Go to main content

King of the Whole Wide World

Rating:
4.5 / 5

Words & Music: Ruth Batchelor Bob Roberts

A poor man wants the oyster
A rich man wants the pearl
But the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

Come on let's sing, sing brother sing
'Cos the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

The rich man wants the princess
The poor man just wants a girl
But the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

Come on let's sing, sing brother sing
'Cos the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

A poor man wants to be a rich man
A rich man wants to be a king
But the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

Come on let's sing, sing brother sing
'Cos the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world

Come on let's sing, sing brother sing
'Cos the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing
He's the king of the whole wide world
Of the whole wide world
Of the whole wide world

Recordingdate: 1961/10/27, first released on: Kid Galahad (EP)

Musicians

Musicians who contributed to the first recording of King of the Whole Wide World:

(guitar)
(guitar)
(guitar)
(bass)
(drums)
(drums)
(piano)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(vocals)
(sax)

Availability

Find available albums with King of the Whole Wide World.

old shep wrote on April 18, 2008
I bought the Kid Galahad EP in my teens, the songs will never be classics but certainly nice sing-a-long tunes such as this one.
FLASHBOY wrote on June 22, 2008
Iam not a great fans of Elvis movie songs but i like some of them and this one goes with the one i like.
JerryNodak wrote on June 22, 2008
I bought the Kid Galahad EP back around the time the movie first was shown in theaters. Always prefered I Got Lucky over King.
Steve V wrote on June 22, 2008
I thought this was the best movie song (rocker) since the King Creole soundtrack. Catchy tune, lyrics, good backing and Elvis had his 50's voice back somewhat. Always felt it should have been a A side on a single. Hit material.
marty wrote on June 22, 2008
Among the songs Elvis recorded for movie soundtracks this was one of the better ones. Somewhere between rock 'n' roll and pop in many ways it showcases why Elvis was starting to loose his domination of the charts. Good but not great, played by outstanding musicians and sung by The King, but missing that 'something' that would make it a classic. On the other hand unfortunately many of his movie songs needed much more than just a little something to make them classics. Overall a song I always enjoyed. Some very entertaining outtakes as well...
OtisBlue22 wrote on June 22, 2008
I love this song and I love the film!!
Bill Rauhuff wrote on June 22, 2008
I always loved Kid Galahad and Follow that Dream and the music from both. I always felt they were both underated. I guess because they were sandwiched between Blue Hawaii and Girls Girls Girls and did not have LP soundtracks they both were a little overlooked or forgotten much like Flaming Star and Wild in the Country but I like all four of these movies better than most.
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on June 22, 2008
As a salvation army officer, I am not kidding, I really like this one. Especially the methaphor in the first verse. It reminds me of the preaching of Jesus, it is a down to earth example for happiness.
My boy, my boy wrote on June 22, 2008
It feels like Elvis's sideburns from the 50ties were growing back when he recorded that song...Good one !
Dixieland Rock wrote on June 23, 2008
It's easy for me to say this looking in hind sight, but I think song would've, could've been a bigger hit if the Coloniel had let Elvis make a few TV appearances when "Kid Galahad" first came out. If Elvis could have performed this track on the Sullivan Show or a show like that to promote the film, that would've been awesome. This song along with "Dirty Dirty Feeling", "It Feels So Right" & "I Want You With Me" are the few times Elvis' 50's era voice came oozing back out. I love these songs & they are among my favorites from the 60s.
JLpResLey wrote on August 13, 2009
It´s average, nothing really special for me. But I have to admit it is sung well
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on August 13, 2009
Not a bad song,film was average.Didn't like his hair style in it.
dgirl wrote on August 13, 2009
Great song, great. Everyone I ever played this for was like, how come this wasn't a single release? Just compare this song to the songs in any travelogue movie. Not even close. In fact this EP & Follow That Dream had a sort of quality about them that were a cut above the other movie songs. This happened again when the Viva Las Vegas EP was released a few years later. The EPs were good, the LP soundtracks mostly not.
