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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Music Trivia

Question: What famous rock ’n’ roll artist won two Grammy’s eight years apart for the same gospel song?

Answer: Elvis Presley - How Great Thou Art

The following are excerpts from the Graceland Blog

How Great Thou Art: Elvis Presley's Gospel

There are not many rock ‘n’ roll stars who also created incredible gospel music, but then again, there is only one Elvis Presley.

Elvis shook the world with his infectious brand of rock 'n' roll, but he also took the world to church with his beautiful, soulful gospel music. Elvis loved traditional sacred music as much as he loved soul, country and rock - maybe even more so.

For Elvis, gospel music was the beginning. The first songs he ever sang were gospel songs at church in Tupelo, Mississippi, and he never stopped singing those hymns. He recorded gospel albums, sprinkled a few of his favorite hymns into his rock 'n' roll concerts and loved to sing old-time spirituals with his friends.

Elvis' take on the classic spiritual How Great Thou Art - whether recorded in the studio or performed live on stage in front of thousands - was always special and sacred. It was one of his favorites, and his performances are always reverent and powerful.

The first record of Elvis gospel music, entitled His Hand in Mine, was released in 1960. Elvis recorded his second gospel album, also titled How Great Thou Art, over four days in 1966. The Jordanaires backed him on the album, but due to a scheduling conflict, the group had to miss part of the recording sessions. The Imperials filled in for them, so Elvis had the pleasure of recording with two of his favorite gospel quartets on the same album.

How Great Thou Art won Elvis the first of his three Grammy wins.

His live performance of How Great Thou Art, included on his Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis, won a Grammy Award in 1975. His third and final gospel album He Touched Me also won a Grammy Award for gospel music in 1973.

During his career Elvis Presley earned 14 Grammy nominations, and each of his three wins were for his gospel music.

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