Elvis' Backup Singers
The following groups and individuals provided backing vocals for Elvis, either live on stage, in the studio, or both. The years in parentheses indicate time spent backing Elvis. Almost all of these groups and individuals had full careers besides their association with Elvis.
The Amigos (1962 - 1963)
The Blossoms (1968)
The Carole Lombard Quartet / Trio (1963 - 1964)As a quartet, they backed Elvis on his recording of "What'd I Say", from Viva Las Vegas, in July 1963, and as a trio, sang on the Girl Happy soundtrack session a year later in July 1964.
The Imperials (1966 - 1971)
The Jordanaires (1956 - 1970)
The Jubilee Four (1963 - 1964)In July of 1963, this quartet took part in the Viva Las Vegas sessions. George MacFadden of the group sang the lead vocal on "The Climb", with Elvis and the Jordanaires singing backup. Also, the group, along with the Carole Lombard Trio, backed Elvis on "What'd I Say". The quartet also backed Elvis on the soundtrack recording session for the film, Girl Happy, which took place in June and July of 1964.
The Ken Darby Trio (1956)
The Mello Men (1962 - 1965)
The Mellomen with Elvis
and actor Guy Raymond in
It Happened At The World's Fair
The Nashville Edition (1970 - 1971)
J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet (1971 - 1977)
The Surfers (1961)
The Sweet Inspirations (1969 - 1977)
Jacqueline (Jackie) Allen (1961) - soprano - Part of a female backing group, along with Dorothy McCarthy, Loulie Jean Norman, and Virginia Rees, that backed Elvis on the song, "Moonlight Swim", from the Blue Hawaii soundtrack session, on March 22, 1961. As far as I know, this is the only time this group sang with Elvis. Jackie was a studio singer and frequent voice double and chorus singer in MGM musicals of the 50s. (thanks to Karine Philippot for the info!)
Joe Babcock (1963) - sang with Elvis on the May 26 - 27, 1963 session that would later become known as "The Lost Album". Joe later sang with Elvis as The Nashville Edition (see above).
Lea Jane Berinati (1975 - 1977) - worked with Elvis on the March 10 - 13, 1975 sessions (the Today album), as well as the 1977 CBS special, Elvis In Concert. For this special, credit is given to "The Lea Jane Berinati Singers", but no members are known other than Janie Fricke.
Glen Campbell (1963) - although he certainly played guitar on the sessions for Viva Las Vegas (July 1963), some sources say he also sang backup.
Dolores Edgin (1963 - 1976) - sang backup with Elvis beginning on the session for the Kissin' Cousins soundtrack in September 1963, and ending with Graceland recordings in February 1976. Also see the Nashville Edition above.
Janie Fricke(1977) - Before becoming a Country & Western star, she sang backup as one of The Lea Jane Berinati Singers on Elvis' last tour and on the TV special, Elvis In Concert.
James Glazer (1970) - sang on the live recordings of February 1970 in Las Vegas.
Jeannie Green (1969 - 1973) - sang with Elvis during his comeback live engagement in Vegas, August 1969, and her last session was in Stax studios in December of 1973.
Mary Greene (1969) - provided vocals for Elvis during the January & February 1969 sessions in Memphis.
Charlie Hodge (1960 - 1977) - Elvis' close friend (and Memphis Mafia member), Charlie sang harmony with Elvis on stage and in the studio all the years they were together. Although they met in 1956, they became good friends in the army in 1958. On the way to Germany aboard the USS Randall, they sang a duet of "I Will Be Home Again", which they recorded together when they got back in 1960. Charlie continued to sing and play rhythm guitar for Elvis throughout his career, both in the studio and on stage. He also had bit roles in several of Elvis' films during the '60's.
Ginger Holladay (1969 - 1975) - Ginger's association with Elvis spanned the period from the August '69 comeback in Vegas to the Today sessions of March 1975.
Mary Holladay (1969 - 1975) - Mary sang with Elvis in the studio sessions of January & February 1969, and her last session was in March 1975 for the Today album.
Priscilla Hubbard (1967) - overdubbed vocals on "Confidence", for the soundtrack of Clambake in February 1967.
Millie Kirkham (1957 - 1975) - backed Elvis on various recordings for almost his entire career. Her initial appearance was on the sessions that produced Elvis' Christmas Album in 1957. Yes, she's that voice in the background on "Blue Christmas". She can be heard prominently on others like "Give Me the Right" and "Angel". She was with Elvis on stage during his comeback period of the late '60's and both on stage and in the studio up to 1971. She can also be seen in Elvis: That's The Way It Is. In March of 1975, she recorded with Elvis one last time for his Today album.
