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Interview with Bobby Wood

Q : Bobbhy please tell us when you first met Elvis.

A : I first met Elvis around 1955 or '56 at Sun Studios. I was with my family, we were Gospel singers, and we were doing a recording, as we were leaving Sam Phillips introduced me to Elvis.

Elvis Presley VideoBobby Wood Talks about meeting Elvis

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Q : You remember what year the Fairgrounds meeting was?

A : Gosh, it had to be, I'll say 65, 66.

Q : Tell us about Elvis at Sun.

A : Early on, I didn't know him at that point. Some friends of mine from Tupelo had showed me a picture of him and said, 'This is gonna be a real hot recording artist. This guy is really good. He's got something really different'. And I was looking at his picture underneath the desk in the studio and talking to Sam and I said, I was telling him that about him, and I didn't even pay any attention. He was sitting behind the desk and Sam said, 'Meet Elvis Presley'. And I got all red-faced and embarrassed and everything.

But I didn't really know who he was at that point, but I found out later.

Interview with Bobby Wood

Q : What do you remember of Elvis fairgrounds?

A : He was very cordial. As long as -- every time I was ever around him he was just a super nice guy.

Q : Do you remember some of the things he would do out there?

A : No, I didn't hang around him a lot. It was just, I met him when I first got to the fairgrounds and we stood and talked for a little while. About really nothing. Just shooting the bull.

Q : 1969 American Sound Studios that's where you really got to know Elvis, right?

A : Yes. American Sound Studios . He came there in 1969. And I'll never forget the first night he came in. I had kind of psyched myself out because we were a really hot rhythm section at that time and I said, 'Oh, you know, Elvis Presley, we're hot as he is right now, so it was no big deal'. I knew when he was in the back parking lot. It was like that much charisma. And he walked in the back door and I almost choked. And there was a little black kid that worked around the studio and he went and got us sandwiches and stuff. And I remember he was sitting on the base stool and when Elvis came in the back door, he stood up and put him hand over his heart and followed him completely around the studio as he walked in. It was like, 'Woah!'

Q : So what type of mood was Elvis in when he came to the studio?

A : Oh, just upbeat. He really looked great. He came in, in his blue leathers and white shirt and had his guys with him, that stayed with him. Just came over and shook hands with everybody. It was just like as friendly as you'd ever want to be. Real cordial.

Q : So did he tell you guys what he really wanted, or was it Chips?
Or did you guys just kind of meld together? How was it?'

A : Elvis really came there to get our sound because, like I say, the records that he had been listening to like the Boxtops and BJ Thomas and all those people, he really loved. And he actually came there to get that sound. And the first couple of days didn't go all that well because we were still doing his catalogue stuff.

And I don't think really he was enjoying it either. So we eventually got into doing some of the songs like Mark James and some of the writers.

Actually Mac Davis came in and played 'In The Ghetto' in person. And so I mean he really enjoyed himself after we got into some great songs. Because Elvis was no fool. I mean this guy, he knew and he was pretty smart.

Q : Going back to the song, what were Elvis reactions?

A : I almost cried. We were in the control room and there was a couch in front of the board. And Mac was playing his guitar and singing this song, sitting on the back of that couch. And Elvis and Chips was behind the control board. And Elvis just shook his head when Mac got through with that song.

Mac was shaking like a leaf. He was scared to death.

Q : Did he play any more songs for Elvis that time?

A : I don't remember if he played any more songs or not.

I just really recall that moment because it was a great moment.

Q : How long was it after Mac sang when Elvis recorded the song?

A : I don't know how long it was after that. It may have been the next day or maybe the next week. I'm not sure. That's been too long ago for me.

Q : What are your memories of when 'Suspicious Minds' came along?

A : We had already cut, 'Suspicious Minds' on Mark James, the writer.

I believe Chips may have played a tape for Elvis. I'm not sure how that went down. But I mean he loved the

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