Airdate – Nov 28, 2021
In June of 1961, Elvis Presley had his sixth studio album release. The album was put out by RCA Victor in both mono and stereo and was titled, “Something for Everybody.” It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top LPs chart that year and was certified ‘Gold’ on June 15, 1999 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Side 1 featured love ballads while Side 2 contained up-tempo R&B/Rock & Roll – hence the album’s title.
The fourth track on Side 2 was a song originally written and recorded by a rather unknown rockabilly musician. It was also a song RCA released as a single by Elvis six years later in 1967.
The original singer/songwriter of the infamous “fourth” track was actually a regional success in his home state of Arkansas and was noted for his unique style of piano playing, one he developed from his childhood music lessons which were focused on boogie woogie and ragtime.
In 1952, at the age of 15, he was discovered on radio station KWCB in Searcy, Arkansas on a program that profiled budding talent from local area schools.
By 1959 he was recording as Teddy Redell. It was the B side of his fourth release in 1960 that proved to be his biggest success.
According to an interview with legendary Memphis Deejay Alex Ward, the original title of the song was “Julie.” However, it was officially released as “Judy,” the song that Elvis would cover in 1961.
Boy, it there is anyone you wanted to have your records covered by, it was Elvis Presley.
The story gets even better as Redell was one of the few songwriters back then who understood how to protect their property through copyrights. He accomplished this by registering his song with the Library of Congress. When RCA learned the song was protected, it was forced to pay him royalties.
Teddy Redell may not have garnered national recognition but he sure knew how to cover himself along the way, especially when it came to “Judy,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: