Recorded: July 11, 1955, Sun Studio, Memphis
Released master take number is unknown.
Single: w/ "Mystery Train", Sun 223, 45rpm and 78rpm, August 6, 1955
Also re-released on RCA, 47-6357, (78rpm, 20-6357), December 2, 1955
Also re-released as Gold standard series, 447-0600, September 30, 1958
Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#1 on Billboard's Country Juke Box chart
#1 on Billboard's Country Best-Seller chart
#4 on Billboard's Most Played by Jockeys chart
For other versions, see Lyrics and Downloads section below.
(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
Although its flip-side is more widely known (and iconic) today, "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" was the side that got the most attention on first release, especially in the country market. This was the last Sun single and Elvis was beginning to get noticed on a national level. Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers' country tune was given a straight-forward country treatment by Elvis, Scotty and Bill, much like "You're a Heartbreaker", with arguably even less rockabilly elements than that one. If anything, it can be classified rockabilly by its sparse instrumentation and Scotty's tasteful solo, but when it's Elvis at Sun Studios, why quibble over labels and categories when even a slow country tune has such an enjoyable sound!
Sam Phillips may have been wanting to promote this song for publishing purposes or something, but in any case, several of the Sun Studio artists covered this tune after Elvis, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash (with Charlie Rich on piano) and songwriter Charlie Feathers (Feathers may have been given co-writer credit by Kesler only because he demo'd the song). The Beatles' resurrected the tune for one of their BBC recordings in 1964, with George Harrison singing lead.
(What did the critics and fans say?)
"I Forgot to Remember to Forget" is good early Presley; but his country roots are to the fore. The essence of his earlier rock records is absent.
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Study Up Some More!
Elvis song reference books on Amazon!
Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)