Elvis Presley – Scotty &
"I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-157
Recorded: - July 11, 1955
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: August 1, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 223-B mono
I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET / MYSTERY TRAIN
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801
DI-4-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums
The flipside, ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', is no less powerful in its own right. For once, Sam Phillips commissioned a first rate piece of original material for his new star. Again, everything works here to perfection: the lyric, the melody,
Presley's sexy crooning, Scotty Moore's memorable solo. Perhaps the strongest element is Johnny Bernero's drumming which, more than anything else, defines this recording. Shifting effortlessly from his trademark shuffle to a heavy backbeat during the guitar
solo, Bernero elevates this record to greatness.
Sam Phillips had his dream: a two-sided masterpiece by his great white hope, and with both sides owned by his publishing company, Phillips was ready to do battle. This single, Presley's last for Sun, eventually became his first number 1 country hit.
Johnny Bernero didn't play drums on many Sun records. He was older than most Sun musicians and did not come from a rock and roll tradition.
But, my god, the man could play. When Sam Phillips called him in to beef up the sound of this July 1955 session (which turned out to be Elvis's last Sun session), it was an inspired choice. Elvis, Scotty and Bill did not usually need a drummer, as the flipside
of Sun 223 plainly showed. But when you added a tasty and minimal accompanist like Bernero, it all came to life.
Bernero does on this clever country balled is make explicit the rhythm that drives the record. Bill Black's slap bass was capable of carrying the band but the addition of an actual drum kit left him and everyone freer to play around the beat. Sam Phillips
didn't love drummers and found them a challenge to record in his small storefront studio. You can hear his ambivalence on many of the blues records and on early recordings of the Perkins Brothers Band. Does ''Blue Suede Shoes;; have a drummer? If so, does
the drummer really contribute anything to the record? Surprisingly, the answer are Yes and No. Early on, Sam did not even mike drummers directly, allowed the drums just to bleed through other microphones on the floor.
Yet on ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', dating from the same era as ''Blue Suede Shoes'', the drums are both prominent and crisply recorded. And what a contribution
Mernero makes! The vocal portions of the song are performed against a shuffle beat played on drum and cymbal. This is distinctive because ringing cymbals were not typically part of the Sun sound. And when Scotty steps forward to play his solo - that wonderful
guitar solo - Bernero shifts to a 2/4 backbeat. The whole sound changes. And just when you've started to get comfortable with the solid backbeat, it's Elvis's turn to sing and the shuffle beat starts again. Maybe Scotty and Bill could have handled that shift
on their own, but it wouldn't have come across this clearly. This record did need a drummer and it couldn't have found a better one. (HD)(SP)