Music Article

''About' Time

Unheard Elvis tune is unearthed for new hits disc. Plus, Stones finally go online and release 560 tunes at Rhapsody

For nearly 40 years, a lost recording by Elvis Presley has been gathering dust in Winfield Scott's basement. Now, the song ''I'm a Roustabout,'' which Scott composed with frequent Elvis songwriter Otis Blackwell, will finally be released. On Friday, on the eve of the 26th anniversary of Presley's passing, RCA announced that the track would be included on the hits compilation ''Elvis 2nd to None,'' due out on Oct. 7.

Elvis recorded the song as an alternate title track to his movie ''Roustabout.'' in 1964, then went with a different ''Roustabout'' song instead. ''I know it sounds strange, but I had actually forgotten about it,'' Scott said of the disc, in an interview with Reuters. ''It was just laying around, along with a whole slew of other demos and a couple hundred songs. At the time, I said, 'Well gee, I wonder why [Presley] never released it?' And then I just put it back with the rest of the demos until later on.'' Years later, he mentioned the track to a reporter, who in turn brought it to the attention of RCA, who secured from Scott the rights to the recording.

In other rock legend news, the Rolling Stones are also making available old recordings that have been previously unavailable -- as legal online music tracks, that is. While the Stones have been one of the most prominent major acts to eschew the new online music stores, they've finally decided to give Web users some satisfaction. Starting Monday, 560 songs, representing almost all of the Stones' catalog, will be available exclusively at Real.com's Rhapsody for two weeks, and then at other online music merchants, the New York Times reports. Still, it seems the Stones (or at least their copyright lawyers) have mixed emotions about MP3s. Only some 200 tracks, representing the band's work from 1971's ''Sticky Fingers'' to the present, will be available for download, at 79 cents a pop. The 360 tracks recorded before 1971 will be available only as streaming audio.

Originally posted Aug 18, 2003
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