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HOW "SNOWBIRD" BECAME A SONG IN THE SHOW


Legend
:  The Elvis record where Snowbird shows up for the first time is Elvis Country (1971).

This is just a trivial bit of information on how Elvis occasionally found a song he wanted to add to the lineup.

I first must apologize for almost every story I tell you is located in a hotel room, but that is just where we as any "minstrels" lived. It seems so odd I'm sure to most people who live what I would call a normal life in any society. That being said, we were both lying in bed listening to the radio. For some inexplicable reason we were both very quiet and not talking a million miles a second as was usual. And the other odd thing was the lights were still on. Perhaps we were waiting for room service to deliver our dinner? And, of course, I don't know when this occurred (could check and find out, but don't feel like searching at this moment). We were in the Hilton Penthouse Suite. I recall we were both staring upward as we listened. All of a sudden a record was played we'd never heard before. It was by a new artist called Anne Murray. She was singing "Snowbird". Elvis sat up instantly and I was just a 'tad' behind him. We listened to only a line or two and immediately he said, "She has a beautiful quality to her voice, doesn't she". I agreed wholeheartedly and was already thinking the same thing. We were both mesmerized by the quality of her voice and the unusual song. Elvis turned and looked at me,... I turned to look at him... and then he bounded out of bed as the "bounder" he most always was. He was on one of his missions! He ran out of the room to get Charlie and to call the radio station to ask the DJ to please play it again. In those days we didn't have four hour radio tapes that just ran the same songs over and over. One could actually request records and artists one liked. Elvis knew well, as does every singer, that if people call in and request a song, it becomes a hit. The cutest part of this memory for me is that Elvis was in his white pajamas (Sears Brand was what he loved most) with black piping stripe and he was not going to allow anyone see him that way---there were still people in the suite visiting with the guys. So, he began to run out the door, peeked out,...then made a mad dash to Charlie's room which was the nearest to us and I didn't ask him if he talked to anyone else. No one saw him. He wanted to get a copy of the record by the next afternoon (this occurred as we were most likely waiting for dinner, so must have been about 4:00 a.m.) Elvis darted back in the suite and was ready to hear it again on the radio, and had "placed a request for the record" so was thrilled and just couldn't wait to hear it again, listen to the recording that would shortly be in his hands so he'd be ready to call a rehearsal for it. Mission accomplished! He had it by that afternoon, we had a quiet rehearsal after listening to it over and over again, then the next day I believe he called a full rehearsal. "Snowbird" was now in Elvis' repertoire, and was performed onstage. We continued to listen to Anne's version regularly just to hear, analyze, and soak up her luscious vocal quality,and we believed she was destined for stardom. Elvis would call often and request it to support her in her career. :)

I will perhaps edit and or add to this as my memory becomes clearer (I hope) and I can search or ask one of you who probably knows when this occurred. I know now I can count on at least one of you to know the precise night this song was first sung onstage by Elvis. OH! And it was NOT an easy song to learn. Many verses, many words, easy to mix the verses up. :D

Well, that's the little trivial story about "Snowbird" and Elvis sneaking as fast as he could avoiding being seen, so that he could call that DJ, and find that recording to study!

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