Grammy flashback: When Elvis was the devil


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Looking back through music history upon the 34th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, it’s shocking to recall that ‘The King’ never reigned at music’s highest honors: the Grammys.

Elvis never won best record, song or album of the year. Even more outrageous: The music artist widely viewed as the devil decades ago won just three Grammys, all in gospel categories for now largely forgotten religious recordings: ‘He Touched Me’ (1972) and two versions of ‘How Great Thou Art’ (1967, 1974).


Elvis was feared at the Grammys in the 1950s and 1960s because the Recording Academy represented the conservative music establishment, and Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and other hip-shakers represented the barbarians at the gate. Amazingly, Elvis did get nominated for best record twice. In 1959, ‘A Fool Such as I’ lost to Bobby Darin’s ‘Mack the Knife,’ and, one year later, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’ lost to Percy Faith’s ‘A Theme from ‘A Summer Place.’’


Elvis Presley, who died 34 years ago today, spurs fresh tears

Photos: Elvis in Film

— Tom O’Neil