Story of the Song: Elvis Presley, In The Ghetto (1969)
Friday 11 September 2009
Scott "Mac" Davis, an Atlanta-based songwriter, had some success in 1968 thanks to Elvis Presley and "A Little Less Conversation".
His real break came in 1969, with a social-comment number. He'd been struggling to pen a song about growing up on the wrong side of the tracks and thought back to his childhood in Lubbock, Texas. Working down in Georgia, Davis set his song way up north, on a grey Chicago morning.
It tells the story of how a hungry child turns to violence to escape his impoverishment. As the boy dies with a bullet in his back, another baby is born in the ghetto. His title was "The Vicious Circle" but it seemed to Davis that the desperation in the song wasn't so different to that in the wartime Jewish ghettos, so he changed it. Presley was heading for American Sound Studios in Memphis and needed material. "In the Ghetto" sounded right for the times, and it trailed the album From Elvis in Memphis in April 1969.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If I were Prime Minister: I'd give tax cuts to the rich, keep Trident, and get my football team wrong
- 2 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 3 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 4 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
- 5 Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
Eurovision 2015: What date is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
Game of Thrones, season 5 episode 4, review: Sansa in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Noel Gallagher 'cannot wait' to hear Oasis-inspired One Direction album but rants about 'pointless' Tidal and Spotify
Top Gear: Paul Hollywood criticises BBC's handling of Jeremy Clarkson - 'whether he left is almost immaterial'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally