Elvis Presley

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The image is one thing and the human being is another... it's very hard to live up to an image.

Elvis Aaron Presley (8 January 193516 August 1977) was an American singer, musician, and actor, one of the most popular of the 20th century. Also one of the century's most significant cultural icons, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King" and is the best-selling individual recording artist of all time.

Quotes[edit]

The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about...
  • I like Brando's acting … and James Dean … and Richard Widmark. Quite a few of 'em I like.
    • When asked to name his favorite male actors, in "Elvis Exclusive Interview" with Ray Green in Little Rock, Arkansas (16 May 1956), as published in Elvis — Word for Word : What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999)
  • I'd like to thank the Jaycees for electing me as one of their outstanding young men. When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed, has come true a hundred times... And these gentlemen over here, these are the type of people who care, they're dedicated, and they realize that it is possible that they might be building the kingdom of heaven, it's not just too far fetched, from reality. I'd like to say that I learned very early in life that "Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend — without a song." So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.
    • Acceptance speech for the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award (16 January 1971), published in Elvis — Word for Word: What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999) by Jerry Osborne, p. 188
  • The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn't know what all the yelling was about. I didn't realize that my body was moving. It's a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, "What'd I do? What'd I do?" And he said, "Whatever it is, go back and do it again."
    • Interview (March/April 1972), as quoted in The Leading Men of MGM (2006) by Jane Ellen Wayne, p. 406
  • The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image.
    • Press conference (June 1972),also quoted in Elvis Culture : Fans, Faith, & Image (1999) by Erika Lee Doss, p. 218
  • Man, I was tame compared to what they do now. Are you kidding? I didn't do anything but just jiggle.
    • Press conference (June 1972) as quoted in Elvis — Word for Word : What He Said, Exactly As He Said It (1999), by Jerry Osborne, p. 208
  • A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It's my favorite part of the business — live concerts.
    • Press conference (5 September 1972), also quoted in Paranoia & Power : Fear & Fame of Entertainment Icons (2007) by Gene N Landrum, p. 60
  • 'To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave.'
    • Handwriten message on Elvis' King James -Bible
  • 'There is a season for everything, patience will reward you and reveal all answers to your questions.'
  • 'Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.'
    • Another handwriten message on Elvis' King James -Bible [2]
  • What honey? What is that? It's a sign, I can't see it, wait a minute. Oh, thank you darlin', thank you very much. Oh, thank you. The thought is beautiful dear, and I love you for it, but I, I haven't been caught up in this thing and I can't accept this kingship thing because to me there's only one, which is Christ.
    • September 30, 1974. South Bend, IN. Notre Dame Ath Center. [1][2]

Song lyrics[edit]

  • Baby, if I made you mad
    For something I might have said,
    Please, let's forget the past,
    The future looks bright ahead.
    Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
    I don't want no other love,
    Baby it's just you I'm thinking of.
  • When you looked into my eyes,
    I stood there like I was hyp-notized.
    You sent a feeling to my spine,
    A feeling warm and smooth and fine.
    But all I could do were stand there paralyzed.
    When we kissed, ooh what a thrill,
    You took my hand and, ooh baby, what a chill.
    I felt like grabbin' you real tight,
    Squeeze and squeeze with all my might.
    But all I could do were stand there paralyzed.
    • Paralyzed, written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley (1956)
  • A well I bless my soul
    What's wrong with me?
    I'm itching like a man on a fuzzy tree.
    My friends say I'm actin' wild as a bug.
    I'm in love,
    I'm all shook up.
    Mm mm oh, oh, yeah, yeah!
    • All Shook Up, written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley (1957)
  • Sweetheart we're alone
    And you are mine.
    Let's make this night a night to remember.
    Don't make our love a cold dying ember,
    For with the dawn, you'll be gone.


Disputed[edit]

  • Love me tender, love me sweet,
    Never let me go.
    • "Love Me Tender" (1956), the lyrics of this song are credited to Presley and co-writer Vera Matson, but were primarily written by Matson's husband, Ken Darby, who when asked why he credited his wife as co-writer with Presley replied "Because she didn't write it either."


Misattributed[edit]

"Tracing that rumored racial slur to its source was like running a gopher to earth", Jet wrote. Some said Presley had said it in in Boston, which Elvis had never visited. Some said it was on Edward Murrow's on which Elvis had never appeared. Jet sent Louie Robinson to the set of Jailhouse Rock "When asked if he ever made the remark, Missisissippi-born Elvis declared: 'I never said anything like that, and people who know me know I wouldn't have said it.'"

Quotes about Presley[edit]

