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Tom Petty Lists His Top Ten Elvis Presley Songs

Ethan Miller / Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Tom Petty has been a major Elvis Presley fan since the age of ten. When Rolling Stone asked him to pick his ten favorite songs for their special playlist series, Petty had a lot to say in regards to the man many regard as “The King.”

In 1962 Petty’s uncle got a job on the film set of Presley’s film ‘Follow That Dream‘ and Petty had an opportunity to stop by for a visit. “He arrived in a fleet of white Cadillac’s and people were screaming, handing records over a chain-link fence for him to sign” Petty recalls. “I remember his hair was so black that the sunshine was glowing off of it,” says Petty. That moment was pivotal for Petty and it lit a fever in him to get every Presley record he could.

Petty seems especially impressed by the fact that Presley knew some of the old songs he later made his own, such as the obscure ‘That’s All Right’ by Arthur Crudup and ’Baby, Let’s Play House’ by Arthur Gunter. Petty admits that he prefers the pre-Army Presley and states that ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ could have been the national anthem.

Petty has fond memories of being a young kid and hearing the lyrics “She kiss so hard she bruise my lips/ Hurts so good my heart just flips,” in ‘Mean Woman Blues’ and he describes ‘One Night’ as “heavenly.” Rightly so, given Presley changed the lryics of Fats Domino’s version from “One night of sin is what I’m paying for” to “One night with you is what I’m now praying for.”

Now, if that doesn’t earn Presley the “good ol’ boy” title often associated with him, what does? Petty’s love of Presley was largely about the sense of discovery; as he says, “Elvis became the soundtrack of my early years.”

Tom Petty’s 10 Favorite Elvis Presley Songs:

01.’That’s All Right‘ – 1954
02.’Baby, Let’s Play House’ – 1955
03.’Heartbreak Hotel’ 1956
04.’Hound Dog’ – 1956
05.’Mean Woman Blues’ – 1957
06.’One Night’ 1958
07.’Santa Claus Is Back In Town’ – 1957
08.’Can’t Help Falling In Love’ – 1961
09.’A Mess Of Blues’ – 1960
10.’(Marie’s The Name Of) His Latest Flame’ – 1961

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