BY PUJA GUPTA
Elvis Presley is one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His music and his fashion sense made him a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. Often referred to as the “King of Rock & Roll” or just “The King”, Elvis is undisputedly one of the most iconic musical legends whose songs are played and enjoyed even today.
On the king’s 85th birth anniversary, Tanuja Gomes, co-founder and Co-CEO of Furtados School of Music decodes and shares anecdotes about some of Elvis’ most popular songs.
**Can’t Help Falling In Love
Recorded and released under the Blue Hawaii album in 1961, the single was certified platinum and recorded sales of over 1 million in the US alone. The song was initially written for a woman, titled “Can’t help falling in love with him” which explains the second and third line ending with “in” and “sin”, rhyming with him.
The song has been covered by multiple artists through the years and its popularity was recently rekindled when the song’s cover was used in the movie Crazy Rich Asians.
**In The Ghetto
Written by Mac Davis, the song was sung and popularized by Elvis in 1969. The song holds a strong social message of poverty and the struggle of surviving. The song gained much popularity and managed to get Elvis in the UK top 10 hit after 3 years. In 2007, Elvis’ daughter Lisa Marie Presley recorded the song as a duet with her father to raise money for the Presley Charitable Foundation.
Released in 1956, this song broke many records for Elvis and also became his first million-seller. Inspired by a newspaper article about a man committing suicide by jumping out of a hotel window, song writers Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton penned the song. The song post its release was certified double platinum by RIAA and also entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1995.
**If I Can Dream
Recorded in June 1968, just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. During his comeback this song, which is a notable tribute to the civil war hero, rose to number 12 on the Hot 100 charts and is till date known to be one of his best vocal performances.
The famous song which explores the complexities of a dysfunctional relationship was written and originally recorded by American songwriter Mark James. Although the original version didn’t receive any commercial success, Elvis’ version made it reach the number 1 spot in the United States. The song had its share of legal battles; however, it solidifies its position in the King’s career as it was his last number 1 hit before his untimely death.
Despite his untimely death, through the span of his career, Elvis recorded over 600 songs and made a legacy that is looked up to even today. His songs are still inspiring a generation of young musicians and performers. He is truly and correctly coined as the King of Rock & Roll.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)