Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Can you believe it? Tomorrow would be Elvis Presley’s 84th birthday… To celebrate, our mystery conductor has asked us to play an Elvis song followed by songs by artists who were active when he was. Since that includes half of the ’50’s, all of the ’60’s, and most of the ’70’s, that gives me a lot of leeway… but I stuck with artists who were from the ’50’s and early ’60’s. Elvis was first recorded on Sam Phillips’s Sun Records label, along with a few other names you’ll recognize, so the first half of the list are the Sun artists.

  1. Elvis Presley, “Mystery Train” As long as we have a mystery comnductor… From 1955, recorded on a 78 rpm record. Reached #10 on the country chart.
  2. Carl Perkins, “Matchbox” Recorded in 1956 as the B side to “Your True Love,” which went to #13 on the country chart. One of his more popular tunes.
  3. Johnny Cash, “Cry, Cry, Cry” The Man In Black’s first single, it reached #14 on the country chart in 1955.
  4. Jerry Lee Lewis, “Breathless” From 1958, it reached #7 on the pop chart, #4 on the country chart, and #3 on the R&B chart.
  5. Roy Orbison, “Ooby Dooby” The original from 1956, it didn’t crack the Top 40. Creedence Clearwater Revival covered it practically note-for-note on Cosmo’s Factory.
  6. Little Richard, “Keep A-Knockin'” from 1958, went to #13 on the pop chart and #1 on the R&B chart.
  7. Chet Atkins, “Canned Heat” I included this because around the same time Elvis came to RCA Records, Chet was put in charge of the Nashville studios.
  8. Fats Domino, “Blue Monday” Reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart in 1956. Fats was also a Sam Phillips discovery.
  9. Ricky Nelson, “Hello Mary Lou” Evidently Ozzie Nelson had more than a little trouble with his son mimicking the King. From 1961, it only reached #9, but James Burton’s guitar solo influenced many guitar players. Burton later played with Elvis as a member of the TCB Band.
  10. Bill Haley & The Comets, “Rockin’ Thru The Rye” Only reached #78 on the Hot 100, but reached #3 in the UK, and probably had Harry Lauder spinning in his grave.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 7, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

19 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Happy Birthday, Elvis!

  1. Gosh, I remember when he died and I was shocked and yet, not surprised. I know contradiction, but he was so big….in music and in film. You just never thought he would die but he didn’t look well at all. He was actually made fun of by my little peers because of his horrible outfits he wore. Too bad the Betty Ford centre was not around yet because he would have been sent there and he would have made it. Alas, it was not meant to be. Love the picks and Roy Orbison could sing the phone book and I would be riveted


    1. Especially that white studded number that every Elvis impersonator wears. That’s just awful. He looked bloated toward the end, though his voice was still good.

      Did you ever get a chance to see Roy live? We did. Talk about someone that could bring a crowd to its feet every time he hit a high note. His was the voice of the angels.


      1. You are so lucky to have seen Roy live. I only saw someone who impersonated him and he was excellent to be honest. I watched a final live concert with Elvis who wore that horrible onesy and he looked awful. In Fact, at one point, I saw him throw up in his mouth a little…it was so sad.


        1. Elvis deteriorated a lot in his last couple of years. I feel badly for anyone seeing him like that for the first time.

          Roy was amazing. Didn’t dance all over the stage or anything, just stood in one place, played his guitar and sang, and he had us all in the palm of his hand. I think the work he did in the later years of his career was even better than what he did early on.


  2. Love your selection! Elvis didn’t look healthy toward the end, unfortunately. Another legend gone too soon. And, Roy Orbison always has been and will be my favorite. Amazing voice!!


  3. I knew so few of these songs, although “Hello Mary Lou” is a fav from my childhood. I’ve grown to enjoy Johnny Cash in the past few years, but had never heard his first single. I had never heard that Elvis song, either. Or the Bill Haley song, etc. My husband, a huge CCR fan, immediately recognized Ooby Dooby. You did it again, John!


  4. John,

    I remember when Elvis died. DH & I were dating at the time. It was nearing the end of summer. We were in the living room watching TV when an update came across the airwave. I purrtty sure it was Walter Cronkite who broke the mews to us that night but that’s been too many years ago for me to remember accurately. It was sort of a shock but I knew he was battling some stuff even though I didn’t understand all the things surrounding his death. Elvis really shaped rock no roll for generations, Your playlist is a furtastic collection from the late 50s to early 60s. I just realized the only artist alive in this set is Jerry Lee Lewis unless some of Bill Haley’s Comets are still kicking. It’s great having you on the dance floor!


    1. Little Richard is still alive, I checked, but that struck me, too. They were all part of my parents’ generation, the people born in the ’20’s and 30’s (Rick Nelson is younger, but not by much). Hard to believe, isn’t it?


  5. Excellent selections, John! Many of them were my parents’ favorites, my dad had a reel-to-reel player set up in the dining room and would sing along to many of these songs he had on tape. 🙂 Thanks for the dance!


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