Even after his death Elvis Presley continues to influence the young generation and live in our hearts.
For decades fans have been listening to and enjoying Elvis’ songs and it is crazy if we think about it as the music scene has changed so much since the King of Rock and Roll’s time and still, his craze remains the same.
And certainly, Elvis has inspired numerous music artists, The Beatles’ frontman John Lennon even stated, “before Elvis, there was nothing.”
This again shows how impactful Elvis was; however, just like every one of us, Elvis was a mere human, and to pursue a career in music, he must have been influenced or inspired by someone.
So, who was he inspired by, or rather let’s twist the question a bit, who were Elvis’ favorite music artists?
Elvis Presley’s favorite singers
There were plenty of musicians who Presley enjoyed listening to and below you will find those music artists who really touched the king of rock and roll and who he enjoyed listening to.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
As per the reports, Elvis’ personal record collection had various music genres including country, rock and roll, classical, jazz, as well as gospel.
In fact, his personal record collection mostly had gospels. And as someone who listened to gospel, he was a great admirer of Sister Rosetta Tharpe who is also called “the Godmother of rock and roll.”
A professor of English at George Washington University and author said, “She [Sister Rosetta Tharpe] had a major impact on artists like Elvis Presley, when you see Elvis Presley singing songs early in his career, I think you [should] imagine, he is channeling Rosetta Tharpe.
It’s not an image that I think we’re used to thinking of in rock and roll history. We don’t think about the black woman behind the young white man.”
The true King of Rock and Roll, Fats Domino was among the early rock and roll pioneers. Furthermore, he was also one of the very first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His written song “The Fat Man” is considered the first rock and roll record by many. Moreover, he dominated the rock and roll scene back in the mid-50s and early 60s.
Elvis once said in an interview, “Rock ‘n’ roll was here a longtime before I came along . . . . Let’s face it. I can’t sing it like Fats Domino. I know that.” He also stated that Domino was one of the musicians who inspired him. In 1969 when they crossed paths Elvis referred to Domino as the king of rock and roll. When a reporter cited Elvis as the king of rock and roll, he interrupted the reporter and, pointing his finger at Domino, said, “No… “That’s the king of rock ‘n’ roll.”
Roy meant so much to Elvis because to him, Roy was the greatest singer in the world. Elvis Presley wasn’t Roy’s fan for nothing because his songs Only the Lonely, Running Scared, Oh, Pretty Woman, Cry, and more are still very popular. Moreover, he was even referred to as “The Caruso of Rock.”
Moreover, he not only inspired Elvis but many of the 60s great music artists including The Beatles. In fact, the Beatles’ song “Please Please Me” was inspired by Roy.
Elvis always admired Roy however, Roy also had respect for him and although Roy respected and loved Elvis’ music, it seems Elvis loved Roy much more as he even stated once that Roy had the “perfect voice.”
Just like we idolize Elvis, he used to idolize Dean Martin. Elvis even paid tribute to Martin by covering his song I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine back in 1955.
Moreover, we can see Martin’s influence in Elvis’ song My Wish Came True. Years later in 1970, when Elvis was performing live at the International Hotel in Las Vegas he noticed Martin so he then sang Martin’s well-known song Everybody Loves Somebody.
Often regarded as “the Father of Country Music,” Jimmie Rodgers was among those musicians who had a huge influence on Elvis. We can find Jimmie’s influence on Elvis’ early tracks. Moreover, Elvis also covered Jimmie’s popular 1966 track It’s Over.
Elvis also attended the third annual Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration in 1955 and performed That’s All Right Mama.
Elvis was also a huge fan of blues music and being the King of blues, B.B. King was a great inspiration to many music artists including the King of rock and roll, Elvis Presley.
As per the reports, Elvis had a great number of B.B. King’s records in his personal collection. Moreover, B.B. King must have influenced Elvis unlike anyone else considering the fact that both of them were from Mississippi.
They also came up in the same circumstances; furthermore, both of them ruled and changed the music industry for the better.
Elvis’ one of the go-to music artists was Chuck Berry. He was always in love with Berry’s creations. Furthermore, when Berry was performing at Las Vegas Hilton, Elvis requested several songs to play.
And if you are following Elvis for a long time then you might know that when Elvis started his music career, he covered several of Berry’s songs. Berry’s Brown-Eyed Handsome Man was one of Elvis’ favorites and it was also the song that he really appreciated.
There are various reports that claim Elvis greatly admired Ray Charles and he had many of Ray’s collections. One report stated that Presley had 45s of Ray’s tracks including America the Beautiful, In the Heat of the Night, Hit The Road, and more.
However, while Elvis was crowned as the king of rock and roll in the 50s, Ray did not see Elvis as king, he said that Elvis was someone who came at the right time that could do rock and roll.
Moreover, there were several other music artists that Elvis used to listen to and look up to including Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Johnny Cash, James Brown, and more.