King of Kings — Mario Lanza

gregster's picture
Submitted by gregster on Wed, 2013-12-11 20:32



"Mario Lanza's influence on Elvis Presley cannot be overestimated." Presley was well aware of Lanza’s music and movies and was always quick to acknowledge his admiration for Lanza.


Incredible as it might seem, his favourite [artist] was Mario Lanza. Elvis played the soundtrack album from MGM's "The Student Prince" so often that he wore out the grooves. Lanza's delivery of such songs as Golden Days, I'll Walk with God, and Serenade had such an impact on Presley that he went on to mimic the style in his own impending songs, including the ballad Can't Help Falling In Love and the operatic It's Now or Never.

Elvis said of Lanza
in 1972: ‘I had records by Mario Lanza when I was 17, 18 years old. I would listen to The Metropolitan Opera. I just loved this music.’
Mario Lanza, meanwhile – real name Alfredo Arnold Cocozza, 1921-1959 – was a fantastically popular opera tenor and movie star.
Maria Callas called him the greatest tenor voice of the day. Arturo Toscanini called him the greatest voice of the 20th century.


A friend, Clinton Bowerman, from Auckland, has just visited Elvis Presley’s old home Graceland, and thanks to his own private investigator background, his shots prove Mario Lanza remains at the front of the Elvis record stack.









The One Tenor: