ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Best Songs of Elvis Presley from Rock to Country to Gospel to Christmas

Updated on March 24, 2017

Elvis Presley began the rock and roll movement and his legend is still going strong today. Elvis is known for his early hits like “Hound Dog”, “Love Me Tender”, and “Jailhouse Rock”, but Elvis wasn’t one to stay in one genre. Elvis also could sing blues, country, gospel, Christmas songs, and songs made for the movies.

These are some of the best songs Elvis recorded from the all the categories list above. All of the songs he recorded gave the listener a glimpse at just what made Elvis tick, and how these songs are still enjoyed by all who listen.

The best Country Songs by Elvis Presley are:

“Kentucky Rain”-This song written by Eddie Rabbit and Dick Heard was released in 1970 (the piano playing for this song was done by Ronnie Milsap. )Elvis made it to number 16 on the charts. It is such a visual song about a guy trying to track down his girlfriend in the rain, and the people he meets who try to help him find her. It leaves the listener hoping that soon he catches up to her and all will be well again.

“Help Me Make It through the Night”-Kris Kristofferson wrote this song and it has been done by numerous country singers and Elvis decided to record it 1971. It appeared on his album Elvis Now. (Sammi Smith recorded the song in 1970 it went to number one and it got her a Grammy and one for Kristofferson as well. Elvis liked to take a song a give it emotion and he brings it with this song.

“Guitar Man”- this song was written and performed by Jerry Reed in 1969. Elvis did the song a year later in 1970 it was a minor pop and country hit for him. Jerry Reed played the part on the guitar because Elvis didn’t like the way the guitar was sounding on the recording. Elvis jammed on this song packing in a lot of lyrics in a fast paced song. Thirteen years later the song was reworked with Elvis original vocals. This time it got to number one on the country charts and number 28 on Billboard.

“Always on my Mind”-a song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James, and Wayne Carson was written in ten minutes, which goes to show some great songs are effortless and a gift from God. Elvis recorded the song in 1972 and it seemed to be written just for him. He and Pricilla had just separated, and the lyrics of having regrets and thinking of the one you love, made the song even more poignant. The song was on the B side of his record Separate Ways. It reached number twenty on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Blues

Elvis was raised in Memphis and had heard the blues all his life. He could feel the rhythm and relate to the lyrics so very well.

“Polk Salad Annie”-a song written and recorded by Tony Joe White in 1968. Elvis heard the song and began performing it in his concerts during the 1970’s. Hearing the Elvis version live in concert is a treat. Elvis sang the song as if he lived it. The song is about a poor girl in the south and how her and her family survived. It sounded like a song Elvis enjoyed performing because he had a chance to tell a story and move to the beat of an up tempo song.

“Steamroller Blues”- this song was written by James Taylor and was on his album Sweet Baby James in 1970. It was during the 1970’s that Elvis began performing the song in his concerts and would continue to sing this song till his final concerts in 1977. Elvis recorded a live version of this song and it reached number 16 on the Billboard charts. This song was made for Elvis blues and sass, and Elvis knew exactly how to perform this song.

“Lawdy Miss Clawdy”- is a song by Ray Price he recorded it in 1952 and it has been recorded by various artists. Elvis recorded his version of it in the late 1950’s. It is a perfect rhythm and blues song with the piano and electric guitar rocking out right along with Elvis. It is easy to see why he was crowned King of Rock and Roll when he recorded this gem.

“Hound Dog”-this blues song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and has been recorded 250 times. Elvis’s version was recorded in 1956 and it his version that is the most well-known. Elvis’s gyrations started with this song and this song was one of his great sellers. Elvis thought this was one of the silliest songs he recorded and didn’t expect to get any sales from it. In fact, it was Elvis’s best-selling single it spent 11 weeks at number one. It sold 10 million worldwide. That is very impressive for what Elvis believed to be a silly song.

“I Got a Woman”- Ray Charles co-wrote this song and recorded it, and Elvis recorded it in 1956. Elvis took this rocking song and made it his own. The song fit his early days of rock and roll swagger.

Gospel

“How Great Thou Art”-is a gospel song based on a poem by Carl Gustav Boberg in Sweden in 1885. The music was taken from a traditional Swedish melody. Elvis recorded the song in 1967 for his album How Great Thou Art. The album reached number 18 on the Top Pop Albums chart and the album went on to reach certified gold in 1968, Platinum and 2x Platinum in 1992 and 3x Platinum in 2010. That is really great and quite a testament to the song and how Elvis performed it.


