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Kissin' Cousins is the twentieth album by Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2894, in April 1964. Recording sessions took place at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 26 and 27, and September 29 and 30, 1963. These would be Presley's final recording dates before the arrival of Beatlemania. It peaked at number six on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. During the same week of its release, 4 April 1964, The Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including the top five positions. It was evident that Elvis' musical output had become stale and stagnant and directionless and the emphasis of his career was firmly committed to making musical comedy motion pictures. With the astronomical success of The Beatles, Elvis had become, in slightly less than a decade, an icon of the past. The album was certified Gold on March 27, 1992 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Since the sessions for Viva Las Vegas had gone way over budget, released after but completed before Kissin' Cousins, Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker determined for fiscal prudence to have the songs recorded at Studio B, away from Hollywood and its distractions, and its platoon of available on-call musicians. Demand for songs to fill long-playing soundtrack albums, by now a regularity as the EP single was becoming less and less a viable sales item, strained the resources of the stable of Presley songwriters, with five songs alone originating from the team of Giant, Baum and Kaye.
Ten soundtrack songs were knocked off by Presley with members of the Nashville A-Team during two evening sessions in September, with two distinct versions by different songwriters of the title track, one recorded in Presley's normal voice and the other with a mock-hillbilly twang. The latter version of "Kissin' Cousins" would be issued as a single in February 1964, with "It Hurts Me" on the b-side. It would peak at number 12 on the BillboardHot 100, its flipside making it independently to #29. "Anyone (Could Fall In Love With You)", included in the album, was omitted from the film. "Pappy, Won't You Please Come Home", performed by Glenda Farrell, is included in the film but omitted from the album.
As had happened with soundtrack of Fun in Acapulco, two additional tracks, "Echoes of Love" and "(It's a) Long Lonely Highway" by Doc Pomus andMort Shuman were taken from the aborted "lost" album sessions of May 1963, and added here to bring the running order up to twelve tracks. Three selections — "Once Is Enough", "One Boy, Two Little Girls", and the single — were on the 1995 soundtrack compilation, Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II.
- Elvis Presley – vocals
- The Jordanaires – backing vocals
- Millie Kirkham, Dolores Edgin, Winnifred Brest – backing vocals
- Boots Randolph, Bill Justis – saxophone
- Cecil Brower – fiddle
- Scotty Moore, Grady Martin – electric guitar
- Jerry Kennedy, Harold Bradley – electric guitar, banjo
- Floyd Cramer – piano
- Bob Moore – double bass
- D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman – drums
|1.||"Kissin' Cousins (Number 2)"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||September 29, 1963||1:16|
|2.||"Smokey Mountain Boy"||Lenore Rosenblatt, Victor Millrose||September 30, 1963||2:37|
|3.||"There's Gold in the Mountains"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||September 29, 1963||1:54|
|4.||"One Boy, Two Little Girls"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||September 29, 1963||2:32|
|5.||"Catchin' On Fast"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||September 30, 1963||1:21|
|6.||"Tender Feeling"||Bernie Baum, Bill Giant, Florence Kaye||September 29, 1963||2:33|
|1.||"Anyone (Could Fall in Love with You)" (omitted from film)||Bennie Benjamin, Luchi de Jesus, Sol Marcus||September 30, 1963||2:29|
|2.||"Barefoot Ballad"||Dolores Fuller, Larry Morris||September 30, 1963||2:26|
|3.||"Once Is Enough"||Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett||September 29, 1963||1:55|
|4.||"Kissin' Cousins"||Fred Wise and Randy Starr||September 30, 1963||2:14|
|5.||"Echoes of Love" (bonus track)||Bob Roberts and Paddy McMains||May 26, 1963||2:20|
|6.||"(It's a) Long Lonely Highway" (bonus track)||Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman||May 27, 1963||2:38|
"Kissin' Cousins" was released as a single (RCA 47-8307) on February 10, 1964. It reached number 12 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The single's B-side, "It Hurts Me" (not from the film) reached number 29. The British release of the single (RCA 1404) reached number 10.