Way Down

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Way Down"
Single by Elvis Presley
from the album Moody Blue
B-side"Pledging My Love"
ReleasedJune 6, 1977
RecordedOctober 29, 1976
StudioGraceland, Memphis, Tennessee
Songwriter(s)Layng Martine Jr.
Producer(s)Felton Jarvis
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"Moody Blue" / "She Thinks I Still Care"
"Way Down"
"My Way"
Music video
"Way Down" (audio) on YouTube

"Way Down" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Recorded in October 1976, it was his last single released before his death on August 16, 1977. The song was written by Layng Martine Jr. and was later recorded by Presley at his home studio in Graceland on 29 October 1976.

Released as a single (with "Pledging My Love" on the B-side) on June 6, 1977, it was his latest single at the time of his death. It initially peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated August 6, 1977 and had fallen to No. 53 on the chart for the week ending August 27, 1977. Thereafter, it reversed direction and reached an even higher peak at No. 18 on 24 September – 1 October 1977. "Way Down" reached No. 1 on the American Country chart the week he died. The single was certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA in 1999.[1]

In the UK Singles Chart, after having climbed only four places to number 42 the week before Presley's death,[2] the track rose to number four the following week and then hit the number one in week ending 3 September and stayed there for five weeks.[3] just over seven years after his previous 16th UK number one single, "The Wonder of You", in August 1970. His previous single, "Moody Blue", had been a number one hit on the US Country Charts earlier in 1977. "Way Down" was reissued in April 2005 and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[4]

The recording also featured J.D. Sumner singing the words "way on down" at the end of each chorus down to the note low C (C2). At the end of the song, this phrase is octaved, reaching a double low C (C1, three octaves below middle C).[5] This note was first accomplished by Sumner in a 1966 recording of the hymn "Blessed Assurance."

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006 (2nd ed.). Record Research. p. 273.
  2. ^ "way down | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 343. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 436. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ Palmer, Robert; DeCurtis, Anthony (September 6, 2011). Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer. Simon & Schuster. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-4165-9975-3. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  7. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  8. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "Top 200 Singles of '77". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 28 (11). December 31, 1977. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Hot Country Songs – Year-End 1977". Billboard. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.