Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Without A Song

Remembering Elvis Presley: January 8, 1935–August 16, 1977
"When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream that I ever dreamed, has come true a hundred times. I learned very early in life that:

Without a song, the day would never end;
 Without a song, a man ain’t got a friend;
 Without a song, the road would never bend;
Without a song...

 So I keep singing a song.”

– Excerpt from Elvis' acceptance speech at the ceremony for the US Jaycees 'Ten Outstanding Young Men' for 1970


Joe said...

I just heard a song recorded by James Ray from 1962 and the song sings these words Elvis quoted. I wonder if he knew the song or if he heard it from someone else and liked the sentiment.

I always assumed these words were written by Elvis. I also heard on a documentary from Elvis himself that he had nothing planned and riffed this quote.

Really conflicting stories but the sentiment stands never the less.

Thomas said...

Hi Joe, that's a good question. According to an article about the US Jaycees 'Ten Outstanding Young Men' for 1970 published on the Elvis Australia website (, Elvis is quoting a favorite Roy Hamilton R&B tune, 'Without A Song'. Elvis was a great admirer of Roy Hamilton, so it seems likely he knew his version of the song and thought it would be a good idea to end his speech with it.

Joe said...

Hi Thomas,

Ah yeah I've been meaning to listen to some Roy Hamilton as i understand he was hanging around american Sound studio when Elvis was recording the 69/70 albums.

Any songs you recommend?

dpaloian said...

Elvis gave Roy the song "Angelica" when they met at American Studios. Classic!