Return to Sender

I had been so busy preparing my birthday tribute to David Bowie that it completely slipped my mind that the Chameleon of Pop used to get his birthday cards on the same day as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth in Tupelo, Mississippi. Like Bowie, Elvis was also an actor, although the films he appeared in were merely vehicles for his star status and internationally-recognised persona. And, like Bowie, Elvis was a huge influence on the development of popular music. Of course, his music wasn’t as innovative or original as that of Bowie, but Elvis inspired more people than anybody else to go on to become musicians and performers. Growing up in the 70s, his music was all over the radio and the neighbours beside me were huge fans. I’ve always liked him as a singer and a performer despite the fact that he never wrote any of his own songs. Last night I put together this mix of Elvis songs as well as songs written about him. I start off with three songs by The King himself. The first two concern an American state where I lived for a while and appear on my two favourite albums by him: The Sun Sessions and From Elvis in Memphis. They’re followed by his interpretation of an old Irish tune. Next up are two Elvis impersonators with a couple of pretty impressive-sounding impersonations. The next batch of songs represent a selection of the many tributes written about Elvis. Some are affectionate and commemorate his death; some describe pilgrimages to Graceland; and the others poke fun at his legacy and particularly the many sightings of him since he died. Finally, I’ve included some of my favourite covers of songs made famous by Mr Presley. Elvis has left the building

Blue Moon of Kentucky – Elvis

Kentucky Rain – Elvis

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen – Elvis

No Woman No Cry (Bob Marley cover) – The King

Escape (Enrique Iglesias cover) – Kevin Doyle (as Elvis)

I Saw Mr. Presley Tiptoeing Thru The Tulips – Tiny Tim

Elvis Is Everywhere – Mojo Nixon

A Century Of Elvis – Belle & Sebastian

Happy Birthday Elvis – Loudon Wainwright III

Jesus Mentioned – Warren Zevon

King’s Call – Phil Lynott

Elvis Presley Blues – Gillian Welch

Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis) – Cowboy Junkies

Walking in Memphis – Barb Jungr

Graceland (Paul Simon cover) – Grizzly Bear

There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis – Robin Grey

All Shook Up – Ry Cooder

Return To Sender – Ian McCulloch

Suspicion – Engine Alley

Suspicious Minds – Whipping Boy

Dead Kennedys – Viva Las Vegas

Guitar Man – Jesus & Mary Chain

Can’t Help Falling In Love – Eels

A Fool Such As I – Wilco