Presented alphabetically for ease of reference


  • I was publishing a book with the title "The case against Muhammed", dealing with the founder of Islam, from a critical point of view, and many people were asking me "why do you do that? And my answer was always "because you are asking me". Because you wouldnt if the book had been called "The Case against Elvis Presley". You would accept any criticism of any historical figure, you will consider it as freedom of art, of research, of opinion, but in the case of Muhammed, you say "The Prophet is the Muslim's world last stone of identity, so why do you attack HIM, let him in peace". And I then always answer my Muslim friends, that maybe he became the last stone of their identity because they left him in peace, alone, for fourteen hundred years.
    • Egyptian writer Hamed Abdel-Samad, in a speech at the Folkemode, on 17 June 2016, in the Danish town of Bornholm.
  • I am reminded of a comment made shortly after the death of Elvis Presley by a musician he had worked with. He pointed out that despite an impressive vocal range of two and a half octaves and something approaching perfect pitch, Elvis was perfectly willing to sing off-key when he thought the song required it. Those off-key notes were art.
  • I discovered the blues in a funny kind of a way, from the age of seven when I was listening to my father’s war-time collection of big band jazz. It had that thing about it – I didn’t really know what it was –, that set the pulse racing a bit; and then I heard echoes of it again, with early Elvis Presley.
    • Ian Anderson, singer, flautist and leader of Jethro Tull, explaining to G.Brown, of the Denver Music Examiner, his first experience with hearing the blues, starting at the age of 7, as published in that newspaper's online edition, on August 11, 2008.
  • If anything, it's a lot of people here right now. It's like my record collection is actually sitting in this room. I'm truly fortunate. You know, I've always loved rock & roll music. I always have. Soon as I opened my eyes and took my first breath, I was a fan. With my brother David, we listened to Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and Cheap Trick and Pyromania by Def Leppard. My oldest brother Alan, he had the Beatles and the Stones and the Kinks. My sister Hollie was like "Kool and the Gang." My sister Anna for that record collection that turned my world inside out. And my sister, Marci, who's pretty much the person who showed me Elvis Presley for the first time. Thank you so much.
    • Excerpted from Billie Joe Armstrong 's acceptance speech, as the founder, lead singer and frontmant of the US punk supergroup Green Day, one of the 5 artists being chosen as performers at the 2015 edition of the inductees gala for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as published in its entirety by RollingStone magazine on April 18, 2015.
  • It was like a country show back then and we got to open it and we did a couple of his songs, which was just stupid because we thought we'd impress him and he'd like us. The first time I saw him play - I'd seen him one time before that particular tour came to town where we opened the show for him- I just couldn't believe it. He was such a rocker. I'd never seen anything like that before. Buddy was terribly impressed as well. All of us the same. Turned into a big fan. Buddy tried to sound like him for months. And personally, he was as charismatic as he could be...
    • Jerry Allison, drummer for Buddy Holly, as well as the Crickets, recalling the early days when they opened for Elvis at Buddy Holly's hometown of Lubbock, TX, as published in Classicbands.com
  • Arguably some of the most important tracks in the history of Rock and Roll, Elvis' SUN recordings demonstrate what a dynamic and talented vocalist he was; the young, raw, unadulterated Elvis whom musicologist Francis Davis once called "the greatest white blues singer”; I’m not one to argue with Mr. Davis.
    • Art's Strange World review of the CD "The Sun Sessions" (15 August 2007)
  • Elvis changed the country music scene quite a bit; he almost put country music out of business.He was white, but he sang black. It wasn't socially acceptable for white kids to buy black records at the time. Elvis filled a void.
    • Chet Atkins, Pop Chronicles, Show 8 - The All American Boy: Enter Elvis and the rock-a-billies. Part 2, interview recorded January 1968.
  • i) We can even hazard a little analysis as to what made his voice so appealing. "That curious baritone," one critic called it. Actually, that is inexact. The voice had mixed propensities, hovering between tenor and bass and everything in between. Even a convincing falsetto lay within his range. One thing he was not, ever, was "Steve-'n-Edie", the polished, professionally accomplished Vegas artistes who once pronounced on an afternoon interview show (Mr. Lawrence enunciating the sentiment for himself and his partner/wife, Ms. Gorme), "We don't really think of Elvis as a singer. But he was a star." It is only when, years later, one gets past the indignation of hearing such apparent ignorance, that the sense of the observation becomes clear. A singer is someone like Steve Lawrence rolling effortlessly (and meaninglessly) through a shlock-standard like "What Now, My Love?". More or less like doing the scales. A star is the persona in whom one invests one's vicarious longings, a being who is constantly hazarding — and intermittently succeeding at — the impossible stretches that every soul wishes to attempt but lacks the means or the will to. It's not a matter of virtuosity. ii) Take My Baby LeftMe (1956) by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, the black Mississippi sharecropper whose That's All Right had literally been Elvis' first recording, in 1954. Crudup kept his blues in a bucket; Elvis put the lid on, and cooked; bar by bar, the song comes together; first comes D.J. Fontana's rapped-out drum riff, then a top-to-bottom run from Bill Black's stand-up bass, then the controlled gallop of Scotty Moore's lead guitar; then, last of all, Elvis singing in that imperious velvet growl of his, "Yes, my baby left me! Never said a word"; it is the most underestimated song in the canon; there is lightning in that bucket, and it could drive a train, any train. It literally took us into a new age. Endow a university! Elvis was a university. Whoever those mystics are who teach that the universe began with sound could use him as their full curriculum"
    • Jackson Baker,i) in "Memphis Magazine" (July 2002) ii) as published in "The Memphis Flyer", August 8-14, 1996 edition
  • Presley's voice was remarkable in the sense that, through it, he touched people in a way only great artists can do. (In fact), the people he touched are as diverse as humanity itself and, because of that his popularity has transcended race, class, national boundaries, and culture. There is no simple answer about why that is so, all I can say is he had that magic. When Elvis Presley was first popular, many people said that he did not have a good voice. Almost everyone, today, knows that he did, but more people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul.
    • John Bakke, professor emeritus of the University of Memphis, in an interview with the US State Department, transcripted by UNUSINFO on July 18, 2006 on the legacy of Elvis Presley
  • He was fantastic. When he danced, the people danced, the girls would actually faint because of what he was doing. The people didn’t care if he was white or black, he was a good artist and they felt his music.
    • Lavern Baker, commenting on her covering one of Presley's best early 60's dongs, with a few changs in the lyrics, which she recorded in late 1961 as a answer to Presley's "Little Sister".
  • I mean, don't tell me about Lenny Bruce, man - Lenny Bruce said dirty words in public and obtained a kind of consensual martyrdom. Plus which Lenny Bruce was hip, too goddam hip if you ask me, which was his undoing, whereas Elvis was not hip at all. Elvis was a goddam truck driver who worshipped his mother and would never say "shit" or "fuck" around her, and Elvis alerted America to the fact that it had a groin with imperatives that had been stifled. Lenny Bruce demonstrated how far you could push a society as repressed as ours and how much you could get away with, but Elvis kicked "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window" out the window and replaced it with "Let's fuck." The rest of us are still reeling from the impact. Sexual chaos reigns currently, but out of chaos may flow true understanding and harmony, and either way Elvis almost singlehandedly opened the floodgates.
    • Lester Bangs, "Where Were You When Elvis Died," originally published in "The Village Voice", August 29, 1977. Republished in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung pg. 215-216
  • Then, in 1954, Elvis happened. The influence that the softly spoken Mississippi native had on popular music - and in particular rockabilly - is incalculable. First billed as 'The Hillbilly Cat' (again a nod towards black and white influences), the boy with the seemingly rubber limbs sang both blues and country songs infused with elements of this new rockabilly movement to the bemusement of a music industry not yet aware of the significance of what they were listening to. They didn't know it at the time, but the music establishment had just changed forever.Two years later he signed with RCA and the ensuing exposure he received on national television introduced rockabilly to its widest audience yet and, like fire to kindling, there was no stopping its spread. Other labels swooped to sign up any artists who sang even vaguely similar to Elvis and there was a bona fide musical gold rush underway and record executives and studio bigwigs fell over themselves to capitalise on this musical trend which was now sweeping the nation - ultimately playing a big part in rockabilly's eventual downfall, as more and more people tried to make money from it, (thus) watering down its raunchiness as they tried to make it appear to as large a market as possible, and (finally) taming its sound beyond recognition.
    • Excerpted from an article entitled "The Roots of Rockabilly: Examining the origins of a rock n' roll movement", by John Balfe, and as published in www.entertainment.ie
  • I might be the biggest Elvis fan you’ve ever met. I mean, I’ve seen it all. And I just loved him. I don’t know what it was. I mean, probably the same reason everybody loved Elvis. Cause he was electric. He was just electric, the greatest entertainer I’ve ever seen, and I think the reason why was because — and I heard him say it many times in interviews — , he always did what he felt. Genuinely did what he felt. It wasn’t choreographed. It wasn’t, OK, well, I’m gonna do this move at this time. It was coming up from inside of him, and it was coming out. That’s what it was, and that’s why people connected with it. Cause it was the real deal.”
    • Country music songwriter and singer Frankie Ballard who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • Elvis' lowest effective note was a low-G, as heard on "He'll Have To Go" (1976); on "King Creole" (1958), he growls some low-F's; going up, his highest full-voiced notes were the high-B's in "Surrender" (1961) and "Merry Christmas Baby" (1971), the high-G at the end of "My Way" (1976 live version), and the high-A of "An American Trilogy" (1972); using falsetto, Elvis could reach at least a high-E, e.g, as in "Unchained Melody" (1977), so, it was very nearly a three-octave range, although more practically two-and-a-half.
    • George Barbel, as a follow up to a question on what was Elvis' range, as published in All Experts.com, on 20th May, 2007.
  • He had a musically textured rhythmic voice that had emotional intelligence; concentrate on his voice: sweet, remorseful, defiant, suggestive.
    • Eileen Battersby, literary correspondent, citing the reasons for her being hooked on Elvis after "discovering" him inadvertently as she changed the dial looking for her favorite classical music radio station, as published in the "Irish Times" in August of 2002.
  • Elvis started writing figures and whatever on my chest all the way up to my navel, doodling as he spoke to me, in front of hundreds at his dressing room after his August 1970 opening show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. That night, back at my hotel, I undressed and there they were, the doodlings. LOL...Beautiful. I didnt wash until they wore off...
  • In "Mystery Train" (1955), he rocks out with an astounding depth, Elvis' voice never sounding so rich, nor so pleading; best of all is his final spontaneous laugh & whoop of excitement, worth its weight in gold.
    • Review of the CD "Elvis at SUN", by Piers Beagley, as published in EIN, on 30th June, 2004
  • He never understood the artistic claims that were made for him, probably thought very little of the nature of his appeal, or his music; yet, as author Greil Marcus points out in "Mystery Train", it is possible to see (all that) as a positive factor; Presley viewed "rock and roll" as for the body, not the mind, so he recorded and performed accordingly; and, if much of his rock music sounds superficial, it was thanks to his undoubted vocal talent and extraordinary charisma that, at least, it was all gloriously superficial and celebratory; he knew better than to take it seriously and, in doing so, he become the consummate rock figure, one that defined its spirit by delighting in its very limitations.
  • Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution - the 60’s comes from it.”
  • When you think of Vegas, of show business, of flash, of those performances, you think of Elvis. He is iconic; a lot of performers today look to that for inspiration.”
    • Beyonce, as published in www.gracelnad.com
  • Intensity of communication, emotion, how the fusion of poetry is related to me as a listener. I’m disappointed by the bland and perfect vocal accomplishment, which I hear on so many recordings. Which is not to say that classical singers shouldn’t try to become vocally masterful. I take my cue more and more from good pop singers. The other day I was looking at an early concert of Elvis Presley. It was fascinating to watch, the body language, the vocal suppleness
    • Conor Biggs, Irish bass/baritone classical singer, explaining to Michael Dervan, of the Irishman, for tips he looks for, in a recital, as a way to better communicate with a listener, as published on that paper on February 1, 2013
  • So I said "Why don't we turn out all the lights so we don't see this vast empty looking studio the size of a football field and make it as intimate as we can?" We could barely make Elvis out through the glass from the control room into the studio when we cued him the backing-track. And then, Elvis started to sing. It was magic,. Next thing I know he's curled on the floor in almost a fetal position singing with a microphone next to his mouth. The hair on my arms were standing up. And that's the take that we wound up using on the soundtrack album. I did not use it in the TV show because I'm a total believer that if you're doing television I don't want anyone lip-synching. I want the real thing. And to be completely honest, as great as the sit-down shows are, had I been able to get cameras and tape him there, it would have been even greater.
    • Steve Binder, director of the 1968 NBC/TV Special explaining how Elvis recorded "If I can dream", on June 23, 1968, in an interview for The King's court, on February 6, 2010
  • I was in a friend's studio when a buddy of his called and told him. 'I got some news for you. Do you want me to tell you now or later?' I said later because I was in the studio when President Kennedy was killed and also when Martin Luther King was killed, so I knew the effect bad news can have on a session. When the session was over he told me and I thought he was joking and it didn't hit me until I lay down to sleep. The one other time that I experienced that was when my mother and my son died. It wasn't because he wouldn't he doing any more of my songs. It was like a piece of the whole business. I mean some people you just figure are never going to die. Inside, they'll always live. When they're gone, a certain piece goes and you just can't believe it.
    • Reaction of Otis Blackwell, the African-American songwriter, singer, and pianist, whose work significantly influenced rock and roll to the death of Elvis Presley
  • He would probably be considered a baritone, but he could reach notes that most baritone singers could not. Much of his abilities emanated from a very intense desire to execute a song as he wanted to do it, which meant that he really sang higher than he would normally be able to. When the adrenalin is going, and the song is really pumping, you can get into that mode where you can actually do things, vocally, that you couldn’t normally do. So he had a tremendous range because of his desire to excel and be better, and that’s why he could do a lot of things that most people couldn’t.
  • I think if I am alone on a desert island I would need something lo laugh about, apart from myself, and this I think is outrageously funny, and it's everything that when I wrote about Presley I wanted to try and capture. It shows you the warmth of the man, and the wit"
    • UK playwright Alan Bleisdale, explaining to the BBC's Sue Lawley why the laughing version of Are you lonesome tonight is one of eight songs whose recordings he would take to a deserted island, as told in the BBC's long running programme "Desert Island Discs" on Sunday, 25 August 1991.
  • In Elvis, you had the whole lot; it's all there in that elastic voice and body. As he changed shape, so did the world. His last performances showcase a voice even bigger than his gut, where you cry real tears as the music messiah sings his tired heart out, turning casino into temple. I think the Vegas period is underrated. I find it the most emotional. By that point Elvis was clearly not in control of his own life, and there is this incredible pathos. The big opera voice of the later years -- that's the one that really hurts me.
    • Bono lead singer of U2, for Rolling Stone Magazine, as published in their April 15, 2004 edition.
  • I identify a lot with Elvis. He was a loyal guy and love his style of singing
  • Heartbreak, jealousy, loneliness-, Elvis Presley gave luxuriant voice to these less than cheerful emotions, but did you ever think of him as a balladeer of the unbearable bleakness of being, of the horror of existing without purpose in a godless universe? In the improbably vivacious London-born production of "Woyzeck", vintage Elvis recordings provide much of the background music for Daniel Kramer’s adaptation of Georg Büchner’s great, prophetic drama of existential emptiness from the 1830’s. Dolly Parton and, more predictably, Beethoven, make aural guest appearances but it’s the voice of the Pelvis that sets the rhythm of life. And if the "wedding" of Presley and Büchner is more shotgun marriage than natural love match, at least you leave the theater feeling less suicidal than you normally do, after two hours with one of the grimmest heroes in Western literature.
    • Ben Brantley, Chief Theater critic for The New York Times, in his article "Where Existential Despair Meets Elvis" (18 November 2006)
  • I'm sitting in the drive-through and I've got my three girls in the back and this station comes on and it's playing "Jailhouse Rock," the original version, and my girls are jumping up and down, going nuts. I'm looking around at them and they've heard Dad's music all the time and I don't see that out of them."
  • As a vocalist, Elvis Presley possessed the rare ability to give the melodramatic a genuine authenticity; it's easy to take Elvis Presley for granted and yes, we all know that Elvis had a huge role in defining rock in the beginning, but few of us really know what that means; but then there's that voice, which Elvis uses to cut through to the most complex meaning of the song — the meaning that the song's writers might not even know exists — and lay it bare. On "From Elvis In Memphis", he takes the longing sentiment in "Any Day Now" (1969), his voice lending it a certain buoyancy that most artists would never even think belongs, and in doing so he embeds a deceptively simple pop song with depth and mystery, all through inflection; a craftsman at heart, his experimentation didn't manifest itself in innovation, but in refinement of his already incomparable technique; as a result, "From Elvis In Memphis" documents what happens when an artist who instinctively personalizes the songs he sings decides to get even more personal; the outcome is raw, stripped of all pretense, and dedicated to the idea of the song, his voice bringing with it a grave amount of weight; if you want an indication of why Elvis deserves a place in current pop culture, pick up "From Elvis In Memphis"; the music speaks for itself; authenticity never goes out of style.
    • Marty Brown, music critic for CultureCartel.com, reviewing "From Elvis in Memphis", on 15 August 2002
  • I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland, We sang 'Old Blind Barnabus' together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother.
    • James Brown, Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died, p. 30
  • Elvis Presley, at age 13
    • Argentinian singer and directior of the the Espacio Malaver Singing School Francisco Bruneta's answer as to who was his first and greatest influence, and at what age that took place, as published in Queen's Chronicle's edition of September 15, 2016. Brunetta was born actually 5 years AFTER Presley's death.
  • I think that soul has little to do with the colour of your skin or where were you born. It's the same with acting, if the actor believes in the story, so does the public, so I thank Elvis, who is one of my favourites singers in both the R&R and R&B fields, for doing the music I love the most.
    • Canadian superstar Michael Bublé, in an interview to the Diario La Razon, in Buenos Aires, prior to his performing in his wife's country, and as published in that daily's online edition on 10 September 2014
  • Presley brought an excitement to singing, in part because rock and roll was greeted as his invention, but for other reasons not so widely reflected on: Elvis Presley had the most beautiful singing voice of any human being on earth. Presley, for some fans, was primarily a balladeer. "Don't Leave Me Now" (1957), is a love song given distinctiveness by Presley's twangy enunciations, and sustained by the guitar and rhythm sections designed perfectly to complement the balladeer, filled out towards the song's end - as with so much of Presley- ,with what one conveniently calls the heavenly choir, which wafts him home but never overwhelms the country lilt Presley gives his music.
    • William F. Buckley, Jr., in his article "The Crooner, R.I.P.: Perry Como and the casual mode," published by the National Review on June 11, 2001.
  • I think it’s a little harder to churn out interfaces with sociology. When I was a kid and Elvis broke through it was a sociological phenomenon that lasted through the Beatles and even a bit through Fleetwood. I grew up in Atherton, California, with my two older brothers, one of whom, Jeff turned me on to Elvis. Without Jeff, I probably wouldn’t be here today, so damn you, Jeff!!!.”
    • Lindsay Buckingham, lead singer and guitarrist for the UK/American band Fleetwood Mac, speaking at the University of Southern California after a two-hour performance and Q&A session at the University's Bovard Auditorium and as published by Billboard on May 1, 2015
  • Rock ann and roll then, is a combination of gospel songs, blues, bebop, the love ballad, the floksy material of the hillbilly or western type song, and things based on personal experience. Rock and roll today has no color lines in its listening appreciation or in its development.
    • Dan Burley, African American musician and journalist, as quoted in a chapter detailing the mass reaction to the early Elvis by the black community and as noted in page 135 of the book entitled "Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness, and Race"by Brian Ward.
  • We never played together but I went to where he was playing and doing the blues. He took the blues and made rock 'n' roll out of it. And he give an account of everything he did. He said this is so-and-so's music. You know down in Birmingham, I can't think of the guys name, but Elvis did one of his numbers. Had it on a record, ya know. He went down there where Elvis was playing and walked up and his car had quit on him on the highway.After he got done with his album, he bought him a brand new car. He would do things like that. He made 2 or 3 people down in Atlanta and Birmingham rich, ya know. He had been doing their music and they didn't think they were gonna get nothing out of it, but he went down and found 'em, in fact bought 'em homes, gave them money and everything. I think he helped the black people. I sure enough do...
    • R.L Burnside, African American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, as published in Rockmattares, from an interview in 1996 entitled "One bad ass bluesman".
  • When at last I made my journey to the land of the blues, I never dreamt for one minute that I'd actually become friends with the guys who were my mentors, heroes and my cultural icons. (Witherspoon's) voice held a great mysticism for me, like when I first heard the voice of Elvis Presley—you knew it was coming from the source.
    • Eric Burdon, lead singer of "The Animals", commenting on his meeting bluesman Jimmy Witherspoon, as published in Gadfly's March 1998 edition.
  • He's Elvis. We've found Elvis and he looks like Tiger.
    • Rick Burton, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Centre at the University of Oregon, comparing Tiger Woods with Elvis Presley.
  • You Memphis politicians had better watch out if Elvis Presley ever decides to enter politics.
    • Former President George H.W Bush, during a speech at a luncheon previous to the Jaycees ceremony honoring Elvis, in 1970.
  • I heard Elvis Presley and I knew what my life was meant to be.
    • Robert Butcher, English born photographer, best known for his American Madonnas and Liars, as published in Geeks of Doom.
  • Had Presley never sung a note he might have still caused a stir, but sing he did. Watershed hits such as "All Shook Up" (1957) or, for instance, "Are You Lonesome Tonight", (1960), were eminately Presley's from the moment he put his stamp on them. His jagged, bubbly highs, and Southern baritone jump from those recordings like spirits from a cauldren. Elvis crooned romantically, then screeched relentlessly, always pouring his heart into the lyric and melody. After Elvis, the male vocalist could no longer just sing a song, especially in the new world of rock-n-roll. The "feel" of a performance far out-weighed the perfection of the take.
    • James Campion, in his book "The 25 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century", published in 1996.
  • The first thing I think of when I think about coming to Las Vegas and playing is always Elvis, its always the first thing on my mind.
  • Elvis Presley’s death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country.”
    • President Jimmy Carter' official statement following Elvis' death, as reprinted by graceland.com
  • The success of posthumous duets is often indirectly correlated to the respect with which the dearly departed is treated: the higher the pedestal, the less convincing the result. Wisely, the female country stars on “Christmas Duets” try to match Elvis Presley’s mood, whether it’s Carrie Underwood’s tenderness on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (1957), or Wynonna Judd’s brawn on “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.” (1957), On a wild eight-minute “Merry Christmas Baby,” (1971), Gretchen Wilson saunters up to the song, full of attitude, before giving in; it sounds as if she’s flirting with Mr. Presley just across the bar.
    • Jon Carmanica, reviewing the "Christmas Duets" album for the New York Times, as published on 4 December, 2008
  • That night at the "Eagle's Nest", I remember, he was playing a D-18 Martin acoustic guitar and he was dressed in the latest teen fashion, but the thing I really noticed though, was his guitar playing. Elvis was a fabulous rhythm player. He'd start into "That’s All Right" , with his own guitar, alone, and you didn't want to hear anything else.
    • Johnny Cash, in "Cash, the autobiography", recalling the first time he saw Presley perform, at the "Eagles Nest", in Memphis (1954)
  • Elvis had a center of gravity that was low, but also set back and deep; his sexiest moves – legs lolling back and forth, smooth like jelly, hips rolling and tossing everywhere – were performed as if there were a paperweight on a string tied around his waist, and hung from his lower back; with his own weight adjusted to the back, he could free one leg to twist, pop, and jerk while maintaining perfect balance; Elvis’ glory was in the shifting of his weight; when he gets going fast, the force of the shifts make his shoulders jerk so hard he looks like he is being electrocuted.
    • New York Sun columnist Pia Catton, explaining the reasons for Elvis' star quality, as a stage performer, (16 August 2007)
  • You can't be both Elvis Presley and Miles Davis", I once said to him. But then when someone recently asked me what his dreams were when he was young he answer to me was that he wanted to be Elvis".
    • American entertainment producer and business owner Bob Cavallo, former manager of Prince, explaining his client's longings, as published by both the Texas Public Radio's online page on Saturday, December 6, 2014 and by the Examiner, on April 26, 2016.
  • I’ve always loved Elvis, how he entertained, how he performed, so that’s where I try and take inspiration from
    • Jake Chamberlain, discussing "Miss Trouble", his first album in an interview with Amanda Hill and as published in the Standard Journal's online edition of March 13, 2015.
  • Charlie was always aware of the public. While at the Manoir in the 1950's, a friend visited him and brought him a record of a new singer called Elvis Presley. Charlie hadn't heard of him. "This man has made a sensation in the States," his friend said. "I can't understand it. He wiggles his hips and sings and people go mad." "If he's made such an impact," Charlie replied, "he must have something. You can't fool the public." --
  • The first concert I attended was an Elvis concert when I was eleven. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience.
    • Cher, as published in www.graceland.com
  • i) Then, in mid 1968 he taped a television special in a black leather suit, in front of a select live audience, opening with "Guitar Man" and closing with a mild social-conscience song, "If I Can Dream". But it wasn't until Greil Marcus brought out the recording of that performance for me, almost three years later, that I realized how significant it had been. Marcus has spent as much time listening as anyone who is liable to be objective, and he believes Elvis may have made the best music of his life that crucial comeback night. It's so easy to forget that Elvis was, or is, a great singer. Any account of his impact that omits that fundamental fact amounts to a dismissal. ii) Elvis made a great many major recordings, and no matter what jaded undergraduates think, few rock and rollers of any era have moved with such salacious insouciance. But it's my best guess that rocking or romantic, young or old, thin or fat, innocent or decadent, inspired or automatic, Elvis touches the millions he touches most deeply with that ineffable chestnut, the grain of his voice; from the pure possibility of ´"Mystery Train" and "Love Me Tender", to the schlock passion of "In the Ghetto", no singer has ever duplicated his aura of unguarded self-acceptance. The very refusal of sophistication that renders him unlistenable to Sinatraphiles is what his faithful love most about him. (In fact), listeners with looser standards in cultural articulation have a clearer pipeline to the meanings that voice might hold.
    • i) Rock critic Robert Christgau, from his article entitled, "The King and I", as published in www.robertchristgau.com and ii) in his 1973 book "Any old way you choose"
  • Elvis was a brilliant artist. As a musicologist — and I consider myself one — there was always a great deal of respect for Elvis, especially during his Sun sessions. As a black people, we all knew that. (In fact), Eminem is the new Elvis because, number one, he had the respect for black music that Elvis had.
    • Chuck D explaining how his feelings for Elvis'legacy are much more complicated than it was suggested by the lyrics in his song, "Fight The Power", which was written 12 years earlier (published following an interview with the Associated Press in connexion with the 25th Anniversary of Presley's death)
  • I came late to the Elvis party. I never grabbed on to his shooting star in the ascendancy of his career. I was more into groups. And then a strange thing happened. Either Elvis changed or I did. Almost two decades ago, I began my oldies show on Thursday nights on WSRK in Oneonta and this is where I had the epiphany that Elvis Presley possessed one of the best male singing voices to ever climb the charts. Deep, passionate, powerful, no frills, no twang, no screaming. Classic. In the 1950s, nobody knew what he was. Still, it is the voice. I’m in awe of it and am a little embarrassed that I jumped on the bandwagon so late. But now that I am on it, I’m in the front seat, cheering all the way. Elvis is the King, let nobody doubt it. And if you are still a parade straggler, take my suggestion. Find yourself a copy of “An American Trilogy” (1972). It was recorded live before a sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden. This is Elvis’ magnum opus. As he slides from “Dixie” to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” you will be swept away. The orchestra provides the fanfare, the urban sounds of the background singers will mesmerize you and Elvis’ vocals will lift you up. This one performance can actually be transformative. It is powerful yet sensitive, subtle yet bombastic. I don’t know how, but it all works. And his voice was never better than on this song. “American Trilogy” is a Master Class. By a truly great artist.
    • Big Chuck, radio personality, WSRK in Oneonta. NY, as published in the Daily Star, on January 12, 2015.
  • From 1952 to 1980, we called it the industrialization generation. From 1980 to 2000, it was the democratization generation. Post-2000 we call it the millennial generation. I came of age in the 1980s and I have been very much influenced by American culture. In fact, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley were the biggest stars for the Korean people.
    • Phillip Chun, Chairman of the Paradise Group, a market-leading integrated resort (IR) developer currently building Korea’s first IR near the international airport in Incheon at a cost of more than $1 billion, in an article published on September 19, 2016 on the Worldfolio.
  • It’s rare when an artist’s talent can touch an entire generation of people. It’s even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer.”
  • You know, Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don’t think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that’s just another thing that’s wrong with him. He was the first and the best, and is my favourite of all time
    • Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign, obviously unaware that Bush was a Presley admirer, and had in fact met him at the 1971 Jaycees ceremony, during his time as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
