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Elvis SongPedia: What'd I Say

What'd I Say

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Ray Charles

Recorded: August 30, 1963, Hollywood
Released master is take 4.

Single:w/ "Viva Las Vegas", 47-8360, April 28, 1964
Also released on Gold Standard Series, 447-0646, April 6, 1965

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#13 on Cash Box's Top 100 Chart
#21 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart

1st LP release: - February 1968
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"What'd I Say"
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Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)

with Ann-Margret
Ray Charles' classic is taken to frantic levels in Elvis' version, but it's mostly the background singers that are losing their minds more than Elvis or the musicians. :) The Carol Lombard Quartet and/or The Jubilee Four are whoopin' it up! The corresponding scene in the film, Viva Las Vegas, is worth checking out for the sexy exchanges between Elvis and Ann-Margret during the "oooh - aaah" part. All in all, this version of the song is campy, noisy and fun, but neither Elvis' nor anyone else's version tops the Ray Charles original.

Elvis revisited this tune for his 1969 live shows in Vegas, and he did improve on it! It's still noisy and frantic but in a much better and more modern way! His attempts at reviving it after that don't really do the trick.

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

"What'd I Say" is the great rhythm-and-blues hit for Jerry Lee Lewis of two years before. Presley returns to his roots with exciting singing. Unfortunately Presley's voice is harsh, and buried in the general uproar. This cannot be because he was tired, as it was only the second song recorded at these sessions.

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

From Viva Las Vegas (1964), Ray Charles' 1959 R&B classic gets a strong treatment from Elvis (former versions included Jerry Lee Lewis in 1961 and Bobby Darin in 1962). Elvis rocks it, backed by the Carol Lombard Quartet and the Jubilee Four.

Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for What'd I Say

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"What'd I Say" Links

"What'd I Say" Lyrics and Downloads

Hey mama, don't you treat me wrong
Come and love your daddy all night long
All right, hey, hey, all right now

See the girl with the diamond ring
She knows how to shake that thing
All right, hey, hey, Mmm, all right now

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh

Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good right now
Make me feel so good, make me feel so good

Mmm, see the girl with the red dress on
She can do the dog all night long
All right, hmm what'd I say, tell me what'd I say

Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say right now
Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say right now
Tell me what'd I say, tell me what'd I say

Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ahhh, Ohh, Ohh

It's all right, It's all right right now
Baby, it's all right, Baby, it's all right right now
Baby, it's all right, Oh yeah!

Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, baby shake that thing right now
Baby shake that thing, well I feel all right

Download the Karaoke Version!

What'd I Say karaoke - Elvis PresleyWhat'd I Say
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions by Elvis from CD Universe!

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"What'd I Say" Videos


What's YOUR Spin on "What'd I Say"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Make Me Feel So Good!

Nay! Treated Me Wrong!

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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. :)