Elvis Presley: A Future Star Sang on ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’

During his comeback period, Elvis Presley recorded a song called “Don’t Cry Daddy.” The song moved the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Notably, a future star performed on the track. Another celebrity covered the song to mark the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death.

Elvis Presley in leather
Elvis Presley | NBC / Contributor

Elvis Presley had a strong reaction to ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’

During an interview with Goldmine, Elvis’ friend Marty Lacker said he wanted the “Hound Dog” singer to hear songs by songwriter Mac Davis. Elvis listened to some tapes containing Davis’ songs.

“So Elvis started playing these tapes,” Lacker recalled. “He plays ‘In the Ghetto‘ and then he plays ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and I said, ‘Man, that’s got a great feel to it and it’s got good words.’ He said, ‘Yeah, that song really touched me.'” “Don’t Cry Daddy” is a song about a child comforting her father after her mother dies.

Lacker considered the possibility that “Don’t Cry Daddy” may have moved Elvis because of the relationship the singer had to his mother, Gladys Presley. “I’m not sure if it reminded him of his mother,” Lacker said. “Elvis didn’t openly talk about his mother. But I think in his innermost thoughts he probably thought about her a lot.”

This star worked on multiple Elvis Presley songs

Lacker said a star worked on some songs for Elvis. “Ronnie Milsap sang on ‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and ‘Any Day Now’ and he played piano on ‘Any Day Now,'” Lacker remembered. “Elvis loved ‘Don’t Cry Daddy.’ He loved everything he did on those sessions.” Milsap was a country singer who would later release hit songs like “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me,” and “It Was Almost Like a Song.”

Ronnie Milsap with a piano
Ronnie Milsap | Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The way the world reacted to Elvis Presley’s ‘Daddy Don’t Cry’

“Don’t Cry Daddy” became one of Elvis’ more successful late-period ballads. The song was released as a double A-side with the far more rambunctious “Rubberneckin’.” The tracks both reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 13 weeks.

“Don’t Cry Daddy” became a big hit in the United Kingdom as well. The Official Charts Company reports the song reached No. 8 in the U.K. It stayed on the charts for 11 weeks.


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Why Lisa Marie Presley covered ‘Daddy Don’t Cry’

A notable artist covered “Don’t Cry Daddy” — Lisa Marie Presley. Lisa Marie performed the song for the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Her cover was a virtual duet that combined her vocals with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s. During an interview with the HuffPost, she revealed a duet between Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole inspired her to create her version of “Don’t Cry Daddy.”

She described her decision to record the song as part of a tradition of her performing her father’s songs. She covered “In the Ghetto” for the 30th anniversary of her father’s death and “I Love You Because” for the 35th anniversary of his death. Lisa Marie said she performed these covers for Elvis fans. “Don’t Cry Daddy” isn’t as famous as other Elvis songs, but it has interesting connections to Milsap and Lisa Marie.