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  • Elvis Presley covered The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.”
  • One of the members of the singer’s posse thinks he may have inspired the cover.
  • The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s cover of “Hey Jude” garnered a very different reception from the original.
Elvis Presley wearing a black jacket
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elvis Presley once covered The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” In an interview, one of Elvis’ friends revealed the singer’s attitude toward The Beatles was not entirely positive. Subsequently, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s friend explained what may have inspired the singer to record “Hey Jude.”

What Elvis Presley thought of The Beatles

Elvis had a posse called the Memphis Mafia. One of the members of the Memphis Mafia was Marty Lacker. In a 2017 Goldmine article, Lacker discussed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s attitude toward the Fab Four.

“Elvis was never jealous of anybody except he knew that The Beatles had created a big stir,” Lacker said. “In a way he was scared because by that time he hadn’t been cutting s***. He’d been cutting these movie songs, and here they come with the hits. That bothered him a little bit, but he liked some of their music.”

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s friend might have inspired him to cover ‘Hey Jude’

Lacker discussed The Beatles’ relationship to the Memphis Mafia. “In 1966, when The Beatles came out to LA, we’d hang out with them,” Lacker remembered. “One night I went into this room and Paul was sitting behind the piano. He asked me, ‘Marty, do you think Elvis would ever cut some of my songs?’ Elvis did end up cutting some of his songs like ‘Get Back,’ ‘Yesterday‘ and ‘Hey Jude.'” 

Lacker said he may have inspired Elvis to record “Hey Jude.” “I did an instrumental version of ‘Hey Jude’ for Pepper Records and played the dub for Elvis,” Lacker recalled. “He loved it. I don’t know if that gave him the idea to record it but subsequently, he recorded ‘Hey Jude.'” 


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How The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ and Elvis Presley’s cover performed in the United States

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” became a massive hit in the United States. For nine weeks, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 19 weeks in total. “Hey Jude” appeared on The Beatles’ compilation album of the same name. Hey Jude reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and lasted 36 weeks on the chart.

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll never released his cover of “Hey Jude” as a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. His cover appeared on the album Elvis Now. The album reached No. 43 on the Billboard 200. It spent 19 weeks on the chart. 

Paul wanted Elvis to cover his songs and he recorded a few of them, including “Hey Jude.”