“Amazing Grace”- the words were written by an English clergyman and poet in the 1700’s. Elvis had a love for gospel music that started when he was a boy and it this music took him through dark days and to the end of his days he loved to sing it. Elvis sang this song with conviction.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”-This is an Oscar and Hammerstein song that Elvis recorded in the late 1960’s. An album entitled You’ll Never Walk Alone was released in 1971 and it contained many gospel songs that Elvis recorded through the years. Elvis got to number 90# on the charts while Frank Sinatra’s version made it to number 9 on the charts. This song was in the movie Carousel. It is a great song of comfort and encouragement.

“He Touched Me”-This song was written by Bill Gaither in 1963 and Elvis did his rendition of it in 1971. It was on his album He Touched me in 1972 it won a Grammy. He Touched Me was Elvis’s third and final gospel album.

“Peace in the Valley (For Me)”-this gospel song was written in 1937 by Thomas A. Dorsey and it was for Mahilia Jackson, but then Red Foley and Jo Stafford did their renditions, and Elvis recorded it in 1957. It was an extended play single record. On first side was the song “Peace in the Valley (For Me)” and It Is No Secret (What God Can Do)” and on the other side the songs were: “I Believe” and “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. Elvis put a very soulful sound to the song and the Jordanaires make it sound as though it were sung in a church.

Christmas

Elvis had a love for Christmas and the songs he performed show his audience just how much he enjoyed it.

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” –written by Al Kent and Don Gannon. It was originally recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943. It was for the soldiers overseas who longed to be home for the holiday. Elvis did his version in 1957 for his first Christmas album entitled Elvis’ Christmas album. Elvis probably felt the same way when he was on his concert tours.

“Winter Wonderland”-This timeless song written in 1934 by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith. This song is extremely popular and has been recorded by over 200 artists so far and I am sure there will be many more to come. This song was recorded by Elvis in 1971 from the album The Wonderful World of Christmas”. Elvis puts a bounce into this song and this song sounds as fresh today as the day it was recorded. It is a great song to get you into the holiday spirit.

“If I Get Home on Christmas Day”- this song written by Michael Jarrett was on Elvis’ second and last Christmas album entitled The Wonderful World of Christmas in 1971. The Imperials Quartet accompanied him on this song. This song is beautiful and Elvis brings such emotion to this song, you know nothing is more important to him than being with his loved ones for the holidays.

“Merry Christmas Baby”-this R&B song was written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore in 1947. It has been recorded many times by such artists as Chuck Berry, BB King, Otis Redding and many, many more. Elvis recorded the song on his Christmas album The Wonderful World of Christmas in 1971. Elvis’ version was the grittiest and sassiest of them all. This song has it all, the raw guitar, and the bluesy piano playing, with Elvis getting into the blues it is perfection.

“On a Snowy Christmas Night”- a Christmas song by Stanley Gelbert was on Elvis’ Christmas album The Wonderful World of Christmas in 1971. This song has a peaceful sound and so much imagery. Elvis is right at home expressing the perfect Christmas night. This song is a gem that should have more airplay during the holiday season.

It is no surprise that Elvis is as popular today, maybe even more popular, than he was in his lifetime. He poured everything he had into all his songs and his love for music and performing shows in all his performances and his recordings. He is truly a legend for all time and we are all fortunate to have his videos and albums to enjoy for posterity. Elvis you will forever be the King of Rock and Roll.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cfjots profile imageAUTHOR

      cfjots 

      6 months ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you Janelle tratnik for your compliment Elvis was such a great singer and performer. I need to write another article about him for he will always be the King of Rock and Roll.

    • profile image

      Janelle tratnik 

      6 months ago

      I love your elvis posts

    • cfjots profile imageAUTHOR

      cfjots 

      3 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you FlourishAnyway for your comments. Your Uncle must have been a handsome man

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      He sure was the King for a reason. I have an uncle who was a dead ringer for Elvis back in the day.

    • cfjots profile imageAUTHOR

      cfjots 

      3 years ago from Conway, SC

      Thank you Jayfort for your comments. You were so lucky to see Elvis in concert. I remember when I was 11 and he was going to do a concert in Hampton, VA. I wanted to go, but I was too young it would have been great to see him. He knew how to perform a song and how to entertain people.

    • profile image

      Jayfort 

      3 years ago

      I got to see Elvis in concert for my 17th birthday. It was a few short months before his death!bi'm still,a big Elvis fan to this day.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)