It wouldn’t be right to make a list like this and not include Elvis Presley. Even though I was born just five years before he died, I know that The King must get his due.
His voice was certainly technically good… he had a great range, could hit all the notes, was able to pull off rock, country, blues and gospel without breaking a sweat.
Actually, I take that back… he did it while sweating quite a bit, which was another key to his appeal.
I’ve always sort of looked down on artists who don’t write their own songs. One of the first things I do when I buy a new album is check the liner notes to see who’s credited. Often a performer will have a co-writing credit along with three or four others and I wonder what exactly his or her contribution was to the process.
Why should I believe the words being sung if they’re just that — words being sung — and not the heartfelt thoughts and feelings of the person singing them? Aren’t these performers just pretty vessels spouting the melodies and poetry of behind-the-scene Cyranos?