On the 8th November 2013 and again over the Christmas period ITV aired The Nations Favourite Elvis Song. A 90 minute tribute to the works of Elvis Presley came complete with a rare contribution from Priscilla Presley. The results have no doubt provided many Elvis fans with much debate. Whilst the top twenty is an impressive line up; most artists could only dream of having the singles left out. Number one singles such as Burning Love, Don’t, Good Luck Charm; and other classics like That’s Alright, Don’t Cry Daddy and Lawdy Miss Clawdy were left on the cutting room floor. So what of the result, well here it is:
20. King Creole 1958 19. If I Can Dream 1969 t Be Cruel 1956 17. Viva Las Vegas 1964 16. Heartbreak Hotel 1956
15. An American Trilogy 1972 s Now or Never 1960 13. All Shook Up 1957 12. Blue Suede Shoes 1956
11. The Wonder of You 1970 10. Are You Lonesome Tonight 1961 9. Return to Sender 1962 8. Love Me Tender 1956
7. Hound Dog 1956 6. Jailhouse Rock 1958 5. A Little Less Conversation 1968/2002 4. In The Ghetto 1969
3. Can’t Help Falling In Love 1962 2. Suspicious Minds 1969 Winner and Number 1. Always On My Mind
Released in 1972 shortly after Elvis separated from Priscilla the song was the B side to Separate Ways another ballad wrote by Red West one of the Memphis Mafia and Richard Mainegra. Both songs symbolise not only the heartache felt by Elvis at this time but also the bond in which he and Priscilla held right up to his death and beyond.
The single only peaked at 16 in the US and while in the UK Always on My Mind was to become the A side it still only climbed to number 9. Therefore it’s surprising that 41 years after it’s first release it is this record that topped the pole. In some ways this gives the pole a degree of credibility as it would have been a little obvious for perhaps Suspicious Minds or In the Ghetto to have achieved this honour.
The song did reach number one in 1987 not only in the UK but in 7 other countries when the Pet Shop Boys released their version having performed the track for ‘Love Me Tender’ an ITV programme which marked the 10 year anniversary of the death of the King of Rock and Roll. Maybe this aided the song in becoming the Nations Favourite as whilst the Pet Shop Boys Christmas number one cover was a superb effort, I am sure many continued to associate the track with Elvis. Either way Always on My Mind is a worthy winner amongst a catalogue which could easily have been bestowed this accolade; especially my personal favourite An American Trilogy. All that matters is by airing the programme and releasing the accompanying album, ITV yet again has kept the memory and music of Elvis alive. Long live the King – TCB David Presley.
Please find and enjoy a moving tribute to Elvis and Priscilla by Miles Romanus perfectly accompanied by Always On My Mind the Nations Favourite Elvis Song.