Elvis Presley only ever called one star the greatest singer in the world

Elvis Presley stars in trailer for 1967 film Easy Come, Easy Go

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Before the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles rolled around to claim Rock and Roll for themselves, there were a number of other artists who sang rock music. Elvis played with many of these artists when they opened for him at concerts. But one American singer, known as The Big O, made quite the impression on the King of Rock and Roll.

Elvis played with Roy Orbison across his career, the man who pioneered music now known as Rockabilly.

Roy began his music career in the early 1950s and, in many ways, paved the way for Elvis and The Beatles in the decades that followed.

Elvis was a big fan of Roy. To the point where he was quoted as saying Roy had “the most perfect voice” on stage.

He was also respectful of the star’s music and made a vow about the singer’s tracks.

Elvis covered a massive amount of songs over the decades, ranging from Frank Sinatra to George Harrison’s track Something. However, Elvis never recorded one of Roy’s songs, reportedly as a clear mark of “respect”. The Elvis.com.au website claims the King did this because he felt he could not sing any of Roy’s songs better than the original artist. The Blue Suede Shoes singer later dubbed Roy “the greatest singer in the world” during one of his Las Vegas residency shows.

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Elvis’ respect for Roy wasn’t one-sided. He thought highly of the King as well.

In fact, Roy attended every show of Elvis’ that he could from 1954 through to 1976.

The American singer, who was best known for his tracks including Only The Lonely, Crying, In Dreams and Oh, Pretty Woman, was part of a very exclusive club.

Roy spent most of the 1960s touring America, and in doing so became the only artist to ever hold an opening slot for Elvis and one other iconic band.

On top of playing alongside Elvis, Roy also opened shows for The Beatles when they eventually made their way over to the USA.

He never managed to write a song for either act, however. Roy did pen one track for Elvis, Only The Lonely, but the story goes that he was unsuccessful in delivering it to him.

The singer apparently wrote the track and attempted to hand-deliver it to Elvis at his home, Graceland.

Unfortunately for Roy, Elvis wasn’t home, so he – and his song – was turned away.

He also tried to pitch the track to The Everly Brothers – but they turned it down.

Roy later recorded Only The Lonely which became his first-ever number two song on the Billboard Hot 100.


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