Dorothy McCarthy (1961) - Part of a female backing group, along with Jacqueline (Jackie) Allen, Loulie Jean Norman, and Virginia Rees, that backed Elvis on the song, "Moonlight Swim", from the Blue Hawaii soundtrack session, on March 22, 1961. Studio and backup singer, sang in the chorus in countless films starting in the mid-40s. (thanks to Karine Philippot for the info!)
Sonja Montgomery (1969 - 1971) - sang backup on studio recordings from the February 1969 sessions up to the June 1971 sessions for his gospel album, He Touched Me.
Loulie Jean Norman (1961) - Soprano - Part of a female backing group, along with Jacqueline (Jackie) Allen, Dorothy McCarthy, and Virginia Rees, that backed Elvis on the song, "Moonlight Swim", from the Blue Hawaii soundtrack session, on March 22, 1961. A soprano who started out with the Mel Tones in the 40s, sang in the chorus in numerous movies, also voice double for Diahann Carroll in Porgy and Bess (1959), for Juliet Prowse in G.I. Blues (1960), Stella Stevens in Too Late Blues (1961). Famous for singing . Recorded extensively as studio singer. (thanks to Karine Philippot for the info!)
Sherrill Nielsen (1975 - 1977) - sang with both the Imperials and Voice (see above), and in 1975 began backing Elvis on stage, often as a "guest lead vocal", like on "O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never", and "Softly As I Leave You". He was also present at Elvis' last Graceland recording sessions (October 29 - November 1, 1976).
June Page (1966 - 1977) - her first session with Elvis was the How Great Thou Art album in May of 1966. She backed him up on various recordings, both in the studio and on stage, through to the June 1971 sessions.
Susan Pilkington (1969 - 1973) - provided backup vocals for the American Studios sessions of January & February 1969, as well as the Stax Studios sessions of December 1973.
Sandy Posey (1966 - 1977) - sang backup for Elvis in the studio for the How Great Thou Art sessions and the American Studios January 1969 sessions. She sang live with Elvis in August 1969, and in February 1970.
Virginia Rees (1961) - alto - Part of a female backing group, along with Jacqueline (Jackie) Allen, Dorothy McCarthy, and Loulie Jean Norman, that backed Elvis on the song, "Moonlight Swim", from the Blue Hawaii soundtrack session, on March 22, 1961. Mainly worked as ghost-singer for actresses like Lucille Ball (1946), Angela Lansbury (1946), Vera Ralston (1953-55), Adele Jergens (1949-50) and even Marlene Dietrich (1942)! Also part of the Merry Macs during the 50s. Frequent back-up singer. (thanks to Karine Philippot for the info!)
Temple Riser (1970 - 1977) - sang on the marathon June 1970 sessions, as well as the March and May 1971 sessions. She performed a duet with Elvis on "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" from the March 15th session.
Myrna Smith (1976) - one of the Sweet Inspirations (see above), Myrna also backed Elvis up during his 1976 Graceland recordings, both in February of that year, and in the October/November sessions.
Ben Speer (1956) - For Elvis' first sessions with RCA, Chet Atkins wanted the to back up Elvis, but he could only get Ben and Brock at the time. Along with Jordanaire Gordon Stoker, they backed Elvis on "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", among others.
Brock Speer (1956) - see "Ben Speer" above.
Gordon Stoker (1956) - see "Ben Speer" above, as well as the Jordanaires entry.
Wendellyn Suits (1976) - provided vocals for Elvis' Graceland recording sessions of February 2 - 8, 1976.
Donna Thatcher (1969 - ?) - sang backup for the January and February 1969 American Studios sessions in Memphis.
Kathy Westmoreland (1970 - 1977) - soprano who began singing with Elvis in August of 1970, singing background at Elvis' live concerts, as well as on most studio recordings from this point on until Elvis' death. During Elvis' introductions on stage, he always singled her out, saying something like "the beautiful little girl who does the high-voiced singing".
Hurshel Wiginton (1969 - 1976) - besides the sessions as a member of the Nashville Edition (see above), he also backed up Elvis on several recordings starting with the American Studios sessions of February 1969, and ending with the Graceland sessions of February 1976.
Kitty White (1958) - provided the female voice on the song "Crawfish" from King Creole.
Special thanks to my sources, who did all the real work, so that folks like me could just look things up... and type a lot.
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