This week (August 16, to be exact) will mark the 36th anniversary of the death of the “King,” Elvis Presley. I might grab an Elvis song next week, but for now it seemed appropriate for this week’s Rock Rewind to feature a song about him, rather than by him.
Canadian rocker Alannah Myles is by all accounts a one-hit wonder in the US, but what a hit it was. “Black Velvet,” her tribute to the King, was released in 1989 on her debut self-titled album. Not only did it go to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, but its soul-satisfying blues riff and Myles’ raspy rock-chick vocals were also enough to win her the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female.
Myles has continued to write and perform to the present day; her followup LP Rockinghorse went double platinum in her home country of Canada, but she never found chart success in the US after “Black Velvet.” Still, this Canadian’s ability to capture the spirit of Elvis with a southern-fried flair has made this tune a well-remembered and well-loved classic. I don’t mind telling you it’s still one of my favorite songs from this era.