Elvis Presley and Tony Joe White

By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
July 20, 2022

Tony Joe White (July 23, 1943 – October 24, 2018), nicknamed the Swamp Fox, was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit 'Polk Salad Annie' and for 'Rainy Night in Georgia', which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote 'Steamy Windows' and 'Undercover Agent for the Blues', both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner's producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. 'Polk Salad Annie' was also recorded by Joe Dassin, Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

Tony Joe White died of a heart attack on October 24, 2018, at the age of 75. 'He wasn't ill at all. He just had a heart attack...there was no pain or suffering', said his son, Jody White. He died at his home in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Leann, whom he married in 1964, and their three children, Jody, Jim Bob, and Michelle.

Elvis Presley and Tony Joe White

Elvis recorded Tony Joe White's 'Polk Salad Annie', 'I've Got a Thing About You Baby' and 'For Ol' Times Sake'. Tony Joe believed that Elvis was planning to also record 'Rainy Night In Georgia'.

Elvis Presley MP3 Audio Tony Joe White Talks Elvis (03:06)

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Tony Joe White: Back in Corpus Christi, I was doing a lot of Elvis on stage. I had my hair combed like Elvis. A big wave. I could sing him, copy him to a T. After 'Polk' came out and I was living in Memphis again, Elvis' producer called me. He said, 'We're flying a jet down to pick you and your wife up. We want you to come to Las Vegas and watch Elvis record 'Polk Salad Annie' for six nights, every night he does it on stage'.

Every night in Las Vegas was so wild. Elvis was putting out. He said, 'You know, I feel like I wrote 'Polk Salad Annie'. I can sing it'. I said, 'That's for sure'. We went back to the dressing room after the show each night. He had an acoustic guitar back there. He'd say, 'Break me out a blues lick, man. Show me two or three licks I can do'. And I did him a John Lee Hooker or a Lightnin' Hopkins thing. I saw him later back down at Stax in Memphis, when he did 'I've Got a Thing About You Baby' and 'For Ol' Times Sake'.

I always wanted somehow do something in respect for him. I finally got to do it on this blues album I just did. 'Heartbreak Hotel,' but I do it bluesy style. Because, when he sang, he had a lot of blues in it.

Felton Jarvis, his producer, told me after Elvis had passed on, 'We was getting ready to nail 'Rainy Night'. I said, 'In that limo, sure sounds like he was fixing to nail it'. Referring to the scene in the Elvis concert documentary 'Elvis On Tour. Elvis can be seen in the back seat of a limo singing pieces of it.

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