We were in RCA B and Gordon looked over and said, 'Here's Elvis.' Well, I turned around and he was right on me, almost nose to nose, with his hand out. I took his hand and shook it and he said, 'I'm Elvis Presley.' I said 'I know who you are.' I said, 'I'm Ray Walker.' He said, 'And I know who you are,'" recalled Walker, a surviving member of a group called the Jordanairs. You've likely heard Walker's distinctive bass voice back up Elvis on some of the King's greatest hits.
'He came over on a second one and said, 'Can you say no, no, no?' And I said, 'Not to you, I understand' and he just laughed and said, 'No, can you do it in a rhythm?' and that's Big Hunk of Love. I said, 'Yes,' So, they started and I said, 'No no no no no no. That's all I got to do," laughed Walker.
Just like the original, Arkansas's Elvis knew he needed that special voice in the background.
"Hearing them on the record it just blew me away. It added vibes to the song. It just made it great," said Presley.
Presley also needed a studio engineer that understood and shared his dream, the kind of guy like Danny White, who was introduced to this music by his dad.
"I grew up with that stuff. I listened to Ray and his group for years. So, to be in front of the consol, it does put me on edge a little bit. It focuses me a lot on that. It's really, really a great thing, and you don't want to mess it up," said White.
When the soundboard in the famous RCA B Studio came up for sale, White knew he had to have it, not just to preserve that special piece of history but also that special sound.
"This consol is a very sweet consol, but it's pretty aggressive if you want to get aggressive with it," White explained as folks admired the board.
White's passion for preserving the sound was in perfect harmony with Presley's passion for the music.
"A lot of people will say that stuff should just be in a museum, and I say it still sounds great and there's nothing that sounds like that, so why not use it," remarked White. You may not understand what some would call a man's quirky obsession but, you likely can imagine how it feels when a dream comes true.
"When a dream becomes reality, it overwhelms you. It's hard to explain," said Presley.
To learn more about Elvis D. Presley or hear his music visit his web site.