  • No element of the South's culture has had more influence on the culture of the U.S. and other nations than its music. While the ballads and fiddle tunes brought by British settlers provided the foundation for what would become country music, the work songs and field hollers that were a vital part of the slaves' African heritage formed the basis of the blues. These musical forms did not always respect the South's racial divisions. There was more interaction than many realized as both the blues and country music grew more commercialized and, as members of both races left the farm in droves, more urbanized as well. When local radio stations and recording studios in cities like Memphis and New Orleans began to feature the work of both black and white performers after World War II, the closer contact and familiarity bred the revolutionary new sound that would become "rock 'n roll." Elvis Presley quickly won an enormous youthful following as a white singer who sounded "black," but if he succeeded by borrowing heavily from black stylings, he also helped to open the door to white audiences much wider for a host of black performers ranging from Little Richard to Chuck Berry.
    • Author James C. Cobb, in an article entitled History of the South, Abbreviated: The Ol' Bloviator Boils It Down, published in "Flagpole" Magazine's 17 February 2016 edition.
  • Elvis is the greatest blues singer in the world today.
    • Joe Cocker, who started his career imitating Elvis under the name Vance Arnold, circa 1961, as noted in about education.com
  • I have plans to sing an Elvis song on stage soon. I was a huge fan of Elvis. In fact, I was in town until today and bought a compilation LP of the man. Soon you will hear me sing “Don’t” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – but not at the plate. My voice is too deep, with 20,000 cigarettes leading my tone of voice three to four notches down too far.
    • Leonard Cohen, as told to Bard Oses in an interview published on March 26, 2012 at "Leonard Cohen Jukebox" internet page. )
  • He treats the song as a private meditation, full of pain and the yearning to believe. Though the lyrics speak of hope, Elvis turns them into a cry, as if reaching for one last sliver of light in engulfing darkness. 'I am alone', he seems to be saying. But maybe, just maybe, we can find someone or something to cling to. In his case, it's God. But each of us, hearing him, reaches for our own salvation; if great art needs nakedness (then), those few minutes of Elvis alone at the piano amount to the most naked performance I've ever witnessed.
    • Nik Cohn, commenting on Elvis Presley's rendition, totally alone at the piano, of "You'll never walk alone", as witnessed by a full house of 17,500 gathering at the second of his two shows at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, on 19 July, 1975, as published on the Guardian's Sunday edition, on January 21, 2007, in an article entitled "The 25 best gigs of all time".
  • Elvis Presley did more to change the course of popular music and youth culture than any other entertainer in the twentieth century, beginning with his meeting Sam Phillips in 1954, at the Sun Records label, in Memphis. In 1956, for Presley's first single at RCA, producer Steve Sholes was adamant that Phillips' sonic treatments be adhered to, as closely as possible. So, in attempting to recreate the Sun echo sound, Sholes relied on the ambiance of RCA's then-cavernous recording studio in Nashville, rather than the tape-delay method; the major problem facing Sholes was Presley's tendency to get carried away with the music and wander away from the microphone; so, rather than spoil the singer's fun, Sholes decided to position three microphones around Presley to capture his quivering voice, no matter where he strayed; the results were breathtaking
    • Columbia University's "History of Record Production" (Part II of syllabus)
  • The black leather concert from Elvis Presley’s 1968 Comeback Special
    • Mezzo soprano Sarah Connally's answer to the question of what would she consider to be her musical guilty pleasure, as published in the Guardian's March 6, 2016 edition.
  • Elvis Presley changed my life. He was like nothing on Earth: nothing in my world anyway.
    • Ray Connolly, Evening Standard, Tuesday (23 August 2011), p. 16
  • In the mid fifties, Presley initiated a new phase in the popularizing of African American vocal techniques, combining them with influences fron country music to create a unique style full of hiccups, between the beat accents, and strking register shifts, from chest voice baritone to falsetto. First, when writing about the echo effect in his early SUN recordings, Richard Middleton, in his "Studying Popular Music", says the effect is largely used to intensify star presence, in fact, Presley becomes larger than life. Conversely, as Henry Pleasants noted in his book "The great american Popular singers¨¨, Presley was said to dominate a vocal style appropriate to different generic contexts, thereby developing a vocal multiplicity, a sound for country, a sound for gospel, a sound for ballads and a sound for R&B.
    • Continuum Encyclopèdia of Popular Music of the World, Volume II (Performance and Production),section pertaining to relevant vocal techniques in modern music.
  • He was wearing giraffe skin pants and Aladdin shoes and a pair of socks that Elvis gave him …
  • On his live versions of songs like "How Great Thou Art" (1975), "Unchained Melody" (1976) and "Hurt" (1977), you will be able to hear how high he can go; but, it is essentially on "What Now My Love" (sang live at his "Aloha from Hawaii" global telecast, which reached 1 billion viewers when first aired in 1973), where he goes up three octaves at the end of the song, that you can really hear his true vocal power.
    • Cory Cooper, vocal connoisseur, on Presley's vocal range, as published in ALLEXPERTS.com, on 4 February 2005.
  • We are startled, on the amazing "Blue Moon,"(1954), by his trick of shifting, in a heartbeat, from saloon baritone to pants-too-tight wailing and by his near Hawaiian avoiding of consonants ("Ya-hoo A-know Ah can be fou'/ Sittin' home all alo'"), from "Don't Be Cruel" (1956), a song that comes close to redefining the art of the pop vocal; So, what's left? A terrific crooner who was closer, in intonation, vocal virtuosity and care for a song's mood, to Bing Crosby, than to any top singer of the rock era. Toward the end, he still had it as a Gospel ballader, the choir-soloist power of the hymn "He Touched Me" (1971) — his voice breaking poignantly at the end of the hymn, as if he had just seen Jesus — still thrills and haunts. So does his desire to please an audience of kids and grandmas, instead of comfortably occupying a niche, as almost every pop star has done since.
    • Richard Corliss, TIME magazine`s Music Editor, reviewing the "Platinum", box-set, as published in the magazine`s January 8, 2003 edition.
  • I still really don't know to this day what the fuck that was all about. All I know is, I arrived in LA, got to my hotel, as I'd done umpteen times before, started unpacking, and there was a knock at the door and a team of FBI guys wanted to sit down and discuss something with me. And then, for nearly two years, they were always around. I remember going to the Golden Globes and having, like, 16 security guys with me. I don't even know why…and of course, people were like: 'Look at him, he thinks he's fucking Elvis'
    • Russell Crowe, in an interview to the Daily Mirror, discussing the time he was targeted as a possible kidnapping subject by Al Qaeda, sometime in 2001.
  • Vocally is where I see him as this great synthesiser of American traditions; his voice is something of a shape shifter, it can sound high and mournful and soulful, and he can also sound like a preacher, or be quite gruff, or be a sweet crooner; it’s not the tone, it’s the technique, like he had to adopt all these other techniques and put them together to make something extraordinary; the reason there are so many Elvis impersonators is because the voice is undoable – it’s a mystery.
    • Justin Currie Scottish songwriter and singer, explaining Elvis´art to staff writer Graem Thompson, as published in the Scottish Herald, on 26 July 2010.
  • Elvis Presley's incendiary vocal performance of "Baby, let's play house" (1955), hails from rockabilly's formative era, when the rules hadn't yet been cast in stone, and Elvis was still experimenting in overdrive, searching for the compelling sound that would catapult him to icon status in little over a year. Presley's slapback, echo laden hiccuping - briefly rendered "a cappella" before the snarling low end guitar of Scotty Moore enters -, segues into an irresistibly lascivious declaration of lust, and a not-so-subtle hint of violence. Both of Scotty Moore's immaculately conceived, and executed solos were monstrously influential to the rockabilly idiom, copied by countless Southern axe-wielding teens. And Bill Black slaps his thundering upright bass so percussively, that no drummer was necessary.
    • Bill Dahl, reviewing Elvis' fourth release at the Sun Records label, for AllMusicGuide.com
  • When I saw Elvis on Ed Sullivan, I knew he was having more fun than any other human being up there, actually he was having cosmic fun, and I wanted to do it, too. I didn’t want to be no rock star, when I was young I didn’t even know what that was. I just wanted his job, whatever it was.
    • Jim Dandy, lead singer and frontman for the American Southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas, in an interview published on September 7, 2016 at TEAMROCK.COM
  • It was just before Christmas 1962 and as I was driving from El Paso to the East Coast, I began forming the idea that would become this song; not very long afterwards my long-time friend Bob Johnston invited me to Nashville, and we finished this one together; Bob did a demo on it and when Elvis came to town, he picked it up and held it for almost a year in what was then called his portfolio; so, anyway, he recorded it and it was by far the biggest thing that had ever happened to me in my life.
    • Charlie Daniels, explaining how the power ballad "It hurts me" came into being, and what it meant to him, as published in SONGFACTS.com
  • He always wore his affinity for Elvis Presley like a batch, covered "Trouble" on his eponymous band's Thrall-Demonsweatlive EP in 1993 and most recently, filmed a Danzig Legacy concert video that stylistically recalled Presley's '68 comeback special, playing in the round with guitarists from throughout his career and singing in front of his name lit up in red. Although he credits director Mark Brooks with the theme for the film, he said he loved the idea himself and is even in the midst of recording an LP of Elvis covers. "Elvis is actually how I got into music, since I was a kid, I was cutting school pretending I was sick and I would lie at home watching old movies, and "Jailhouse Rock" came on and I was like, 'I want to do this. This is great.' And that's how I veered to music. But the thing that has connected all of his sessions is his desire to record new versions of Elvis songs for the upcoming Danzig Sings Elvis LP. "I'm stripping some of the stuff down to the bare bones, very old-school Fifties echoey slap-back vocals," he says. Every time I go back into the studio to work on a new Danzig record, if we have time, I'm like, 'Let's do another Elvis song.' So I keep adding and we'll see what ends up on the record." Some of the songs he has recorded, he says, include "Home Is Where the Heart Is" and the Faron Young–composed "Is It So Strange?"It's a connection that has been a part of him for years. "We have been stopping by Graceland and Elvis' grave since my days in [goth-punk group] Samhain," Danzig says. "Just, you know, hanging out."
    • Glenn Danzig, during a visit to Rolling Stone, recalling how Elvis Presley influenced him and how, coincidentally, he went on to write songs for Presley's onetime Sun Records label-mates Johnny Cash ("Thirteen") and Roy Orbison ("Life Fades Away"), as published in the magazine's online edition on July 1,2015.
  • Elvis was never short of any stage performance. There is still a lot to be learned there. It gives you an idea of how to work a stage. He drew people in, you know, defiantly. He had that look; he looked like a star. At any rate, I can’t compare myself to Elvis, not even a little bit. People put you on a pedestal; it almost feels like you’re being worshiped sometimes which is not normal for a human being to deal with, not even a little.”
  • After I'd seen through Christianity, I was still influenced by the elegance of the living world, what appeared to be intelligent design. And that was reinforced when I discovered that my great hero, Elvis Presley, had done a religious album, called Peace in the Valley. Elvis was kind of a minor God to me and my companions, so when I discovered that he was religious, it felt like a call from heaven. This is Elvis, personally calling me.
    • Richard Dawkins, English author and scientist, on how his world was changed by Elvis Presley, as published on MPR news, on October 7, 2013.
  • i) I think Elvis took a huge chance in doing "In the Ghetto". It was a big risk. ii) The first time I saw Elvis in person I knew he was special. Number one he was the prettiest man you ever saw in your life, he was really beyond handsome. There was something electric about him. Coming along when he did, moving the way he did, jumping around the way he did, plus the fact that every woman was totally mesmerized by him. Everything came to standstill when you saw Elvis. This was when he was 19 and again when he was 30. I saw him at both instances and there was the same reaction both times. You couldn't have wiped the smiles off their faces with a hand grenade. He knew what he could do and what he had and he played on it. He came along at a time in the Fifties, him and James Dean, it was the two of them. They were everything.
    • Mac Davis, i) in an interview to EIN, published on July 31, 2013.ii) idem, in 2006
  • Elvis Presley`s talent as a musical artist was double barrelled and more; his voice, on the one hand, was extraordinary for its quality, range and power, as well as being a unique stage performer with instinctive natural abilities in both areas; he was the master of a wide and diverse range of vocal stylings and ventriloquist effects, from the clear tenor of his C&W heroes, to the vibrato of the Gospel singers he loved, his voice invariably possessing an aching sincerity and an indefinable quality of yearning virtually impossible to pigeonhole.
    • From the U.S Department of the Interior`s paper on criteria for greatness as a vocalist, which, together with all aspects of his life and legacy, led to the inclusion of his home, Graceland, in the National Register of Historic Places, in 2006.
  • Sam Phillips originally drafted Elvis to replace an absent ballad singer but, after pairing him with ambitious guitarist Scotty Moore and his upright bass-playing friend Bill Black, the music quickly veered in another direction entirely; the SUN Sessions began as an impromptu jam, the absence of drums being purely incidental given it was a small studio, but the light echo the producer used to compensate, inadvertently had an effect on Presley’s own voice which was far more interesting; Elvis himself was a raw talent, but his singing prowess was immediately apparent, with a vocal range of roughly three octaves, perfect control and ability to jump between bass, baritone and tenor with the greatest of ease; over fifty years after the fact, we can see that what teenagers saw in him, was a genuinely brilliant vocalist that could just as easily convey a soft ballad, as it could a wild rock song; as a rule, the importance of an album is completely separate from its actual quality but, invariably, albums this influential are influential because they’re genuinely great recordings, and "The Sun Sessions" , though not formally compiled until 1976, were certainly great, great classic recordings.
    • Dave De Sylvia reviewing "The Sun Sessions", and Elvis' vocal abilities, for SPUTNIK Misic, on June 1, 2006
  • Tonight, I want to introduce the greatest entertainer of all time. Mr. Elvis Presley. He was Las Vegas and if it wasn’t for him, so many performers like myself would not have the chance to do what we do in this town. He really was the king.”
  • The voice of Elvis Presley is perhaps the most contested acoustical phenomenon in modern culture. I can understand why some listeners may prefer the original versions (of R&B artists) to Presley’s covers, but it is more difficult to claim that these were immoral or unethical. In terms of vocal style and instrumental arrangement, Presley actually borrows relatively little, his appropriations (being) more straightforward, taking from the materials already protected by copyright: lyrics and melody. So, unless he can be criticized for not imitating an original R&B artist’s rendition, we have to reevaluate Elvis’ transgressions.
    • Joanna Demers, in her book “Musical appreciation, musical meaning and the Law”, published in 2007.
  • I met him in Las Vegas, in the summner of 1969. Anyways, after his opening show, and a press conference, I spent about fifteen minutes with him, in the hope to take him to bed, LOL, but there is a limit to what a woman can say to arouse a man, even for a French woman, especially as his then wife Priscilla was in the proximity. I have yet to see, to this day, a more strikingly beautiful man..
  • I feel like I'm not the only rapper here, Elvis was like a rapper, wore fancy clothes, he drove a Cadillac!!"
    • DJ Paul,youngest member of the Oscar winning rap group Three 6 Mafia, in accepting their inclusion as members of the first class of inductees to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, as reported by the Jackson Free Press, on November 30, 2012.
  • I fell in love with this song, mostly because of Elvis' superior voice, not really thinking about the true meaning behind the lyrics, but rather how the title relates to the music genre I play as DJ house music.
    • Progressive Italian DJ Spankox, on his re-mix of Elvis' classic "Baby Let’s Play House" (1955), as published on an UPI wire relayed worldwide on the day of the song's release, June 3, 2008
  • His was the one voice I wish to have had, of all those emanating from singers in the popular music field.
    • Placido Domingo, in an interview given to "Hola" Magazine (Spanish version), as published in June of 1994.
  • When I was playing at the Flamingo Hotel, in 1969, I went to his room and played for him. I remember him telling me, “You know, Fats, I’m opening up tomorrow but when I first came here I flopped!" But when he got back there it was all gold and every night it was sold out. Boy, he could sing. He could sing spirituals, country and western, everything he sang I liked. Elvis Presley did a lot before he passed. He made movies, he was traveling, everything. I don’t see how he did it; you’d have to stay up day and night.
    • Fats Domino, recalling his relationship with Elvis in an interview with Michael Hurtt for the magazine Backtalk and published on June 1,2004
  • What he actually did was take 'black' and 'white' music and transform them into this third thing; (in the final analysis), no one sang so many different kinds of music - rock, gospel, country, standards -, as well as Presley sang them, at such a high level, and for such a long time.
    • Greg Drew, world famous voice coach whose clients include Lenny Kravits, Avril Lavigne, and Corey Glover, as quoted in Mike Brewster`s "The Great Innovators: Birth of a Rock star", published by Business Week in its September 24, 2004 issue.
  • i) Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun didn't think much of my songs. He produced some great records, no question about it, like Ray Charles, Ray Brown, just to name a few. But Sam Phillips, he recorded Elvis and Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash. Radical eyes that shook the very essence of humanity. Revolution in style and scope. Heavy shape and color. Radical to the bone. Songs that cut you to the bone. Renegades in all degrees, doing songs that would never decay, and still resound to this day. Oh, yeah, I'd rather have Sam Phillips' blessing any day. ii) You feel like an impostor, when someone says something you know you're not, like you're a prophet, or a saviour. Elvis, yes, I could easily want to become him.iii) When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.
    • Bob Dylan, i) speaking about those who influenced his life and music, as part of his acceptance speech after being named the 2015 MusiCares's Person of the Year and as delivered at the Gala organized by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at the Los Angeles Convention Center on 6 February, 2015. ii) in response to a question from CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, who asked him how he saw himself in his early years, as told in a one hour special retrospective on his life, entitled "Dylan looks back" and broadcast in the December 5, 2004 edition of "60 Minutes" iii) as published in www.graceland.com
  • Now tell me all about Elvis Presley? Will he come to England?'"
    • Queen Elizabeth II 's question to UK actress Suzzanna Leigh, whom she knew had recently co-starred with Elvis, who in turn she admired tremendously, as Her Majesty greeted guests on the line-up to the Royal Film Variety Performance Gala in 1966. Almost thirty years after Elvis died, she confided to UK TV and radio personality Terry Wogan her favourite Presley song was the laughing version of "Are you lonesome Tonight", as told in an interview held at the HQ of the BBC's Broadcasting House on April 20, 2006.
  • Yes, life has thaught me not to leave anything for tomorrow. I've made a list, some are personal, intimate, others are places I have to visit before I die, like going to Japan, which I did two weeks ago. And, it all actually started when I was at the intesive care unit, and all I kept thinking was that I wasn't going to make it to see Elvis' house LOL
    • Mikel Erentxun Spanish/French songwriter and singer, after succesfully undergoping bypass heart surgery and as published in the Spanish daily "La Razon" on 18 March, 2015 in an article entitled " I thought I would die without seeing Elvis' house"
  • Teenagers dominated the mid-20th century, the term being invented only in the 1930s, and no one gave them more visibility than Elvis Presley, who began his own career at 18, embodying the teen desire for liberation from their parents’ culture and mirroring their more open sexuality, as he gave youth everywhere in the world music to call their own.
    • Paula Fass History Professor at the University of California, at Berkeley, answering "The Atlantic Magazine" 's Big Question, on who was the most influential teenager of all time, as published in their April, 2015 edition.
  • It’s almost like seeing Elvis
    • Kristen Krikorian, on meeting democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as told to Kathleen E. Carey, of the Delaware County Daily Times on 24 September, 2016.
  • Nobody ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and all I wanted to be was Elvis Presley. But listening to Elvis was not allowed.
    • Top Israeli cantor and performer Dudu Fisher, as told to the audience at the Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe, LA, and as reported by The Cranbury Press on September 29, 2011
  • It's like people saying Elvis Presley was only famous because he was white. He had, y'know, the rhythm of James Brown but he had his own thing. He was Elvis, he wasn't just a white man. Things like that are going to be picked up between black people and white people and anybody, it doesn't mean a person is or isn't great because they're influenced by something associated with another race. It doesn't matter. Anyway, that period was different, like when he was there, they were stopping everything, and he had the moment for real. While I’m here, its not all about 50 Cent, but it was all about Elvis.”
    • Rapper 50 Cent, in an interview with Noisey to talk about his upcoming album, Animal Ambition, as published at Noisey.vice.com on March 19, 2014.
  • I learned music listening to Elvis' records. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States."
  • Elvis Presley caught the public's imagination through two things: his unique ability to synthesize all American music styles and his fantastic interpretive qualities as a vocalist; that he managed to keep the public's attention after the music began to suffer, is due to his remarkable charisma, an unparalleled force that was stronger than any ten other men in his peer group; (while) it's the charisma that allowed him to get away with covering substandard songs like "A Little Less Conversation," (1968), it's his musical ability alone that elevated it to a status it didn't deserve, creating something so endearing that the simplest of remix jobs could make it sound contemporary, a quarter-century after his death; he may always be a punchline to some people, but the continuing evolution of our fascination with the King has to do with his ability to reinvent himself every time he's heard; even, apparently, from beyond.
    • Robert Fontenot, music historian and critic at www.about.com, commenting on JXL's re-mix of "A little less conversation", which topped the world's charts in 2002.
  • He’s really the only white man who can sing the blues. He's got a real feeling to it, which comes from the contact he had as a child with negroes
    • Alan Freed, disc jockey and radio personality credited with launching the term "rock and roll", circa 1950, as excerpted from an interview with Anita Behrnam in an article entitled “What Alan Freed really thinks about Rock and Roll", published on the October 1958 issue of the "People Weekly" magazine, (p.22), and in response to Ms. Behrnam's question on how he felt about Presley, then serving in the US Army in Germany.
  • Freddy had two people in a pedestal, Elvis Presley and John Lennnon. Those were the people he thought made a difference in music and he would never had dreamed he would be put in the same pedestal alongside them. I think he got his wish...
    • Peter Freestone, personal assistant to Freddy Mercury, in an interview with El Nuevo Dia and published on September 4, 2016
  • At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured — instinctively, unknowingly — that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white.
  • In the early going at the Charlotte Coliseum, there were scattered notes here and there that made you wonder if finally he was gonna do it but, always, he would pull up short, rely on the grins, the charisma and the legend, until finally a little before 10:45, he came to the gospel classic, "How Great Thou Art"-. And that was it. As he came to the part where he belts out the title, he sounded like Mario Lanza with soul, cutting loose a series of high notes that would tingle the spine of even the diehard skeptic; but crecendo came on a song called "Hurt"; it's an old song that Elvis didn't record until a couple of years ago, and the key ingredient is its range, an awesome collection of notes that could leave a normal set of vocal chords in shreds; he finished in what seemed his most potent style, but wasn't satisfied, and mumbled to the band, "Let's do that last part again."; he did, and if there was anyone among the packed-house crowd who had thought Elvis was a fluke, they no doubt came away converted.
    • Frye Gaillard, reviewing his February 20, 1977 show at the Coliseum, for the "The Charlotte Observer"
  • In the collective memory of his fans, he reigns as the sleek musical genius who soaked up the multiple influences of America's vernacular music -gospel, country swing, rhythm 'n' blues—, and made them his own; Bob Dylan, one of pop's favorite poets, put it best: Elvis, he said, was "the incendiary atomic musical firebrand loner who conquered the western world.
    • Gwen Gibson, in his article "The Top 10 Pop Stars, Ever", published in the AARP's May 2003 edition
  • i) I don't really think Elvis' voice was significantly lower than those of any other baritones. The colour of the voice and the sense of warmth and richness of tone gave the sense that the voice was much deeper. Elvis, in fact, did not force his lower register, comfortable as he was with it, which in turn gave the impression that it was lower than those of other baritones. ii) People will often say that opera singers sound too stiff and operatic when singing contemporary music. This is because the vowels in an operatic style tend to be more open, whereas in a rock style singers tend to thin out the vowel. There is nothing wrong, and everything right, in opening the vowel in the higher register so that the higher notes can be sustained. Elvis Presley was very open in his singing style even though he was 'the' rock and roller.
    • i) andf ii) Brian Gilbertson, world-famous voice teacher, explaining the deepness of Elvis' lower registry.
  • Along with the rest of "Deep Purple", I once had the chance to meet Elvis. For a young singer like me, he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It's the same as being in school — you learn by copying the maestro. His personality was also extremely endearing, his interviews were very self-effacing (and), he came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others. He had a natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. Those early records at the Sun Records label are still incredible and the reason is simple: he was the greatest singer that ever lived.
    • Ian Gillan, lead singer and frontman of the UK hard rock band "Deep Purple", interviewed by Classic Rock magazine, explaining why Presley belongs in the list of rock icons ( as published in blabbermouth.net, on 3rd January, 2007)
  • I was living in France about five years ago, and that's when I discovered the Elvis Sun Sessions recordings. To me, most people know the later Elvis stuff, you know, "Blue Suede Shoes" and what he later recorded at RCA. But this stuff just has the energy and modesty and integrity of where he came from. It's his start and it was really the start of rock and roll, holding on to the roots of American music in every way, the blues, rockabilly. I think these recordings represent really the discovery of one of the greatest singers and performers of all time. It's the beginning".
    • Katie Glassman, singer and fiddler, explaining to Nathalia Velez, of Westword, her interest in Elvis' earliest recordings and as published by www.westword.com on 17 January, 2013.
  • Presley’s long-time manager admitted it to me, over tea, that the real reason why my attempts to bring Elvis to London had failed, was his own uncertain immigration status. Parker was an illegal and didn’t want to risk leaving the US – so it was him, not Elvis,”
    • Top world rock concert promoter and entrepreneur Harvey Goldsmith, laying to rest the long-running rock’n’roll mystery of why Elvis never performed outside North America, as published by the Guardian on 31 May,2015
  • In the music world, there had always been a distinction between black and white music, the assumption being that black was R&B and white was pop. But with the explosion of Elvis and rock and roll those clear distictions began to disappear. In fact, Elvis Presley was the first white artist to blur the lines of color among artists.
    • TAMLA and MOTOWN's founder Barry Gordy's description of what Presley meant to the blurring of the colour lines, as mentioned in autobiography entitled "To be loved"" (pp 180-81)
  • It’s always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis.
    • Then Senator Gore, accepting the nomination for vice president at the 1992 Democratic Convention & prior to Bill Clinton's (aka "Elvis" by his security staff) acceptance of the presidential nomination, as publisshe in www.graceland.com
  • My uncle Perry came in, when I was six and started to create this character in the mirror. Because he was putting on this show, all my family were in the act so I was head of security, wearing this little official gold jacket, and suddenly there are all these screaming people, and my uncle - who has a moustache, a birthmark on his face and no hair - becomes Elvis and he's amazing. When the show was over, it felt like this weird emotional storm had taken over our house and sometimes when I try to figure out why I'm acting, I figure that had to be it.
    • Actor Ryan Gosling, crediting Elvis and his uncle Perry, who was an Elvis impersonator, with starting his acting career, as published on Janaury 8, 2013 at the Belfast Telegraph.
  • That the prime exponent of this new style of music should be a singer who possessed no prior professional experience was an anomaly; (in fact), not only were most of the mannerisms that would define his vocal style present at the creation — from the sudden swoops in register to the habit, derived from gospel singing, of starting his lines with a throat-clearing "well" that gave whatever followed the feeling of a retort, but what was even more impressive was the extent to which his first professional recording was marked by the trait that has characterized every great popular singer: the absolute assertion of his personality over the song; from this, it might be concluded that Presley was simply a "natural.", but the truth, as ever, was more complex than that.
    • Jonathan Gould, on his Beatles-inspired book, "Can't Buy Me Love", referring to Presley's early SUN Records label recordings and their influence on the Liverpool rock and roll scene" (2007)
  • As sound leaves the body, it needs to resonate against something specific. There are options – you can direct that flow of sound to the nose, the throat, the jaw or to the sinus cavities in the face-, but I think what Elvis did – as evidenced by his lip curl – was to aim the vibration stream right at his teeth.
    • Renee Grant-Williams, voice coach, and author of "Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade, and Command Attention", explaining where some of the power to please the ear, in Elvis' voice, may have come from, as published in Newsreleasewire.com, on December 12, 2006
  • I loved Mahalia Jackson, all the great gospel singers, but the most important music to me was those hip-shakin’ boys, like Wilson Pickett and Elvis Presley. I just loved Elvis Presley. Whatever he got, I went out and bought. But I liked “Love Me Tender” the most. In fact, Elvis had an influence on everybody with his musical approach. He broke the ice for all of us.”
    • Al Green's answer as to what music did he listen to as a 13 year old kid, growing up in Arkansas,as published in Al Green's Wikipedia page.
  • Elvis manages to pull off exponential, seismic shifts in energy, unleashing hoards of it through his voice whilst, within the space of a second, racing up the highest, most absolute vocal intensity; it's almost voyeuristic to see a single performer put so much energy; you look around to see if it's really possible; the voice just becomes a big tank panzering through the screen, punching in chorus after driving chorus and it is insanely, inexplicably thrilling seismic TV, bigger than the moon landing, a one-man volcano of energy; he makes it seem so damn effortless and, despite all the waiting and expected attention during the solo numbers, he always puts in an on-performance, the three unflagging takes of "If I can Dream" all intense, committed; and he does this through vocal performance alone, not moves; this is probably one of the few times where the vocals mattered most to him, and it shows; after days of intense singing, he hardly even loses his voice; I challenge any current pop singer to match this three-day heavy intensity, this sheer rock and roll energy.
