ELVIS SONG #1: SUSPICIOUS MINDS, 1969

When Elvis Presley died in 1977, Casey Kasem chose the live version of this song to salute Elvis on his next "American Top 40" show.

That same live version was played as a Long Distance Dedication to Elvis 10 years later.

It's been voted the favorite song of Elvis' fans at least once.

And when the USA oldies stations played primarily 50's and 60's hits, it is BY FAR the most played Elvis song.

Those are just some of the reasons why "Suspicious Minds" ranks as the #1 greatest Elvis Presley song ever by this commiunicator/musicologist. It was the last of Elvis' 14 #1's and it put him on a list of nine other acts who had #1 hits before and after the Beatles came along. The others were Stevie Wonder, Dean Martin, Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Tommy Roe, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Vinton, Roy Orbison and the only group on the list, the Four Seasons.

Mark James wrote "Suspicious Minds." Among his other songs he wrote were "Always On My Mind," "Hooked On a Feeling," "Moody Blue" and perhaps my favorite B. J. Thomas song, "The Eyes Of A New York Woman."

Elvis recorded "Suspicious Minds" January 23, 1969 at American Sound Studios...and in 1971 it was named the Outstanding Single ever recorded in Memphis. On August 7, 1969, at the United Recording Studios in Las Vegas, the horns were added to the recording. In fact, there were three different tapes spliced together..

Elvis' estate wanted $40,000 from Orion Pictures to use part of "Suspicious Minds" in the 1983 film "Breathless" but instead $7500 was spent to use the original members of Elvis' band to record it with an Elvis imitator. It's also been recorded by Fine Young Cannibals, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Dee Dee Warwick.

"Suspicious Minds" was the song Casey Kasem chose to salute Elvis on the 8/27/77 "American Top 40" show. Here's the salute in its entirety….

"The biggest single entertainment personality America has ever produced is the man who sold more than 500 million records, dominated the pop charts for more than two decades…the man who starred in 33 films and several of the highest rated TV shows in history…the man who gave two generations of Americans a musical voice, to express their hopes and dreams and frustrations.

The man whose first name alone identifies him in EVERY corner of the world. The man they call the King, Elvis Presley. You know, in the nearly two weeks since he died, the media has been filled with stories about his extraordinary achievements. And here on American Top 40, the overpowering chart dominance of Elvis Presley has been the first and LAST word of the rock and roll story that we've been telling you every week for the past seven years now.

It's almost an understatement to SAY that Elvis Presley changed forever the course and sound of popular music. Without him, there probably would not have been a group called the Beatles or a world-wide phenomenon like the rock and roll era. Through the years, I've enjoyed a lot of his records. But the one that has moved me the most was the one that I saw him do live in his Las Vegas debut several years ago ("Suspicious Minds"). I'd like to play it for you now. It's an uptempo sound, but that's how I'd like to remember Elvis."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb0Jmy-JYbA

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ELVIS SONG #2: CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE, 1962

It's the consumate Elvis ballad.

He sang it to end his 1970's concerts, like this one, his "Aloha From Hawaii" 1973 performance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY-eoDCw0JA

Sometimes it only lasted about a minute and 40 seconds when done live since Elvis only sang one verse.

But it was more than enough.

"Can't Help Falling In Love" by is the #2 Elvis Presley song of all time. It's also been ranked as the #21 movie song of all time. It was introduced by Elvis in the movie "Blue Hawaii." In the years Oldies radio stations played 50's and 60's hits, the studio recording got more than its share of airplay as well as many gold-based Adult Contemporary radio stations.

That studio recording was recorded March 23, 1961..and take 29 was the one used. It reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart, which today is known as the Adult Contemporary chart. Plus, it reached #2 on the pop chart. It was kept out of #1 by "Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee And The Starlighters. The flip side of the single was "Rock-A-Hula Baby."

The song was based on the classical French composition "Plaisir d'Amour" written by Giovanni Martini. George Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore have since been credited as song-writers. This might've been one of Elvis' favorite songs because he recorded it at the time he'd met his future bride, Priscilla.