About the song
If you are a fan of Elvis Presley, you probably know his hit song “The Wonder of You”. But do you know the story behind this song? In this blog post, we will explore the history and meaning of this classic tune that showcases Elvis’s vocal prowess and romantic charm.
“The Wonder of You” was written by Baker Knight, a songwriter who also penned hits for Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and more. Knight originally wrote the song as a gospel song, but later changed it to a secular love song. He said he was inspired by his own feelings of awe and gratitude for his wife.
The first artist to record “The Wonder of You” was Vince Edwards, an actor and singer who starred in the TV series Ben Casey. However, his version was never released. The song was then offered to Ray Peterson, a pop singer who had a distinctive high-pitched voice. Peterson recorded the song in 1959 and released it as a single. It became a Top 40 hit for him in the US and the UK, reaching #25 and #23 respectively.
But the most famous version of “The Wonder of You” was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1970. Elvis had heard Peterson’s version and liked it so much that he asked for his permission to record it. Peterson agreed, saying “You don’t have to ask permission; you’re Elvis Presley.” Elvis said, “Yes, I do. You’re Ray Peterson.”
Elvis recorded “The Wonder of You” live at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 18, 1970. It was part of his comeback show that marked his return to live performances after years of making movies. The song showcased Elvis’s ability to sing with emotion and passion, as well as his interaction with the audience. He dedicated the song to his wife Priscilla, who was in the crowd.
The live version of “The Wonder of You” was released as a single on April 20, 1970, backed by another song called “Mama Liked the Roses”. In the US, both songs charted together at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, however, “The Wonder of You” was a huge success, topping the UK Singles Chart for six weeks in the summer of that year. It was one of Elvis’s most successful records in the UK ever, selling over 400,000 copies and earning a gold certification in 2022.
“The Wonder of You” is a song that expresses admiration and gratitude for a lover who makes life better by just being themselves. It is a simple but sincere declaration of love that resonates with many people. The song has been covered by many other artists over the years, such as Ronnie Hilton, The Platters, The Sandpipers and more. In 2016, a version featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was released as part of an album of orchestral versions of Elvis songs.
“The Wonder of You” is a song that has stood the test of time and remains one of Elvis’s most beloved songs. It is a testament to his musical legacy and his enduring appeal as a performer and a person.