June 4, 2010

Ral Donner

Category: Music :: Permalink

Yesterday, as I drove to the church, I was listening to Louisiana Public Radio’s “Old Gold” show. They played a song from the ’60s in which the singer sounded to my ears a little bit like Elvis Presley. A stray thought drifted across my mind: “Who was the guy, a contemporary of Elvis, who sounded so much like him that it hurt his career?” I remembered hearing a song by him years ago, but I could remember neither the song nor the singer. There was little I could do to retrieve the rest of that memory. I didn’t even remember enough to Google it.

The song I was listening to ended. And the next song was the very one I had been thinking of: “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until You Lose It)” by Ral Donner:

I don’t know for certain that his vocal style hurt his career, but that was exactly the artist and the song I was thinking of. How weird is that?

The next song was “Suspicion” by Terry Stafford. If you’ve ever heard it on the radio, you may have said (as I have), “That’s Elvis.” But chances are it was Stafford. Elvis recorded the song in 1962, but it was Stafford who had the hit with it in 1964.

While I’m at it, if you want Elvis’s own favorite impersonator, here’s Andy Kaufman:

Posted by John Barach @ 3:14 pm | Discuss (0)

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