LISTEN: Elvis Presley Belts ‘America the Beautiful’ in 1975 Recording

by Charles Craighill

“America the Beautiful” has been next to the national anthem as on of the most patriotic songs in American folklore. In 1975, Elvis Presley solidified his true American patriotism by also recording “America the Beautiful” on one of his records.

The timeless song has been covered by countless artists before and after Presley’s 1975 cover. Check out this 1975 recording to see how the King of Rock n’ roll adapted the true American classic tune.

Elvis Presley’s classic baritone put a spin on the patriotic hymn. As one of the great rock and roll singers, Elvis Presley encapsulated the energy in which the poem was originally written: rebellion, inspiration, and a vision of a new world.

This rendition of the classic song strayed from Elvis Presley’s typical singing style. Usually, the iconic rock n’ roll God would use his deep voice to push the melody. In this reimagining of the American poem, Elvis Presley let the original melody drive the track. There are very few artists that could pull off a cover of “America the Beautiful,” and Presley is one of them.

Elvis Presley Life and Legacy

Without a doubt, Elvis Presley is one of the most prominent influences on modern music. For instance, Bruce Springsteen has discussed the profound mark that Presley made on his music. Since the 1950s, the genre of rock and roll has been largely based on what Presley started.

His music was certainly innovative, however, Elvis Presley really shined in his ability to combine elements of artists and genres before him. For instance, his rendition of Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog” helped make blues more accessible to everyday Americans. While many of his songs were adapted from Black musicians who often did not see monetary benefits from his recordings, Presley’s influence on American music cannot be ignored.

After Elvis, however, the nature of American music shifted. While the rock n’ roll accustomed to Elvis Presley still existed, artists began to expand their musical genres. Elvis owed most of his sound to blues rock and bluegrass combinations. However, these different genres of music laid the groundwork for all American music. Presley certainly helped the access of these genres to the American people, but it is important to recognize the artists that he drew influence.