Über das besondere Verhältnis von Elvis zu seiner früh verstorbenen Mutter Gladys Love Presley ist schon viel geschrieben worden, ein Aspekt blieb dabei bislang allerdings weitgehend außen vor: Inwieweit gibt es Songinterpretationen, die Elvis seiner geliebten Mutter gewidmet hat? Dieser spannenden Frage geht der englische Journalist und Autor Paul Simpson in seinem englischsprachigen Gastbeitrag für The Memphis Flash nach.
A song for Gladys by Paul Simpson
Written by his friend Red West, Elvis’s criminally underrated ballad That’s Someone You Never Forget sounds like a haunting ode to his much mourned mother. In the spring of 1961, Elvis Presley asked his friend Red West: “How about coming up with a song with the title of That’s Someone You Never Forget?”
West sat down at the piano and did just that. He worked out the melody first and then penned lyrics that, as Peter Guralnick noted in Careless Love, the second volume of his Elvis biography, “contained sentiments that under ordinary circumstances would have been assumed to be about an ex-lover, but in this case it wasn’t much of a stretch to imagine that Elvis might be singing of his mother.”
Red was desperate to succeed as a songwriter – Presley had already mentioned his friend’s ambitions to publisher Freddie Bienstock. Knowing how mercurial Elvis could be, West took the song to Gold Star Recording in Hollywood and made a demo that Presley promised to record.