In May 2006, information was released to the press and public regarding a song that was cowritten by Elvis Presley. The songs were never published or released until now. Paul Terry King recently announced that he, and Elvis Presley, cowrote the songs titled, ‘Rollin’ Up Hill’ and ‘If I’d Only Bought Her Roses’, in the fall of 1970.
Paul Terry King, a songwriter of several popular country and pop songs in the 1960s and 1970s, recently submitted a press release specifying details about the songs. Mr. King claims while working with artists at American Recording Studio in Memphis Tennessee, he worked with Elvis Presley, and cowrote two songs titled ‘Rollin’ Up Hill’ and ‘If I’d Only Bought Her Roses’. Paul Terry King explains that this was several of many recording sessions, one of which produced the hit song, ‘Suspicious Minds’.
Paul Terry King claims that Elvis visited him in Nashville to write other songs, as well. He states that he and Elvis had many conversations about world politics, current events, religion, family and children, marriage and love, and several other subjects.
Mr. King explains that Elvis had an explicit interest in writing music, as well as recording and performing. However, he was unsure about releasing any self published works at the time due to uncertainty as to how well it would do, and how his manager would respond.
However, Mr. King goes on to explain how the songs were created. Elvis came to his home in late 1970. He tells the story that he and Elvis conversed for many hours into the night, and early morning, as several new music works emerged. Mr. King goes on to explain that Elvis was much more talented than people pay him credit. Elvis was a good actor and continued to hope for better and more dramatic roles. He also aspired to develop into a good songwriter as well. The song ‘If I’d Only Bought Her Roses’, is about a man who desires to have another chance with his only love, and wishes he’d done things differently. Note that it is not hard to imagine Elvis in that certain frame of mind with what he was experiencing in his own personal life.
The other song, ‘Rollin’ Up Hill’, is about overcoming life’s obstacles in the midst of a man facing all odds against him. The driving force by which he wins the race is the power of love, which the song clearly communicates.
The song ‘Rollin’ Up Hill’, is the song I was able to hear and sample. There was talk about a Elvis Presley reality series taking place in Las Vegas among various Elvis tribute artists.
The winner receiving prizes and publicity, including the honor of recording the two songs which Elvis cowrote. However, even though the taping of the show was begun in August of 2006, it was not revealed to me the reason why it wasn’t finished.
However, the songs were not recorded by any of the Elvis impersonator’s who attended the rehearsals in Las Vegas. Instead, the songs were forwarded to, and recorded by, William Riopelle, a former Elvis Presley tribute artist, now living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
William Riopelle, performed as an Elvis Presley tribute artist for several years and performed many places. Of his many experiences, some of the highlights were performing in Las Vegas in the show Legends In Concert, recording a rockabilly tune at Sun Records in Memphis now called Sam Phillips Recording Studio, and being managed by George Klein, a disc jockey in Memphis Tennessee, who was a very close friend of Elvis Presley. Indeed, George Klein, was Elvis’ best man at his wedding, and a pallbearer at his funeral.
George Klein is not a man who typically gets excited about Elvis Presley impersonators. However William Riopelle’s talent was so original and unique, that George Klein made an exception in his case.
William Riopelle, who no longer performs as an Elvis Presley tribute artist, has moved on to other things and has since received various science degrees in college, and an advanced degree in physical therapy as well. Indeed, an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist with a brain! William Riopelle once went by the stage name of ‘Billy Elvis.’
He is said to have changed his name to Billy Detroit at the advice of George Klein, who urged William not to use the name of ‘Elvis’ in his own name. George Klein believed in Mr. Riopelle’s talent enough to get a songwriter to write a demo song for him and request a free recording session from Sam Phillips, the man who discovered Elvis Presley at Sun Records Recording Studio in Memphis Tennessee in 1954. Although the recordings were heard by various recording labels, ultimately they rejected William Riopelle’s works due to the fact that he sounded “too close to Elvis Presley” and they thought the public was not ready, or interested, in an Elvis sound alike.
However, since Elvis Presley’s popularity has not shown any signs of decreasing over the years, and has even increased, the interest in an authentic Elvis Presley sound alike may be beginning to emerge.
Indeed, the public would certainly be interested in hearing a song which Elvis Presley cowrote. I believe the public would be interested in anything that Elvis Presley wrote.
Although there are Presley insiders who would validate Paul Terry King’s story, there are others who would disdain it. Like any controversial story regarding Elvis Presley, it is very likely that you will once again have to be the judge.
A sample of the song ‘Rollin’ Up Hill’, has been made available for free, and can be heard on the Internet by Paul Terry King. Details about listening to the song can be found in the resource box below.