Elvis Presley’s Favorite Song Was by a 16-Year-Old Singer

Elvis Presley really loved a song by a 16-year-old artist. Subsequently, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll decided to send this artist a letter telling him how much he enjoyed the song. He and Priscilla Presley would later meet the singer behind his favorite song in Las Vegas. Interestingly, the song in question was co-written by a showbusiness legend.

Elvis Presley playing songs on a guitar
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elvis Presley’s favorite song was written by a superstar

Carole King is most known as a singer today. At one time, she was most known for writing songs for other artists. King and her songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, were behind many classic hits. 

Some of these hits include The Monkees‘ “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Porpoise Song,” The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and Aretha Franklin‘s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” According to the Vancouver Sun, King and Goffin once wrote a song for a record company called Quality Records. A young singer recorded the track.

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Elvis Presley sent a letter to the teenage artist who sang his favorite tune

The song in question was “Halfway to Paradise” by Tony Orlando. Orlando discussed how much Elvis liked the song. “As a matter of fact, I got a letter from Elvis,” he said. “I think I was 16. The letter said, ‘I just want you to know I put ‘Halfway to Paradise’ in my jukebox.'”

Orlando eventually met the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “When I finally met him in the ’70s, I was headlining the same hotel he headlined in, the Hilton in Las Vegas,” he said. “I was following him a week later. I sat with him in his dressing room. I said, ‘Let me ask you a question. Do you remember writing a letter to me, saying that you liked ‘Halfway to Paradise?” And he calls Priscilla, who remains a good friend, into the room, and he said, ‘Tell Tony what my favorite song is.’ And sure enough, it was ‘Halfway to Paradise.'”

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The way the public reacted to the song

“Halfway to Paradise” was a modest hit in the United States. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 9th Edition: Complete Chart Information About America’s Most Popular Songs and Artists, 1958 – 2009 reports the song peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for two weeks.

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On the other hand, the song was not popular in the United Kingdom. The Official Chart Company reports “Halfway to Paradise” did not chart in the U.K. Subsequently, Orlando would find success in the U.K. with his singles “Bless You” and “Who’s in the Strawberry Patch With Sally.” While “Halfway to Paradise” wasn’t a massive hit, it meant something to Elvis.