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Oct 10, 2022



Mario Lanza and Elvis

"The eternal voices"

De Tupelo a Memphis 

 Mario Lanza an important figure in the musical training and leisure of Elvis Presley

Elvis said of Mario Lanza in 1972: "I had Mario Lanza records when I was 17, 18. I would listen to the Metropolitan Opera. I love this music."

In the early 1950s, Elvis continued to audition for the first few years at Sun Studios in Memphis, before releasing his first single in 1954 with "That's Alright, Mama" and remained a fan thereafter.

 Mario Lanza, named Alfredo Arnold Cocozza, 1921-1959.

 He was an operatic tenor and a very popular movie star. The first artist whose single recording sold 25 million copies of an album, Maria Callas called him the greatest tenor voice of the moment and Arturo Toscanini called him the greatest voice of the 20th century.

Mario Lanza, named Alfredo Arnold Cocozza, 1921-1959.

Elvis is said to have met Lance in Los Angeles, at a meeting arranged by Steve Sholes, his producer, and later kept in touch by phone, but there are no photographs and no clear record of this.

 It is true that there was telephone contact between them, on some occasion Elvis was able to speak with his idol.

 The two singers had a lot in common, they had an innate gift for singing, an unmistakable voice, they were both musical virtuosos in their field, signed to RCA. They both started out as truck drivers and each was later drafted into the armed forces.

Elvis Presley "If I Can Dream" (1968)

The two were successful actors in exclusive films for their own image. And interestingly, they both had a tendency to obesity, so they struggled to lose weight on many occasions.

Sadly, they both died prematurely.
Mario Lanza died at just 38 years old and Elvis at 42.

 There was a mutual admiration between them since they also sang published songs...
 Elvis recorded "Santa Luc铆a", it is also known that during the recordings at Rocca Place, Elvis recorded "be my love" a song that Mario Lanza had made popular but unfortunately there is no proof.

 Mario also sang two songs that Elvis recorded, "Danny Boy" and "You'll Never Walk Alone"...


 But it is normal since none of them composed music and they could have common tastes.

 Elvis Presley evolved a lot over time as an artist, his way of singing would be proof of his maturation and of trying to find other paths...

 The influence of the lyric over time became more important in Elvis's voice, although he was never a lyrical singer, he liked to try out some songs, for example in songs like 'O Sole Mio', the timeless Neapolitan classic. A song written by Giovanni Capurro and Eduardo Di Capua in 1898, it was first recorded by Giuseppe Aselmi in 1907 and popularized by Mario Lanza. 

 The adaptation to the English language would result in the version with the title of "It's Now or Never".

 Mario's eldest daughter, Colleen, would tell on several occasions that Elvis had a habit of calling her father. In fact, she telephoned and spoke with Mario in Italy during the period from 1957 to 1959. She was a child and she always liked to pick up the phone, she was about 11 years old at the time.

 She clearly remembered hearing Elvis's unmistakable voice after saying hello and saying how extremely courteous she was. She said that she had heard sometimes, how they passed the time talking. They talked about the cinema, the scene, how much they didn't like 'Hollywood' and the people who had caused them difficulty and pain... she said mostly about Mario.

As they were both RCA recording superstars, they also exchanged 'war stories' of experiences,... about people they knew in common and about the record making business in general.

Elvis Presley

Elvis, during his time in the army in Germany, would have been well aware of Mario's European concerts and controversies...these were major entertainment news topics. And since soldiers are not prohibited from making phone calls during leave and time off, Elvis certainly could have easily obtained Mario's phone number from RCA. They say that Colleen's anecdotes were sincere and sounded believable, and did not seem like just fancy embroidery designed to create an interesting conversation.

 "Following the path of the King..."


Remembering post from our website.
 Happy day!

 #detupeloamemphis #followingelroy'spath #elvispresley

Information provided by De Tupelo a Memphis

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