Elvis Presley thought an American star had “the perfect voice” | Music | Entertainment

Elvis Presley has been called the greatest rock and roll band of all time – but even he had his heroes. Just as the Beatles were heavily inspired by Elvis and his work, King had a hugely famous American star he looked up to.

Years into his career, Elvis even toured with this musician – otherwise known as The Big O – and spent weeks on the road with him.

Elvis adored American Rockabilly singer Roy Orbison. The rocker was best known for introducing a harder vocal tone to the music industry. He sported a black, slicked back haircut and wide Ray Bans which became his signature look. These characteristics were also partially adopted by Elvis over the years.

The singer was one of the biggest entertainers around throughout the 1950s. In many ways, he laid the groundwork for the likes of Elvis and the Beatles to take over music in a major way.

At the time, he had sold over 7 million albums worldwide – which was no small feat. But above all, he received the unwavering respect of Elvis Presley.

While on stage at his residency shows in Las Vegas, Elvis told his audience that Orbison was “the greatest singer in the world.”

Elvis was also extremely respectful of the singer. Throughout his decades-long career, he’s covered many artist tracks while performing live, including The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and many more.

But Elvis refused to cover any of Orbison’s songs. He reportedly felt that he couldn’t “sing any of Roy’s songs better than the original recordings”.

He later commented that Orbison had “the most perfect voice”.

The respect Elvis had for Orbison was not one-sided, however. In fact, Orbison made it a point to attend as many shows as possible from 1954 to 1976.

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Orbison went to Elvis’ mansion, Graceland, and knocked on the door. He told the doorman he had a song to hand him.

Unfortunately for him, Elvis was not at home. And the doorman told him he probably wouldn’t be interested in the song.

Orbison was deflated by this news, but didn’t give up. He also tried to introduce him to the Everly Brothers – but they weren’t interested either.

Eventually Orbison recorded Only the Lonely and released it under his own name.

It became the only song he ever released that reached number two on the US charts. During this time, it went straight to number one in the UK.


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