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Country King
by Thanos Kalamidas
Issue 8
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Elvis: Great Country Songs
Elvis Presley
BMG records, 1955
Most of the people will remember Elvis Presley as the person who brought Rock & Roll into every house; they will remember him from his films and his unfair end. What most of the people forget is that Elvis’ music roots weren’t in Rock & Roll, but in country music.

When he was kid, he used to spend hours listening to country and bluegrass music with his mother. Bill Monroe was often on their record player and young Elvis used to practice his voice accompanying the singers on the record player. Since Bill Monroe was one of his music idols on one of his first recordings, he did play a song of his…changing it a bit to a more rockabilly style.

Bill Monroe first heard Elvis playing his song “Blue Moon of Kentucky” one October night in 1954. He liked Elvis’ rockabilly version so much, he changed his set and played it like that after that night.

Throughout his career, Elvis sang many country songs, but he made many country and bluegrass musicians angry because they believed he was making them pop, thereby giving people the wrong impression of their music. These people forget that even the fans of country and bluegrass put 80 of Elvis’ singles in the country charts and even sent ten of them to number one.

“I Forgot to Remember to Forget” was his first number one in the country charts followed by “Old Sep” and “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”, even near his end, sometime in late-1975, he recorded another country song called “Green, Green Grass of Home”.

Elvis undeniably had one of the most beautiful voices in pop music, but country is where his roots are and that is why he sounds more real. A collection of his best country and bluegrass songs is Elvis: Great Country Songs.

In this collection you will find classics like “Just Call Me Lonesome” by Rex Griffin and “Make the World Go Away” from Hank Cochran to more modern country songs like ‘Always On My Mind” by Brenda Lee, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” from Kris Kristofferson and “Funny How Time Slips Away” by Willie Nelson.

This is mainly a collection of songs for the lovers of country music and, of course, for the collectors of Elvis’ music.

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