Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Eli Culbertson –I Need Your Love Tonight

Eli Culbertson-I Need Your Love Tonight / Boogie Queen-EMI 2207 (1974 UK)

Eli  somehow found his way to the UK where he recorded this single at Abbey Road. Produced by EX Pretty Things Wally Allen (About the same time as his involvement with the Marcus Hook Roll Band) I Need Your Love Tonight judiciously merges the Elvis routine with a crunching slap-back Glam drum sound. It doesn't seem like Eli released anything else, but this single is a fine testimony to the potential of actualising Elvis to the realities of The Glitter beat in 1974. There's a great clip of Eli on British TV sweating profusely whilst incanting this number ...

Hear a full version of I Need Your Love Tonight
Hear a full version of Boogie Queen


Jeremy said...

do you have a link to the tv appearance?
Wanna see it!

Purepop said...

I have it ona compilation DVD somewhere...not sure if I will be able to find though...Tim -if you're reading this can you upload to youtube or something?

Hubba Zoot said...

Yes, let us see!!

Anonymous said...


My name is Eli Culbertson. Just to set the record straight, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an Elvis impersonator!

I am, however, "The Man They Thought Was Elvis." I'm the guy who stepped off of that big jet plane on that fateful day back in 1973 when I was literally mistaken for Elvis Presley at London's Heathrow Airport.

I am also the singer who sang on the recording of "I Need Your Love Tonight" which is featured here on this website. It was Recorded at Abby Road Studios and subsequently released by EMI Records on September 6, 1974.

With regards to the so called, "Mystery Acetate" of the song entitled, "Guitar Love", the original tune is entitled "Guitar Lover", and I wrote it back in 1973!

On a note of interest, I played the song for my producer, Wally Allen who said that he did'nt think it was a good rock'n'roll song. Apparently it was good enough for someone else to steal and or write around the original idea and the next thing you know, voila!, "Guitar Love."

If you're at all interested in hearing the true story drop me a line and let me know.

Sincerely, The One And Only, Eli Culbertson.

Tim said...

Hi Eli,

It's great to know you're out there! Robin has asked me to upload the short clip that I have of your Lift Off With Ayshea performance to YouTube. I will post the link here when that's been done. I would love to hear the true story, by the way! I first found out about you when I bought ‘The Best Children’s TV Of The Decade – 70s’ video which was issued in the late 1980s on Watershed Pictures (WSP1013). It took me ages to track down a copy of your single. I love the B-side, too, and I'm really pleased to hear that you were behind "Guitar Lover", which is another favourite of mine. Did you record anything else around this time? Also, can I ask you a cryptic question, please? Was Tanya Ruskin mistaken for Priscilla Presley at Heathrow Airport? Best wishes, Tim

Tim said...

A very short clip (which is, sadly, all I have) of Eli performing "I Need Your Love Tonight" from Episode 136 of Lift Off With Ayshea, originally broadcast by Granada TV on 15th October 1974, is now up on YouTube. Enjoy! And, please, somebody, post the full clip. Thanks! Tim:


Anonymous said...

Hello Tim,

Thanks for your interest.

I recorded other songs for EMI but only 'I Need Your Love Tonight' and 'Boogie Queen' were released. EMI had guaranteed the release of two singles but they only released the one.

With regards to Tanya Ruskin being mistaken for Priscilla Presley at Heathrow Airport, all I can tell you is that the first time I traveled to London I walked off of that 747 alone.

Tanya is a very lovely lady who was married to my manager Buddy Ruskin until his untimely death in 1975-'76. Infact, it was Tanya's idea that I should travel to England.

Buddy Ruskin is the man who created the original concept for, the mid-sixties television series, "Mod Squad."

I've long threatened to write a book about my life and career. Maybe someday!

Yours, Eli Culbertson

Tim said...

Hi Eli,

Thanks for your reply.

Were the other EMI recordings "Guitar Lover" and "Let Me", as appear elsewhere on Robin's blog, or were there more besides? I'd love to hear them if more songs exist.

I'm guessing that you arrived with Tanya for the recording of Lift Off With Ayshea in 1974, but got mistaken for Elvis when you first arrived in 1973, presumably to record the single.

Were there any photos in the British press of either of your visits, do you know?

Did you see the clip on YouTube yet?

Hope you enjoyed it.

Best wishes, Tim

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim,

The other EMI recordings were not "Guitar Lover" and "Let Me". I had nothing to do with those recordings. I recorded one version of 'Guitar Lover' which was a demo featuring myself singing solo accompanied by my own guitar. I recorded several of my original tunes with just my guitar when I first signed with EMI. There were others with full band backup but they were not released as EMI had promised.

