From an email list I am on.
STORY BEHIND THE SONG Several songs that might have been hits have been discarded during the actual recording sessions because the artist changed their mine about the tunes after starting to record them. Such was almost the case for Elvis Presley’s 1960 hit “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” Elvis reportedly recorded the song with the lights out in the studio – at his request! According to recording engineer Bill Porter – there was only an acoustic guitar, a bass, the Jordanaires, and Elvis on that session and the Jordanaires made a mistake on the end – by going to the wrong chord. After barely getting started on the second take – Elvis stopped the session and told producer Steve Sholes to throw the song out because he couldn’t do it justice. Sholes thought the song was a hit and talked Elvis into re-recording just the ending of the song – then told Porter to splice the tape and add the re-recorded ending to the rest of the song. Porter spliced the tape and Presley’s RCA Victor single “Are You Lonesome Tonight” came on the country charts December 12th, 1960 and peaked at number 22. It was Presley’s 30th charted country song and was on the charts for six weeks.