Elvis Presley’s girlfriend recorded tribute album after King died | Music | Entertainment

When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, the news devastated the world. Millions of fans from around the globe were utterly bereft, and tens of thousands of Elvis devotees attended his funeral just a few days later at his home, Graceland. But the people who were most affected by the King’s death were his family and those that spent a considerable amount of time with him. One of the star’s ex-girlfriends was so hurt by the singer’s passing that she recorded an entire album to commemorate him.

Wanda Jackson, who turns 85-years-old today on October 20, 2022, first met Elvis in the late 1950s.

She was an up-and-coming country music singer, at the time, who joined the King on his tour of the USA. But, before long, she fell head-over-heels in love with the star.

The young lovers spent just over a year together before they split up and went their separate ways – but not before Elvis changed Wanda’s life entirely.

Before the King would let her move on, he urged Wanda to change her musical style. He thought her voice would far better suit the rock and roll genre, and told her to make a change to her future records. After initially resisting, she did so, and she quickly found incredible success.

Wanda became one of the pioneers of the rockabilly genre and has sold millions of albums worldwide over the past 50 years.

In 2009, she was even inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, all thanks to Elvis and his demand that she change her singing style.

Just a few years earlier, in 2006, Wanda released a tribute album dedicated to the King titled: I Remember Elvis.

The 16-track album was filled with cover songs originally performed by the King. She released the record as a way to remember the star over 40 years after his death.

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Wanda said in her monologue: “There was one very special day in my life at that time. We had a matinee and an evening show, so after the matinee, we had to hang around – but he asked me to step outside with him, which I did. We walked over to his car and he asked me to be his girl.”

Wanda added with a chuckle: “I said yes I would be glad to be his girl! He took a ring off of his hand and gave it to me and asked me to wear it around my neck, and I did for over a year.”

Her monologue’s final words were: “We still miss you, Elvis, and always will.”

This was not the only way Wanda remembered Elvis. Throughout the decades, she has always said she owed her singing career to the King for urging he to try something new.

She has even kept a collection of Elvis songs in her live shows as a way of saying thank you to the star.

Wanda said in 2003: “I’ve been [playing Elvis songs] in my shows around a little tribute I do to Elvis. I do in all my shows. Because it was Elvis Presley that brought me into getting into rockabilly.”

She added that she tries to switch things up at every show with her highly-trained team of musicians.

“I have a band in Sweden that does a medley of songs,” she revealed. “Like Jailhouse Rock and Money Honey and Hound Dog. And then, really, the most popular song with the audience is One Night With You. I recorded that on Denmark CD project that I did a couple of years ago. But One Night With You and Trying to Get to You. So it can be a combination of any of those.”