    • Francis K. Green, as excerpted from his review of Elvis' TV Special, shot at the NBC Burbank Studios over three days in the summer of 1968, and as published at SLOWREVIEW.COM
  • Elvis got that number and made it famous, but I didn’t get a chance to shake his hand
    • Arthur Gunter, bluesman who wrote "Baby let's play house" in 1954, a song covered by Elvis at SUN, in 1955 with the latter being on the one hand, the main inspiration for Jimmy Page's decision, at age 12, to take up a life in music, as well as the source of one of the verses of a Beatles's composition, namely "Run for your life", on the other.
  • But the core of the album, and perhaps the core of Elvis' music itself, are the soulful gospel-flavored ballads. Well, it's often seemed as if Elvis bore more than a passing resemblance to soul singer Salomon Burke. The way in which he uses his voice, his dramatic exploitation of vocal contrast, the alternate intensity and effortless nonchalance of his approach, all put one in mind of a singer who passed this way before, only going the other way. And here he uses these qualities to create a music which, while undeniable country, puts him in touch more directly with the soul singer than with traditional country music. It was his dramatic extravagance, in fact, which set him apart from the beginning, and it is to this perhaps, as much as anything else -- to the very theatrics which Elvis brought to hillbilly music --, that we can trace the emergence of rock & roll.
    • Peter Guralnick, who wrote major biographies on Robert Johnson, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, reviewing the album Elvis Country (1970), for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1971.
  • When one studies the properties of atoms one found that the reality is far stranger than anybody would have invented in the form of fiction. Particles really do have the possibility of, in some sense, being in more than one place at one time. Thus, and essentially, anything that can happen does happen in one of the alternatives which means that superimposed on top of the Universe that we know of, is an alternative universe where Elvis Presley is still alive. This idea was so uncomfortable that for decades scientists dismissed it, but in time parallel universes would make a spectacular comeback. This time they'd be different, they'd be even stranger than Elvis being alive. There's an old proverb that says: be careful what you wish for in case your wish comes true. The most fervent wish of physics has long been that it could find a single elegant theory which would sum up everything in our Universe. It was this dream which would lead unwittingly to the rediscovery of parallel universes. It's a dream which has driven the work of almost every physicist.
    • Alan Guth, physicist at MIT, and narrator Dilly Barlow, as extracted from the BBC-TWO documentary "Parallel Universes" originally shown Thursday 14 February 2002
  • The point of Elvis Presley was that, after a dismal eight years on the screen, he returned to the stage where he always belonged and to the grinding treadmill of being on the road, which has killed so many of America's artists; he may not have pushed the boundaries of music farther but when he opened his mouth to release that baritone - the only white voice that could ever match the blues-, all you could feel was his longing and your own stirrings.
    • Adrian Hamilton, writing for "The Independent", on August 14, 2002
  • When healthy and serious, he was flat-out the world's greatest singer. In his voice, he possessed the most beautiful musical instrument, and the genius to play that instrument perfectly; he could jump from octave to countless other octaves with such agility without voice crack, simultaneously sing a duet with his own overtones, rein in an always-lurking atomic explosion to so effortlessly fondle, and release, the most delicate chimes of pathos. Yet, those who haven't been open (or had the chance) to explore some of Presley's most brilliant work - the almost esoteric ballads and semi-classical recordings -, have cheated themselves out of one of the most beautiful gifts to fall out of the sky in a lifetime. Fortunately, this magnificent musical instrument reached its perfection around 1960, the same time the recording industry finally achieved sound reproduction rivaling that of today. So, it's never too late to explore and cherish a well-preserved miracle, as a simple trip to the record store will truly produce unparalleled chills and thrills, for the rest of your life; and then you'll finally understand the best reason this guy never goes away.
    • Mike Handley, narrator and TV/radio spokesman, in the 'The Jim Bohannon Show', airing on 600+ radio stations on the Westwood One Network.
  • I believe he was already assured of his ability as a performer since he had been perfecting his style on the road for more than a year. If you look at that first appearance on Stage Show, you'll witness a young confident singer with his own unique style. He would enhance his popularity with five more appearances on Stage Show (February 4, 11, 18; March 17, 24) and would become a superstar by the end of that year. On that historic television debut of January 28, 1956, the spotlight was first shown on the two people who had made it happen - the promoter and the performer - disc jockey Bill Randle and the new singing sensation, Electric Elvis.
    • Roger Hall, music preservationist and songwriter, in his essay "Shake, Rattle and Roll: Bill Randle and Electric Elvis", Elvis Symposium (2003)
  • A style and panache that come close to pure magic. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the grace of a dancer, flamboyant and flashy, sexy and self-mocking, he works with the instincts of a genius to give poetry to the basic rock performance.
    • W.A. Harbinson, from his 1975 book "The Illustrated Elvis" in a passage reflecting upon Elvis' 1969 Vegas engagement
  • Elvis was a giant and influenced everyone in the business.
  • I visited eleven countries with Pres. Eisenhower during a massive 1959 peace-building campaign, took a helicopter tour of Washington with Pres. Johnson to see the devastation from the riots after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, and stood on the South Lawn as a disgraced Pres. Nixon boarded Marine One for the last time and left the White House. I met Arnold Palmer when Eisenhower played golf with him at Augusta National, got the word that Elvis Presley had showed up unannounced at the White House’s northwest gate to talk to Nixon and was at Cape Canaveral to watch the Apollo 11 launch, which first put men on the moon.
    • Clint Hill, from his autobiography "Adventures of a Secret Service agent who served under five presidents".
  • It’s insane the charisma he had. I’ve never seen anything like it to this day. When I saw Elvis on television, I just fell in love with him completely. As a singer, I want to be able to relate to an audience like this man did. Of course, nobody can – he was the best there ever was.”
  • Even in his laziest moments, Presley was a master of intonation and phrasing, delivering his rich baritone with a disarming naturalness. And when he caught a spark from his great T.C.B. Band, Presley could still out-sing anyone in American pop. You can hear it here on inspired versions of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working" (1971), Wayne Carson's "Always on My Mind"(1972), Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" (1975), McCartney's "Lady Madonna" (1970), Percy Mayfield's "Stranger in My Own Hometown"(1969), Dennis Linde's "Burning Love" (1972) and Joe South's "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" (1970).
    • Geoffrey Himes, reviewing the "Essential 70's masters" box-set, for amazon.com
  • I am indebted to Scott W. Johnson, my fellow at the Claremont Institute, for many things over the years, but not many rate higher than his "introducing" me to Elvis Presley. I came of age (i.e., reached the 9th grade), just in time for the "British Invasion" and, despite my childhood memories, soon came to think of him as the ultimate in passe; so, I was astonished when Scott told me, a year or two ago, that in his opinion Elvis Presley was the greatest male vocalist of the 20th Century; I had never thought of him in that light, to put it mildly, but that conversation caused me to realize that I had never actually 'listened'; starting then, I did - with the aid of Scott's encyclopedic music collection -, so if you have never gotten past a cartoon image of Elvis, do yourself a favor and 'listen'.
    • John H. Hinderaker, of the Claremont Institute, a Harvard Law School Graduate and expert on public policy issues, including income and race, as published in Power.Line, on January 09, 2007
  • Riding a streamlined rock-and-roll beat, the singer's vocal swoops, slurs, hiccups, moans and growls added up to a new pop singing vocabulary that was instantly memorized by scores of imitators. The antithesis of a relaxed conversational crooning, Presley's style was fraught with tension and animated by an attitude of self-conscious melodrama, woving the whole unwieldy spectrum of pop singing - country-blues, Italianate crooning, Gospel, soul shouting, and honky-tonk yodeling - into an integral personal style. His crowning touch was to accentuate the spontaneously exuberant humor that had always been an ingredient of country, and the blues, but singing it in a way that seemed to poke fun at his own accomplishment.
    • Stephen Holding, in the article "A Hillbilly who wove a rock and roll spell", published by the New York Times on Sunday, July 19, 1987.
  • Elvis' early vocals, was a witches' brew of gospel swoops, falsetto shrieks, growls, howls, and scat...an anthem to human cockiness, to the healing, transcendent powers of the life-force...
    • Edwin Howard, of the "Memphis Press Scimitar", on Elvis' first recordings at the Sun Records label, as published in "Q" magazine
  • So what it boils down to was Elvis produced his own records. He came to the session, picked the songs, and if something in the arrangement was changed, he was the one to change it. Everything was worked out spontaneously. Nothing was really rehearsed. Many of the important decisions normally made previous to a recording session were made during the session. What it was was a look to the future. Today everybody makes records this way. Back then Elvis was the only one. He was the forerunner of everything that's record production these days. Consciously or unconsciously, everyone imitated him. People started doing what Elvis did.
    • Bones Howe. recording engineer, as quoted in Elvis, A Biography (1971) by Jerry Hopkins.
  • Elvis invited me out to the studio, it was at 20th Century Fox,and I went out and he recorded 'Love Me Tender'. I was standing about five yards away from him, and he was singing into a microphone and I couldn't hear him. I thought how strange it was. And then he asked for a playback and his voice came out and I thought 'Wow!' I knew so little about music, it was a different world to me, that he could be actually recording something that would come out that clearly, and yet I was like in touching distance off him and I couldn't hear his voice. I showed him around Hollywood and we got to know each other pretty well for the two weeks. He was a very sweet and innocent naive kind of guy.**
    • Dennis Hopper, on being present during the recording of "Love me tender", as told to Trudie Forsher, engineer at the sessions, who kept it in her diary.[citation needed]
  • Sometimes I feel my life is very surreal (like when) I looked back the time we wanted to have a tour of Graceland and once there got what we were told was a special tour that was only given to rock bands. So we got to see things that everybody didn’t get to see and had our own tour guide dedicated to us. The eternal flame at Elvis’ tomb was out that day, so we stood around and sang “Heartbreak Hotel” ala Spinal Tap. Later on I recounted the story to Billy Steinberg and he said, wait-wait, stop-stop, it’s a great story but why don’t we write a song called “Eternal Flame”? And I said okay. So that’s how it started. And along with "Walk like an Egyptian" they both songs went to #1 which was pretty amazing.
    • Susanna Hoffs, singer, guitarrist and founder of the US all-women rock band The Bangles, explaining to Classic Rock Music Reporter Ray Shasho how their biggest worldwide hit, "Eternal Flame" which in early 1989 topped the charts in 9 countries in three continents came into being and as published in their online page on Jnne 28, 2014
  • Elvis loved gospel music, he was raised on it, and he really did know what he was talking about; we would jam with him for an hour, and he had a feel for it and was "tickled" to have four "church sisters" backing him up; he was singing Gospel all the time, (in fact), almost anything he did had that flavour. You can’t get away from what your roots are.
    • Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, and a founding member of the "Sweet Inspirations", one of the Gospel Groups who backed Presley in his live performances, from 1969 until his death, as told to Jerry Helligar in an interview published in "True Believer", at classicwhitney.com (10 August 1998)
  • Interest on Elvis has helped generate $3.2 billion in tourism and create 35,000 jobs in our city. In fact, it was the opening of Graceland that was the beginning of tourism as we know it today, in Memphis...
    • Jeff Hulett, director of public relations for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, as published on the Star Tribune, on August 31, 2016
  • In the end, though, it is his voice above all, that lives on; from the very beggining as a bright and eager youngster capering around the SUN studios, exitedly hammering together two musical styles to create an unforgettable allow, all of his own, right up until the later years, spent booming out ballads in the massive auditoria that were his domain during the seventies - even during the frequently written-off Hollywood years-, his voice never let him down; it is impossible from this perspective to imagine a world without Elvis, his voice booming out from radios and computers, from spaceships circling the further reaches of the galaxy, his voice echoing back; (in fact), it is almost inconceivable that any single individual could have made such a mark.
    • Patrick Humphries discussing Elvis' voice, in his introduction to his book "The Secret History of the Classics"
  • While in Italy, my brother Ira got a guitar and visited a teacher for an introductory lesson. He saw the teacher’s long nails on his right hand and was told that he would have to practice classical music. Absolutely not, said Ira, I want to be Elvis Presley. So then I volunteered to take his place and had an instrument custom-made, just to know that it was something personal, that I wasn’t sharing it with other kids, like a piano, and that impressed me. It was something I could cradle and caress. When you hold a guitar, it becomes part of you. You can feel the vibration. I was a shy kid. So being able to play something that wasn’t loud and bombastic, it expressed my own feelings.
    • Sharon Isbin classical music guitarist and founder of the Juillard School's Guitar Department, explainig to reporter Michael Anthony of the Minnesoota Post how she came to love the guitar, during her early years in Italy, as published in the 21 November 2014 online edition of the MINNPOST
  • Elvis' initial hopes for a music career involved singing in a gospel male quartet. His favourite part was bass baritone, and he himself had an almost 3-octave vocal range... Yet to posterity's surprise, such a superlative and magnetic natural talent always remained humble --perhaps too humble to keep performing forever.
    • IMDb's review of his appearance in Frank Sinatra's 1960's "Welcome Home Party for Elvis Presley" TV special.
  • I’d done my show (in 1955), and I was back in a room. My daddy was in there with me, and we’re hearing screaming, and it was kind of scary. Daddy said, ‘Well, heck, there might be a fire or something. I’ll go check. You get your purse and stuff gathered up. So I did, and daddy left. And in a few minutes, he came back, stood there in the doorway and said, ‘Wanda, you’re not going to believe this. You’ve got to come see it for yourself.He took me to the wings of the stage, and I look out and here’s Elvis doing all these gyrations and all these girls around the stage screaming and reaching for him and crying, and I thought ‘What in the world?’ That was a first for me.
    • Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson, remembering her touring with Elvis and the moment she realized music had changed forever, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • After months of neglect, the U.S.S. Potomac was in poor condition and had to be cleaned up for the ceremony. A few days before the event, in early February of 1964, Presley's people contacted the Long Beach Port authorities asking how much it would cost to have the boat cleaned up and painted for the dedication, the answer being that it would take at least three days and $18,000 to make it presentable. There wasn't that much time, so then it became a question of how much it would take to just paint the side that faced the dock and the international press waiting therein? It was $8,000 so they did it"
    • Excerpted from Walter Jaffe's book, "The Presidential Yacht Potomac", detailing the last moments prior to the ship's dedication at Long Beach Harbor, the result of Presley's decision to gift the former FDR's Presidential Yatch, to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, in Memphis, TN, for its eventual sale to raise funds for the construction of a new wing in the hospital, an endeavour to which Presley had already committed his time, back in 1957 when he drew 11,000 contributors to Memphis' Russwood Park for that year's Danny Thomas organized fundraiser and benefit gala. The Yatch is currently anchored at Oakland Harbor, and can boarded and toured daily for a trip up to the Golden Gate bridge, and back.
  • He was a unique artist – an original in an area of imitators.
  • I have to respect Elvis accomplishments. He took R&B and made it respectable to white people. Plus it was B.B King, who knew Elvis personally, explained to me Elvis was quick to respect and acknowledge the black artists who influenced him.
    • Funk, soul and R&B composer, musician and actor Rick James, from his autobiography "Glow", quoting BB King as the person who set him straight about Presley's true love and respect for the blues.
  • It is a weakness of the mind to preconceive a judgment of your thought, before the act is done. Despite the acid hemlock stirred by "The Las Vegas Sun" , Mr. Presley will survive and live to sing some more. Perhaps this cat should have studied grand opera, or the fiddle (but), I don't join that school of thought. You see, he's a natural and any dope knows what a natural is. His vocal is real and has a hep to the motion of sound, with a retort that is tremendous. Squares who like to detract their imagined misvalues can only size a note creeping upstairs after dark; this cat can throw them downstairs, or even out the window, with a depth of tone that can sink deeper than a well. He can wilt into a whisper faster than a gossipmonger can throw down a free drink and he really makes them cry. Presley's voice is that of American youth looking at the moon and wondering how long it will take to get there, something new coming over the horizon, all by himself, and he deserves his ever-growing audience. Yep, this boy's sails are set and he's got wind. Good luck and the best of everything. I hope they hold you over! After all, ten million cats can't be wrong.
    • Ed Jameson, President and CEO of Bancorp, Las Vegas, writing a letter to the Editor, as a then teenager, and as publshed in the "Las Vegas SUN", on May 12, 1956
  • "Bob King's", the nightclub, was packed and it was filled with anticipation. Even a seasoned musician like Sonny Burgess knew the vibe in the club was different that night. As Elvis Presley stepped onto the stage and the band started to play, his hips began to move and as sang "Good Rocking Tonight" the crowd was whirled into a frenzy. Burgess has witnessed hundreds of musicians and bands and played before millions of fans throughout the United States and Europe during his long career that has spanned more than 50 years, but the guitarist has never experienced the energy and emotion he felt the night he heard Elvis play that tune, back in 1955."Boy, he was different," Burgess told The Jonesboro Sun. "As soon as he walked into the building you could feel his energy. He had the looks, the songs and the charisma. Whatever a star has, he had it — more than anyone else."
    • Excerpted from an interview by seasoned columnist George Jared with rockabilly musician Albert "Sonny" Burgess, and posted on The "Jonesboro Sun" on Sep. 2, 2014.
  • It is when Guralnick shows how young Elvis made his way through this cultural briar patch, that we get what we need. He got voluptuous phrasing and ecstatic self-confidence from gospel, wit and menace from the blues, homespun sincerity from country and, from what we can now call gay theatrics, he got glamour and self-parody. He played the outlaw and the good son. How he flirts with his audiences, first being casual, fervent, sneering, then inviting us to laugh at, or with him. ¨As you desire me¨, he is saying, ¨so shall I be¨. Was he a great performer? Yes and yes again. He galvanized rock-and-roll and made you feel the fun and the risk and all the contradictions. That's self-invention, and that's entertainment.
    • Margo Jefferson, reviewing Peter Guralnick's biography of Elvis Last Train to Memphis, The Rise of Elvis Presley for The New York Times (26 October 1996)
  • Elvis was singing "That's All Right" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky". The sound went straight up your spine. The way he sang, the singer sounded black, but something about the songs was really country".
  • Elvis Presley changed everyone’s life. I mean there would be no Beatles, Hendrix or Dylan. I mean, he just was the man who changed music without question. When they had a Rolling Stone poll about who was the most influential people in rock n roll, I think The Beatles were number one and I just said, you know, “What? No, Elvis was number one. I know he drew his influence from Gospel and Blues and Country Music and Black Soul music whatever, but he was the one that started it all. I was looking at an old Life magazine and there was a picture of him and I thought he was from Mars or something. And then that weekend my mother came home with ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and that changed my life. Years later, I saw him in Las Vegas and I mean he was fantastic at the Hilton. But the only time I met him was very briefly before he went on stage in Washington DC, a year before he died. And it was very sad but even though it was very sad, even on stage and my mother, who was with me, said, “Well he’s not going to be alive much longer, is he?” She was really sad. And I was too, he was my idol too. But even though he went through the motions and was not really there at the scene at the end of that concert, there was still flashes of brilliance, inspite of being hugely overweight, but when he actually sung a couple of lines it was magical. You don’t lose that magic, no matter how fucked up you are, you know, you just.If you’re brilliant, snatches of that brilliance will come through. And later in my life I end up a recluse in my own bedroom, you know, taking cocaine, so I’d kind of did become HIM. But what happened to him, you forget he died when he was only 42, for Christ’s sake. I mean he was only 42. And it’s one of the great tragedies. I don’t think anybody actually said “Elvis, you can’t do that, you mustn’t do that”. Rewinding back, I played piano at a very early age, it got me attention and I liked it, but music wasn’t my dream until I discovered him in 1957. I was sitting in the little barbershop in our village, waiting to have my hair cut, and I saw this picture of Elvis. He looked like an alien — really weird but amazing. And after I saw Elvis and heard his music, there was no going back.
    • Elton John , addressing the NYT's Philip Galanes's question on what was his first dream, as published in the New York Times on November 28, 2014, as well as from in an interview with Andrew Denton's Enough Rope, dated July 9 2007, when asked to explain how he felt about his biggest idol's death in 1977, shortly after meeting him in 1976.
  • Woman wanted him, men wanted to BE him, or just hang out with him.”
  • So we left that CREATIVE era of jazz, bebop, bigband and went into the '50s. It was like coming from modern jazz to poop tunes like "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window," and so on. It was unbelievable. But then..... Elvis Presley changed that whole thing for white America because he opened the way for black music to come in.
  • Blues, country, pop, rock and roll, gospel, and beyond, this man could sing anything. From the rockabilly of the Sun Sessions, to the MOR of "Wooden Heart"(1960), to the later day "Burnin' Love" (1972), Elvis proved that he had the skills as a vocalist that few have, or will ever have.
    • Rob Jones, Canadian musicologist, writing in "Helium: Where knowledge rules".
  • Not any big ones, but I had a picture taken that haunts me to this day. I’d just come off stage at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to be greeted by Elvis Presley, Merv Griffin and Norm Crosby. Elvis knew how to work himself up for pictures and he ended up looking like, well, Elvis, any doubling of the chin magically concealed. LOL. So naive, grinning me, however, clearly had an extra chin, later to be surgically eliminated. It was something to do with the singing. I had it cut out, now I’ve got the mark of Zorro under my chin, that’s why I grew this beard. Never have your photo taken with Elvis Presley.
    • Tom Jones's zany answer to Bryan Appelyard, who interviewed him and asked he tell the readers of The Times of London what he regretted the most in his career, as published in the said newspaper on October 3, 2015.
  • I wanted to look at Elvis the non-saint, as well as the nature of songs from the ‘50’s, all that postwar optimism; he’s iconic, a wonderful singer with an amazing body of work, but he’s a bit like Billie Holiday, you’re not ‘allowed’ to be critical.
    • Barb Jungr, UK-based singer, composer and writer of Czech and German parentage, explaining why she fell in love with the voice of Elvis Presley, went searching for the essence of a dozen of her Presley favourites, as well as her particular predicament in choosing the right ones for her album "Love me tender", as published in the Herald, Glasgow, on August 5, and on the April 13-20, 2005 issue of "Time Out, London".
  • From the darkest of backgrounds, Elvis' voice emerges with such realism that you could take singing lessons, his vocals so irresistible and smooth, and with such startling definition, that the clearest and most concise way I can describe the experience, is that I never felt as though I was listening to a recording.
    • Danny Kaey, a top audio & music writer, reviewing the Duke loudspeakers, as he listened to "Fever", a track found on the "Elvis is back" album, and as published in POSITIVE FEEDBACK, ONLINE.
  • During his rendition of "Hurt", (1976), he was in even better voice, singing in a register that gave more impact to his phrasing, and even hitting notes that could cause a mild hernia. And, after they drew a good crowd reaction, he offered them in a reprise that was tantamount to masochism.
    • Mike Kalina, reviewing Elvis' 1976 New Year's concert for the "Pittsburgh Post Gazette", January 1, 1977.
  • The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt.
    • Kiri Te Kanawa, top New Zealand opera star and soprano's answer to UK show-host Michael Parkinson ( who probably expected her to name Luciano Pavarotti, or Maria Callas), when asked whose was the greatest voice she had ever heard (as published in Blabbermouth.net, 3 January 2007)
  • While they were civil, they never really had much to say and I might feel a chill between them and me. But Elvis was different. I remember him distinctly because (inter-alia) he was friendly, polite to a fault, spoke with this thick molasses southern accent and always called me 'sir'. I liked that. When he appeared at the Goodwill Revue, a yearly benefit for needy black kids sponsored by WDIA, he did himself proud. Remember this was the fifties so for a young white boy, by then a big, big star to show up in an all-black function in 1957 took "guts". I believe he was showing his roots and he seemed proud of those roots. I hold no grudges. Elvis didn't steal any music from anyone. He just had his own interpretation of the music he'd grown up on, same was true for me, the same true for everyone. I think Elvis had integrity (In fact), more than anyone, he was the guy who kicked the revolution into high gear. (Moreover) what most people don’t know is that this boy is serious about what he’s doing, he’s carried away by it. When I was in Memphis with my band, he used to stand in the wings and watch us perform. As for fading away, rock and roll is here to stay and so, I believe, is Elvis. He’s been a shot in the arm to the business and all I can say is ‘that’s my man’.”
    • From BB King 'autobiography "Blues all around me", where the King of the Blues manages to make a distinction between those white males he was acquainted with, at SUN Records, namely Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis on the one hand, and Elvis on the other, thus giving Presley extra credit for both his personal and musical integrity (pp 141,185), as well as an interview with Sepia, the magazine which started the rumor about Presley being a recist.
  • I was ushering here in Los Angeles at the "Vogue Theater" , that's how I supported myself before I started acting, and about ten o'clock one night a Mercedes Benz 600 Limo bigger than this room, with Elvis in it, pulled up. And I guess at one point in his life Elvis must have made a deal with God, that God would let him be Elvis if Elvis promised he never let anyone forget seeing him.(LOL) And I say this because when he got out of the Mercedes he was decked out in such a way that, you know, Priscilla Presley is a beautiful woman, right? And she was standing next to him, right? Well, I never saw her. LOL I didn't see anybody (LOL), and there were 24 people with him (LOL). As I was telling you earlier, I was in show business since I was a kid and I was never thrown by any celebrity, but when I saw him walking towards me, I went limp. I froze. And all I could say was "It's the King, It's the King, It's the King, the King's here".(LOL). And he said, "Thank you very much..."
    • Actor and comedian Bruno Kirby when asked by a caller watching Tom Snyder's "Late Late Night New year's Show, on 31 December 1995, to recall the time he met Elvis Presley, in 1968.
  • I’m in awe of people who’ve accomplished wonderful things and succeed. It was really something when I met Walter Payton. He was just the most humble person that I had ever met and I just met Beyoncé and I really have a lot of respect and admiration for her and the success that she’s had. And when I ran across Elvis Presley"
    • Gladys Knight, when asked to name people she had had the desire to meet, then got her wish and absolutely loved it, as twitted to New York Jet's Coach Todd Bowles, in an article published by the New York Post on September 25, 2015.
  • Love me tender, love me true...
    • Japanese PM Junishiro Koizumi s response to the members of the international press, who asked him to sing a few lines of any Elvis song to President and Mrs. George Bush during their visit to Graceland and which, by virtue of their meeting there, became the only private home in America other than the White House and any of the Presidential retreats to host an official meeting between a sitting President of the United States and the head of a foreign Government.
  • Perhaps the only other voice to touch me (Luciano Pavarotti's voice being the first), was the voice of Elvis Presley; to watch him perform as I did along with Carl (Palmer), and Keith (Emerson), both in 1971 and again later in 1976 was an absolutely awesome and breathtaking experience; like Pavarotti, Presley had the power to reduce most people to tears very quickly and indeed to move them to think very carefully about their inner spiritual beliefs; as far as singing is concerned, the human voice is a matter of the expression of passion in the understanding of the human condition and, upon seeing both of them perform, I very quickly came to realise that they were each capable of expressing more feeling, with their voices, than I had ever thought possible.
    • Greg Lake, lead singer and bass player for the UK progressive rock super-group "Emerson, Lake and Palmer", as published on www.greglake.com, on September 7, 2007.
  • Number one for me and no one else comes close; ignore for a second that Presley was the most beautiful human being of all time and that he was easily the most electric performer ever; in his prime, he could sing anything (rock, opera, metal, soul, blues, country – no problem); all the wonks will tell you he did his best work at Sun Records, but for me his immense '50s RCA output is so explosive that it puts everyone else to shame; it’s not just that Elvis had an amazing instrument, no one ever had so much fun putting it to use; whirling back and forth from low to high, from raspy to angelically pretty, the only singer ever that could take any song and transform it into something that sounded like it came from somewhere else, a galaxy or two away.
    • Brad Laidman, music writer for BLOGCRITICS, reviewing RollingStone Magazine's listing of the 100 "Greatest Singers of all time", as published on 17 November, 2008
  • There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home... He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll singers. While he sings in a lower voice than ever -and what I liked about the early records was that beautifully vulnerable high voice-, he opened his Boston concert (1971) with "That's Alright Mama" (1954), singing it with enough verve to scare the unsuspecting. It was his very first record, and although it doesn't sound quite the same as when he did it 17 years ago at the Sun studios in Memphis, I was moved by the fact that he was doing it at all. It was a tour de force of theatrics, professionalism, and, happily, music. (In fact), he sings so well, the audience hesitates to press him for more, his purpose being to please himself by pleasing them, never to please them by pleasing himself.
    • Jon Landau, for "Rolling Stone" magazine, reviewing his November 10, 1971, concert at the Boston Garden.
  • He had total love in his eyes when he performed. He was the total androgenous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was twelve or thirteen years old."
    • K.D.Lang, as published in www,graceland.com
  • Ali was my idol, Bruce Lee was my idol, Sugar Ray Robinson was my idol and Elvis Presley was my idol, so I combined those 4 to make Sugar Ray Leonard
    • Ray Leonard, explaining how the making of his persona was influenced by two boxers, a martial artist and one Elvis Presley.
  • i) Elvis was the thing. Whatever people say, he was it. I was not competing against Elvis, Rock happened to be the media I was born into. He was the one, that's all. Those people who picked paint brushes like Van Gogh, probably wanted to be Renoir, or whoever went before him. I wanted to be Elvis. ii) Before Elvis, there was nothing.

