The stories behind these country songs by Elvis.

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2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis' passing, and therefore, the country music associations and websites that celebrate this special occasion would like to honor the legend of the King.

By his own admission, Elvis was not strictly a country artist, but he always showed a great deal of respect for the genre and went on to record countless country numbers, giving country music his own special touch. That is why we have decided to honor Elvis and his musical legacy by designating one of his songs as the Official Song of the International Country Music Day 2007.

Vote for your favourite song. The winning song will come out of votes cast in Argentina, Spain, the United States, France, Greece, Uruguay, and the rest of the world.

Blue Moon of Kentucky (1954)
Released as his first single, it was the song that Elvis chose for his only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, where he was greeted with light applause. However, even Bill Monroe would eventually update his early version inspired by Elvis’ reading of the song.

I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (1955)
The first Elvis song that made it to the national country music charts, peaking at number 5 on Billboard in July 1955.

I Forgot to Remember to Forget (1955)
Like the previous songs, this one was released on the Memphis-based Sun label, and it delves deep into the hillbilly side of the style that was flourishing at the beginning of Elvis’ career, which would be known as rockabilly.

(Now and Then) There’s a Fool Such as I (1958)
This Hank Snow original is a good example of how Elvis understood country music when he switched labels and started his tenure with RCA, where he would cross paths with legendary country guitarist and producer Chet Atkins.

There’s Always Me (1961)
Rock’n’roll, the music for which Elvis became known, represented an important threat for country music. Therefore, the genre looked towards pop in order to broaden the market and thus the Nashville Sound was born. On this recording, Elvis shows his ability to assimilate to the new style.

Guitar Man (1967)
Elvis waxed many Jerry Reed originals. This number was initially included in one of his movie soundtracks and became a highlight of Elvis’ career when it was performed on his 1968 NBC-TV Comeback Special. In 1981, it rose all the way to the top of the country charts, which is ample proof that Elvis’ popularity and importance did not diminish after his passing.

I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago (1970)
This song was divided into twelve small sound bits that were placed at the end of each track on his 1970 Elvis Country LP, turning it into an unusual concept album. The song would not be heard in its entirety until two years later, when it was finally restored and included in the album Elvis Now.

Little Cabin on the Hill (1970)
Another Bill Monroe number (co-written with guitarist Lester Flatt) covered by Elvis. Although it sounds close to the original, Elvis still manages to give it his own personal touch.

Always on My Mind (1972)
Elvis’ recording of this song only peaked at number 16 on the country charts, yet it is one of his best-known songs. This is perhaps due to the fact that his divorce from Priscilla was very near, and so this song had a special meaning for him, which shows through in his performance.

I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (1973)
Elvis never forgot his roots, and Hank Williams was one of his foremost influences. Recorded live in Hawaii, his version of this song became a mainstay of his live performances in the 1970s.

Moody Blue (1977)
Elvis’ last country number one hit, which charted not long before his passing. The style with which he began his career would eventually earn him his last hit.

Artists and Country music personalities talk about the International Country Music Day

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“Music is life, or a good way... Don’t matter if you’re talking about country, blues or flamenco. If you can discover a new kind of music (that is, a new world) to any man, that’s great. I think it’s good news that people all over the world get together for the love of country or of any other kind of music. There are already too many people who get together to kill one another.”

Kris Kristofferson

"It is a very good idea (to celebrate in on Hank Williams’ birthday), because he was the one who really made people notice this kind of music. There were guitars and perhaps similar music before him – Jimmie Rodgers, we had the old sounds of bluegrass, but he was the one who brought it to the fore.”

Wanda Jackson

“I am honored as his daughter, and I know that if he was alive today he would be honored.”

Jett Williams

“I think it’s fabulous because Hank Williams has a huge influence on my music. My parents lived country music, and they always had… well, we always had country music playing at home, and a great deal of it was by Hank Williams, so there can’t be a better day to celebrate it.”

Billy Yates

"It’s a good idea. I like it. There are great country music fans everywhere. And great country music bands. Some people think that country music is only made in the US but I have realized that there are incredible bands in places like France or Germany. It’s great that all those country music fans can celebrate this feeling together.”

Gail Davies

"It’s wonderful! I believe that everything that’s made to promote country music and bring it to more people is good. It’s sensational that the country music fans worldwide have a link in common. And in addition, Hank Williams!!"

Heather Myles

In the words of Raúl Tejeiro, president of AMCU: “We are proud that the International Country Music Day has been an initiative of a Spanish-speaking country and that others embrace this idea. This shows the universality of this music that we love and that has surely crossed frontiers and language barriers.”

Gustavo Laurino, manager and promoter of the San Pedro Country Music festival (Argentina) thinks “there is no doubt that this idea, which brought us together with friends living far away several years ago, may be extremely helpful in spreading country music to those countries that have not been very acquainted with the genre. So far our experience has been fabulous since it has enabled us to get in touch with people all around the world. I hope most of you will stay in touch with each of the organizations that have eagerly come together in order to celebrate this special event.”

Florent Dufour, President of the French Association of Country Music considers this date highly appropriate: “The international country music day is a great opportunity to bring country fans all over the world together. And for sure, country music is the best way for that. It offers a great chance to promote country music, to help people discover country music. Thanks all of you for helping country music grow up. And united we stand.”

Areti Traka, expresident of the Country Music Association of Greece expressed her opinion about this day: "Country music is an inspiration. Events like the International Country Music Day bring us together in an effort to spread this inspiration all over the world. As of this year, we are happy to be a part of this and many other efforts. On September 17, our hearts will beat to the rhythm of country music!".

Maritza Baca, president of the U.S. Hipanic Country Music Association said: "I salute the International Country Music Day for it's efforts in extending Country music to fans worldwide. I do not believe that Country music has borders. I have met many Hispanics who perform Country music in many cities accross the U.S ., I have been to Mexico and have seen people there listen to Country music in English and Spanish. I believe Country music is very universal. Que viva la música country!" .

International Country Music Day Keeps Growing

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The International Country Music Day was created in 2003 by the Country Music Association of Spain (CMA-Spain) in order to bring together all artists, musicians, and country music fans all over the world, as well as to promote our music worldwide. Since then, many associations have embraced the event, including the Country Music Association of Uruguay (AMCU), Argentina’s, France’s Country CD (formerly FACM), the Country Music Association of Greece (GMAC), and several artists, groups, radio stations such as Dímelo Country (DCWR), websites, and fans throughout the world.

In 2007, the United States Hispanic Country Music Association has been added to the long list of associations embracing this event.

The International Country Music Day is held on September 17 every year, commemorating the birth of Hank Williams, one of the foremost legends of country music.

Come celebrate with us!