While Elvis Presley was known for his upbeat tunes, some of his most unforgettable songs carry a more somber tone, exemplified by his 1969 single “Don’t Cry Daddy.”
Penned by Scott (Mac) Davis, the song was recorded on January 15, 1969. There’s speculation that despite not being the songwriter, Elvis intended it as a form of solace for his father, Vernon, who became a widower in 1958 after Elvis’ mother, Gladys, passed away. Devastated by their loss, both Elvis and Vernon likely shared tears of heartache. Whether specifically for Vernon or not, “Don’t Cry Daddy” surely touched him deeply.
The song became a major success for Elvis, peaking at sixth on the U.S. charts and eighth in the UK.
In Elvis’ second Las Vegas performance season, numerous recordings captured him singing “Don’t Cry Daddy” live, many of which were subsequently released and remain accessible to fans over the years.
The showcased clip is extracted from one of these live performances. Elvis’s facial expressions and demeanor during the rendition unmistakably convey the emotional weight the song holds for him. His voice resonates with profound emotion, intensifying the poignant nature of the song.
As the performance nears its conclusion, Elvis gazes upward, prompting speculation about whether his cherished mother occupied his thoughts in that poignant moment. The heartfelt connection he shares with the song becomes palpable, making it a poignant and moving experience for both the artist and those fortunate enough to witness his heartfelt performance.
Elvis passed away in 1977, leaving behind his daughter Lisa Marie.
During a tribute concert that marked the 20th anniversary of his death, Lisa Marie showed a video of her singing “Don’t Cry Daddy” with him, thanks to technology that put their voices together. The video also included some photos and videos of the father-daughter duo before his passing.