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500 miles


500 miles

recording date elvis: 1966;informal
first release: on audio album in a private moment ( march 2004 )
label: bmg denmark
cd: ean 07 4321 72666 2 2

originally by: The Journeymen

recording date: 21 march 1961
originally written by: John Phillips;Hedy West
catalognumber: st 1629
label: capitol
album: the journeymen

Elvis's recording was an informal one, made on a household tape-recorder and never intended for release.
The full title of the song is "500 Miles From Home" and exactly who wrote it is something of a mystery: some sources show it as being "traditional," others give only Hedy West as the writer, while still others list it as having been written by Bobby Bare, Hedy West and Charlie Williams. The original recording, made on 21 March 1961 and released on the Capitol label, shows "John Phillips and Hedy West." John Phillips was, in fact, one of the three members of the Journeymen and would later form The Mamas and The Papas. Other members of The Journeymen were Scott McKenzie, who would later gain fame going to San Francisco, and Dick Weissman, by far the most musically talented of the trio. "500 Miles" is based on the older "900 Miles," which itself seems to be a version of a Southern fiddle tune called "Reuben's Train." Hedy West was a singer and banjo-player who came from a North Carolina folksinging family, so perhaps she formalised the song for publication and others then changed the words somewhat in order to create a more popular version and gain some writing credits. Hedy West died on 3 July, 2005, aged 67.
Elvis's home recording is sung to a backing provided by the LP, "Sing A Song With The Kingston Trio" (Capitol SKAO 2005), which uses the West version of the lyrics.

500 Miles
performed by:
The Journeymen

500 Miles
performed by:
Elvis presley

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