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Ian Gillan of Deep Purple Talks about Elvis

By: Elvis Australia
Source: Classic Rock
January 18, 2008
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Michael Parkinson once asked the famous New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa about the greatest voice she'd ever heard, probably expecting her to name Luciano Pavarotti or Maria Callas, but she said: 'The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt'.

Elvis' voice was unique. Like so many others he had natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. He was very influenced by Southern blues, and he helped to prove that you could have this bizarre mixture of country 'n' western, blues and folk music. Recordings were very honest in those days, and they stand up remarkably well.

I was an avid collector of Elvis' early stuff; for a young singer he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It's the same as being in school - you learn by copying the maestro.

His personality was also extremely endearing. The shaking of his hips was deemed sensational back then, but unlike Little Richard or Chuck Berry his interviews were very self-effacing. He came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others.

It was immaterial to me that Elvis didn't write his own songs. Those were very different days, and he selected whatever suited him best from material supplied by publishing houses and teams of writers - all of whom were extremely conscious of his style of delivery.

Although he appeared in some awful movies, Elvis could also be pretty damn good as an actor. Love Me Tender [1956] and Jailhouse Rock [1957] were both really good but King Creole [1958] was my all-time favourite.

Those early records are still incredible. They can re-mix them and make them hits for the younger generation, and Elvis will always be the King. The reason is simple: He was the greatest singer that ever lived.

Ian Gillan is lead singer with Deep Purple.

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Elvis Presley Video Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.

Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.

This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.

The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.