During the first time they met, Elvis Presley performed a series of songs for Priscilla Presley and others. Some of these songs were massive hits for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll whereas others were not. Here’s Priscilla’s recollection of her future husband’s first performance for her — and why she was nervous at the time.
Priscilla Presley was ‘riveted’ when Elvis Presley sang these songs
In her book Elvis and Me, Priscilla discusses meeting Elvis for the first time in 1959 alongside her acquaintance, Currie Grant, and his wife. Upon learning Priscilla was in the ninth grade, Elvis called his future bride “a baby.” She was upset but his charms quickly won her over.
Then Elvis won over the room. “Then Elvis got up and walked over to the piano and sat down,” she recalled. “The room suddenly grew silent. Everyone’s eyes were riveted on him as he began to entertain us.”
Elvis performed a trio of songs. “He sang ‘Rags to Riches’ and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ and then with his friends singing harmony, ‘End of the Rainbow,’” Priscilla wrote. “He also did a Jerry Lee Lewis impersonation, pounding the keys so hard that a glass of water he’d set on the piano began sliding off. When Elvis caught it without missing a beat of the song, everyone laughed and applauded-except me. I was nervous.”
How the world reacted to these Elvis Presley songs
Elvis’ performance of these songs clearly left an impression on Priscilla if she remembered them all those years later — even if she was nervous. This raises an interesting question: How did the public react to them? “Rags to Riches” was a track famously recorded by Tony Bennett. Elvis released his version of the song in the 1970s and it reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” was a tremendous hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming one of his better-known ballads. Considering Elvis performed the song for Priscilla and company in 1959, they heard the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll sing the song before his version of it was available to the general public.
What song called ‘End of the Rainbow’ did Elvis Presley sing?
On the other hand, there are multiple songs called “End of the Rainbow” or something similar. It’s not clear which song Elvis was singing. Perhaps it was Earl Grant’s 1958 song “The End,” which is also known as “(At) The End (Of A Rainbow).” Regardless, Elvis never recorded a song called “End of the Rainbow” or something similar. What started as an evening of entertainment for Priscilla turned into one of the most famous relationships in rock ‘n’ roll history.
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