Skip to Content

Elvis Country Songs (Some of the His Best Country Tracks)

Elvis Presley, also known as the King of Rock and Roll, is widely recognized for his contributions to the music industry.

However, not many people are aware of his equally impressive work in country music. Elvis had a strong passion for country music and recorded numerous country songs throughout his career.

These songs showcase his unique style and vocal abilities, making them a must-listen for any fan of Elvis or country music.

Origins of Elvis’s Country Influence

The Sun Records Era

Elvis Presley began his music career at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.

During his time there, he recorded several country songs, including “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “That’s All Right.

These recordings helped to establish Elvis as a country artist and paved the way for his future success.

At Sun Records, Elvis worked with producer Sam Phillips, who encouraged him to blend different genres of music.

This experimentation led to the creation of a unique sound that combined country, blues, and rock and roll.

This sound would become a trademark of Elvis’s music and influence many other artists in the years to come.

Influence of Blues and Gospel

Elvis’s country music was also heavily influenced by blues and gospel music. He grew up listening to these genres and incorporated their sounds into his music.

This can be heard in songs like “Mystery Train,” which features a prominent blues riff, and “Peace in the Valley,” which is a gospel-inspired ballad.

Elvis’s love for blues and gospel music also led him to collaborate with other artists in these genres.

He recorded several songs with gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, including “How Great Thou Art,” which won a Grammy Award in 1967.

Elvis Presley
The King – Elvis.

Iconic Elvis Country Songs

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, was much more than just a hip-shaking, guitar-slinging rockstar.

His roots ran deep in the fertile soil of Southern gospel and country music, and throughout his career, he revisited these roots with some of his most enduring and iconic songs.

Early Rockabilly Classics

These songs hinted at the rockabilly revolution to come, blending country instrumentation with Elvis’s electrifying vocals:

  • That’s All Right Mama (1954): Elvis’s debut single, a bluesy cover of Arthur Crudup’s song.
  • Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954): This B-side showcased Elvis’s rockabilly energy while paying homage to his bluegrass roots.
  • Heartbreak Hotel (1956): A haunting lament about loneliness and love lost, combining country-style storytelling with rockabilly rhythm.

Billboard Hot 100 Chart Performance of Songs

SongBillboard Hot 100
That’s All Right Mama (1954)4
Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954)5
Heartbreak Hotel (1956)1
Billboard Hot 100 Chart Performance of Songs.

Country Ballads and Heartbreak Anthems

These songs showcase Elvis’s smooth vocals and country-style storytelling:

  • I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955): This early hit topped the country charts.
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1973): A powerful live performance version of Hank Williams’ song, capturing Elvis’s raw emotion and vocal maturity.
  • Help Me Make It Through the Night (1978): This Grammy-winning duet with Kris Kristofferson features Elvis’s soulful voice blending seamlessly with country storytelling.

Later Career Gems

These songs reflect Elvis’s introspection and gospel influences:

  • Kentucky Rain (1970): An introspective ballad with a haunting melody and poetic lyrics.
  • Make the World Go Away (1971): Elvis’s version imbues the song with his own longing and vulnerability, creating a powerful gospel-tinged country ballad.
  • The Promised Land (1973): The title track of his gospel-themed album, a powerful anthem about hope and perseverance.

This is just a taste of the many iconic Elvis country songs. Explore these gems to appreciate his enduring talent and versatility!

Collaborations and Covers

With Country Legends

Elvis Presley’s love for country music was evident in his collaborations with some of the biggest names in the genre.

One of his most notable collaborations was with Johnny Cash on the song “The Singing Star’s Queen” in 1964.

The song was recorded during a jam session at Sun Studio in Memphis and features both artists trading verses in a lively and playful manner.

Elvis Presley
Elvis’ country songs have been covered by countless artists.

Another notable collaboration was with Dolly Parton on the song “Smokey Mountain Boy” in 1976. The song was written by Parton and features Elvis on lead vocals, while Parton provides harmonies.

The song is a tribute to the Smokey Mountains and showcases both artists’ love for their Southern roots.

Modern Interpretations

Elvis’ country songs have been covered by countless artists over the years, showcasing the timeless appeal of his music.

One of the most notable covers is by Dwight Yoakam, who recorded a version of “Suspicious Minds” in 1992.

Yoakam’s interpretation of the song stays true to the original while adding his unique style and energy.

Another modern interpretation of an Elvis country classic is by Alison Krauss, who covered “You Don’t Know Me” in 2017.

Krauss’ version of the song features her signature angelic vocals and a stripped-back arrangement that highlights the song’s emotional depth.

“You Don’t Know Me” Song.
Subscribe to Nash Gab on Facebook!
Subscribe so you don't miss a thing.

Legacy in Country Music

Elvis Presley’s impact on country music cannot be overstated. His unique blend of rockabilly, blues, and country music helped to revolutionize the genre and paved the way for many of the country music stars that followed in his footsteps.

Influence on Artists

Elvis’s influence on country music can be seen in the work of countless artists who have followed in his footsteps.

His unique vocal style and energetic performances have inspired generations of country music singers, including Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam, and Toby Keith.

Even today, his music continues to be a source of inspiration for new country music artists.

Preservation of Heritage

In addition to his influence on other artists, Elvis also played a key role in preserving the heritage of country music. Throughout his career, he recorded many classic country songs.

He also introduced many people to country music who might not have otherwise been exposed to it, helping to ensure that the genre would continue to thrive for years to come.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley also known as the King of Rock and Roll.

Conclusion

  1. Elvis Presley’s country songs transcended genre, blending his rock and roll energy with heartfelt storytelling.
  2. From the early rockabilly twang of “That’s All Right Mama” to the introspective ballads like “Kentucky Rain,” these songs showcase his remarkable versatility and enduring influence.
  3. His country roots provided a foundation for his rock and roll revolution, evident in the infectious energy of “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
  4. Later, his gospel-infused recordings like “The Promised Land” reflected his spiritual journey.
  5. Whether topping the charts or delivering soulful performances, Elvis’s country songs resonated deeply with audiences, solidifying his place as a true musical icon.
  6. Even today, these songs continue to captivate listeners, reminding us of Elvis’s raw talent, emotional vulnerability, and ability to connect with listeners across generations.
  7. His legacy as a country music pioneer lives on, inspiring countless artists and reminding us of the power of music to transcend boundaries and touch hearts.

Click Here to View the Visual Story Version of this Article

Related Articles

  1. MerleFest 2024 Lineup: All the Artists Performing at the Annual Festival
  2. Toby Keith’s Son’s Touching Tribute: “Love You, Cowboy”
  3. Tennessee Orange Lyrics: A Guide to the Iconic Song’s Words
Skip to content