performed by Elvis Presley
Written by Michael Jarrett & Sonny Charles
Elvis recorded the contemporary "I'm Leavin'" on May 20, 1971 at Studio B in Nashville. Released as a single in August 1971 with "Heart Of Rome" as Side B, the song only reached a surprising #36 on the Hot 100 chart on August 14, 1971 and remained on the chart for 9 weeks (it peaked at #23 in the UK).
The unusual melodic construction comprised of Elvis' haunting, plaintive vocals, Alabama native Sherrill Nielsen's high falsetto and The Imperials' perfect harmonies, accented by Alabama native David Briggs' dramatic piano made this contemporary piece far ahead of its time for 1971.
After a few rough run-throughs during the recording session, Elvis declared, "Phew! Man, this is tough, but it's worth working on." His confidence was soon echoed in The Imperials' and Briggs' excitement, who declared that it was certain to be another hit. They all poured themselves into the song heart and soul, and produced a seamlessly beautiful melody that stands even today as a timeless piece.
Perhaps Elvis fans did not quite know what to make of it at the time, contrasted among his blistering rock numbers and country ballads. Elvis and his camp remained very hopeful the song would become a hit, but sadly, it was performed only a very few times beyond 1972.
"I'm Leavin'" is no doubt one of Elvis' most underrated songs, and should have been a hit. I believe it would do very well if it were re-released as a single - with the promotion it deserves.
Well, I know
If I'd arrived in time to know you
If you had taken the time to show me
I wouldn't be lonely
Where will I go?
Who will I have to lie beside me
To ease this emptiness inside of me?
I'm so lonely
Tried so hard each time
Each time I just can't make it
Feelin' fast vibrations
And I just can't take it
Living from day to day
Chasing a dream
The last three photos in the montage:
* After his last concert performance in Summer 1977
* The last known photo taken of Elvis (exiting the Graceland gates in his Stutz, heading to his dentist's office) before his death August 16, 1977
* A concert ticket for August 23, 1977 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky - a concert that tragically never happened.