Stephen M. Silverman
August 18, 2003 01:53 PM

The sun will never set on the King.

A never-before-released song recorded by Elvis Presley nearly 40 years ago and rejected from one of his movies was recently rediscovered and will be put out this fall by RCA Records. The song, “I’m a Roustabout,” will be featured in a new collection of his favorites, the label announced Friday — the eve of Saturday’s 26th anniversary of Presley’s death, at the age of 42.

The song was originally written for the 1964 Presley film “Roustabout,” costarring Barbara Stanwyck, and was recorded by Presley before the movie’s producers rejected it and replaced it with another.

A different “Roustabout” title song ultimately became the No. 1 album of the same name.

As for this “new” old song, an acetate recording of the original “I’m a Roustabout” sat for decades, undiscovered in the private collection of songwriter Winfield Scott, now in his 80s, who composed it with longtime partner Otis Blackwell, who died last year.

Blackwell, who, like Scott, never met Presley, did share credit for such King hits as “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” as well as “Great Balls of Fire” for Jerry Lee Lewis.

Speaking to Reuters, Scott said he discovered the unmarked recording of “I’m a Roustabout” by accident in the basement of his New Jersey home several years ago but didn’t think much of it.

“I know it sounds strange, but I had actually forgotten about it. It was just laying around, along with a whole slew of other demos and a couple hundred songs,” he said. “At the time, I said, ‘Well gee, I wonder why (Elvis) never released it?’ And then I just put it back with the rest of the demos until later on.”

The disc remained hidden away until Scott mentioned it years later to a reporter, who in turn mentioned it in an interview with an RCA producer-researcher who later contacted Scott, heard the disc and arranged for the label to obtain the recording.

The song will now be included in an upcoming RCA release, “Elvis 2nd to None,” due Oct. 7.

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