- John Lennon

    • John Lennon's i) words of appreciation, as read posthumously by his son Julian on his own behalf and that of his younger brother Sean, both of whom were chosen by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct Presley in 1986 ii) as published in www.graceland.com
  • He had an incredible, attractive instrument that worked in many registers; he could falsetto like Little Richard, his equipment was outstanding, his ear uncanny, and his sense of timing second to none; (in short) he could sing...
    • Jerry Leiber, who with Mike Stoller, co-wrote some of the greatest R&R and Pop hits of the 50's, and early 60's.
  • In any case, there's something beautifully uncomfortable at the root of the vocal style that defines the pop era, the simplest example coming at the moment of the style's inception, i.e. Elvis Presley: at first, listeners thought that the white guy was a black guy and it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that when Ed Sullivan's television show tossed this disjunction into everyone's living rooms, American culture was thrilled by it, but also a little deranged, in ways that we haven't gotten over yet; ultimately, the nature of the vocals in post-Elvis popular music is the same as the role of the instrumental soloist in jazz; that's to say, if it isn't pushing against the boundaries of its form, at least slightly, it isn't doing anything at all; so, we judge popular vocals since 1956 by what the singer unearths that the song itself could never quite, and (this) explains why Elvis is always rock, even when singing "Blue Moon.
    • Excerpted from the lead article by Jonathan Lethem, as published on Rolling Stone's magazine's December 2008 issue, honoring the 100 greatest singers in the Rock era, in an article entitled "What Makes a Great Singer"
  • A lot has been written and said about why he was so great, but I think the best way to appreciate his greatness is just to go back and play some of the old records. Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis' keep getting better and better.”
    • Rocker Huey Lewis, as published in www.graceland.com
  • I really got interested when I got into high school, about grade nine. I heard "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley and I went and bought a guitar and so did a friend of mine. We both bought guitars and we practiced Elvis impersonations, way back when we were 15-years-old. And that was how I learned how to play the guitar. Elvis Presley has a great recording of my song "Early Morning Rain". He did such a good job on it too, and it was probably the most important recording that I have by another artist.
    • Gordon Lightfoot, answering interviewer Matt Wake on what got him interested in music,as published on the February 17, 2015 edition at Advanced Digital.
  • Growing up during the pre-rock ‘n’ roll era, I fell on the ground when I heard “Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. I thought, ‘Man this is happening. Years later I met him while rehearsing for his ’68 Comeback Special. Our road manager was Jerry Williams, a promoter who knew Elvis so one June evening Jerry asked us to go down and see him. When we arrived between 9:30 and 10 o’clock that night, Elvis decided to take a break. He came out right on Sunset Boulevard, standing on the sidewalk leaning against the building. Jerry exclaimed, “You can’t stay out there!” And this is Elvis Presley, right? He looks like Elvis Presley. Elvis replied, “Look, nobody is gonna believe it’s really me”. It was the truth. We’re just rapping back and forth. People came by, and they’d do a double take—‘Nah it can’t be Elvis’—and they’d walk on. Nobody will ever be like him. I would have given anything to have seen him at the Overton Park Shell [renamed the Levitt Shell] in Memphis when he was about 20 years old. Elvis rocked harder than almost anybody. If he’s in heaven right now—and I’m sure he is—he’s probably smiling as he looks down and says, “Look how many people are trying to do what I did”.
    • Singer Mark Lindsay formerly the leader of the 1960's group Paul Revere & the Raiders, as excerpted from in an interview igiven to the Examiner, and published on their online edition on 26 January, 2015.
  • Here is a nonchalant phenomenon whom, as yet, no one has accurately described, a young man who has an inherent ability to arouse mass hysteria (or should I say ecstasy?) wherever he goes, yet is unassuming and completely untouched by the fabulous success he has achieved almost overnight.
    • Bud Lilly Publicity director for the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, in a letter to the Las Vegas SUN, which had requested the hotels mamagement to provide the paper with more information on Presley, as published on April 26, 1956.
  • i) Like, see, when Elvis came out a lot of black groups would say, "Elvis cannot do so and so and so, shoo shoo shoo" And I'd say, "Shut up, shut up." Let me tell you this—when I came out they wasn't playing no black artists on no Top 40 stations, I was the first to get played on the Top 40 stations—but it took people like Elvis to open the door for this kind of music, and I thank God for Elvis Presley. I thank the Lord for sending Elvis to open that door so I could walk down the road, you understand?. ii) he was God given, an integrator, a blessing, they wouldnt let black music through, a Messiah comes every thousand years and he was it this time.
  • He closes with a song called "If I Can Dream," a late contribution from vocal arranger Walter Earl Brown -- a plea for peace and understanding that in the murderous year of 1968 had a timely urgency --; dressed all in white, planted before his name in lights forty feet high, he folds his body into the song as if in pain, a pain he means to kill with hope; it is as raw and real as any performance I've ever seen, the beginning of the last phase of Presley's career and, if much of what followed look like decline, it was also an apotheosis; he had only nine years to live.
    • Robert Lloyd, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times in his article entitled "The night Elvis reclaimed his crown", published on March 11, 2008, on the eve of the 40th Anniversary of his 1968 TV Special, and its special screening at Los Angeles' high Cinerama Dome.
  • I taught him some lyrics in Spanish and he learned them. I wrote it for him the way it was sung (phonetically). He was very talented. It was very difficult Mexican music.
    • Manny Lopez, RCA vibraphone recording artist known as the "King of the Cha Cha", explaining how, under his tutelage, Elvis sang the Mexican standard, "Guadalajara", (1963) in Spanish, like an authentic Mariachi, as published in Las Vegas' "The Desert Sun", on March 16, 2007
  • The other recording session I always think of was Elvis. Not in my wildest dreams — I mean, it was like how is this little girl singing background for Elvis Presley? How do things like that happen? The stars lined up, everything was in order, and Elvis fell in love with me because of my gospel background. Whenever he would get a chance he would go to me, 'Do you know this song? Come on, let’s go sing it.' Gospel music was the closeness that we had. "If I Can Dream" is my all-time favorite Elvis song. It was a big record, but not as big as it could have been. It was one of those records where you’d think it sold 10 billion copies, but it didn’t. I did that song in my show a couple of times, but it’s a really hard song to sing, it really is, the meter is really difficult. You have to really study hard to learn how to sing that song. That’s why I don’t sing it anymore.
    • Actress and singer Darlene Love, in an interview for "Vulture", published in the magazine's online edition on September 23, 2015 in an article entitled "9 Behind-the-Scenes Stories from the Greatest Backup Singer Ever"
  • During my long career in broadcasting, I’ve had the chance to interview lots of famous people; it was late summer in 1976 when I was sent out to the Arena to cover some sort of special announcement from manager Bob Kunkel, whose look, as soon as we entered the room, told us that this was no hunting and fishing extravaganza he was promoting but an Elvis Presley concert; before leaving, I cornered him to ask about helping arrange an exclusive interview; he laughed and said, 'Good luck with that'; so, instead, I managed to get six tickets, at 15 dollars each, with each of our daughters having to come up with five bucks each, on their own, to help cover the cost; the show itself was memorable for the music, and his voice was strong but he looked tired and not well. A few months later, Elvis was back; this time, his voice was even stronger but he looked worse; two months later, he was dead and that's when my family and I went to see him, one last time, in a memorable trip where we and thousands of others, walked slowly through those gates to view his grave. That 'show' was for free...
    • Doug Lund, Director of KELO/TV, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recalling his sad, albeit memorable experience of not being able to interview Elvis twice, and his attending his funeral, all in a period of less than nine months, as published on 23 March, 2007 in KELOLAND.COM
  • Elvis did the Comeback Special in '68. He was falling in the ratings and it brought him right back onto the throne and, when you watch him sing - and "Baby, what do you want me to do" in particular, which is a cover of an R&B song by Jimmy Reed, Elvis makes it his own - you see this music is HIM, he's got every inflection, every feeling 100 per cent out there for all to see, it's so thrilling to watch, it's infectious. With singers and musicians, there's the surface of something and then real deep levels of being IT, and nobody gets close to Elvis because he gets that thing at the deepest level and it comes alive with him and everybody feels it, and it's like magic. He looked so great in his black leather, but even if he looked weird he'd still be King. Elvis is the total package, he was born for it."
    • Director David Lynch, who recently voted the 1968 Comeback Special as his number one musical performance of all time, as published in EIN´WWW page.
  • My next book is about how the U.S. Army tried to ‘transform’ itself to meet the challenges of the atomic bomb, as well as the American experiment with a large peacetime, short-service citizen-soldier force and conscription. The idea that someone as famous and controversial as Elvis Presley could be drafted and become a symbol of the U.S. military and the nation’s commitment to the defense of the free world fascinates me. His exemplary military service was well chosen, for that young man quietly accepted the call to duty, raised his hand and took the oath, wore the uniform and performed soldierly tasks as well as he had cavorted on the stage before adoring teenyboppers. Thus, after years of unremitting effort, the all-volunteer force that many call “the best Army this or any other nation has ever fielded” has come to face new enemies, new challenges with, if not sublime confidence, at least sturdy resolution. In considering the long hard period of transformation, one ponders the profound commentary of Elvis Presley’s first sergeant: “By submitting to the draft and entering the Army as an ordinary private, Elvis accepted the discipline of an institution that had come to play a vital role in transforming men from assorted backgrounds into soldiers and Americans. A condensed version of those lines might stand as a pretty good inscription on the Pelvis’ tombstone.
    • Review of Military historian Brian McAllister Linn book, "Elvis Army, Cold War GIs and the atomic battlefield" (Harvard University Press), as published in the Roanoke Times, on 23 September 2016.
  • Oh, they can kiss my ass,” she says of critics who might accuse her of borrowing other cultures’ fixtures. It's a topic she seems interested to discuss. “I’m not appropriating anything. I’m inspired and I’m referencing other cultures. That is my right as an artist. They said Elvis Presley stole African-American culture. That’s our job as artists, to turn the world upside down and make everyone feel bewildered and have to rethink everything.”
    • Madonna, in an article by Michael Jacobs entitled "To hell and back, Madonna lives to tell" , as published by the Huffington Post on 13 March, 2015.
  • Ever since I was a kid, I was just glued to the record player. I would save allowances to buy Elvis records every week and still remember when I first heard "It's Now or Never". I thought that was the greatest rock 'n' roll record I ever heard. It just blew my mind. But it blew my mind even more when my mom showed me it was actually an Italian aria (O Sole Mio, which remains part of Malo's performance repertoire to this day). It was like, 'There you go. There is a connection with all of this music.' It all started from there."
    • Songwriter and singer Raul Malo, explaining to Walter Tunis how he became a music aficionado, as published on November 27 at Lex.go.co
  • He was ahead of his time because he had such deep feelings and had the privilege of deep feelings because he was deeply loved by his mother, Gladys. He was able to appreciate profound beauty in sounds and he started a musical revolution. In fact, they say all revolutions start from love.
    • Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Phillippines, as published in www.graceland.com
  • If any individual of our time can be said to have changed the world, Elvis Presley is the one. In his wake more than music is different. Nothing and no one looks or sounds the same. His music was the most liberating event of our era because it taught us new possibilities of feeling and perception, new modes of action and appearance, and because it reminded us not only of his greatness, but of our own potential. As to his comeback in 1968, it was the finest music of his life. If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it.The second edition of my book came out after Elvis died, and I was asked to put the whole Elvis chapter in the past tense, and I said no. The reason was that Elvis' presence was so powerful, I felt he's always in the present tense. When you listen to anything that says Elvis Presley to you, whoever you are, whether it's "Long Black Limousine" or "Jailhouse Rock" or "Milkcow Blues Boogie" or "Any Day Now" — I could go on forever — but the physical presence is so strong that death walks away. There's an obscene Elvis outtake of "Stranger in My Hometown". Elvis is singing and suddenly it becomes completely autobiographical, and he explodes — he says "I'm gonna start driving my motherfucking truck again. All them cocksuckers stopped being friendly, but you can't keep a hard prick down." He just goes off, yet it's completely musical, not just breaking down and screaming. He's right there. Every one of his greatest performances is in a way unfinished, because the emotion in them is so rich and so strained, in the best way, trying so hard to say what you mean emotionally, though you can never say everything, so as you listen, you add to that, you're engaged, you're taking part in the dialogue. So that will always be the present tense.
    • Greil Marcus, discussing the 40th anniversary of his book "Mystery Train" in a retrospective interview with Rob Sheffield of RollingStone published in the mazazine's online edition on October 19, 2015.
  • Critiques of the [Ed Sullivan] programs assumed that the Presley appeal was strictly telegenic—not vocal. His vocal style, in fact, was every bit as mobile as his hips. Since most of the journalists on the Elvis beat denied him any artistry, his two-and-a-third-octave range was never mentioned and the music itself was rarely analyzed
    • Author Karal Ann Marling, as noted in her 1996 book, "As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s (Harvard University Press).
  • The biggest thing Elvis had was the command he had on stage, how he could control the crowd and the band. There’s a performance on the Ed Sullivan show where he does ‘Hound Dog and at the end he slows it down, and - to me - it looked like an improv moment, not like something they rehearsed. It was like Presley saw girls in the audience freaking out and said to himself: ‘Watch me slow it down - and then really go nuts.’ And he slows it down at the end and then starts his little dance, and he had them.
    • Bruno Mars, speaking to reporters on his love of Elvis Presley's music, as reported by the AP
  • Two months ago scarcely anyone but economists had even heard of mechanism design. Suddenly, it has notoriety worthy of an Elvis Presley ( a man who) somehow manages to attract a huge public following without even trying. Indeed, he can't very well try since he's been dead for 30 years. Yet, isn't it remarkable that, for one week a year, that kind of attention is focused not just on economics, but on physics, chemistry, medicine, and literature. And for that astounding accomplishment, I'd like to express my warmest appreciation to the Nobel Foundation and the Nobel awarding bodies.
    • Eric Maskin, US economist and one of three 2007 Nobel laureates, as stated in his acceptance speech at the Nobel Foundation, in Sweden and as published by nobelprize.org
  • Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's perceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men made the only maps we can trust.
  • He was an instinctive actor, quite bright, very intelligent, not a punk. In fact, he was very elegant, sedate, refined, and sophisticated.
    • Actor Walter Matthau who co-starred with Elvis in "King Creole," from a 1987 interview
  • A rise in the number of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases has highlighted the growing trend for parents not to have their child vaccinated. Could the activities of a group of teenagers against polio in 1950s America inspire a fresh look at the effectiveness of pro-vaccine public health information campaigns? Well, today, thanks to a 50 year global effort to eradicate polio, only two countries (Afghanistan and Pakistan) remain polio-endemic. It was a very different situation when the Salk vaccine was licensed in 1955. Even in 1957, as many as 30% of people still had no inoculations, and a third of all new cases were in teens, its use threatened in the USA by ‘vaccine hesitancy" And then young people themselves – and Elvis Presley – became the answer to the problem, in what might be the first, largest and most successful case of teen health activism of the time. The fight waged against vaccine noncompliance in 1950s America, he suggests, could provide important lessons for the world today.
    • University of Cambridge historian Dr Stephen Mawdsley, in a film entitled "Teens Against Polio, (released in World Immunization Week, 24-30 April 2016), describing how the activities of a group of teenagers against polio in 1950s America, spearheaded by Presley, if studied carefully, may 60 years later inspire a fresh look at the effectiveness of pro-vaccine public health information campaigns.
  • I’m primitive on music. I don’t want to learn it, it’s too serious, too like homework. And nothing about my childhood inspired me with a love of classical music. My dad was a bit of a jazzer so if a symphony came on the radio he would immediately turn it off. School was no better, you would have just had to play one Elvis record and we would have been hooked. We’d have turned up in droves to that lesson. (In fact) I’ve got so many vivid memories of being a kid in Liverpool. Like everyone I suppose, I have millions of memories of those days. I remember John and I going up to the airport on our bikes to watch the planes. It makes me smile to think that they named the airport after him. So then I think back to getting the bus with George, going to school. And then the memories go beyond that, to getting the bus to "The Cavern" or the "Grosvenor Ballroom". And then the memories go beyond that and beyond that, and I have to remember that I was one of the guys that all that was happening to. You have to pinch yourself and say ‘did that REALLY happen?’. Did I REALLY meet Elvis?”
    • Paul McCartney, reminiscing about his early years with the Beatles, as published on the Liverpool Echo's online edition of 24 May, 2015 and as extracted from the book "Conversations with McCartney" by Paul DuNoyer.
  • Growing up, I could sing every Elvis song. In first or second grade, I’d wrap a scarf around my neck, put a big hibiscus flower in my shirt pocket, and perform Live From Hawaii. He came through Monroe, Louisiana, on one of his last tours, and my mom was going to take me, but I got mumps. When she was getting ready for the show, I was lying on the floor kicking and screaming because I couldn’t go. In fact, every artist puts a bit of the King into every performance. We’re all just trying to be Elvis, aren’t we?
    • Tim McGraw, on his first influence, as published in CMT News online page on July 14, 2016.
  • The headline news of "Platinum", which can be appreciated by fans, scholars, critics and religious fanatics alike, is the inclusion of a newly discovered 1954 demo of the unsigned Elvis singing a lilting wisp of a pop song called "I'll Never Stand in Your Way". His unsophisticated performance is mesmerizing; clearly indebted to the style of the "Ink Spots", Elvis' airy tenor floats delicately above his own guitar accompaniment, aching and somewhat pinched in its feeling; you sense the singer itching to cut loose, to really swing the lyric, open it up; it is in those moments, when the pentimento of the blues vocalist reveals itself, that the melding of styles that soon would change the course of popular music is on fleeting display; it's rare when a single song can be said to make a pricey box-set worthwhile, but this particular "Rosetta stone" of a rare cut, does precisely that. Big time.
    • David McGee, reviewing the Platinum box-set for RollingStone Magazine
  • For me, it all started with Elvis. I must've been six, maybe seven years old when I saw him on the Ed Sullivan show, wasn't supposed to be watching, raised as I was in a strict Catholic family, and Elvis the Pelvis was sin. But like most Catholic parents, they watched to see just how sinful Elvis was. He was shot from the waist up, I could see that from my hiding place behind the couch. But Elvis' music and energy ignited my first desire to rock 'n roll. My father was a professional magician with a love of movies, and that’s where my childhood creative energies were directed. In fact, through my entire teen life my dream was to be a rock and roll rebel.
    • Director TomMcLoughlin, former lead singer of the garage band "The Sloths" , explaining what first turned into rock music, in an article published in BoeigBoeing's online page, on 17 March 2015
  • But it is Presley's singing, halfway between a western and a rock 'n' roll style, that has sent teen-agers into a trance; they like his wailing in a popular song like "Blue Moon" or such western tunes as "I'll Never Let You Go", but they go crazy over the earthy, lusty mood of such rock 'n' roll numbers as "Money Honey"; and the reason is simple enough: Presley sings with a beat; and you can be certain that there'll always be music with a beat and that, whether you like it or not, there will always be an Elvis Presley.
    • Helen McNamara, Canadian Music writer and book author, writing on Presley's future impact, as published on the June 9, 1956 issue of "Saturday Night Magazine"
  • I'm a very non-religious person. I think everybody has the right to believe in any religion they want. Whatever makes you happy is absolutely fantastic. That's a perfect question to say 'no comment' to, because I don't really wanna hear anybody else's opinion, and I don't think anybody should wanna hear my opinion, because it's very, very personal. And nobody knows anything anyway. So it's, like… If I had to choose a religion, it would be the Elvis Presley religion.
    • Megadeth's lead guitarrist Marty Friedman, expressing his views on religion in an interview with the Impact Metal Channeland as published by Blabbermoputh on January 26, 2014.
  • It was one of just 254 built between 1955 and 1959. The original owner was the German race car driver Hans Stuck, who piloted it to win several hill-climb races in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 1957. During his ownership, it also won an award at a well-known "automotive beauty" competition and was used in the feature film "Hula-Hopp Conny." In 1959, Elvis bought it from a dealer in Frankfurt, then was given a registration from the U.S. military, which changed every year, resulting in the car getting "lost." After extensive research by both BMW Group Classic and American journalist Jackie Jouret,the car's history started to being verified. Presley had used the 507 between his home in Bad Nauheim to the U.S. Army Base in Friedberg, but when he returned to the US in 1960 he traded it at a Chrysler dealer in New York, which, in turn, sold it to radio moderator Tommy Charles. After outfitting the car with a Chevrolet engine, Charles launched a successful racing career with it, winning a major race in Daytona Beach before selling the car in 1963. The car eventually ended up with space engineer and car collector, Jack Castor. He drove it occasionally before storing it in a pumpkin warehouse with plans to restore it. Though he had collected numerous parts for the car's restoration, it was still in storage when he happened upon a magazine article by Jouret, about Elvis' lost BMW 507! Castor realized that the car he owned had the same chassis number Jouret had uncovered and the pair met at the warehouse to look at the car . Very quickly, Jouret became certain that this car was, indeed, the car owned by Elvis. After further investigation, the car's full history was traced and BMW Group Classic embarked on a 2-year project to restore the BMW 507 to its original condition, u sing many of the parts that Castor had gathered, as well as building a complete 3.2-liter V-8 engine from spare parts to the specifications of the original engine. Today, the 150 horsepower, all-aluminum engine sits under the bonnet of the Feather White BMW 507, and is the star of the Show at the BMW Museum in Munich.
    • Tara Baukus Mello, for Cars Blog, publishe on 24 September 2016.
  • When I was little I was in the choir and I just liked to sing, call it natural gift or whatever, I'm not afraid to say it. And then I suddenly realized that I could make my own music, rather than what I did before, which was to sort of copy Elvis Presley, so that led to my writing my own songs and do everything in my own way.
    • Freddy Mercury's anwser to an interviewer who asked him, in 1985, what had made him want to go into music and become a rock star, as published in the online page "The Bigger, the better".
  • But it was on the gospel numbers, such as the stunning "How great thou art", (1977) that Presley showed the awesome power of his voice. The fact that he has one of the greatest voices in popular music has been obscured by the mystique that has surrounded him.
    • Steve Millburgh, writing for the "Omaha World Herald", on one of Presley`s last concerts, on 19 June 1977.
  • And he came from East Tupelo, jumping at all of us, a carnal, metallic hero shamelessly imitated, a glorious founder. Even today it seems like I remember everything about him, especially how he defined the myth and monument of the culture of centemporary expresionism. He invented everything and led a ship which we could all board, and led many to sing everything when all we would have done without him is sing boleros. He was rock and roll, is today and shall always be tomorrow. God bless Elvis Presley.
    • Mina, legendary Italian singer as inscribed in Presley's italian Fan Club online page.
  • Elvis loved karate and his moves on stage, in the 70s, were karate inspired. One day in 1971 he went to see my show, then invited me to go see his at the International, so on the way there, at the elevator, I found myself in the company of Alice Cooper, Chubby Checker and the most popular porn star at that time, Linda Lovelace, all of whom were also invited by Elvis. So there we were in the biggest suite in Las Vegas, waiting for him to greet us when he finally came out, but dressed in a karate gi. He did a couple of moves until, out of nowhere, another man jumped in front of us, like the butler in the Pink Panther movie who comes our of the closet and attacks his master and I said.. Gee, that's great!!!
    • Liza Minelli, telling Graham Norton how and when and with whom she met Elvis.
  • At his big New Year's Eve party, I got to sit and talk with him and it was just great. He was the voice of my generation and I had a million questions to ask him, but all he wanted was to talk about that session of 'Kentucky Rain,'. "More thunder on the piano, Milsap,' he had said when we recorded it. I then asked him if he would like to get up and sing and added that we knew all his songs. 'No, I want to sit here with my friends and not have to worry about singing". He knew we did know how to play his songs, and all, but he didn't want to get up and sing and that was fine with me. It was his party.
    • Ronnie Mislap C&W musician, blind since birth, who played píano on Presley's "Kentucky Rain", as told to Rolling Stone Country, and published on www.theboot.com on December 8, 2014.
  • Lesson #1 is that rock music is in the fighting spirit, not in the amperage of the guitars; indeed, some of the toughest rocking has come from all, or mostly acoustic bands; Elvis presented a primer lesson from the famous Sun sessions, with a simple blues song through the most famous faux false start in rock history; he and the boys start out all slow and bluesy, before stopping the band cold and calling it out like the hippest beat poet: 'Hold it fellas. That don't... move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change'. Then they did, let it loose, turned every bit of intensity in their beings into a jumping arrangement, much faster and more rhythmically nuanced a performance than the opening. Much of the intensity is in the fast and furious, but precisely laid out detail work; there is a strong sense of spontaneity and discovery, but what ultimately makes this a hall-of-fame performance is the vocal performance; Elvis doing tricks, making sudden octave wide jumps. "If you see my milkcow..." There is a charismatic determination of spirit that Nietzsche would no doubt have recognized as the will to power; when the King got through with it, it was no longer anything to do with a high calcium drink, but about the singer's assertion of his place in the universe.
    • Review of "Milkcow Blues" (1954), Elvis third single for the Sun Records Label, by MoreThings.com
  • Sam Phillips used what we call 'slapback' or 'tape delay', which lent an otherworldly patina to Presley's voice. And I don't know if Sam was really conscious of it at the time, but if you listen to old pop and country records back then, the voice was always so much farther out from the music; Sam kept Elvis' voice close to the music, so, in essence, Elvis' voice became another instrument.
    • Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's lead guitarist from 1954 until 1968, as published in The "Virginia Pilot", in an article entitled "The rising of Sun Records cast music in new light", as written by Sue Smallwood, and published on December 15, 1994
  • I have to say I had some very good scenes with him in "Loving you", but I found myself going to every shot, every scene in which he sang because I was competely taken by listening to him sing. I couldn´t believe the charisma. Incidentally, my uncle was the opera star Mario Lanza (married to my dad´s sister Betty) and I knew what it was like to encounter not just an actor or a singer, but somebody that you knew was going to be a legend. Mario was going to be the next Caruso and Elvis, I thought, ´he is in that class´. This man is going to live forever because that voice is not just for us, but for the people of God.
    • Rev. Mother Dolores, formerly actress Dolores Hart, speaking about Presley´s voice, in an interview to Sirius Radio, in Memphis, TN, on the 36th anniversary of Presley´s death (August 16, 2013).
  • I don't admire nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know. Singing ability, he a had everything and he was pretty, I know. And when it comes to boxing nobody has the class, the style, the wit, the speed and beauty of Ali. When it comes to singing nobody had everything like Elvis. And the last thing, he did lot for poor people, he cared for people, he had a good heart, he just wasn't a person who was great with talent but great in spirit and with God in his heart, and this is great too. I realise how good I am in my profession, I don't praise nobody if he don't deserve it, cos I am the greatest of all time in boxing, in boxing. I said boxing! I'm telling you, not just you all, the Elvis fans, so naturally you praise Elvis, he's of European race as you are, but I'm black, I'm a Islamic, I'm 100% different from you. And I tell the world Elvis was the greatest of all time. I'm a Muslim who's black who stands up for what he believes. I don't have to say what I don't feel, I'm not false I don't have to say this.I'm free.He to me is one of the greatest singers, actors and all round men of all time. With all the brothers together, none are better than Elvis Presley
  • That’s my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went to my house, you’d see pictures all over of Elvis. He’s just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it’s because he had such presence. When Elvis walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the f***ing room. I don’t give a f*** who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe.”
  • In 1959 (during his time in the Army), he came under the weather and military doctors diagnosed tonsillitis and suggested that the vocalist, then the biggest performer in the universe, have his tonsils removed. Presley, already more trustworthy than most modern performers in his pleasant acceptance of military duty, agreed. The problem was that no doctor nearby wanted to risk operating on the star, fearing that malpractice would leave him without his golden voice and either a lawsuit or an an angry fan could ruin any medical career and/or life. They gave him penicillin instead and fortunately everything worked out.
    • Published on the December 1, 2014 online edition of "Music Times", in an article aptly entitled "Tonsillitis and musicians, it aint no joke"
  • The Postal Service is being wasteful in spending nearly US$300,000 to promote its Elvis Presley stamp. To bvreal even, they would have to sell more than one million stamps to collectors who do not then use them.
    • Ralph Nader, a few months before the USPS's announcement that it had netted US$36 million in profits, its highest ever, as a result of some 124 million stamps being purchased and kept by collectors, more than a third of those 500 million originally issued, and sold.
  • In his heyday, when he was really hot, there was an explosion of energy between Elvis and his audience. I wasn't a wild fan of Elvis's, but put the man onstage doing his music, and you got something more powerful than the sum of its parts. You got magnetism in action. Maybe it was sexual, I don't know, but if ever a performer could get up onstage and turn a crowd into crashing waves of energy, it was Elvis. Yet Elvis couldn't really whip up a Las Vegas dinner-show crowd on a regular basis. I went to see Elvis one night on the Strip and I slipped in at the back of the room and listened a minute and thought: what is going on here? There was Elvis up there working his ass off, and the crowd was just kind of politely exhausted. They clapped and whistled, but you couldn't feel them giving anything back. I felt like jumping on top of a table and yelling, "Hey everybody, that's Elvis Presley up there! You should be jumping and screaming"
    • Willie Nelson (Nelson, Willie; Bud Shrake; Edwin Shrake (2000). Willie: An Autobiography. Cooper Square Press. p. 277. )
  • From the first quavering notes of the song, it was obvious that there was something different about him -- you could detect his influences, but he didn't sound like anyone else. There is a quality of unutterable plaintiveness as Elvis, in 1953, sings "My Happiness", a pop hit,in 1948, for Jon and Sandra Steele, and a sentimental ballad that couldn't have been further from anyone's imaginings of rock-and-roll. It is just a pure, yearning, almost desperately pleading solo voice reaching for effect. The guitar, Elvis said, "sounded like somebody beating on a bucket lid," with an added factor of nervousness that Elvis must surely have felt. But even that is not particularly detectable -- there is a strange sense of calm, an almost unsettling stillness in the midst of great drama. When he finished, the boy looked up expectantly at the man in the control booth. Mr. Phillips nodded and said politely that he was an "interesting" singer. "We might give you a call sometime."
