Elvis Presley dubbed the “King of Rock n Roll” was also an excellent actor as well as a singer. He starred in nearly forty movies during his short life. Whenever he appeared in a movie, you could always be sure that there would be a song or two. Producers would have been crazy not to take advantage of Elvis’s singing abilities!
In the 1960 film G.I. Blues, Elvis sings “Wooden Heart.” It is definitely not what you would think of as a “typical” Elvis Presley song. Elvis plays an Army specialist in the film who is stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. “Wooden Heart” is an adaptation of a simple German folk tune. Elvis even sings a few lines of the song in its original German dialect.
In the film, Elvis and the lead actress sit in the middle of a group of children watching an outdoor puppet show. The puppet master winds up a record player and starts playing the song “Wooden Heart” as two cute, little puppets on stage sing along.
Suddenly the music box starts to die, despite the puppet master’s furious attempt to keep cranking the player. Of course, the children in the audience laugh as the music slows down, speeds up in double time, and then finally slows to a stop.
Eager to save the day, Elvis jumps up and asks the puppet master if he knows the song on his “squeezebox” (a small type of accordion). Elvis reappears behind the puppet stage with the female puppet and begins to serenade her with “Wooden Heart.”
The cute, puppet with golden braids on the side of her head initially plays hard to get as the “King” gently sings to her. With that smooth voice and gentle look in his eye, how can she resist? Elvis was always such a charmer. She, of course, could not resist him for long, and they start dancing together happily as he sings. At one point, the children in the audience start singing along with him.
This sweet, yet simple folk tune was very well-liked all around the world. “Wooden Heart” was released as a single in the U.K. in 1961 and then as a single in the U.S. in November 1964. A few other artists have tried to record their own versions of this song, but none sing it so sweetly as Elvis.