Growing up listening to Elvis, I only really got to know his more mainstream and movie songs when I was a child as that’s the stuff my Mamma played the most, but those memories solidified an Elvis place in my musical heart.
Today’s song was recorded by Elvis in the early 1950’s and, up until recently, had never ever been released! Issued on a 3x album box set of his complete 1953-1955 recordings a few years back, Tomorrow Night featured alongside many other previously unreleased songs – as well as newly discovered versions of recordings (such as his version of Charlie Feathers I Forgot To Remember To Forget, which I also love!).
Tomorrow Night was originally written by Sam Coslow and Will Grosz in 1939 and was first recorded by Henry Russell and His Romancers that same year.
In 1948, Lonnie Johnson had a crossover hit on King Records (Johnson had also previously recorded the song for Paradise records in 1947) with the song, which had Johnson on guitar and Simeon Hatch on piano. Lonnie Johnson’s version hit number one on the R&B charts for seven non consecutive weeks and peaked at number nineteen on the pop chart. His version would become his theme song and transformed the track into a blues standard!
There have been many other versions recorded over the years, with artists such as Lavern Baker, Henry Russell, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis and Count Basie covering the track, but my favourite has got to be Elvis’ rendition. His gentle amble heads out into the sunset, its pace a cosy meander into sun-drenched harmonica melodies and dreamy guitar mutterings. The mellow breeze of backing vocals mingles with Elvis’ curving, shapely lead with effortless harmony as their exchange woos you into this soothing soundscape…It’s a little beauty! Check it out above.