You'll Be Gone
"You'll Be Gone" is a song co-written by Elvis Presley and published by Elvis Presley Music and released in 1965 on the Girl Happy soundtrack album and as a 45 single. The song was recorded in 1962 and is significant because it was co-written by Elvis Presley, with his bodyguard Red West and Charlie Hodge.
The song was recorded on Sunday, March 18, 1962 at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.
"You'll Be Gone" was released as an RCA Victor 45 picture sleeve single in 1965 as the B side with "Do the Clam", as RCA Victor 47-8500. "You'll Be Gone" charted at no.121 on Billboard. "Do the Clam" reached no.21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and remained on the chart for 8 weeks. In Canada, "You'll Be Gone" reached no. 35 on the singles chart. The song was also released as a 7" 45 single by RCA (Teldec), 47-9686, in Germany in 1965 backed with "Blue River". The single was also released in the UK, Australia, France, Japan, Egypt, and Israel. In France, the single was released as a picture sleeve 45 as RCA Victor 49801 in 1971. In Egypt, the single was released by Sono Cairo.
Red West recounted that "You'll Be Gone" was written after a suggestion or idea made by Elvis to write new lyrics for Cole Porter's 1935 classic song "Begin the Beguine", from the musical Jubilee: "Elvis recorded 'It's Now Or Never' and he wanted to take another old standard that was a great song and change the lyrics. ... He said 'I like the song "Begin the Beguine". I like the melody but I'd like to put new lyrics on it.'" When Cole Porter denied permission to alter the lyrics, Elvis, West, and Charlie Hodge worked on creating new lyrics and new music for a song that would be entitled "You'll Be Gone". The song was replete with Latin rhythms and classical guitar passages. The beguine had been a dance popular in Martinique and Guadeloupe in the 1930s.
In the liner notes to the CD Elvis by the Presleys (2005) Ernst Jorgensen wrote: "When Priscilla came to visit Elvis in the U.S. in the spring of 1962, Elvis proudly played her the new recordings he had just made in Nashville. One of these was 'You'll Be Gone,' a song that he had written himself with his good friends Red West and Charlie Hodge. To his deep frustration, Priscilla remarked that she liked his rock 'n' roll recordings better. Elvis had a fit, Priscilla was devastated, and Elvis never tried to write a song again."
Elvis Presley's wife Priscilla noted in the liner notes to the CD Elvis by the Presleys (2005): "The reason we've included it is because it's the last time Elvis ever wrote a song." She recalled that he played her the song.
Appearances on albums
The song appeared on:
- the 1965 Girl Happy soundtrack album
- the RCA 1999 CD reissue of the 1962 Pot Luck album as a bonus track
- the 1992 From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential 60s Masters album
- the 2007 Pot Luck with Elvis, 2 CD FTD Special Edition collection
- the 2010 FTD/BMG Nashville Outtakes: 1961-1964 collection, Take 1
- and on the 2005 Elvis by the Presleys soundtrack album as alternate take 2.
- Elvis Presley - vocals, guitar
- Scotty Moore - guitar
- Harold Bradley - guitar
- Grady Martin - guitar, vibes
- Bob Moore - bass
- D.J. Fontana - drums
- Buddy Harman - drums
- Floyd Cramer - piano
- Boots Randolph - saxophone, vibes
- Millie Kirkham - vocals
- The Jordanaires - vocals
- Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley, A Life In Music. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; ISBN 0-312-18572-3
- Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis by the Presleys. Liner Notes. BMG Heritage, 2005.
- Presley, Priscilla. Elvis by the Presleys. Liner Notes. BMG Heritage, 2005.
- Hopkins, Jerry. Elvis: A Biography. NY: Simon and Schuster, 1971.
- Victor, Adam. The Elvis Encyclopedia. Overlook Hardcover, 2008.