LISTEN: Rare Recording of George Jones Doing Uncanny Elvis Presley Impression Resurfaces

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

We all know and love Elvis Presley’s classic “Heartbreak Hotel,” but even the most diehard fans of country legend George Jones may not know he recorded the song as well. Not only did Jones cover the hit song, he even tried to recreate The King’s iconic performance on the track that has recently resurfaced.

Countless musicians have covered Elvis Presley’s iconic song over the decades since its release in 1956. Likewise, many artists have tried to impersonate The King of Rock and Roll with their own versions of the single. When Jones actually recorded the song though, he didn’t record it under his name. Instead, he opted to use the pseudonym Hank Smith as he performed on the record with The Nashville Playboys.

Fans of each of the legendary musicians won’t believe their ears when they hear Jones, excuse me, Smith belt out the famous lines. The country singer completely adapts to the rockabilly track as his vocals come close to the real thing. In fact, if you aren’t paying attention you may not realize it isn’t actually Elvis Presley singing at all.

Presley recorded “Heartbreak Hotel” in January 1956, two months after coming across the song. The single came up as a demo from a songwriter named Mae Boren Axton that previous November. The pair were at a country music convention in Nashville, Tennessee when The King first heard it. And of course, it didn’t take the single long to blow up upon its release.

“Heartbreak Hotel” became a huge hit for Elvis Presley, which is probably an understatement unto itself. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks. It also became the artist’s first single to sell more than a million copies. Additionally, it crept into uncharted territory when it reached the Top 5 singles in three different genres simultaneously: the Country and Western, Pop, and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues charts.

Elvis Presley’s Mansion Graceland Reveals Private Room Rarely Seen

While Elvis Presley fans got treated to George Jones’ rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel,” they also recently got to take in a rarely seen private room in The King’s Memphis mansion Graceland.

Graceland has welcomed visitors for years, but there are still areas of the house that are off limits. Many of Presley’s fans know of the singer’s love for animals. However, they likely don’t know he had an entire downstairs room dedicated to his pet birds that talked. took a recent live virtual tour, which included a sneak peek at the appropriately named “Bird Room.” Led by the estate’s expert guide Angie Marchese, she showed the British media source around Elvis Presley’s Graceland via a live stream camera recently. The room is now used for extra storage, but it used to be the home of The King’s myna birds.

The South Asian birds and are known for talking similar to parrots. Therefore you can imagine the myna birds made for some amusing stories, which the guide happily shared.

“The myna birds here at Graceland would hear the maids talk a lot about Elvis not being at home. And so the myna birds would often repeat that,” Marchese explained to “The funniest story I’ve ever heard about the myna birds is that when they would hear that Elvis wasn’t home, they would say, ‘Elvis isn’t home right now! Elvis isn’t home right now!’”

“But then when Elvis was home, the myna birds would continue to tell people, ‘Elvis isn’t home right now! Elvis isn’t home right now!’ Even though he was home, which was kind of funny,” she added.