Elvis Presley was a songwriter who wrote a lot of songs. In the Ghetto, Elvis Presley wished It had been sung in a different way by the King.
Although ELVIS PRESLEY’S In The Ghetto is a timeless classic, songwriter Mac Davis originally wrote it for another big star and wishes The King had spoken the song’s most renowned passage differently.
Davis composed Don’t Cry Daddy and A Little Less Conversation for Elvis Presley in addition to In The Ghetto. However, The King’s girlfriend Linda Thompson revealed in her memoirs that In The Ghetto was written for a completely other performer. “Elvis stated when his friend Sammy Davis Jr was offered this song by a writer, he turned it down,” she added. ‘In all honesty, I can’t do this song because I’ve never lived this way, but I’ll tell you who did, Elvis Presley,’ Sammy added.
Elvis Presley’s early youth in Tupelo, Mississippi, was marked by tremendous poverty, and the song notably depicts life on the lowest side of the tracks.
“Davis gave the song to Elvis,” Linda continued. Because he had firsthand experience living in the slums, Elvis sung it with such passion and feeling.”
Davis had first played the song to Sammy Davis Jr on his guitar in a recording studio while being monitored by American activist Jesse Jackson, according to record producer Jimmy Bowen.
Davis discussed how he got the idea for the song and his mixed emotions when he first heard it sung by Elvis on the radio in a fascinating filmed interview.
“I grew up with a small kid whose father worked with my father, and he was a black kid,” Davis added. We were good friends when we were about 5 or 6 years old. He was one of my closest friends, I recall.
“However, he lived in a different section of town, and I couldn’t understand why they had to live where they did while we got to live where we did. We didn’t have much money, but we didn’t have broken bottles strewn about every six inches. He lived in a ghetto on a dirt street.”
Davis had been battling with the song for a few years, and it was originally titled The Vicious Circle.
Davis was inspired in 1969 when his guitarist friend Freddy Weller played him a few chords he was experimenting with. By 2 a.m. that night, he had finished all of the music and lyrics, including the new “in the ghetto” hook.
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