Perhaps Elvis on The Country Music Cruise seems like a stretch. Then, perhaps you don’t know Elvis.
Growing up in Mississippi and Memphis, Elvis listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night. Country and Southern gospel were the bedrock of his music, along with blues. One side of his first record was Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” The last song he ever recorded was Jim Reeves’ “He’ll Have to Go” and the last song his staff remember him singing on the night he died was Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”
But country ran even deeper than that. When Elvis started, he was a country singer ... just a different kind of country singer. His first big break was on the Opry’s competitor, the “Louisiana Hayride,” starring alongside Slim Whitman and Jim Reeves. Back then, R&B and pop stations wouldn’t touch his records. For the first two years of his epic career, he toured the Southern and Midwestern country circuits with costars like Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Faron Young and the Browns. That was the springboard to his success.
Although Memphis was home, Elvis recorded very little there. Many of his recordings, starting with “Heartbreak Hotel,” were made in Nashville with that city’s legendary session musicians. He’d load up his bus or limo in the early afternoon and drive up Interstate 40. Sessions would start at 6 in the evening and end at 6 in the morning. Many of Elvis’s greatest hits, including “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” “It’s Now or Never,” “Little Sister,” and “A Fool Such as I,” were recorded at those all-night sessions, as well as his three gospel albums, “His Hand in Mine,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “He Touched Me.”
So, yes, Elvis was country.
It’s hard to believe, but 10 days before we set sail, Elvis would have been 80 years old. In the years before his untimely death, his tour schedule rarely included the nation’s largest cities. Instead, he took his show to smaller cities, most of them in the Heartland. He knew who his fans were, he knew where they lived, and he took his music to them.
And now our carefully selected Elvis Tribute Artists bring Elvis back to us. We all have our favorite Elvis period: the ‘50s, the ‘68 comeback, or the Vegas era. And on The Country Music Cruise, we’ll pay tribute to them all, as well-known Elvis Tribute Artists Mark Anthony, Cliff Wright, Anthony Shore and Stephen Freeman, along with the EAS Band, capture the music and spirit of The King.
In the works are special Elvis Tribute shows that include a Country night, a Gospel Show, an All Request Night, and much more.
Get on board the Country Music Cruise and enjoy our tribute to Elvis. Call Amber at 585.653.8746 or ...
Passionate about music and passionate about cruising. Put 'em together and I'm in heaven -- you can catch up with me on a themed cruise and, especially, on an Entertainment Cruise!