Clint Black posed the question to Tritt during an episode of his show, Talking in Circles. And Tritt explained why he picked Elvis and what song they might sing.
“I would probably want to sing the “Trilogy” with Elvis,” he explained. Black applauded the answer: “He was on my shortlist,” he said.
Then Tritt continued: “I remember being so influenced by him as a kid and watching him on television. The thing that impressed me about him so much was he could do anything. He could do rock, gospel, blues, country. Everything he did he was great at.”
So Why Did Travis Tritt Choose This Elvis Presley Song?
So here are some more details about the Elvis Presley song Travis Tritt singled out for a heavenly duet. The song is called “American Trilogy.” And it’s more of a mashup of three distinct songs that Elvis turned into gospel.
Back in 1972, Elvis started performing this song medley. He started with “Dixie,” then would continue with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and finish with “All My Trials.” All three were songs from the 19th century, but Elvis gave them a 1970s-kind of update. Two of the songs came from opposing sides of the Civil War. The third was a soothing lullaby. Like Travis Tritt, Elvis Presley fans loved the “Trilogy.”
Elvis first performed the song at a concert in January 1972. A month later, RCA released the recording as a single. He also sang the medley in the documentary Elvis on Tour. Mickey Newbury created the trilogy and released it first as a single. His version charted as high as No. 9 on the country’s easy listening charts.
Presley tweaked Newbury’s version. After singing the lullaby. he’d revisit the Civil War songs, ending with the grandness of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” His version reached No. 26 on the national easy listening list.
Elvis included the song in his 1973 telecast Aloha from Hawaii. You can check it out below. Although it’s been a half-century since he first started singing, the Elvis version feels timeless.
Travis Tritt is in the middle of his own concert tour, but unfortunately, there will be no performances with Elvis Presley since the King died in 1977.
Tritt, 59, is touring after the release of “Set In Stone,” his first studio album in 14 years. He told a crowd in Mississippi earlier this month:
“I was a little nervous about releasing an album after being out of the studio for that long. But my fears were all kind of put to rest very soon because the very first week, thanks to folks like you the very first week the album debuted. … It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Country Chart.”
He’s headed to Georgia for another two shows this month.