Song of the day: Ral Donner – "You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)"

I thought for today’s song I’d play you something from the 1950’s or 1960’s, because I’ve been playing a lot of new-fangled music recently. Just for today I wanted to delve into the early days of rock’n’roll, back when there were elves in the charts (i.e., Elves Presley*).

In my auditory travels I came across an old song that isn’t Australian, but one that I found eminently blog-worthy because of my response to the singer in question. The song is called “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)”, and I hadn’t heard it before. When it started I thought “Oh, an Elvis Presley song. I don’t know many Elvis Presley songs. This is another one I didn’t know about, but I know his voice when I hear it.” When I saw the artist listed, I thought “Ral Donner? I don’t know who Ral Donner is, but that’s not Ral Donner – it’s Elvis Presley. Someone made a mistake when they tagged the MP3.” I looked through Elvis Presley’s discography for confirmation of my magnificent astuteness, but came up blank. I then looked up Ral Donner’s discography, and there it was. It’s a Ral Donner song.

By the way, in what I consider to be The Understatement Of The Decade, Wikipedia states that Ral Donner “had a voice similar to Elvis Presley’s”.

I know that in the wake of Elvis the P’s phenomenal popularity there were a lot of singers who did their best to sound like him, but this Ral Donner fellow is… is… well, I think he possibly out-Elvises Elvis.

Here’s the song that apparently is definitely not by Elvis Presley:

Ral Donner – “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It) (1961)

Link

(*I really hope that’s the worst pun you see all year.)

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6 Responses to Song of the day: Ral Donner – "You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ral Donner was a fantastic Elvis sounding vocalist but if you really want to hear the closest voice to Elvis then check out tracks by Orion (Jimmy Ellis). You'll be amazed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    not a bad vocal,but its no Elvis

  3. Peter says:

    Hey, Anonymous:

    “…if you really want to hear the closest voice to Elvis then check out tracks by Orion (Jimmy Ellis). You'll be amazed.”

    Can do, Anonymous.

    Update: I'm now listening to “Steady As She Goes” on YouTube (http://bit.ly/QlFk3k). There isn't a proper video for it, so it's just the song accompanied by a lot of photos. I noticed one thing about Jimmy's singing, and one thing about the photos:

    1. You're right – Jimmy's singing is very Elvis-ish (or is that “Elvis-esque”?), but what I noticed most was the wild vibrato in his voice. (As someone once said about an opera singer: “A vibrato so wide you could drive a truck through it.”)

    2. In almost all of the photos, Jimmy is wearing an eye mask à la The Lone Ranger. I don't know why Jimmy is wearing a mask in those photos, but I love it.

    Update II: Now I'm watching some live footage of Jimmy in action in the 1970s (http://bit.ly/QlG8oS). He sure does sound like Elvis Presley. And he's wearing that mask. Excellent.

    Thanks, Anonymous, for letting me know about the slightly bizarre Jimmy Ellis.

  4. Peter says:

    You're quite right, other Anonymous.

  5. Anonymous III says:

    Check out, Vince Everett.
    His version of “Such A Night” is very similar to Elvis' version:

  6. Peter says:

    Hey, Anonymous III: That's fabulous.

    I loved Vince's “awwww” at 0:26/0:27. And the way that song is a-rockin' makes me think of jump blues.

    Thanks for letting me know about “Such A Night”.

    Excellent.

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