Saturday, December 17, 2016

Elvis Presley - G.I. Blues & Classical Music

Offenbach -Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales Of Hoffmann)
Please listen to the Elvis video and the Barcarolle one.

Hold me tight 
The moon's so bright 
Tonight is so right for love... 

In the early 60's, while listening to Elvis Presley's, Tonight Is So Right For Love from G. I. Blues (1960), I found the melody familiar.

Since the world of popular music has gleaned many of its hits from the classics, the Wayne, Silver and Lilly composition is actually based on Offenbach - Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann (The Tales Of Hoffmann) and not from Johann Strauss as some surfers claim it to be.  Listen to Elvis' version, then key in Google Video for Offenbach Barcarolle. 

Della Reese* is one singer who had recorded songs classical music based on Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Schubert and other composers. 

The list below provides information on popular songs from classical music. Some songs are not from the 60's:

Procol Harum: 
Whiter Shade Of Pale
Bach's Air On The G String.

Eric Carmen: 
All By Myself
Melody of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto in C Minor.

Eric Carmen: 
Never Gonna Fall in Love Again
Main Theme Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony.

Tony Bennett: 
Stranger in Paradise (Kismet)
Alexander Borodin's Polovtsian Dances.

Della Reese: 
Don't You Know
La Boheme by Puccini.

Freddy Martin: 
Tonight We Love
Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B Flat.

Elvis Presley:
It's Now or Never
O Sole Mio.

Elvis Presley:
Torna A. Surriento.

Jackie Wilson: 
Saint-Saens Opera Samson and Delilah.

Della Reese:*
Till The End Of Time
Chopin adapted.

And the list goes on. It is common knowledge that many of today's pop musicians are well-versed with classical music. Pop stars like Bono, Keith Richards, Elton John, Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello are just a few of these artistes. And Elvis?

I had records by Mario Lanza when I was 17, 18 years old, I would listen to the Metropolitan Opera. I just loved music. Music period. (Elvis Presley, 1972 interview).

Song list compiled from classical music websites.

Images: Google.
Original Article: Andy Lim.

You Tube: Elvis Presley video from Kevin Allen. 
               Barcarolle video from mezzocristina.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Putting kids to sleep is a cinch with, "Big Boots," from Elvis' "GI Blues" EP.

"Wooden Heart" is another classic and great for picnics and singalongs!

vivalasvegas said...

and, i think, there's an influence from a piece by Chopin. listen to Elvis sing -Today Tomorrow and Forever- from the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack.

i am a classical music lover. big fan of bach and mozart.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you vivalasvegas for the contribution. It'll be a dream to have as many songs to add to the list.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

For readers' information vivalasvegas is an Elvis Presley fanclub. Just click on the name and check out the website.

Anonymous said...

Scene from Viva las Vegas with Ann Margret, quiet and cool with Elvis at the piano in his white suit. Ann margret is beautiful and sexy. Song is Today, Tomorrow and Forever. Can watch on utube.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

This post has been rejuvenated. Hopefully it will draw as many readers, especially those people interested in the connection between classical music and pop.

chakap chakap said...

The Tales of Hoffmann (French: Les contes d'Hoffmann) is an opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach.

The French libretto was written by Jules Barbier, based on three short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, who is the protagonist of the story. It was Offenbach's final work, as he died a year before the premiere.

From Wiki

chakap chakap2 said...

The melody for "Tonight Is So Right for Love" was taken directly from a barcarolle composed by Jacques Offenbach, one of Strauss's contemporaries.

An American release of "Tonight's All Right for Love" did not occur until it appeared on the compilation album Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 1 in 1974.

33 bellant utuber said...


Milos 02 said...

Tonight is so right for love (J. Offenbach - A. Silver - S. Wayne), from the film ''G. I. Blues'' (Paramount, 1960).

Elvis Presley (vocals), The Jordanaires (backing vocals), Scotty Moore (electric guitar), Tiny Timbrell (acoustic guitar), Neal Matthews, Jr. (electric bass), Ray Siegel (double bass), Dudley Brooks (piano), Jimmie Haskell (accordion), Bernie Mattinson (drums), D.J. Fontana (drums), Frank Bode (bongos).

Recording date: April 27, 1960 (Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California).


Hi, Andy.

May I share one of your articles -some Pop songs are derived from Classics to my Japanese friends. I am sure they will be interested in.

We also have many pop songs we got caught up in which originate from classics, like "情熱の花”
sung by The Peanuts derived from "For Elise" written by Beethoven.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hiroshi please do so any time. (My apologies I was out for lunch)

Yes Hiroshi, very popular indeed and in Singapore too. Love THE PEANUTS and FUR ELISE.
Thank you for the feedback.
I love feedbacks with pieces of information.
Whenever we exchange info. we learn.


I remember Flaming Star.