adiels wrote on August 13, 2009
This is absolutely one of my favorite songs, and it's a moviesong! This is also one of the first Elvis songs I ever heard. Loved it then, and still do. A timeless 60's rocker with great sax solo!
derekd wrote on August 13, 2009
Elvis singin about who else but himself 'King of the whole wide World' and a very good recording.
NONE000000 wrote on August 13, 2009
I really like this one a lot---and it was nice to get that extended sax solo when RCA put it out later. I love I Got Lucky and Riding A Rainbow too, from the same movie. I loved hearing Bruce Springsteen use a few lines from this song when he wrote "Badlands" shortly after Elvis died in 1977. He changed it to: "Poor man wanna be rich;Rich man wanna be king; And a king ain't satisfied; 'Till he rules everything." Much darker, but I sure appreciate the influence. I think the EPs for Follow That Dream, Wild in the Country, Kid Galahad and Flaming Star were all great and better than many many of the full soundtracks. They are also all better movies than Blue Hawaii or GI Blues (or Girls, Girls, Girls or Tickle Me or Harum Scarum......). To bad the bigger hits were the lesser works.
bajo wrote on August 13, 2009
I really dig the early sixties Elvis and the movies! Times were different! In Norway the EP came short of KOTWWW/HIWTHI. Only a 4 track EP and a single combining the two songs mentioned! And it actually went to no 1 here. I think it did the same in Sweden and Denmark! I really dig the extended version of KOTWWW and the full lenght version of the rest of the songs on the EP in stereo! It's a tie imo between KOTWWW and I Got Lucky!
Deano1 wrote on March 03, 2010
A real wasted opportunity by RCA on this one. This had #1 single written all over it and they put it on a format that outside of Elvis wasn't selling anymore. It's appearance on the soundtrack LP, still managed to get it to #30, but the airplay wasn't there to get it where it belonged. Can you imagine a single with this as the A side rocker and the beautiful "I Met Her Today" on the flip (a great song that stayed unreleased for four years!). The EP would have still sold with the strength of the other five tracks. Elvis could still rock, even if the edge had been dulled (this one doesn't have that raucous sound of "Little Sister", "Such A Night" and "I Feel So Bad") a little to appeal to the softer style of the early 60's.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 28, 2012
This is such a brilliant, fun and catchy song and it's easily one of Elvis' very best movie songs. RCA's poor decision making when it came to this song prevented this song from being a hit. This song deserved to be a hit.
sugartummy wrote on March 30, 2013
A good song. I prefer the longer version with more Boots to enjoy.
Gorse wrote on May 28, 2013
A fabulous rocking track from a very enjoyable film. I would have coupled this with Home is Where the Heart is, and reckon this would have been an enormous 2 sided hit. I agree the extended version is slightly better with extra sax from Boots. - 5 stars.
kink56 wrote on November 04, 2013
Great song, fantastic performance. It was the last time we get to hear Elvis' Jailhouse Rock or Hound Dog voice pop up occasionally in this song.
shawnrw wrote on January 04, 2014
I think this is one of the best things Elvis ever did. An electric rocker loaded with fun. Again should have been a single. RCA should be ashamed, they screwed up, A Lot!!!!
rai wrote on January 13, 2015
One of the best movie songs. Enjoy the beats and Elvis voice was top notch. Probably he's singing about himself
Cruiser621 wrote on January 13, 2015
A decent song overall. The fact one got 6 songs on a 45RPM Extended Play surprised me back in the day. A lot of decent songs on that EP and next to "Follow That Dream" on 45RPM Extended Play, a rather memorable collection. I always wondered why this collection of songs wasn't made into a normal album with other songs on side B. The fact is, as a kid back then, it was more affordable on 45RPM.
trudygillenwater wrote on January 13, 2015
Vintage Elvis! I love the entire Kid Galahad EP.
Lou A wrote on January 14, 2015
Great song, great performance by Elvis and the band . One of Elvis best ever in my opinion.
Steve V wrote on November 21, 2017
Probably one of the top 5 movie songs of the 60's. A totally committed performance unlike what was to follow. I would even rank this with the great movie songs of the 50's.
Back to List