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David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Three: Love Me Tender


By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic

Pamela Pike’s Recollections

It was Top 4 week and the theme was songs by Artists from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. David chose Love Me Tender an oldies love song sung by Elvis Presley, in the movie, Love Me Tender.

When a singer attempts an Elvis Presley song the first thing you think is how bad will it sound? Elvis songs have a special place in people’s hearts and cannot be sung by everyone, except for David Archuleta.

He tenderly caressed Love Me Tender, held it in his heart and sang it with loving passion. He always takes his songs to another level and the words seemed almost ethereal.

David’s voice and emotions were just perfect for this song as he sat on a stool looking into his audience with those beautiful eyes. It was an amazing performance that brought tears to many, and you knew many fans were melting as he murmured the lyrics.

While the piano played softly, his gentle simplicity and gift caressing every word had the audience in his hands.

David wasn’t familiar with the song and searched for different versions. He worked on an arrangement and with his velvety smooth voice sang a romantic ballad for the first time on American Idol.

This song has enjoyed a long life beyond its initial success. A score of other covers by a wide variety of artists have been done. But I feel David’s version has always been the most touching and memorable.

David and his love songs had remained an unexplored area of his remarkable career until that performance.

As Simon said, “David, you didn’t beat the competition tonight, you crushed the competition tonight.”

Rosanne Simunovic’s Recollections

“Love Me Tender” must be one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. There is something truly special about this song. The simplicity of the lyrics and the melodic line speak to the heart.

The old adage less is more could not be more appropriate when one listens to this song. The absence of clutter in the composition of this number is what allows a singer to communicate the words in a genuine, heartfelt manner.

And no one did this better than young David Archuleta when he took to the stage during his Top 4 American Idol Season 7 performance. He took a very simple melody and delicately weaved a soulful vocal pattern through the original melodic line.

It was a heartfelt and moving performance, one that reminded all of us how absolutely brilliant he is with his interpretive skills. He is a unique, genuine artist and this song, having been sung by so many singers over the years, never sounded fresher or more current. I think King Elvis would be proud.

Looking back to my American Idol Top 4 Vocal Masterclass Evaluation, I stated:

Then you offered us a poignant – yet singular – performance of the Elvis Presley classic, Love Me Tender. Oh my, what more is there to say here! The camera never left your face, thus providing emphasis to the visual and aural expressiveness in your performance. It was heartfelt and sincere and every word in this tender love ballad was articulated with impeccable inflection and nuance.

The melodic variations you incorporated throughout this number were musically inspired – yet, thankfully, not overdone. The emotional core of the song remained intact, as you singularly interpreted this number in a way that will certainly raise the eyebrows and perk the ear lobes of record producers around the world. Pure brilliance

Also, once again, you were musically naked on that stage, backed only by a beautiful piano accompaniment. Therefore, the beauty and magic of your incredible singing voice was once again firmly established in the ears of the listener.

There was no clutter, no distraction, no smoke and mirrors with either performance. All the focus was directed to what this singing competition is all about – creating phenomenally strong and memorable vocal performances with sincerity and with love and with passion. And nobody delivered this “package” as well as did you, young David.

Four years later, I wouldn’t change a thing! Special words for a special young artist!

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

16 Responses to “David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part Three: Love Me Tender”

  1. Such a beautiful performance!! Thank You Pam and Masterclasslady!!

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  2. You are most welcome Heidijoy.

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  3. I remember that week the song choices were leaked earlier in the day and I was among the David fans who were freaking out over how this shy spiritual 17-year-old could possibly pull this off. How could he deliver one of the most passionate love songs ever and make it work. And he did it!! He was incredible. And he did it sitting down with just his voice and his eyes. I believe that was the night the phrase “Trust the Archuleta” was born and from then on we trusted his choices in everything.

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  4. OMGViolet – I never heard of that phrase but it is very appropriate. David only songs songs that truly speak to him as an artist and as a person. Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated.

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  5. Just so everyone knows, this article was per-scheduled for publication. Still recuperating from the flu.

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  6. Love Me Tender is one of my favorite performances by David. I don’t need people screaming their vocals, running around on stage, and acting in a sexual nature to enjoy music. I just need someone to sing on key, with beautiful tone, wonderful phrasing, (and those vowels), and make me feel like they actually mean what they are singing. David does that every time for me. I do enjoy when David dances and tears around on stage when he is singing an upbeat number, but he doesn’t need to be grabbing his crotch or sticking out his tongue to make his point.

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  7. MCL and Pam – Thank you for this lovely article. This was the first time we heard David do a love song and now we have an entire CD full of them. So much has happened in four years that it’s hard to believe. Love Me Tender was a wonderful performance. MCL, my best wishes as you recover from the flu. Nothing like David Archuleta music to brighten the day.

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  8. You are most welcome Kirsten. And, granniecrush, amen to everything you said!

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  9. pikepss@yahoo.com May 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Kirsten and Grannycrush – Love your user name Grannycrush – Is the crush because of David? And Heidijoy,& omgviolet- Your comments are most appreciated and welcomed. It’s very satisfying to know MCL and myself have others to share our passion for David’s artistry. Thank you for all your support!

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  10. Pam and MCL, you have once again given us some beautiful thoughts (I guess it’s easier when the subject is beautiful). Really though, you both have helped me re-live a beautiful performance. Thank you!

    Season 7 had some serious talent going for them! David A. was/is my idol though!!

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  11. Yes, Pam. I say I have a granny type crush on David. I would like him to be my fifth grandson. Of course, his song crush is what brought it all into perspective.

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  12. pikepss@yahoo.com May 5, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Thank you tawna21 for the lovely words and yes it is easy when the subject is beautiful.

    and grannycrush I know exactly how you feel!

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  13. Thanks for the “spot-on” review. It’s always enjoyable reading your reviews of David (and others); you really get to the essence f what makes David so special: his interpretation, sincerity, and his beautiful vocals. I used to sing in public quite a bit when younger and am amazed at this young man’s vocal and personal maturity of one so young,

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  14. Reblogged this on My Kind of Perfect and commented:
    ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES OF DAVID ON IDOL S7

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    […] David Archuleta Retrospective: Love Me Tender “Love Me Tender” must be one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. There is something truly special about this song. The simplicity of the lyrics and the melodic line speak to the heart. […]

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