Elvis Presley’s “One Night” (1958). Now that’s a song that evokes a very specific era in American music. Released at the tail end of the 50s, it captures the raw energy and romantic yearning that defined Elvis’s early rock and roll sound.

While not one of his most iconic hits, “One Night” offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of the King of Rock and Roll. It’s a cover, originally recorded by R&B artist Smiley Lewis in 1956 with the more suggestive title, “One Night of Sin”.

Elvis, however, took the song and transformed it into something a bit more palatable for mainstream audiences. The lyrics were cleaned up, the rawness toned down a touch, but the essence of the song’s emotional core remained.

What we hear in “One Night” is a young Elvis, still very much under the influence of the gospel and blues sounds that shaped him. The soulful plea in his voice as he sings, “One night with you, here’s what I am now praying for” is undeniable. There’s a vulnerability there, a yearning for connection that resonates with anyone who’s ever felt the pangs of loneliness.

But don’t be fooled by the softer edges. The song still crackles with that signature Presley energy. The driving rhythm section, the call-and-response backing vocals, all punctuated by those unmistakable guitar riffs – it’s pure rock and roll, albeit a touch more polished than his earlier, earthier recordings.

“One Night” also stands as a testament to Elvis’s undeniable charisma. Even with a slightly tamer version of the song, he injects it with his own brand of charm. You can hear the playful swagger in his voice, the confident delivery that would soon become his trademark.

This song serves as a bridge between the raw, rebellious Elvis of the mid-50s and the polished pop idol he would soon become. It’s a reminder of his roots in R&B and gospel, a glimpse into the talent that would take the world by storm. So, put on “One Night,” close your eyes, and let yourself be transported back to a simpler time, a time when a young Elvis Presley could make your heart race with just a song and a dream.

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Lyrics

One night with you
Is what I’m now praying for
The things that we two could plan
Would make my dreams come true

Just call my name
And I’ll be right by your side
I want your sweet helping hand
My loves too strong to hide

Always lived, very quiet life
I ain’t never did no wrong
Now I know that life without you
Has been too lonely too long

One night with you
Is what I’m now praying for
The things that we two could plan
Would make my dreams come true

Always lived, very quiet life
I ain’t never did no wrong
Now I know that life without you
Has been too lonely too long

One night with you
Is what I’m now praying for
Of things that we two could plan
Would make my dreams come true