Today’s music video is Suspicion, sung here in this clip by the American singer Terry Stafford.
This video was posted to You Tube by 45rpmSINGLES
This song was a pretty big hit here in Australia in 1964. I was 13 years old, and was just beginning to appreciate music. This was at a time when so much wonderful music was coming out of the UK especially from bands like The Beatles, The Shadows, a number of others and also some of the many female singers that just seemed to be coming out of the woodwork at that time. Probably four out of every five songs being played on commercial radio were from the UK. So, for this song to be a relatively big hit was a tough ask. It climbed the charts, and received regular airplay. This was at a time when commercial radio stations were playing brackets of songs, two three and four at a time sometimes, and more often than not, the DJ never really gave the name of the song or who was singing it, not that it really mattered, because everyone just knew this was Elvis, and as good as the song was, what we were really waiting for was the latest new song from the UK, or one from our favourite band or singer, so I never really paid all that much attention to the song, even though it was, well, OK, I guess.
I joined the Royal Australian Air Force in January of 1967, and after an 18 Month failed attempt at a Radio Apprenticeship, I moved across to the Electrical Trade Training area to become an aircraft electrical and electronics technician. During the first couple of years, you undergo training, Basic Military Training for 12 weeks or so, then a basic trades introduction course of 12 weeks or so to see which of the aircraft trades you were most suited to, and in my case, this was in the electrical trade.
It’s also the case that some of the guys who were around that same time, are on all of those courses with you, so you spend a lot of time with the same group of young men in those first few years, and you become close friends with them.
One of my close friends was on all of those courses with me. He was what can only be termed as an Elvis fanatic. In a time when nearly everyone was a fan of virtually all the music coming out of the UK, it was a little weird to find someone who was such a huge fan of Elvis who was actually around the same age as the rest of us. To him, there were just two types of popular music, Elvis, and everybody else.
In 1969, we were undergoing trade training for the first stage of our electrical trade training, and I was rooming with Brian, the Elvis fan, well, there were four of us to a room in those days. We were studying for an upcoming exam with the radio playing in the background, and this song came on. Knowing what a fan Brian was of Elvis I turned it up a little and said, “here’s one for you Brian.”
He asked why and I said, a little puzzled, that this was a song from his favourite singer, Elvis.
He told me, quite emphatically too, that this was not Elvis, but Terry Stafford. I actually thought I had him there, because for almost five years I was certain that this was in fact Elvis, which was a little futile really, as here was Brian who had every record Elvis had ever brought out, and knew every Elvis song. I was just so certain that this was Elvis, and when the song finished, the DJ actually gave the name of the song, and the name of the singer ….. Terry Stafford. I suddenly felt a little sheepish.
All these years, without ever listening or bothering to find out, I was certain it was indeed Elvis singing the song.
Brian pulled out the relevant Elvis LP, Pot Luck, and pointed it out to me, and then played it on his record player for me.
Fooled me. I couldn’t tell the difference. If this was a copy, it was the closest copy of a song I had ever heard.
I learned a salutary lesson that night. However, over the years every time I hear the song, and I’m in company, I always ask who the singer is, and in virtually every case, Elvis is the reply. Very few people I have asked have ever said it is Terry Stafford.
This was his one big hit, and at a time when having a hit was a pretty difficult thing, as The Beatles were all the rage. The song was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, just one of 25 songs they wrote for Elvis. Elvis recorded it originally on that 1962 album, but it took Terry Stafford to make it a hit two years later, in 1964.
It made it as high as Number 3 on the U.S. National Charts, and the four songs either side of it were Beatles songs. The week before it was at Number 6 with all five songs above it being by The Beatles.
So, at a time when most artists struggled to compete with the music The Beatles were rolling out at a bewildering speed, Terry Stafford had this wonderful song as a hit of his own.
I still cannot differentiate his version from Elvis’ original.
Thanks Brian. There’s every chance I might have gone through my whole life thinking this was in fact Elvis.