    • Description of the-then 18-year-old Elvis paying $4 to make a personal record at Sam Phillips's Memphis Recording Service in 1953, as published by the New York Times on October 9, 1994, in an article entitled "The stirrings of a King"
  • Recently, someone asked the question of who had been the one individual who'd helped save the most money in the US healthcare industry in the last century. The answer – surprisingly – is Elvis Presley. On October 28, 1956, Elvis got a polio vaccination on national TV. That event was responsible for raising immunization levels in the US from 0.6% to over 80% in just 6 months. No other single individual has had that kind of impact on healthcare in the US.
    • NEXUS, a Dimension Data Company's laud of Presley's influence on the erradication of polio, as published in their online page in an article entitled "U.S. Healthcare Needs Another Elvis" on February 6, 2015.
  • Saw him live in 1954 at the Dallas Jamboree, and the first thing he came out and seemed like he was spitting on the stage. LOL. It all affected me like the first time I saw that David Lynch film. There was just no reference point in the culture to compare it too. In fact, he was the firstest with the mostest.
  • It was in Vegas in '73 and it was really something to see. They really didn't know what to do with each other. Obviously Elvis was enthralled to be in Ali's presence, but so was Ali, he loved Elvis. Elvis came in to Ali's hotel room with the robe, 'The People's Champ' written on the back in jewels. Ali sees Elvis coming in and says, 'Hey, that's Elvis, man. He looks pretty good!' And both of them looked at each other like good-looking women would look at each other to appraise how they look. At that time, Ali was at the height of his good looks, so this was probably the best-looking black guy and the best-looking white guy on the planet in that room, and they were looking at each other like roosters. LOL. 'You look good, Ali.' 'Yeah, you're looking good, Elvis'. So here they are and they really wanted to be friends with, and respected each other and the love was there, but they couldn't quite get as close as they would have liked. But the robe Elvis presented to Ali that night was the only one he ever kept..
    • Ferdie Pacheco, Muhammed Ali's perspnal physician and cornerman, on the day Ali and Elvis met, as published in the Sabotage Times, 8 January 2016 edition.
  • But the last side, recorded during rehearsals for his 1968 television special, is another treat, as fine and tough and overflowing with heart and soul as any of his 50's recordings. Playing an electric guitar, rather than his customary acoustic model, he traded fluid rhythm and lead parts with Scotty Moore, their interplay almost telepathic. And with his original drummer, D. J. Fontana, stoking the fires, this music moved, from the ferocious version of Rufus Thomas's Sun Records label blues "Tiger Man" to Jimmy Reed blues shuffles, to smoldering New Orleans triplet-style blues-ballads like "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "One Night". This is rock and roll as good as it gets.
    • Robert Palmer, reviewing Elvis' boxed set, ¨A Golden Celebration¨ , for the New York Times on Nov. 18, 1984.
  • "Whether one is an Elvis fan or not there is no doubting that no church in Grimsby or any other town, possibly, has ever seen anything like it before, the most moving and joyful service I have ever officiated at. Some people used to think rock and roll was the devil's music but Elvis was a devout Christian."
    • The Reverend Ray Patston's tribute to Elvis' passing, as excerpted from an article entitled "Tributes to Vicar who famously mourned Elvis' death" and published at the Grimsby Telegraph on 19 March, 2015.
  • Designer Peter Blake worked with The Beatles to stage the cover of the "Sgt. Pepper's" album, which was filled with life-size cardboard likenesses of famous figures including Mae West, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Edgar Allen Poe, Fred Astaire, Sonny Liston, Dylan Thomas, Laurel and Hardy and Karl Marx. John Lennon even requested the inclusion of Hitler and Jesus in the artwork, but he was turned down. (As to ) Elvis, he did not appear on the album cover because it was felt by the Beatles he was too big an icon to be included.
    • Calum Patum, discussing the auction sale, for 29,000 UK pounds, of the gnome which featured on The Beatles' iconic "Sergeant Pepper's" album cover, as published in the Mail's online edition of 21 April, 2015.
  • We got to meet Elvis on May 11, 1974. He'd been the one who'd done so much for so many, setting everyone alight and flighting right under the radar with all of this black music, doing numbers by country blues artists like Arthur Crudup and Sleepy John Estes. It was unbelievable. He was one of us.
    • Jimmy Page, lead guitarrist for Led Zeppelin, telling reporter David Frickle how it felt for a child a of post-war Britain, to meet Presley as published in RollingStone magazine's October 28, 2014 edition.
  • I remember that all my music listening had to be from the single family wireless receiver, which was built like a piece of furniture and took up an entire corner of the front room. It was from this Ekco set that I first heard Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel". It was a musical epiphany for me. His moody syncopated delivery was astonishing, daring, disrespectful. My father came in while I was listening and he asked, "Something wrong with the set?". He was going to check the valves at the back but I told him that it was Elvis Presley and that he was meant to sound like that LOL.
    • UK Comedian and actor Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame, describing his early affinity with the arts, entertainment and music in an interview publshed by Australia's Sidney Morning Herald, on November 13, 2014
  • When he turned it on, Elvis sang with the spiritual fervour of one who spoke in tongues, not so much communicating with the listener, as communing. Our continuing fascination with Elvis is a testament to both his charisma and his voice . The details are secondary. To paraphrase the literary critic and poet Al Alvarez, all that matters is that you hear the voice. When this happens, Elvis Presley doesn’t just hold a mirror up to nature, he creates an eternal moment, leaving the sound of his voice on the airwaves as distinctly as Leonardo Da Vinci forever fixed the Mona Lisa smile in time.
    • Richard J Parfitt, Senior Lecturer in Music and the Performing Arts at Bath Spa University, as abridged from an article entitled "The Quasi religious significance of Elvis", published in the online edition of The Comversation, on December 11, 2014.
  • I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t like Elvis or heard anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t like his singing.’ Everybody loved Elvis, and I just think that’s incredible. He was so different in every way — his voice, his style, the way he moved, the way he looked. He just had this charm and charisma and a lot of sex appeal.
    • Dolly Parton who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • As with the first time we stepped into this amazing world — it is the extraordinary intimacy of Elvis's vocal performances that is truly breathtaking, the exquisite and effortless way he takes us on an emotional journey with him, through delicate sensitivity to power and grace all within a magical 3-minute song."
    • Nick Patrick, co-producer for both "If I can dream" and "The Wonder Of You", the two albums dovetailing the voice of Elvis Presley with live recording and playing by the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra.
  • This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn’t look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted - he really was different. We have sadly lost the most popular man to have ever walked on this earth since Christ. But Even back then, when people would laugh at his sideburns and his pink coat and call him 'sissy' -- he had a pretty hard road to go. In some areas motorcycle gangs would come to the shows. They would come to get Elvis, but he never worried about it. He went right out and did his thing and before the show was over, they were standing in line to get his autograph too.
    • Carl Perkins, as published in www.graceland.com and about education.com
  • You couldn’t take your eyes off of him.”
    • Joe Perry, lead guitarrist for Aerosmith, as published in www.graceland.com
  • I'd never thought much about rock 'n' roll until that moment, when I both caught the Elvis fever and kicked off my love of music. And I never got rid of it. There was a huge crowd, the biggest crowd I've ever seen in the streets of Ocala and then, I swear to God, a line of white Cadillacs pulled in, and I was standing up on a box to see over everyone's head, because a big roar started up when the cars pulled in. Guys in mohair suits began bounding out of each car. Is that Elvis?, I muttered every time. He finally stepped out radiant as an angel. He seemed to glow and walk above the ground. It was like nothing I'd ever seen in my life. At 50 yards, we were stunned by what this guy looked like, and then he came walking right towards uncle Earl, aunt Ellen and little old me!!! I still don't know, to this day, what he said to us, because I was just too dumbfounded. And then he went into his trailer. The day after, I learned all of those early Elvis songs and having that kind of background in rock 'n' roll, of where it had come from, has served me to this day. It became an invaluable thing to have. So for that, I thank him.
    • Tom Petty, recalling how at age 10, he met face to face with Elvis during the filming of "Follow that dream", in Ocala, Florida, in July of 1961.
  • Once upon a time, all we knew about Elvis was that he sang like a motherfucker; and that was all that mattered; you know, when you gas up and you go to pay inside the gas station and you hear Elvis singing Surrender, (1961), you know that the mystery of that guy, was everything; the voice, and the mystery, and the not knowing; and I think the great thing about anything that you hear over the waves is, you don't want to know too much, you know?
    • Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, explaining to critic Rub Trucks why he loves the mystery of the southern United States, and his debt to Elvis, whose music influenced him the most, as published on the Village Voice, on June 3, 2008
  • We stayed in the elegant suite with a king-sized bed up on a platform, and sat right in the front row to see the King reclaim his throne. He was wearing black and looked like ten Greek Gods as he tore through "Love me Tender,"Don't be cruel, and "Jailhouse Rock". He was sweating, in the flesh, alive, inhaling and exhaling. And there I was, breathing the same air sitting with Robert and Jimmy Page, completely and entirely beside myself. Some sideburned grease monkey appeared after the show, asking Jimmy if he would like to meet Elvis. He said "No, thank you," and I never quite got over it....
    • Maureen Plant, fomeer wife of Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant, blaming the band's legendary lead guitarrist Jimmy Page for declining to meet Presley on August 12, 1969, ostensibly in reference to the fact the two were able to meet Presley in 1974, by which time although still married to Plant, she was not present when they met and therefore missed her only chance to meet her former husband's greatest hero, as told in the band's official page online at Planet Page.
  • I taught him to to play golf, im 1961, told him it was all in the hips. “Hips?” Elvis asked. “Aw, baby, I’m your man.
    • Gary Player, a national of South Africa widely regarded as one of the best player in the history of golf, as reported at kansascity.com/sports/golf/article104157116.html#storylink=cpy
  • Elvis Presley has been described variously as a baritone and a tenor. An extraordinary compass- the so-called register-, and a very wide range of vocal color have something to do with this divergence of opinion. The voice covers two octaves and a third, from the baritone low-G to the tenor high B, with an upward extension in falsetto to at least a D flat. Presley's best octave is in the middle, D-flat to D-flat, granting an extra full step up or down. Call him a high baritone. In "It's'now or never", (1960), he ends it in a full voice cadence (A, G, F), that has nothing to do with the vocal devices of R&B and Country. That A-note is hit right on the nose, and it is rendered less astonishing only by the number of tracks where he lands easy and accurate B-flats. Moreover, he has not been confined to one type of vocal production. In ballads and country songs he belts out full-voiced high G's and A's that an opera baritone might envy. He is a naturally assimilative stylist with a multiplicity of voices - in fact, Elvis' is an extraordinary voice, or many voices.
    • Henry Pleasants, in his book "The Great American Popular Singers" (1974)
  • Steve Sholes, who produced the session, said, “Roll the tape.” And I said, “But I haven't heard the song yet!” And he said, “Roll the tape, Bill!” and I look and the studio is totally black out there. I can't see a thing. I said, “You're kidding!” He said, “No, roll the tape!”. So, I roll the tape and I don't know what's going to happen. And a guitar starts off, and then a bass comes in, and Elvis starts singing. And I still can't see a thing in the studio. And I'm afraid to turn any mikes off because somebody may come in and start playing. All of a sudden, Elvis stops singing and just starts talking. And I say to myself, “This is awful!” because you don't normally put a lot of echo on dialogue. And I thought, next take I'll just turn it down, so we just did the take all the way through. If you listen to the dialogue, the echo matches the effect, because he says, “And the stage is bare, and I'm standing there…”. Later, I said, “How about that echo?”. Sholes said, “Screw the echo, that's a hit!”. And it was done in one take...
    • Bill Porter, RCA`s foremost recording engineer and one of the creators of "The Nashville Sound", explaining to Michael Fermer how "Are you lonesome tonight" (1960) came into being, with the lights totally turned off, at Elvis´ insistance so as to create the best atmosphere possible, but without Porter knowing about it. (Published in MusicAngle.com)
  • Elvis was a (Gospel) singer par excellence. On "Milky White Way", (1960), he' got the strength of a bassman and the sweetness of a tenor. The heritage we have in Elvis' gospel music is a gift to the world.
  • There was a real threat of danger, a cold war with an iron curtain and there was a Soviet army stacked up on the other side, so those were serious times. He was just another soldier, he was Elvis Presley but at the same time they assigned him in accordance with the needs of the service and unlike others who have gone in the military from celebrity life and essentially used their talents to entertain troops, he was a scout. Despite living in a house "off post", when it came to the field Elvis Presley was not a celebrity and I think his fellow soldiers respected him for his dedication even though he was as famous as he was. When I met him, he was out in the field and he was recognised for his professional performance in the Third Division which I, interestingly, subsequently commanded 28 years later and it occupied the shallowest part of NATO battle front. Elvis' unit and my unit were in that division and we had the toughest job and it was a time of heightened tension. Anyway, we were in this wooded area and I was driving along in my jeep and somebody noted that, there he was. When I walked over to him he saluted and was very proper and what struck me was that he looked just like another GI. Other than the fact that he was REALLY Elvis Presley, he acted, and I saw him, as just another soldier, in the woods, kind of dirty, doing a job..."
    • General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State, abridged from his autobiography My American Journey and a BBC interview, in 2005.
  • He was a precious gift from God we cherished and loved dearly. He had a God-given talent that he shared with the world and without a doubt,he became most widely acclaimed, capturing the hearts of young and old alike.He was admired not only as an entertainer,but as the great humanitarian that he was for his generosity, and his kind feelings for his fellow man.He revolutionized the field of music and received its highest awards and became a living legend in his own time,earning the respect and love of millions. God saw that he needed some rest and called him home to be with HIM. We miss you, son and daddy. I thank GOD that HE gave us you as our son. Elvis Aaron Presley January 8, 1935-August 16, 1977. Son of Vernon Elvis Presley and Gladys Love Presley and father of Lisa Marie Presley
    • Elvis epitaph as seen on his tombstone, written by Janelle McComb and commissioned and directed by Elvis' father Vernon Presley in 1977.
  • I was about 10 years old, the first time I heard Elvis Presley's voice, pouring from my father's car radio, in East St. Louis, Illinois; I can't recall the song, whether it was a ballad or a rocker (but), what I remember is how his voice, that smoldering rumble of a voice, made my skin tingle; I don't know why, but I just loved his voice, his sound just did something to me.
    • Ilva Price, an African American now living in West Memphis, TN, recalling how her father, angry about rumours (later found by "Jet" magazine to be fabricated), that Presley had stolen their music and was a racist, quickly turned off the radio when he noticed her daughter's reaction to his voice, then called him a "cracker", a racial epithet as disgusting as any other, as told in an interview with Boston Globe staffer Renee Graham, and published in that paper on August 11, 2002
  • I realize I'm part of a musical history and I revere the legacy of my predecessors, so, for instance, when playing live I'll do some of their bombs, or say, we play "Jailhouse Rock" as a tribute to Elvis. So why Elvis you ask? Well, I was brought up in a black and white world. I dig black and white; night and day, rich and poor, man and woman. I listen to all kinds of music and I want to be judged on the quality of my work, not on what I say, nor on what people claim I am, nor on the color of my skin.
    • Prince, answering a reporter on why would he cite Elvis Presley as one of his influences, from an interview with "Guitar World", published in October of 1998.
  • My biggest influence because of his charisma and sheer, pure talent was Elvis Presley. He still influences me today, actually, and with the help of the internet I can watch videos of him performing live anytime I want.
    • Canadian Country Music artist Aaron Pritchett, when asked who were his early musical heroes and what inspires him, currently, as públished on the 15 January, 2015 online edition on 24Hrs, Vancouver,
  • Elvis had the biggest impact on me, he captured and embodied the whole thing. He had that rockabilly, rock and roll, pop and ballad thing. He was all wrapped up into one for me. I loved listening to “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Don’t Be Cruel,” and I just looked forward to each and every new song that came out.”
    • Gary Puckett lead singer of the Union Gap, explaining to interviewer Rob Nagy, how Presley struck a musical chord for him, early in his career, as published by "The Mercury" , on September 8, 2014
  • He had gone through the divorce with Priscilla, but he was definitely there to work. And this guy could do anything vocally. He could croon with Sinatra or scream with Little Richard. And what (I) admired the most about Presley -- then and now -- was his intelligence. especially when it came to human emotions.
    • Norbert Putman, speaking to the Houston Press, on what it meant to play bass with Presley at his 1974 Stax Studous sessions, in Memphis, as published on August 1, 2013.
  • The greatest voice of all time.
    • "Q" Magazine Judging panel´s laud of Elvis Presley, from a poll published on their March 4, 2007 issue.
  • A singer, at work, is usually thinking only about making it through the song without flubbing it. Look what's involved:breathing plausibly, remembering the lyrics, nailing the high notes, staying with your band or chorus, maintaining a soulful facial expression and looking good. You might also be whacking a guitar. And -- because Presley did -- you also have to move, oscillate, arm-wrestle with the microphone, throttle it, skid across the stage on your knees, fling your head back and spread your arms; and then you want to salt it with what you possess of art...he flings his voice up beyond the grip of gravity, and then surrenders, like a skater in a leap.
    • Catherine Rankovic, poet, essayist, instructor, as well as manuscript editor and music and writing coach, as excerpted from her review of Presley`s live performance of "I want you, I need you, I love you" , in the "Steve Allen Show", (1956), and as published in "The Missouri Review", Volume XXIV, Number 2, 2001
  • When I think about my family, I listen to André Rieu, a violinist and conductor who is very popular in Europe ( but), when I think about living like it’s my last day on earth, I listen to Elvis Presley
    • Gabriele Rausse, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s former home and experimental farm in Charlottesville, Va, in an interview to the New York Times and published in the paper's Sunday Review on March 14, 2015.
  • One Friday night, Tapp and the "Hee Haw" honchos were flying to Hollywood, with the flight stopping in Memphis. So they were sitting in first class, taking up almost all the seats and on came Elvis Presley with his entourage including Col. Parker, with Tapp now sitting beside Presley. He sat across from them, kept looking and finally said, ‘Why do I know you? Is it from on a show?” Presley told Tapp. Yes, Tapp said, It is ""Hee Haw". “You hear that?? They’re from Hee Haw!!!! ” the King told his court. “We stop our show everyday until Hee Haw’s over, then we proceed,” Presley said. “It was quite a compliment,” Tapp said, smiling.
    • James Reany, recalling Gordie Tapp'encounter with Elvis Presley. Tapp was a Canadian producer, entertainer, and better known as the writer of the television program "Hee Haw", as published in IFP Press, on 9 September 2016.
  • In the mid-60s, when Elvis was making those godawful movies and my friends and I were buying albums by the Stones and the Yardbirds, a mate and I would always go to see Elvis on the big screen; we knew the formula and always used to laugh about them afterwards, but what I also remember is what used to happen in the cinema: not long after the opening credits the audience would start talking and laughing through the dialogue - but the second Elvis sang everyone would stop and listen; Elvis’ voice had that effect, even when he was considered as a joke by a generation grown up on tougher music and rock musicians who seemed much more rebellious, dangerous and innovative; so, for me, it has always been about the music and even when he was all but lost to us, in those final years, you can still hear that raw passion flare up; and I defy anyone, knowing that he had just separated from his wife and was heartbroken, to listen to "Always on my Mind" and "Fool", and not be moved; you can hear a man whose heart is breaking; listening to the best of his music, whether it be raw rock’n’roll or those genuinely heart aching ballads, confirms for me that Elvis has never left the building.
    • New Zealand Herald's columnist and writer Graham Reid, on his recent visit to Graceland, as published at KIWIBOOMERS.COM
  • Take a track like "One Sided Love Affair" (1956), and really examine every nuance of his voice, every caress, every tease and every growl that he lets loose for the song's duration, and you`ll you come to understand that the reason Presley's voice has been so often imitated is because it was unique and, furthermore, fuckin' great; no phony piano intro, not even a puerile lyric could have ever stopped him from turning this song into a real classic; imagine, then, how great it is when Elvis gets to sing material that is up to his standards — like on the Sun Records label song "Tryin' To Get You" (1955) - , probably the bluesiest song on this record, where Presley shows a sense of determination, not just a combination of nobleness and sex, but an expression of guts as well; quite simply, this is a guy who knows what he wants, and knows he's gonna get it, and his confidence - never arrogance -, is so contagious that by the end of the song, you believe it too.
    • Daniel Reifferscheid, reviewing Elvis' first album, for Toxic Universe
  • Not only did blacks know Presley, he also knew blacks. “I always wanted to sing like Billy Kenny of the Ink Spots. I like that high, smooth style. I never sang like this in my life until I made that first record—That’s Alright, Mama. I remembered that song because I heard Arthur (Big Boy) Crudup sing it and I thought I would like to try it. Presley was making more money singing rhythm and blues than black performers of the day, with Elvis’s nearest competitor, Fats Domino, expecting to earn $700,000 in 1957. (In fact) Otis Blackwell, writer of two huge Presley hits “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up.” confirmed, “I got a good deal. I made money and I am happy.-
    • Louis Robinson, African American reporter, after interviewing Presley for Jet magazine on tyhe raciost allegation.
  • In "T.R.O.U.B.L.E", (1975), his baritone was still as solid as ever, with its humorously cavernous bottom and its nasal vibrato on top. When he is putting out, reaching for the top notes and shaping phrases with the same easy inviduality that has always marked his best work, he is still the King.
    • John Rockwell, reviewing one of his two 1975 concerts at the Nassau Coliseum for the "New York Times".
  • It had been a sensational interview and I knew I had everything I needed for an excellent story for Rolling Stone. I truly felt a real connection with Paul Rogers and his new band Band Company which gave me the courage to do what I did next: invite the singer to see Elvis Presley, who was performing on the night of May 11, 1974 at the Inglewood Forum. And I knew Rodgers was a huge fan, even trying to sneak into Graceland one time back when he was with his previous band Free. As we made the 45-minute drive to the Inglewood Forum —a huge 20,000-seat arena where the Los Angeles Lakers played— Paul couldn’t stop talking about finally seeing Elvis. We parked and I handed Paul his ticket. He looked at it like it was the Holy Grail itself. We walked inside, found our seats and from the moment Presley took the stage, Rodgers could barely contain himself, screaming, shouting and jumping up and down like a kid, acting the way I did when I first saw his previous band, Free, so many years earlier when they opened for Blind Faith. Watching Paul while he watched a then-34-year old Elvis do his thing felt like an out-of-body experience. It was like some perfect circle. When the lights came up and as everybody was exiting the arena, Paul saw various members of Led Zeppelin along with Peter Grant, who by then managed both Bad Company and Led Zeppelin, going backstage. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go there myself, but I didn’t really care, all I wanted was for Paul to get to meet his hero. However, we were stopped by a pair of burly bodyguards guarding the backstage entrance. I tried to explain to them that this was Paul Rodgers, but they weren’t bulging. Eventually, we had a message relayed backstage and when Peter finally came back out, he told Paul he couldn’t get him in. If Paul was hurt by being treated so selfishly —it felt as if Led Zeppelin wanted an audience with the King all by themselves— he didn’t show it. Paul was still jubilant so when we returned to the hotel, that's when Paul told me, “I’ll just tell my friends I talked to him anyway. LOL" He had purchased a souvenir booklet and would use that as evidence though Paul and I would always know the truth.
    • Excerpted from Steve Rosen's article entitled "Behind the curtain: Taking Paul Rogers, (then frontman for the UK supergroup Bad Company and formerly of the band Free) to an Elvis Presley concert in Los Angeles, as published in Rockcellar Magazine's March, 6 2015's edition.
  • For me it goes back to Elvis. The reality is, my experience with Elvis and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ as a wonderful revelation is exactly the same experience that Paul McCartney had, that Keith Richards had, that Mick Jagger had, that they all had because they’re all just sitting in England wondering what they’re going to do. And Elvis comes over the airwaves and changes everybody’s life.”
    • World renown rock photographer Ethan Russell, describing his early years as an eleven year old kid in San Francisco, and as published on September 23, 2015 in the online edition of "The Townsman".
  • i) Q Magazine bravely attempted to name the best and worst singers ever. They did a good job, wisely going big with Elvis as the to choice. ii) There was no model for Elvis Presley's success; what Sun Records head Sam Phillips sensed was something in the wind, an inevitable outgrowth of all the country and blues he was recording at his Union Avenue studio; enter Presley in 1954, bringing with him a musical vocabulary rich in country, country blues, gospel, inspirational music, bluegrass, traditional country, and popular music -- as well as a host of emotional needs that found their most eloquent expression in song; his timing was impeccable, not only as a vocalist, but with regard to the cultural zeitgeist: emerging in the first blush of America's postwar ebullience, Presley captured the spirit of a country flexing its industrial muscle, of a generation unburdened by the concerns of war, younger, more mobile, more affluent, and better educated than any that had come before; (as such), the Sun recordings were the first salvos in an undeclared war on segregated radio stations nationwide. iii) At Sun Studio in Memphis Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured - instinctively, unknowingly - that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white.”
    • Rolling Stone Magazine, focusing on the importance of Elvis' Sun Records label recordings [specific citation needed], ii) published on 5 March, 2007 and iii) as published in 1986.
  • Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman's "Viva Las Vegas" (1963), was custom-written as the title song for Elvis Presley's 14th film, a rollicking tribute to the city of gambling given a spirited performance by Presley and his session musicians; strangely, it remained an underrated Presley song for a long time, finally beginning to gain some recognition from an unexpected quarter when the "Dead Kennedys" recorded it in 1980, their radical recontextualization of it helping the song to an independent life beyond its origins; on its own, it can now be appreciated as a tribute to Las Vegas that probably deserves to be the city's official anthem.
    • William Ruhlmann, reviewing "Viva Las Vegas" for AllMusicGuide.com, before the Office of the Mayor of Las Vegas requested Elvis Presley Enterprises to allow it to become the city's official song; the price demanded by EPE was too high, so Las Vegas remains, to this date, without an official song.
  • After his show, Sammy Davis Jr said he would arrange for my wife Joyce and I to see the best entertainer in Las Vegas which, considering Sammy´s fame, was quite a compliment (Once at the show), the audience was enthralled as the singer sang songs of every genre. And that evening I became a fan of Elvis Presley. Even today, particularly on Sundays when we do not get to church, Joyce and I listen to Elvis singing gospel songs.
    • Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, as cited in his memoirs "Known and Unknown", published by the Penguin Group (pp 128-29)
  • Entertainment-wise Elvis Presley played a big part for me because I'm out kicking my foot across the stage, but Elvis Presley did the same thing I do. He can get away with it. (It) kind of opened the door for me, along with B.B. King and all the guys who have come before me (Chuck Berry, Little Richard) who set a trail for me to come through the door. Now I'm one of the top five who are left to do this and I thank God for putting me in this position. I never thought that I would be an icon as the leading role of the blues cats, man, especially the black blues cats. I never thought I'd be here.
    • Bluesman Bobby Rush, in an interview published by the Huff Post on 6 February 2015.
  • In the '50s, listening to Elvis on the radio in Bombay - it didn't feel alien. Noises made by a truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi, seemed relevant to a middle-class kid growing up on the other side of the world. That has always fascinated me. I suppose what's interesting about rock and roll is it was the first cultural phenomenon that was about, for, controlled by and made by young people. And your mother didn't like it. Certainly my mother didn't, though she got used to it, eventually. In fact I think Elvis was the one who got to her LOL.
    • Sir Salman Rushdie, UK/Indian novelist and essayist as published in branyquotes.com
  • For me, he was always "Saint Elvis" , so when I had the chance to sing in las Vegas at a luxury hotel and as back up to the Smothers' Brothers act, I immediately rushed to the Hilton, where he was appearing. Just his entrance was out of this world, indescribable and peerless, and, as singer he always pushed the envelop, an amazing performer all the way to the end".
    • Miguel Rios, in his biography "Cosas que siempre quise contar" (2013)
  • I'm a big Elvis fan, so I went to see him when he was playing in Las Vegas and, after the show, I was invited up to his room to meet him. I was very excited so I blurted out: "Why did you make all those stupid movies?" I couldn't believe I've said that and felt so embarrassed but Elvis just said, "Last thing I remember I was driving a truck LOL" So now every time I say something stupid, I think of Elvis."
    • Rocker Leon Russell, talking about the time he met his idol, after starting off his concert in Denver, on April 26, 2015, with Presley's cover version of Ray Charles' "I got a woman"
  • I suppose you'd had to call him a lyric baritone, although with exceptional high notes and unexpectedly rich low ones. But what is more important about Elvis Presley is not his vocal range, nor how high or low it extends, but where its center of gravity is. By that measure, Elvis was all at once a tenor, a baritone and a bass, the most unusual voice I've ever heard.
    • Greg Sandow, Music professor at the Juillard School, as published in "The Village Voice".
  • I just wanted to be like my dad. He was absolutely charming, adorable and irresistible. I looked at him the way other people looked at him, like if he was Elvis. I was like: ‘Man I want what he’s got!’ I didn’t realize I was born with it.
    • Carlos Santana, in reply to a question as to how he recalls growing up in Tijuana, as published by the San Diego Union Tribune on 22 September, 2016.
  • But my generation did not ONLY love America because she defended freedom. We also loved America because for us she embodied what was most audacious about the human enterprise, because America for us embodied the spirit of conquest. We loved America, because for us, America was a new frontier that was continuously being rolled back, a constantly renewed challenge to the inventiveness of the human spirit. My generation, without even coming to America, shared all of your dreams. In our imaginations, our imaginations were fueled by Hollywood, by the great conquest of the western territories, by Elvis Presley, and you probably haven't heard his name quoted iften here -- but for my generation, he is universal.
    • French President Nicolai Sarkozi, during his speech at a Joint Session of Congress,delivered on November 8, 2007, explaining how Elvis and American values influenced all French people born in the immediate aftermath of the end of the Second World War, as was his case.
