Elvis Presley promotional photo for Jailhouse Rock
(By Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. –  Public Domain)

 

For music fans, January 8th is one of those dates that should be a holiday. Not just a national holiday, an international one. Possibly even an intergalactic holiday, if the Klingons can be persuaded to lend their support. That’s because January 8, 1935, is the date that Elvis Aron Presley was born in a two room shack in Tupelo, Mississippi. Such an inauspicious beginning for a man that would change the world of music forever!

Elvis made literally hundreds of recordings over the years, and many of them have become classics that are known worldwide. With that many recordings, it’s not surprising that there are also many of his recordings that are almost forgotten except by the most devoted fans. Some of these overlooked songs are among his best recordings, and have a well-deserved place on any fans playlist.

A Mess of Blues

This 1960 hit was written for Elvis by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. It was the B side for It’s Now or Never, and peaked at #32 on the Billboard charts.

Mystery Train

Scotty Moore and Bill Black are at their finest, and this song captures the magic.

Doing the Best I Can

Another classic by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Doing the Best I Can was also recorded in 1960, and appears on the G.I. Blues soundtrack.

Tomorrow Is A Long Time

In the mid 1960s, Elvis was busy with a string of movies that could most charitably be termed unremarkable. He took time out in 1966 to record this cover of a Bob Dylan song, which is much better than any of the movies. Dylan is supposed to have said this is his favorite cover.

Blue Moon

Blue Moon was made a doo-wop classic by the Marcels, but this version by Elvis has a very different feeling. Recorded in 1954, it was released in 1956, and peaked at #55.