DEEP PURPLE Singer IAN GILLAN On ELVIS - "He Was The Greatest Singer That Ever Lived"
January 3, 2007, 16 years ago
DEEP PURPLE singer IAN GILLAN has sent Classicrockmagazine.com the following comment about ELVIS PRESLEY:"I lost interest in Elvis Presley after he made the Blue Hawaii film [in 1961] and went to Las Vegas, but in his prime nobody could touch him. Michael Parkinson once asked the famous New Zealand soprano Kiri Te Kanawa about the greatest voice she’d ever heard, probably expecting her to name [Luciano] Pavarotti or Maria Callas, but she said: ‘The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt.’ Elvis’s voice was unique. Like so many others he had natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. He was very influenced by Southern blues, and he helped to prove that you could have this bizarre mixture of country’n’western, blues and folk music. Recordings were very honest in those days, and they stand up remarkably well. I was an avid collector of Elvis’ early stuff; for a young singer he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It’s the same as being in school - you learn by copying the maestro. His personality was also extremely endearing. The shaking of his hips was deemed sensational back then, but unlike Little Richard or Chuck Berry his interviews were very self-effacing. He came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others."
Read more here.