  • Having watched Elvis onstage during his entire career, I was always amazed how Elvis was able to adapt to his audience and always rise to the occasion. Elvis was the most exciting stage performed who ever sat foot on a stage. He never allowed his music to be "manipulated" and his "light show" consisted of a handful of color lights masterfully choreographed by Lamar Fike. He had the vocal mastery to take a contemporary iconic song such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water"´ ( starting in 1970), and make it is his own. As of 1971, for instance, he would pour out his heart out onstage and could go from the buildup of "2001 A Space Odyssey" to "Johnny B Goode", to the gospel song "How Great Thou Art" and, before the audience could recover from the emotional experience of hearing/seeing Elvis perform these songs with vocal excellence, he would turn to singing one of his hits such as "Suspicious Minds". He surrounded himself with the best of the best, pertaining to the orchestra to the band, to the backup singers etc., and everyone who worked with him has confirmed that Elvis' vocal range has never been equalled. Even when Elvis' health problems were the most dramatic (i.e. visually, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.), he sang his heart out and if you listen to the "CBS 1977 Concert", which aired after Elvis died sadly, Elvis' talent and vocal range is almost a "spiritual experience", touching something wonderful inside of our soul and leaving its imprint for all time. Hence, our ears after hearing the exceptional talent of Elvis' voice long for the time when Elvis sang live and/or put out a new album, and hearing him sing was a true blessing. (In fact), not a day goes by that I don’t' miss Elvis Presley as a performer - as a Father to his daughter - and as a charitable man - and as a beloved friend surrounded by lifetime friends (i.e. Marty Lacker, Red West, Sonn y West, Lamar Fike, Billy Smith, etc.), leaving us three decades of exceptional music. Elvis Presley took the talents that God gave him and shared them with the world, gave us his time and did so with grace. These are lessons that all of us can learn from and celebrate from generation to generation.
    • Jeffrey Schrembs, Elvis Presley historian, expert and collector (as published in www. ElvisCollector.info on March 26, 2009)
  • Elvis, to me, is a symbol of tremendous promise and that kind of American hopefulness, where you can come from nowhere and have nothing and build yourself up and chase that American dream.
    • Patti Sciaifa, member of the E Steet band and Bruce Springsteen's wife.
  • There comes a point when the voice starts to wash over you. You get inside of it, start to really hear what he's doing, and you realise his singing has this extraordinary, effortless quality to it. Sometimes it's like listening to a stream of honey. It's a very smooth ride, the voice of Elvis Presley. I don't think you focus on the words when he's singing. I think he's doing what bel canto singers do - you don't listen to the words, "just" to the beauty of his voice-. When I say "just", that makes it sound as if he's denying you something else but, actually, that's quite enough.
    • "The Scotsman", review of the album "Love", as published in its 25 June, 2005 edition
  • He valued his fans and he treated them with respect. If anybody had a reason to be arrogant it would be him, but it’s a great lesson for other musicians and people in general and that is the better you get, the more humble you should be. His music resonated with everyone and that’s what made him so special, like Elvis Presley or Mozart"
    • Jack Semple, Canadian blues musician, interviewed the day after the death of B.B. King, who influnced his career tremendously, and as published by The Leader Post, on May 15, 2015
  • I don't think there is a musician today that hasn't been affected by Elvis' music. His definitive years - 1954-57 - can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool."
  • I spoke to over 140 songwriters whose work Presley recorded, and most remarked about his uncanny ability to capture the essence and make it his own; like a musical geneticist, he drew from every strand of DNA in a songwriter's work, which ultimately helped shape his own distinctive personal interpretation; just listen to the wide stylistic swath of genre-hopping material he recorded during his career - from Junior Parker's amphetamine-paced rockabilly classic "Mystery Train" and the poppin-perfect panache of Otis Blackwell's "All shook up", to the down and dirty blues swagger of "Reconsider baby" and the operatic grandeur of "It's now or never"-; and then there were more controversial and socially conscious anthems ("If I can dream" and "In the ghetto"), and introspective 70's fare like "Separate ways" and "Always on my my mind"; right away, you can hear the breath of a master stylist who breathed new life into every song he cut"
    • Author Ken Sharp, in the introduction to his book, "Writing for the King: The songs and writers behind them", as published in American Songwriter.com
  • We never saw energy like that coming off a stage before and meeting Elvis afterwards I found him to be a friendly, happy guy. Nice to everyone".
    • Top producer and guitarrist Louis Shelton, a member of the Musician's Hall of Fame known for his extraordinary recording session contributions to Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, amongst numerous others, answering a question on those who inspired him to become a musician, from an interview by John Reid on Jazz Radio.
  • When in true form, he was fabulous, his voice and vocal pitch a lot more remarkable than it ever came off on record; in fact, Elvis was a much better singer than could ever be captured; you know, some singers' voices are just too big, and Elvis' was like that.
    • Myrna Smith, singer of the gospel group "The Sweet Inspirations", who performed with Elvis for a number of years in the last phase of his career, as published in an article entitled "Elvis, musical prodigy" in www.elvis.com.au, on 6 July 200
  • In some ways, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) can already be called a success due to its democratic accountability and the active involvement of civil society, but I would like to quote the famous philosopher Elvis Presley, in one of whose timeless hits he asked for “A little less conversation, a little more action -please”. So let’s listen to Elvis – and act now!
    • Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, from her speech at the UN on how best to make the SDGs work, as published by Norway's mission to the UN on September 25 2015.
  • He rarely over-sang when recording, delivering a vocal to suit the song. So, he can loudly accuse in "Hound Dog" (1956), rasp and rage for "Jailhouse Rock" (1957), bare his soul and beg on "Any Day Now" (1969) and sound quietly, sadly, worldly-wise on "Funny How Time Slips Away". (1970). This gift may explain why his music endures so powerfully and why his performances remain so easy to hear.
    • Paul Simpson, in his book "The Rough Guide to Elvis".
  • Elvis' songs can be heard everywhere worldwide, which is perhaps why everyone is familiar with his voice. When you hear a deep tuneful voice with a Southern drawl in a rock 'n' roll song, it can't be anyone but Elvis (in spite of that voice actually being that of someone else "succesfully" mimicking him).
    • Matthew Simpson, in his article "The Top 10 distinct voices in music", for ask.men (2007)
  • I am just a singer. Elvis was the embodiment of the whole American culture. Life just wouldnt have been the same without him. There have been many accolades uttered about his talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man.
  • Each singer (of the so-called folk variety), is recognized as much from its characteristic sound, as from what they actually sing or play, and they manipulate tone colour with a virtuousity that owes nothing to either the classical, or the Tin Pan Alley tradition; one thinks, for example, of the voice of Elvis Presley, an expressive vehicle, shifting from high to low tones, groaning, sluring, and producing breathless changes of rhythm; to many listeners, the voice may have seemed crude, but its folk inmediately resided in its crudeness.
    • Christopher Small, in his book "Music, Society, and Education", published in 1996
  • There have been many accolades uttered about his talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man."
  • He's a great singer. Gosh, Elvis is so great. You have no idea how great he is, really, you don't. You have absolutely no comprehension—it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational. He can do anything with his voice. Elvis can make some masterful records and can do anything. He can sing any way you want him to...
    • Phil Spector, record producer, the originator of the "Wall of Sound" technique in an interview with Rollingstone magazone in 1969.
  • Even as a young man, that's what Presley sounded, like a man. I wasn't of a culture nor a region that found Presley appealing, and I've never seen a Presley movie through but, a few years ago when in a tribute to him various modern singers covered some of his originals, followed, or enclosed by, his versions of the same songs, I was struck by how much fuller, deeper, and richer his were.
    • Al Spike, explaining to North Africans why Presley's manly baritone rang true, in the web`s "Chicago Boyz".
  • I'd seen Elvis seated on first class as I entered the plane, so when he came to the coach section before the plane landed and went up and down the aisle signing autographs to all of us there I said “Hey, would you sign this for my girlfriend Allison, you know, Steve Binder manages me,” and he said, “Yes, Yes, I love Steve, Steve’s great,” It didn't then mean much to me (1972), but it was all pretty cool and he was a very sweety guy. In fact, I wasn't a big Elvis fan at the time, but I am now
    • Australian singer and songwriter Rick Springfield, recalling his meeting Elvis, who he feels is one half of the most celebrated couple of individuals he ever met, the other being Paul McCartney. In Elvis' case, it was on a commercial airplane Springfield's had taken en route to his native Australia but with a layover in Hawaii where Elvis was headed for a vacation in May of 1972. Abridged from two interviews, one published by the AV Club's online page on April 2 of 2016, the other from the Chicago Tribune, dated December 01, 2011, where Springfield recounted how his girlfriend was later crushed, the autograph never reaching her, stolen as it was a bit afterwards along with a a recorder he always travelled with, during that long, long Springfield flight from Los Angeles.
  • “FUN … it is waiting for you, Mr. and Mrs. Everyday American, and guess what? It is your birthright,” writes Springsteen of that galvanic Elvis moment. Springsteen’s familiar stage voice, his corny carny barker way with action verbs, leaps from the page in assessing what Elvis promised: “The life-blessing, wall-destroying, heart-changing, mind-opening bliss of a freer, more liberated existence. ii) Somewhere in between the mundane variety acts on a routine Sunday night in the year of our Lord 1956, THE REVOLUTION HAS BEEN TELEVISED iii) There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king.iv)it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it.
  • My father, who was at the time Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and worked at the White House, often took me for lunch there where top dogs were allowed to have delicious meals, served by Navy Mess NCOs. We saw many famous people there, but one day, roughly three years before I myself started working there, he leaned towards me confidentially and said, “If you saw Elvis Presley in person, would you recognize him?” “I think so,” said I. “Well, look behind you.” I swiveled my hairy head around, and to my total shock, there was Elvis Presley eating with President Richard Nixon’s Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman, a much feared but extremely pleasant and smart man. I got up, made my excuses to Mr. Haldeman, and said to Elvis, “Sir, everyone in the world is your fan, but I am your biggest fan.” In a voice and with a phrase that is incredibly famous, he simply said, “Thank yew ver’ much.” I was dazed. But I did not forget. And if you were to ask me to cite a lesson from it, it would be a line from a great Joan Didion novel called "Play It As It Lays: “You can’t win if you’re not at the table.” “Connections are golden.” Well worth remembering.
    • Ben Stein, explaining how his telling that story, over the years, led to his playing the role of the professor in John Hughes's “Ferris Bueller’s Day off", as published in the American Spectator's March 16, 2015 edition in an article entitled "Love is strange, but so was the effect of meeting Elvis"
  • Certainly the most famous performer to be attached to a tongues-speaking fellowship was Elvis Presley; shortly after the Presleys arrived in Memphis, from Tupelo, a First Assembly of God bus swung through their rundown neighborhood, so they climbed aboard and became regulars of Pastor James Hamill's congregation; Hamill remembers Elvis attended Sunday school and was exposed there to the best in Pentecostal music; in 1957, after he achieved international acclaim, Presley said 'We used to go to these religious sing-ins all the time, and there were these perfectly fine singers nobody responded to, but there were also these other singers who cut up all over the place, jumping on the piano, moving every which way, and all of which the audience liked, so I guess I learned from them'; uninhibited Pentecostalism gave young Elvis ideas about music and performance and, from then on, he was sometimes called the "Evangelist" by his inner circle of friends.
    • Randall J. Stephens, American Religion historian, recounting how Elvis got attached to Gospel and Christian Music, years before he decided to take up a music career, albeit heavily influencing it, as excerpted from in his book "The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South", published in 2008
  • I’ll never forget it. We were in the rehearsal hall, and all of a sudden, we heard this commotion coming down the hall and there was this entourage of people coming into the room, When Elvis walked into the room, my mouth dropped. I’m like, Wow, I now understand why this guy is the biggest star in the world. He had magnetism. He filled the room. He really did. And to be able to sing with him for about a year and a-half of my life was an amazing experience. He was just a great singer. When you listen to Elvis’ records, back in the day when he recorded, everything was recorded analog. There were really no computers to tune your voice or anything. He just had a natural talent. And he recorded in a recording studio just like he sang onstage. He held a microphone in his hand. He walked around the recording studio, and it was like he was doing a live performance. And he hardly ever shaded a pitch. He was just so talented, he really was.”
    • Richard Sterban, bass singer for the Oak Ridge Boys, who, along with a few others, voted Elvis as the top entertainer in CMT Top 40 artist countdown, as published in CMT´s online edition of November 21, 2014.
  • Elvis was big for me, even from a very young age; That was the music that was around my house; I love that stuff, great songs and, as a singer, he was 'The Great' rock and roll singer.
    • Rogers Stevens, guitarist for the rock band Blind Melon, answering Ben Bounds's question as to whose artist influenced him the most, and the earliest, as published in the Starkville Daily news (11 August, 2008)
  • i) I mean, they treat me like I’m Elvis there, they really do. ii) Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps.”
    • Rod Stewart i) tells ABC News Radio.[4] ii) as published in www.graceland.com
  • I never understood his records at first, and then many years later, I thought, "God this guy is good". He had that wonderful sexuality about him, and energy, he was a star, you know, he was bigger than life. Anyways, because I'd met him a couple of times, singing with him was kind of easy, it felt like our spirits were kind of touching...
    • Barbra Streisand, on singing "Love me tender" with Elvis, thirty seven years after he had passed away, for her album "Partners", as explained on a clip published in her Facebook page, on 6 September, 2014
  • In 1956, even the youngest of his fans knew that the 21-year-old Elvis Presley was unquestionably the whole package; and, obviously, his great three octave tenor voice, with a lower register close to bass, seemed to vibrate on the inner scale of every teenager in America; they loved the high tenor, but when he "got down" with that lower register, fans exploded; Elvis translated this into his moves on stage, so it was a 10.0 assault on the senses.
    • Sugarpie Productions essay on Elvis Presley, as published in Clay´s.Daily.Double.com
  • I wanted to say to Elvis Presley and the country that this is a real decent, fine boy, and wherever you go, Elvis, we want to say we've never had a pleasanter experience on our show with a big name than we've had with you.
    • CBS TV personality Ed Sullivan, closing his show on the night of January 6, 1957.
  • The reasons for honouring Elvis are not sentimental but political. I don't own a single Elvis album but he was a champion for those amongst our people who turned against our country's Soviet-backed Government in October 1956. And although the revolution was quashed, Presley saluted the uprising in January 1957 during his last appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and performed "Peace in the Valley" , a gospel standard, as a tribute to our plight. At his request, Sullivan solicited the TV audience to donate towards our relief efforts, raising US$6 million ( the equivalent of US49 million in 2012 dollars), or about 26 million Swiss francs.
    • Budapest Mayor István Tarlós, explaining why Presley was named a citizen of Budapest and a Park named after him, following the Internatonal Red Cross' handling of some 26 million SFR sent by his fans, which they distributed to the thousands of Hungarian families affected by the Soviet invasion in both Vienna and London,where the refugees were allowed to settle, and as published in The Guardian's online edition of March 11, 2012.
  • Presley was very classically orientated with his voice, and diction, and very sincere and wanting to get everything perfect.
    • Bryn Terfel bass baritone citing one of the reasons why Elvis is the only soloist whose music he listens in his iPod, as told to NYT's Classical Music critic Vivien Schweitzer, and published on that paper on November 10, 2007
  • Elvis Presley trascended his being called the King of Rock and Roll, even the music he made famous, in favour of his later becoming one of the XX Century's greatest cultural icons. But it is his versatile voice and his unusual delivery of numerous musical idioms, as well as the attraction he held, physically, and sexually, that led him to his being the greatest solo artist in the history of popular music.
    • Terra, a Spanish online publication's views on the power of Presley's voice and it{s being ranked as one of the ten most imposing in the history of recorded sound, the latter in conjunction with the celebration of the "Day of the Voice" and published in their online page, on April 15, 2015.-
  • People think that we’re crazy because we do six nights a week, and then you see how much Elvis put into every show, for which he created this larger than life style, and he pulled it off.
  • They’re talking ‘bout the hood, talkin’ ‘bout where we all come from. My mother always listened to Presley' song when I was young. It talk about the things she went through, you know. She had a bunch of kids, like 9 kids, you know what I’m sayin’. That’s how you get somebody to listen to your song, you talk about what they know about and what they want to hear.”
    • Three 6 Mafia members, Paul Beaureguard and Jordan Houston, discussing their version of In the Guetto.
  • i) A double voice that alternates between a high quaver, reminiscent of Johnnie Ray at his fiercest, and a rich basso that might be smooth if it were not for its spasmodic delivery. 'Heartbreak Hotel', yelps the high voice, is where he's going to get away from it all. Answers the basso: 'he'll be sorry ii) Without preamble, the three-piece band cuts loose. In the spotlight, the lanky singer flails furious rhythms on his guitar, every now and then breaking a string; in a pivoting stance, his hips swing sensuously from side to side and his entire body takes on a frantic quiver, as if he had swallowed a jackhammer; his loud baritone goes raw and whining in the high notes, but down low it is rich and round. As he throws himself into one of his specialties— "Blue Suede Shoes" or "Long Tall Sally", his throat seems full of desperate aspirates or hiccuping glottis strokes, but his movements suggest, in a word, sex.
    • i) TIME Magazine's review of an early 1956 concert and entitled "Teeners' hero", as published on its May 14,1956 ii) and April 02, 1956 issue.
  • Listening to these songs today, their most remarkable feature is Presley's voice itself. He takes the Platters' Tony Williams's techniques, and any other predecessor's, to new, uncharted pinnacles. For a singer who was only just encountering widespread popularity, his singing resonates with amazing fortitude and confidence, especially on "Heartbreak Hotel," (1956), where Presley alternately shouts words with full lungs, then gulps the following back, as if under water but without missing a beat. In "Loving you" (1957), Presley's baritone on this, the ultimate slow dance number, is almost too powerful, virtually rumbling the floor...
    • David N. Townsend, in his essay "Changing the World: Rock 'n' Roll's Culture and Ideology".
  • Making their second appearance at Worthy Farm, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey delighted the crowds as the sun set on the final day of Glastonbury 2015 by performing a number of hits from across their career. They also referenced Kanye West's claim during his own headline slot the night before that he was "the greatest living rockstar on the planet", with Townsend and then Roger Daltrey saying, "We're gonna send you home now with a rebellious 'who's the biggest fucking rockstar in the world?'It must be Elvis Presley."
    • Excerpted from an article quoting Pete Townsend, of The Who, as he and Roger Daltrey were quick to make light of Kanye's antics the previous night, reminding everyone that Elvis Presley was still the King of Rock - despite what Mr West may have said, and as published on Digital Spy on June 29, 2015.
  • This is the best way to hear Elvis the Superstar, with "Hound Dog," (1956),"All Shook Up,"(1957), "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (1960), and the ever zany "Suspicious Minds" (1969), still sounding fresh and immediate —impressive given how many times most the world has heard them —, and showing off the diversity of Elvis' singing, from the purity of his gospel falsetto to his rock and roll purr.
    • Josh Tyrangiel, reviewing "Elvis 30 Number One hits", for TIME magazine`s "The All Time best 100 albums", as published in its November 13, 2006 edition.
  • So I picked up the two Guralnick biographies and started reading them, and as you do if you’re reading books about music, you start listening to the tracks as you’re going along. Before I’d finished the first book I became a diehard Elvis fan, and by the time I’d finished the second one I had an Elvis tattoo. He might not have written his own songs, but he was the master producer and engineer of his generation. It’s also popular opinion to say that the original Hound Dog is better, but no it fucking isn’t. That’s just bollocks. Elvis’ version of that song is lightyears ahead, and if you listen to the two of them back-to-back you can hear what he was doing. This was obviously the ‘50s so it was all cut live, and he’d stand in the middle of the room with all the musicians around him and they’d do 60 takes in a row. He’d be like, ‘Bar three, verse two; drop that F sharp to an E. Now let’s do it again.’ He was in full control of his vision. It’s taken me until my mid-30s to realise it, and when I was younger I didn’t really get it.
    • Frank Turner English folk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, who began his career as the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, in an interview to Rock Icon{s Matt Stocks, and published in their online edition on 1 September 2016.
  • Blue laws began in Texas in 1863 and were still being passed in 1961. Many states prohibited the selling of alcoholic beverages on and off premises in one form or another on Sundays, or at restricted times.Also, blue laws of Texas did not prohibit most businesses being open on Sundays, but all of the restrictions made it impractical to open.Can anyone imagine when some Sunday shopping was a crime?If this blue law was still in effect today,we would all go to jail and cause a Jailhouse Rock with an 8.6 magnitude on the musical Richter scale like Elvis did back in his heyday.
    • African American columnist Chris Tyson, as published in an article entitled "Never on Sundays", and published in the Huntville Item, on 24 September 2016.
  • It has something for everyone, except perhaps Irving Berlin, who attempted to get Elvis's recording of "White Christmas" banned from radio play, deeming it "vulgar and disrespectful". And it was, which is part of the reason why the drastically rearranged tune is so memorable, as the then-young singer masticated the contemporary classic, adding his idiosyncratic dynamics and trills ( the so-called educated yodels of one's vocal chords); equally irreverent and just as riveting is the King's gritty take on Leiber and Stoller's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", one of the most sexually suggestive holiday tunes ever, and his rollicking "Here Comes Santa Claus". And who can forget the song that changed the hue of Yuletide, "Blue Christmas", or his wistful, definitive version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which cemented his reputation as pop's top dreamboat. Along with Phil Spector's "Christmas Gift for You", this is arguably the finest Rock & Roll Christmas album of all-time, a seasonal yet essential recording belonging under any Christmas tree".
    • Jaan Uhelszki and Bill Holdship, reviewing "Elvis Christmas Album (1957 version), for AMAZON.COM
  • Elvis was one of the prime architects of rock and roll music. As such, he influenced several generations both musically and socially. The urgency in Presley's voice is just one part of the equation, and the ease with which he swings tells the rest of the story. Equal parts balladeer and rockabilly king, Elvis played both sides of the fence. He was both tender-love-man and hard-hitting rebel. As this collection proves, his genius was in the way he made it work.
    • UK Channel 4's review of "Elvis Golden Record, Volume II"
  • Elvis Presley, for example, became a key supporter of Father Don Mowery’s work, having grown up in Lauderdale Courts, one of the many Memphis housing projects well served by Youth Service during this period. Interestingly, Elvis’ donations always came with a catch, namely that they never be put into the general-operating fund, but instead set aside for “special projects.” By 1985, Memphis-style programs were operating in dozens of cities all across America, father Mowery’s concept generally considered the most innovative social-service effort developed between the military and civilian sectors in the late-twentieth century. And although no one knew at that time how much of an impact Elvis’ contributions would have on the future of the organization, much of the funding for this national expansion came precisely from that “special projects” fund that Elvis Presley had supported in the 1960s.
    • Excerpted from an article on the life and times of Father Don Mowery, the founder of Youth Service, USA, written by Darrell Userton, published on Memphis Magazine on May 1, 2015.
  • I was really happy about his success, because acceptance wasn't really too great in those days unless you were a schooled singer, so it opened up a whole new thing for young performers who had not studied voice but just had feel. It made me a little sad to think that here was a man who came along and probably made one of the greatest contributions to rock n roll music ever, and people would come in and criticise his shows, (In fact), for someone to have given that much joy to that many people, he shouldn't of had to do anything but walk out on that stage and just stand there. And I sometimes wonder if people in that sense are sadistic and wait to see you fall or hope to see you fall.
    • Frankie Valli 'comments to reporter Heather Bernard at News Center 4,, and as broadcast on August 17, 1977 .
  • With the way he was marketed, he didn't even need to be able to sing the way he could. But Elvis had talent, plain and simple. The guy had a thousandth-octave range, and a variety in his vocal styles and approach, he could make more vocal tones, with just his voice, than a guitar player with 50 pedals and gadgets. If you never even saw the guy, you could plain feel, not just hear, the emotion and passion in his voice, and you are immediately taken in, one hundred percent. On the merit of vocals alone, he had more talent in the barbecue stuck in his teeth than the singers who sell millions of records do today.
    • Country singer Roger Wallace, in the web`s "Soapbox"
  • A Presley motion picture is the only sure thing in Hollywood.”
    • Hal Wallis, Producer of nine of Elvis' films, as pubished in www.graceland.com
  • Arguably the finest recording found in all the Sun sessions, "Trying To Get To You" (1955), is a song that Presley made his own due to his hugely committed vocal, and the simple carefree abandon with which he performs it; at first, it feels like a classic country song with simple, elegant lyrics; but it is at the bridge - where Elvis really lets fly -, that the song is transformed from a lovely country lament, into deep blues; although the 1955 version is magnificent, Elvis manages to better it on his "1968 Comeback Special", in which he sings the song with so much intensity, it prompted critic Greil Marcus to exclaim "this is probably the finest rock and roll ever recorded.
    • Thomas Ward's review, for AllMusicGuide.com, of "Trying To Get To You", whose original version has now been confirmed, by BMG/RCA (which owns all the Presley Sun catalogue), as having been sang and recorded by Elvis while simultaneously playing the piano, with Sun Records' Sam Philips immediately arranging the mix so that his rather loud (and then still amateurish) piano playing could not be heard in the final master take.
  • Elvis Presley existed not only as a flesh-and-blood person but also as millions of pictures on album covers and movie screens, in newspapers and magazines. He was infinitely reproducible. Similarly, through use of the silkscreen printing process, Warhol could produce as many Elvis paintings as he pleased.
    • The Andy Warhol Museum's official laud on Elvis Presley as a subject of Art.
  • Elvis' range was about two and a quarter octaves, as measured by musical notation, but his voice had an emotional range from tender whispers to sighs down to shouts, grunts, grumbles and sheer gruffness that could move the listener from calmness and surrender, to fear. His voice can not be measured in octaves, but in decibels; even that misses the problem of how to measure delicate whispers that are hardly audible at all.
    • Lindsay Waters, Executive Editor for the Humanities at Harvard University Press, in his essay "Come softly, darling, hear what I say"
  • I put Elvis Presley up there with Jolson and Sinatra, and I’ll go one step further: Elvis was the greatest pop entertainer of the 20th century. Like Al Jolson, he gave his all when performing: He sang from his heart, his body, the very essence of his total being, when sharing what he felt."
    • Mort Weiss, Jazz clarinet musician, recalling his having shared a train with Presley when they were both 21 years old, as published on the February 25, 2012 online edition of Something else. at www.somethingelseviews.com
  • I put Elvis Presley up there with Jolson and Sinatra, and I’ll go one step further: Elvis was the greatest pop entertainer of the 20th century. Like Al Jolson, he gave his all when performing: He sang from his heart, his body, the very essence of his total being, when sharing what he felt."
  • It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other, to keep competing with each other. It's a really great competition. I see here artists like Beyonce and Alicia Keys and Rihanna and Chris Brown and Chris Martin, all in the same room, and we're going to push this music to the point where it was like in the 1960s and '70s, when the talk was about Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. We (all) will be the new Beatles. We (all) will be the new Hendrix; (in fact ) in any other industry, they'll tell you that you're supposed to do better than those in the past, so when you say, 'I want to be Elvis,' they say, 'What's wrong with you?' Well, I wanna be Elvis.
    • Kanye West, in accepting Best Album honors in the Rap & Hip-Hop category, at the American Music Awards, on November 23, 2008
  • The voice is so melodious, and - of course, by accident, this glorious voice and musical sensibility was combined with this beautiful, sexual man and this very unconscious - or unselfconscious stage movements. Presley's registration, the breadth of his tone, listening to some of his records, you'd think you were listening to an opera singer. But…it's an opera singer with a deep connection to the blues, which leads me to the role of the great enunciator, because he delivered us the greatest cultural boon. Nobody ever did more for the American people. He gave them the great present of black music transmitted through his own sensibility, his own sensitivity. Of course Elvis was a different kind of white purveyor of black music because it was naturally black and it was real and he was a conduit. And America was really changed. I'm talking about American music and our culture in general. We owe far more to Elvis Presley than all the British groups put together."
    • Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records, whose bid of US$30,000 came up short of the US$35,000 offered by RCA, for the purchase of Elvis' contract with SUN Records in November of 1955.
  • If Rock and Roll were a religion, Elvis was its most prolific disciple, responsible for more converts than anyone before or after him; if it had been country, Elvis was a Founding Father and his lyrics were the documents of freedom that helped to birth the nation; if it were a sickness, Elvis-itis would be the most potent and contagious virus known to man, infecting victims who just looked at his image, heard his voice or saw him perform in person or through a recording. But since Rock and Roll is music, we’ve all decided the world over to just call Elvis…the King.
    • A. C. Wharton African American Mayor of Shelby County, Tennessee, in commemoration of what would have been Elvis' 74th birthday, at the Graceland mansion, and as published by www.elvis.com, on 8th January 2009.
  • The first line of the record is sung without accompaniment, punctuated at the end by two beats, two chords on the piano. Exquisite. And this pattern is repeated through the verse, a cappella singing, piano crash, more a cappella singing; and then Elvis sings the chorus backed only by the beautiful, lonesome sound of a walking electric bass. The risk —only a great voice can hang out there that naked — is impressive and the payoff is phenomenal. None of which would matter, I suppose, if it weren’t that the voice that this perfect and daring bit of accompaniment supports is nothing short of awesome; spirit is walking throughout this recording, just put it on the phonograph, and the room fills with ozone. Darkness and gloom drip joyfully from every rafter. This “Heartbreak Hotel” voice is an instant old friend; it intimately and unforgettably announces the arrival of something big.
    • Paul Williams, writing about Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel", which ranked in fourth place in Crawdaddy Magazine's list of "The 100 best singles of all time"
  • I am not a part of that. To Louisville, I am f-ing Elvis Presley. So why would I pay anybody for anything?
    • professional basketball player Terrence Williams, as told to TMZSports, when questioned to comment on his being mentioned in Katina Powell’s “Breaking Cardinal Rules” book, as one alleged to have paid $500 for sex.
  • A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.”

