Elvis Presley's love songs are some of the most famous tunes of his career. Presley recorded "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," written by Maurice Mysels and Ira Kosloff, in
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller composed the torchy "Love Me" in 1954 as a spoof of country ballads. On September 1, 1956, Elvis recorded it straight and with feeling, turning it into a serious love song.
Elvis recorded "Love Me Tender" in
George Weiss, Hugo Peretti, and Luigi Creatore wrote "Can't Help Falling in Love" for Blue Hawaii. Elvis recorded it in
Elvis recorded "It Hurts Me" in
"Until It's Time for You to Go" was written and originally recorded by Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1965 and was released by several artists before Elvis. Others who recorded it included Michael Nesmith (as Michael Blessing), the Four Pennies, and Neil Diamond. Elvis recorded this beautiful love song in
Recorded on March 27, 1972, "
Mark James, Wayne Carson, and Johnny Christopher composed "Always on My Mind" especially for Elvis, though other singers have had success with it. Elvis was the first to record it, on March 29, 1972, but Brenda Lee's version was released first. In 1982, Willie Nelson scored a number-one country hit with it, while the Pet Shop Boys recorded a version in 1988.
Elvis recorded "It's Midnight" at legendary Stax Records in
The most well-known version of "Unchained Melody" was released by the Righteous Brothers in 1965, though it was written in 1955 for the movie Unchained. Several performers recorded it in the 1950s, including Les Baxter, Roy Hamilton, Al Hibbler, and June Valli. Elvis sang this earnest love song in concert during the 1970s, and he recorded performing it live in
"Love Me Tender"
Elvis was credited as coauthor of this love ballad, though it was actually composed by Ken Darby, who served as the vocal supervisor on the film. Darby's wife, Vera Matson, also received credit. The song was based on a ballad from the Civil War era called "Aura Lee" (sometimes spelled "Aura Lea"), which was written by W.W Fosdick and George R. Poulton. "Aura Lee" became a favorite of the Union Army.
Almost 100 years later, the song became a favorite again with the public, this time reincarnated as Elvis' "Love Me Tender." Elvis' single release of the song achieved a first in music history when it received advance sales of over 1 million copies. The movie version of the song had slightly different lyrics and contained an additional verse. Elvis had always admired pop crooners such as Dean Martin, and "Love Me Tender" afforded him the opportunity to affect their gentle tones.
To learn more about Elvis Presley, see:
- Elvis Presley
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- Elvis Presley Biography
"Love Me Tender" was based on a Civil War-era ballad called "Aura Lee."