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News createt: 17-01-2011

Tom Jones wanted to record with Elvis

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In 1965 Tom visited his music idol Elvis Presley on the set of the movie Paradise, Hawaiian Style at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

Their mutual musical admiration sparked a close friendship which lasted until the King of Rock’s death in 1977.

When both singers appeared in Las Vegas – Elvis at the Hilton and Tom at Caesar’s Palace – they would stay up all night singing old gospel and

country songs around the piano in a hotel suite.

Tom said: “Elvis loved gospel music more than anything else. He would bring his vocal group up to my suite and we’d sing songs such as Why Me by Kris Kristofferson. Another favourite was Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack.

“I first met Elvis in 1965, my very first year in showbusiness.

“I got to know him well but it was still nerve-wracking. I was in awe.

“We would literally stand around the piano until 4am or 5am just singing.

“Sometimes he wouldn’t let me out of the door. I used to say, ‘Elvis, I gotta go…I’ve got to get ready for my show’. But Elvis didn’t want to stop singing.”

Tom’s biggest regret is that he never got the chance to record a song with Elvis.

He once tried to bootleg his hero but was rumbled by Joe Esposito from the Memphis Mafia, the US singer’s close-knit and fiercely protective entourage.

Tom said: “I’d love to have made a record with Elvis but his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, wouldn’t let him sing with anybody else.

“He did a Frank Sinatra TV special but that was it.

“In those days it was also impossible to get artists from different record labels into the same studio. Had we both been signed to RCA Records I might have had a chance.

“On one occasion I was in Hawaii and all calls to my hotel suite were blocked. When Elvis called up, they wouldn’t put him through. When he told the operator, ‘It’s Elvis Presley’, she thought he was a nut.

“When Elvis made it to the suite and we began singing, I stuck a cassette into a tape machine and recorded the session.

“But Joe Esposito spotted it and confiscated the tape. So the Memphis Mafia put the blocks on it.

“I would have loved to have had just one tape of Elvis and me singing.

“I wouldn’t have done anything with it. I’d just have kept it as a private keepsake. But it wasn’t to happen.

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Source: Sunday Mail