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50 Greatest City, State, And Town Songs – #49: “Blue Hawaii” by Elvis Presley

April 7, 2008

Blue Hawaii

Greatest City, State, And Town Songs: #49

“Blue Hawaii” by Elvis Presley

Album: “Blue Hawaii Soundtrack”

Chart Peak: N/A

City, State, or Town: Hawaii

Although Elvis was a rock legend, he occasionally added a little bit of country into his songs. Combine that with his acting talent and not only do you get a popular movie based in Hawaii, but probably one of the very few songs based on the tropical American state. “Blue Hawaii” expresses Elvis’ trademark vocal rolls that bring out the sincerity in the lyrics while combining it with a traditional country sound. Keeping with the theme of the film by the same name, Elvis sings about love and youth in Hawaii and taking advantage of that young spirit.

When asked to point out tropical style singers one might sight Kenny Chesney or Jimmy Buffet. However before either of them came “Blue Hawaii” which stands as the only country song to target such a unique state in its lyrics. Elvis not only acted as a huge influence to rock and country alike in his day, but also introduced the first tropical influence into the genre.

Up until this song hit radio from the film country music had been about the southern states and their ranges. Although “Blue Hawaii” was never actually considered a “country hit” it blended Elvis’ country and rock sound to allow the genre to stray from its stereotypical states to the more underestimated parts of the country. In addition Elvis opened the door for a larger fan base as he introduced the country sound to Hawaii natives as well as those who were fans of the popular vacation spot in the 60s.

Elvis was known for breaking boundaries and with this song he opened the door for such popular singers as Chesney and Buffett to create a whole new subgenre of country music and to entertain and relate to a new fanbase from a whole different part of the country.


3 Comments leave one →
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