I got this song title from a line in a Carl Sandburg book,
The People, Yes. I wrote the music and Hal and I co-wrote
the rest of the words. Then I made the demo with a great rhythm
section at Harmony Recorders in Hollywood. That record was
really fun to make. We found a nice little groove and it all
came together rather effortlessly. I wish all recording sessions
could be as natural and enjoyable as that one with that instinctive
easy communication between the players that happens now and
then. My very close friend Sheb Wooley (Purple People
Eater) had introduced me to Johnny Cash, who lived not
far away from me here in Southern California. I thought this
might be good for his style. I called him, and he invited
me to bring the demo up to his house in Ojai and play it for
him. I took along my son, Donny, who was a gifted musician
and a big Johnny Cash fan. Johnny listened to the demo but
didn't really comment on it. We talked about his gun collection
and other things.
I waited a few weeks but Johnny
never showed any interest in the song, so eventually I sent
it to the Aberbachs who then gave it to Elvis. I wonder if
Johnny ever heard the Elvis recording and remembered the song.
I saw him on several occasions after that, but the subject
of that song never came up. Elvis obviously liked the arrangement
as well as the song, as they copied my demo very closely.