Elvis Presley’s Backup Singers May Have Been Fooled by a Fake Elvis

Elvis Presley worked with some of the most famous backup singers in the history of music. Once, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did something sweet for his backup singers after they did something that truly moved him. Or did he? Here’s a look at whether the backup singers were fooled by an imposter.

Elvis Presley with a dark background
Elvis Presley | Frank Carroll/Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

Did Elvis Presley write this sweet letter?

Firstly, a little background. You may have heard the voices of The Jordanaires even if you’ve never heard of them. This group of background singers performed on songs by numerous legendary artists, from Dolly Parton to Patsy Cline to Ricky Nelson to Chicago. They also performed alongside the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The Jordanaires’ Gordon Stoker sat down with Gary James of Classic Bands to discuss the times he worked with Elvis. James recalled how the members of the band received letters from someone claiming to be Elvis. 

“Can’t Help Falling in Love”

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“We did a charity show for [disabled] children in Reno, Nevada. When we got to the auditorium, we had a special delivery letter,” Stoker recalled. “It said: Dear Jordanaires, You guys are doing something very close to my heart. You know how much this means to me for you to appear for [disabled] children tonight, and I hope you understand what I did, the reason I did what I did, I hope you will understand. I love you guys, and I hope to see you soon. Something like that. ‘Sincerely Elvis.’”

How members of The Jordanaires felt about the letter’s authenticity

Stoker then discussed why it seemed plausible the letter came from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself. “It was typewritten, and the signature looked a lot like his signature. Of course, anybody could copy his Elvis signature, it was very easy to copy. But the first line said, ‘I’m happy you’re hear tonight’ (laughs). And so, we said that part we would buy, that Elvis might have spelled ‘hear’ instead of ‘here’. That’s possible.“ Stoker kept the letter while other members of The Jordanaires kept copies of it.

“Return to Sender”

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James said other members of The Jordanaires felt the letter was a hoax written by someone other than Elvis. Considering the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll died in 1977, we may never know who wrote the note. It’s always possible someone could have faked Elvis’ signature and misspelled a word either to imitate his writing style or by accident.

Which Elvis Presley songs did The Jordanaires perform on?

Regardless, The Jordanaires became legend partially due to their work with Elvis. Billboard reports they are credited as singing on a number of his singles, including “It’s Now or Never,” “Are You Lonesome, Tonight?,” “Return to Sender,” and “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The Joardanires’ work lives on today — even if they were fooled by an imposter.