Fans have enjoyed Elvis’ music for decades, whether it was on vinyl, 8-track, cassettes, CDs or on their iPhones.
But what music did Elvis listen to?
Elvis’ personal record collection, which includes more than 2,000 singles and albums, is diverse: There’s rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, doo wop, country, soul, classical, Christmas tunes, jazz and much more. The following photos are from Elvis’ collection here at Graceland.
A great portion of Elvis’ collection is made up of gospel records. Elvis loved the Blackwood Brothers. Some of the group’s albums he enjoyed include “Paradise Island,” “Oh Happy Day,” “Roll on Jordan,” “His Hands,” “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “Hymn Sing,” from 1956.
His expansive collection of gospel albums includes records by Mahalia Jackson, The Stamps Quartet, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Statesmen Quartet and Jimmy Dean, to name just a few.
Elvis had plenty of Christmas and holiday music, too. His collection includes secular and sacred seasonal music; he owned Christmas albums by the likes of the Jackson 5, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Gene Autry and The Temptations.
Elvis loved the twang of country music. He had several records by his pal Johnny Cash, as well as records by Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. His collection includes a 45 of “Ode to Billie Joe” by fellow native Mississippian, Bobbie Gentry.
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll had plenty of rock records, too. He had records such as a Dave Clark Five greatest hits album, “Magical Mystery Tour” by The Beatles and “Eat a Peach” by the Allman Brothers, and his 45s included “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “All I Have to Do is Dream” by the Everly Brothers and B.J. Thomas’ “Hooked on a Feeling.” He also had a copy of Mott the Hoople’s 1972 album, “All the Young Dudes,” and “Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company.
Elvis enjoyed plenty of popular artists as well, like the Bee Gees, Tom Jones, Neil Sedaka and Peter, Paul & Mary.
Ray Charles is an artist whose music pops up repeatedly in his collection. Elvis had 45s of Charles’ “America the Beautiful,” “Hit the Road, Jack,” “Hardhearted Hannah” and “In the Heat of the Night,” as well as several albums.
Elvis loved his R&B, soul and blues records. He had albums and singles by the likes of John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Sam & Dave, Chuck Berry, The Platters, Little Richard and Stevie Wonder. A few singles include Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and Albert King’s “I’ll Play the Blues for You.” He also owned Big Mama Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog.”
The King definitely supported his fellow Memphis musicians. He owned many albums on the famous STAX label, including “King & Queen” by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas. He had 45s of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and “L-O-V-E,” as well as several albums and singles by The Box Tops and Big Star.
Of course, Elvis’ collection is diverse in other ways. He owned a Cheech & Chong comedy album, several records of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches, a Bill Cosby comedy record, a few Partridge Family albums, music from “West Side Story,” and symphonies by Mozart and Brahms.
A unique piece in his collection includes legendary actor Charles Boyer’s only album, “Where Does Love Go?”
A few other artists included in Elvis’ collection include Santana, The Staple Singers, The Drifters, Pat Boone, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon, Peggy Lee, Roy Orbison, The Harmonizing Four, Nat “King” Cole, Bobby Bland, Gordon Lightfoot, Duke Ellington, The Harmoneers, Sammy Davis Jr., Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Hollies, Ben E. King, Eddie Boyd & the Chess Men, The Dell Vikings, The Golden Gate Quartet, Eddy Arnold, Gloria Gaynor, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny & Cher, Del Shannon, The Ink Spots, The Statler Brothers and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Elvis’ collection includes many of his own albums, as well as a few tribute albums. He kept many records in the TV room, and you can see a portion of his collection here at Graceland.
What Elvis albums and singles do you have on vinyl?