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Soldier Boy by Elvis Presley

Elvis is Back! album with the song "Soldier Boy"

Pop Music

Part of the genius of Elvis Presley was his ability to put together many strands of American music. We know he is considered to be the King of Rock and Roll, but did he ever sing doo wop? Here’s some background.

In 1958, the United States was at peace, but maintained a military presence in Germany. Among the young men drafted that year was Elvis Presley who served in the U.S. Army from March 1958 to February 1960. Elvis trained at Fort Hood, Texas, and then served in Friedberg, Germany. (It was in Germany that he met Priscilla Ann Wagner, who eventually became Mrs. Elvis Presley.)

Elvis Is Back! was his first album after being discharged from the army. Recording sessions took place on March 20 and April 3, 1960, in Nashville. The sessions were attended by RCA Records execs, who were anxious to see if Elvis still retained his mojo after two years in uniform. The song “Soldier Boy” was recorded in the March 20 session. It is one of the few doo-wop style songs performed by the King. Unlike the bass singer on many doo-wop records, Ray Walker of the Jordanaires, who provide backup vocals, is a true bass. Dig those manly pipes! Who’s that playing the Floyd Cramer-style piano? Why, it’s Floyd Cramer. The lyrics speak to a soldier’s fears that the girl he loves back home remains true to him and will be there to welcome him when he returns:

Here are the lyrics:

“Soldier boy, why you feel blue
Don’t you believe that she will be true?
It’s written in the book
That she was meant for only you

Soldier boy, tell me why do you cry?
When you return she’ll rush to your side
It’s written in the book
That she was meant for only you

So prove your love is true
She’ll be there to say, “I do”
And if you go sea or land
She’ll make you understand

While you’re gone oh, try to believe
Her love for you is really for real
It’s written in the book
That she was meant for only you

So prove your love is true
She’ll be there to say, “I do”
And if you go sea or land
She’ll make you understand

While you’re gone oh, try to believe
Her love for you is really for real
It’s written in the book
That she was meant for only you
(Soldier boy)”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Juke Box Saturday, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Hotel,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Soldier Boy,” “Don’t be Cruel,” “Suspicious Minds,” and “If I Can […]

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