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Elvis SongPedia: Milkcow Blues Boogie

Milkcow Blues Boogie




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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: James (Kokomo) Arnold

Recorded: December 12-20, 1954, Sun Studio, Memphis

Single:w/ "You're A Heartbreaker", Sun 215 (45rpm and 78rpm), December 28, 1954
Also released on RCA, 47-6382 (45rpm), January 23, 1956
Also released on RCA, 20-6382 (78rpm), January 23, 1956
Also released on Gold Standard Series, 447-0603, September 30, 1958

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
Didn't chart

1st LP release: - September 1959

Click to download or buy
"Milkcow Blues Boogie"
now from CD Universe!



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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.



My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)

"Milkcow Blues Boogie" would be a classic even without its famous opening in which Elvis promises to "get real real gone for a change"! That's just a little bit of theatrics to get your attention. After he's got it, that's where the fun begins! Kokomo Arnold had already added some ancient blues phrases to his original, but Elvis, Scotty and Bill kick it up a few notches, and mix in some very countrified boogie. Elvis seems to be having a blast with his vocals, too, like that line where he jumps into falsetto for "You're gonna neeeeeeeed...", then swoops down almost to the bottom for "yeah, yer gonna need yer lovin' daddy here someday...". So, yeah, he makes good on his promise: he does get real real gone.

I'll add some more later, but meanwhile check out the videos, music and links.

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)


"Milkcow Blues Boogie" is one of Presley's most important Sun recordings. It begins slowly, and very well, before Presley stops and says: "Hold it fellas. That don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change!" He then launches into a faster version, with a fine lengthy guitar solo, before the song fades out. This was the first Presley recording to adopt this trick.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music icon, 1979




Sun rockabilly classic, which starts off with Elvis talking about the old milk cow and saying, "Hold it fellers. That don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change!". And that's exactly what Elvis, Scotty and Bill do - with a vengeance. A unique bit of hillbilly boogie.

Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982




Lesson #1 is that rock music is in the fighting spirit, not in the amperage of the guitars; indeed, some of the toughest rocking has come from all, or mostly acoustic bands; Elvis presented a primer lesson from the famous Sun sessions, with a simple blues song through the most famous faux false start in rock history; he and the boys start out all slow and bluesy, before stopping the band cold and calling it out like the hippest beat poet: 'Hold it fellas. That don't... move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change'. Then they did, let it loose, turned every bit of intensity in their beings into a jumping arrangement, much faster and more rhythmically nuanced a performance than the opening. Much of the intensity is in the fast and furious, but precisely laid out detail work; there is a strong sense of spontaneity and discovery, but what ultimately makes this a hall-of-fame performance is the vocal performance; Elvis doing tricks, making sudden octave wide jumps. "If you see my milkcow..." There is a charismatic determination of spirit that Nietzsche would no doubt have recognized as the will to power; when the King got through with it, it was no longer anything to do with a high calcium drink, but about the singer's assertion of his place in the universe.

- MoreThings.com



...It's a magnificent readying of the song - it's one of Elvis' finest vocals of this period and the spontaneity of the musicianship is simply a joy. One of the masterpieces of Sunrise.

Thomas Ward, from the AllMusic review of "Milkcow Blues Boogie"




Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Milkcow Blues Boogie



Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music




"Milkcow Blues Boogie" Links


"Milkcow Blues Boogie" Lyrics and Downloads

Well I woke up this morning and I looked out the door
I can tell that old milk cow by the way she lowed

Hold it fellows that don't move me
Let's get real real gone for a change

Well I woke up this morning and I looked out the door
I can tell that that old milk cow, I can tell the way she lowed
Well if you've seen my milk cow, please ride her on home
I ain't had no milk or butter since that cow's been gone

Well I tried to treat you right, day by day
Get out your little prayer book, get down on your knees and pray
For you're gonna need
You're gonna need your loving daddy here someday
Well then you're gonna be sorry for treating me this way

Well good evenin', don't that sun look good going down?
Well good evenin', don't that sun look good going down?
Well don't that old moon look lonesome when your baby's not around

Well I tried everything to get along with you
I'm gonna tell you what I'm going do
I'm gonna quit my crying I'm gonna leave you alone
If you don't believe I'm leaving you can count the days I'm gone
I'm gonna leave
You're gonna need your loving daddy here someday
Well then you're gonna be sorry you treated me this way
Download the Karaoke Version!

Milkcow Blues Boogie karaoke - Elvis PresleyMilkcow Blues Boogie
Elvis Presley


Download or just listen to different versions!




"Milkcow Blues Boogie" Videos



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Yea! A Rockabilly Classic!

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Study Up Some More!

iconicon Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
iconicon 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.
iconicon The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
iconicon "Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)