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What Now, What Next, Where To

Elvis Presley Lyrics Words & Music by Don Robertson / Hal Blair Elvis Presley Lyrics

Don Robertson: I got this song title from a line in a Carl Sandburg book, The People, Yes. I wrote the music and Hal and I co-wrote the rest of the words. Then I made the demo with a great rhythm section at Harmony Recorders in Hollywood. That record was really fun to make. We found a nice little groove and it all came together rather effortlessly. I wish all recording sessions could be as natural and enjoyable as that one with that instinctive easy communication between the players that happens now and then.

My very close friend Sheb Wooley (Purple People Eater) had introduced me to Johnny Cash, who lived not far away from me here in Southern California. I thought this might be good for his style. I called him, and he invited me to bring the demo up to his house in Ojai and play it for him. I took along my son, Donny, who was a gifted musician and a big Johnny Cash fan. Johnny listened to the demo but didn't really comment on it.

We talked about his gun collection and other things.

One Eyed one Horned Flying Purple People Eater -- In 1958 my son, Donnie, came home from school with a children's joke about 'what flies, has one eye & eats people?' You can sort of make it up as you go. I told the joke this way to my good friend, songwriter & actor Sheb Wooley: 'What flies, has one eye, one horn & eats people?' Answer: 'A flying one-eyed, one-horned people eater?' Sheb wrote a song using that idea adding his favorite color, purple, to the title line. He called me and suggested we write it together. I said Sheb was so much better at writing novelties and urged him to write it alone (which he did). Later, Sheb recorded one of my ballads for the flip side... a nice 'thank you' for giving him the idea. In a newspaper article, Bob Nafius wrote: 'It wasn't the first time Don Robertson has unconsciously handed away a musical goldmine'.

(referring to Don's creation of the so-called 'Floyd Cramer Style').

I waited a few weeks but Johnny never showed any interest in the song, so eventually I sent it to the Aberbachs who then gave it to Elvis. I wonder if Johnny ever heard the Elvis recording and remembered the song. I saw him on several occasions after that, but the subject of that song never came up. Elvis obviously liked the arrangement as well as the song, as they copied my demo very closely.

May 26, 1963 - Elvis goes to RCA's Studio B in Nashville working on what will eventually become 14 recorded masters. The songs are intended to make up an album and a single with 'Devil In Disguise' selected as the A-side. The album however is never released with the songs parceled out over the next few years as singles or soundtrack album 'bonus selections'. (The 'album' was eventually released on CD as 'For The Asking').

May 26 1963 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Echoes Of Love PPA4 0290-10
Please Don't Drag That String Around PPA4 0291-06
Devil In Disguise PPA4 0292-06
Never Ending PPA4 0293-03
What Now What Next Where To PPA4 0294-01
Witchcraft PPA4 0295-03
Finders Keepers Losers Weepers PPA4 0296-03
Love Me Tonight PPA4 0297-08

For The Asking - The Lost Album
For The Asking CD 1990

May 27 1963 RCA Studio B - Nashville, Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee PPA4 0302-02
Long Lonely Highway (Single Version) PPA4 0303-01
Long Lonely Highway (Record Version) PPA4 0303-02
Ask Me PPA4 0304-02
Western Union PPA4 0305-04
Slowly But Surely PPA4 0306-05
Blue River PPA4 0307-02
Ask Me (Alternate Master) PPA4 0304-06

What Now, What Next, Where To

Like a ship without a compass on a cold lonely sea
No beacon light of love to guide me through
I lost the only treasure that means anything to me
What now, what next, where to?

I thought I had a love that would be mine eternally
I felt so sure you'd be forever true
Now everything I counted on has crumbled under you
What now, what next, where to?

You were part of every dream I dreamed, of everything I planned
How could I know our castles were built upon the sand
Won't heaven send an angel please, to tell me what to do
What now, what next, where to?
What now, what next , where to?

Recorded: 1963/05/26, first released on Double Trouble

Find on CD : Studio CD

Double Trouble FTD CD

CD Double Trouble FTD CD

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