Priscilla Presley Says Elvis Absolutely ‘Hated’ One Kind of Singer

by Brianna Vacca

Elvis Presley delved into many musical tastings as a singer himself. During his career, he even collaborated with several artists like Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. Presley drew from countless inspirations from musicians who came before him and even during his career. He fancied Ike and Tina Turner, opera singer Robert Merrill, Fats Domino, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Ink Spots, and more.

In ex-wife Priscilla Presley’s new memoir Elvis and Me, she noted that there was one kind of singer that Elvis utterly “hated.”

“He couldn’t abide by singers who were, in his words, ‘all technique and no emotional feeling,'” she writes. Elvis simply doesn’t like any singers that have a non-existent emotional connection to their music. More specifically, she stated that Presley attributed that style to Mel Tormé and Robert Goulet. At their shared home in Graceland, the two fell for an ill demise. She continues, “They were both responsible for two television sets being blown away with a .357 Magnum.”

The Suspicious Minds’ singer may have been a tough critic but had a knack for detecting pure talent. She shares, “Elvis could spot talent instantly. In Las Vegas, we regularly took in lounge acts featuring various up-and-coming artists. If Elvis liked the show, he patronized the club, encouraging the entertainers to pursue their careers, infusing them with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Presley even depicted one British performer in particular who Elvis adored even as a teenager. He held high admiration for Tom Jones and his song “Green, Green, Grass of Home” struck a chord. Presley admired Tom Jones and eventually got to meet and develop a close friendship with the singer.

David Bowie’s Missed Opportunity

British artist David Bowie caught Presley’s eye and became so close to collaborating together. Born on the same day, January 8th, Ziggy Stardust admired Presley and vice versa. Bowie’s “Golden Years,” on the singer’s tenth studio album Station to Station and now a staple in his discography, notably was written for Presley, but by the time it reached The King Of Rock and Roll’s ears, he turned it down.

Being such a big Elvis fan, the reality of it all had to weight heavy on the British icon. Both singers signed with RCA Records and talk of a Bowie and Elvis collaboration circled the offices but it never came to light. Bowie exclaims, It never came to pass. I would have loved to have worked with him. God, I would have adored it.” Presley then left a message for Ziggy, reading, “All the best, and have a great tour.”

Presley passed away just a short time later, making this the collaboration that almost happened.