Natalie Wood

  • Every morning when I woke up and looked out the window, there were at least two hundred kids lined up on the sidewalk outside, staring at the house. Some of them would stay there all day long, just trying to get a glimpse of him. And when he would go out, he was very sweet to them. A lot of people I know would get angry, or impatient -- but Elvis was very nice to them, spent as much time with them as he caould.
    • Actress Natalie Wood, as published in quotes about education.com
  • X-ray records felt like the real thing to (Soviet) rock-starved kids. When doing national service in Berlin, I came across a couple of bedraggled teenage Soviet soldiers who had just climbed over the fence. "Why did you want to take this risk?" I asked them, as they could so easily have been shot. ‘Because our officer won’t let us listen to Elvis Presley,’ one of them answered.
    • Excerpted from the book "How the Beatles rocked the Kremlin", by Leslie Woodhead, and as published by The Mail Online's 25 April, 2013' edition.
  • My mother took me to see "Jailhouse Rock" when I was three. She loved Elvis. I guess I thought, like John Lennon, that that looked like a pretty good job. I bought my first Elvis record at seven. I got an old tennis racket and I'd go around the house playing it like a guitar, playing Elvis songs. I'd turn my collar up and do the lip sneer, the whole thing. I was a little boy being Elvis! I knew I was a little girl, but I was being myself. I never understood the gender difference, frankly. It never stopped me: I never thought, 'I'm a little girl, I can't do this.' I
    • Susan Yasinski, lead singer and founder of Susan and the Surftones, explaining what drew her to rock music, at an early age, as published by Curve, a lesbian magazine on 20 September 2016.
  • I was always mesmerized by strong, pure, beautiful voices, (and) Elvis' voice, the emotion in it, was unbelievable; I’d never heard anything like it, and I was listening to my parents’ records, like "Heartbreak Hotel" and all the ’50 s stuff, the real raw Elvis...and that's how I gravitated into Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.
    • Tricia Yearwood, Country music superstar, telling Martin Bandyke of the Detroit Free Free Press who are her four biggest influences, as published in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (27 May 2008)
  • I knew him when he was a kid. He used to play the guitar and go around with quartets and to Negro ‘sanctified’ meetings. He lived near the colored section, and people around here say he’s one of the nicest boys they ever knew. He just doesn’t impress me as the type of person who would say a thing like that.
    • W.A. Zuber, an African American, as told to reporter Louis Robinson and quoted in the latter's article debunking the rumor that Elvis was a racist, as published in Jet Magazine's issue of August 1, 1957
  • I shall always regret not having seen Elvis Presley live...
    • Canadian politician Gene Zwozdesky, answering the Edmonton's Star question on what would it be a concert he would have liked to attend, as published in that newspaper on 20 August, 2016.



IN FICTION AND SONG

Do you know how hard it is to fake your own death? Only one man has pulled it off — Elvis...
  • Do you know how hard it is to fake your own death? Only one man has pulled it off — Elvis.
  • Elvis are you out there somewhere
    Looking like a happy man?
    In the snow with Rosebud
    And King of the Mountain.
  • I'd like to wake up in the morning
    and hear on CNN
    that Elvis lives again
  • Little hellions, kids feelin' rebellious,
    Embarrassed their parents still listen to Elvis.
  • And as Charles de Gaulle made it into power, promising the colonial population in Algeria "the 1,001 nights", and even as the Bastille seemed like it was never, ever to be taken again yet, in spite of it all, the voice of Elvis kept singing "Good Rockin tonight"
    • portions of Claude Moine`s adaptation, in French (see below), of Eddy Mitchell`s cover of "Elvis' "Good Rocking tonight"
  • Et Charles de Gaulle prenait le pouvoir, promettant les milles-et-une-nuits au pieds-noirs, et la Bastille en a tellement vu, qu'on ne l'y reprendra jamais, jamais plus, et la voix d'Elvis chante "Good rocking tonight"
    • "Et la voix D'Elvis" released by Eddy Mitchell (1977)
  • So you were an artist. Big deal! Elvis was an artist. But that didn't stop him from volunteering for the military in time of service. And that's why he's The King, and you're a schmuck.
    • "Serendipity" in Dogma (1999)
  • Elvis is everywhere. Elvis is everything. Elvis is everybody. Elvis is still the King.
    • Mojo Nixon in "Elvis is Everywhere"
  • In Jailhouse Rock, he was everything rockabilly's about. Nah, nah, I mean, he is rockabilly: mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie, he couldn't give a fuck about nothin' except rockin' and rollin', livin' fast, dying young, and leaving a good-lookin' corpse, y'know?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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