Way Down

This article is about the song by Elvis Presley. For the album by Curtis Amy, see Way Down (album). For the song "Way Down" by Modest Mouse, see The Fruit That Ate Itself.
"Way Down"
Single by Elvis Presley
from the album Moody Blue
B-side "Pledging My Love"
Released June 6, 1977
Format 7" single
Recorded October 29, 1976, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:39
Label RCA
Writer(s) Layng Martine, Jr.
Producer(s) Felton Jarvis
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"Moody Blue"
"Way Down"
"My Way"

"Way Down" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Recorded in October 1976, it was his last single released before his death on August 16, 1977. The song was written by Layng Martine, Jr. and was later covered by Status Quo and Cliffhanger. Elvis recorded the song at his home studio in Graceland in late October, 1976.

Released as a single (with "Pledging My Love" on the B-side) on June 6, 1977, it was his single at the time of his death. It initially peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated August 6, 1977 and had fallen to No. 53 on the chart for the week ending August 27, 1977. Thereafter, it reversed direction and reached an even higher peak at No. 18 on 24 September – 1 October 1977. "Way Down" reached No. 1 on the American Country chart the week he died.[1] Overseas, the song hit the UK Singles Chart a few weeks later,[2] almost seven years after his previous UK number-one single, "The Wonder of You", in 1970. His previous single, "Moody Blue", had been a number-one hit on the US Country Charts earlier in 1977. "Way Down" was reissued in April 2005 and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

The recording also featured J.D. Sumner singing the words "way on down" at the end of each chorus down to the note low C (C2). At the end of the song, this phrase is octaved, reaching a double low C (C1, three octaves below middle C).[4] According to the Guinness Book of World Records it is the lowest recorded note ever produced by the human voice, first accomplished by Sumner in a 1966 recording of the hymn "Blessed Assurance."

Chart performance

Weekly singles charts

Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 18
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 14
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 15
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 23
Irish Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[2] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1977) Rank
Canada [5] 134
U.S. (Joel Whitburn's Pop Annual) [6] 121

See also


  1. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006 (2nd ed.). Record Research. p. 273.
  2. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 343. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 436. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. Palmer, Robert; DeCurtis, Anthony (September 6, 2011). Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer. Simon & Schuster. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-4165-9975-3. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  5. "Top 200 Singles of '77". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 28 (11). December 31, 1977. Retrieved June 25, 2016.
  6. Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
Preceded by
"Rollin' with the Flow"
by Charlie Rich
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

August 20, 1977
Succeeded by
"Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"
by Crystal Gayle
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

September 10-September 17, 1977
Preceded by
"Float On" by The Floaters
UK number one single
September 3-October 1, 1977
Succeeded by
"Silver Lady" by David Soul

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