Tanya wasn't with me for the taping of Lift Off With Ayshea in 1974. She was at home watching it on TV with Buddy. I arrived at the television studios with my record producer Wally Allen and no one else.

The being mistaken for Elvis phenomenon actually began in the US when I was still in my teens. It has been a routine part of my life ever since. Infact,because of those who believe that Elvis might still be alive, it continues to occur on a regular basis to this day.

With regards to the Heathrow incident, you're right. I was mistaken for the King when I arrived at the airport in 1973. I had come to England to seek my fame and fortune as an original artist. Considering my desire to establish a career of my own as a singer/songwriter, the Elvis look-alike mishap may have done me more harm than good.

There were many articles with photos in the British press. Especially following my first arrival at Heathrow. I have copies of quite a bit of the press. I hope to feature some of the press clipings and photographs as a part of the picture section in my book.

Thank you for the clip on YouTube. I enjoyed it tremendously. I look forward to seeing the full length clip.

All The Best, Eli

Anonymous said...


I've watched your video and you don't sound or look like the guy I remember here in the States that went by the name of Dale "Eli" Culbertson. He performed a lot in Glendora / Covina area of California. But it may just be faulty memory banks. Are you the same guy and if so what year did you perform at The Broken Spoke with a band called Circus?

Anonymous said...

Eli I was wondering if you ever met Elvis Presley?

Wildhorsestudios1421 said...

Eli looks exactly like the guy I used to go see perform in California. Same club you mentioned I believe. And the same band. He used to be promoted by an old friend of mine named Harold Stonebarger. Glad to see you alive and well Dale. Are you still performing. I'd love to come out and see you. Or come on up to The Buckhorn Lodge in Mt Baldy some Fri or Sat nite and sit in. I perform with Mort Marker who did a couple of soundtrack albums with Elvis. You are still local I believe, no?

Wildhorsestudios1421 said...

Can we hear the flip side of this recording... "Boogie Queen" It would be great to hear him doing a non Elvis song.

Darryl said...

Eli,glad to hear that your on the web. i wish i still had your record and press clippings i let you use them and never got them back. i still have some pictures from back in the day.hope all is well.my mom is 96 now in a rest home.hope your doing well.people will never know what a great singer and song writer you are.You have more talent then anyone i have ever known and you should write your book. i was there and its a good story.

god bless you,
your old friend Darryl

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Darryl you should let everyone know just how good Eli was at sounding like Elvis when he wanted to.

Anonymous said...

All my thanks to Robin for featuring my music and my videos on PUREPOP.

Sincerely, Eli Culbertson

althirteen said...

Hi Robin,
It seems that the DivShare link for "I Need Your Love Tonight" is pointing to "Boogie Queen"

Great blog!

Purepop said...

Now sorted!

Robbie Furlong said...

Hey Eli..Remember me Robbie your guitarist in London 1973...You stayed in my place...I'm in Maryland and still rockin'..How are things with you??

Deb bie said...

Hello I have watched a very very very short clip of you singing I need your love tonight on a link I clicked on for children's tv programs in the 70's. Its to short and I want to see the full version. Do you have any clips to post here or on youtube of yourself singing. I have become obsessed lol by this little clip find it fascinating and think your voice I must say very sexy. Would love to hear more as I keep playing the little clip back over and over, and the links on this page do not work for me. Your record of I need your love tonight was released 3 months before I was born and no had I been around then I would have bought it. Sadly links to your record don't work on this page either and so want to hear that properly. Did you ever write your book? And under what name would I seek it out if available to buy? I am hoping you are still alive which I should think you possibly should be as you look to be only in your late teens early 20's when singing I need your love tonight making you only in your 60's or 70's. Please do respond.

Deb bie said...

Hello the link to youtube to watch Eli Colbertsons I need your love tonight doesn't work and neither does the link to hear the record. Can you please fix this. And please reply to me. Many thanks.

Deb bie said...

Also I can find nothing on youtube with him in or about him anywhere other than here. Please post fresh updated links if you have any. Thanks again I send.

Deb bie said...

Please reconsider allowing the youtube videos to be put back on there and the links to them and the record of I need your love tonight. I am deeply saddened that I've only just discovered you yet unable to view you and probably all because of the elvis mumbo jumbo and whatever happened In 1973/74 it was such along time ago please reconsider and let me and others I'm sure smile and have the pleasure of your own personal talent and music. I should mention if it helps you to come to any decision that I am not an elvis fan and see no resemblance only that you both wore big outfits, but you have your own sound and style that I want to see and hear more of, and I have only just today found you. Please again reconsider and please respond if you are indeed still alive and well enough to do so. Many thanks. gaikemydutchfriend@googlemail.com