DJ Maria, for friends Ria, is a sort of superwoman: Working full time, being a mother, huge fan of Elvis Presley and simply enjoying life. Every weekday she is queen of music in the morning. As Maria loves the sixties and seventies, she throws every now and then some soul and R&B in the mix.

Born in the Dutch city of Utrecht, but with roots in Dutch province of Sealand (Zeeland), she enjoys the beach, the wind, and the sea.

More on Elvis…

Elvis Aaron Presley[a] (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known simply as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Dubbed the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy.

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, with his family when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Presley, on rhythm acoustic guitar, and accompanied by lead guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley’s classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him for more than two decades. Presley’s first RCA Victor single, “Heartbreak Hotel”, was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. Within a year, RCA would sell ten million Presley singles. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, Presley became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.

In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. He held few concerts, however, and guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours. In 1973, Presley gave the first concert by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world, Aloha from Hawaii. Years of prescription drug abuse severely compromised his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.

What is Maria’s favourite song by Elvis Presley?

“If I Can Dream” is a song made famous by Elvis Presley, written by Walter Earl Brown and notable for its direct quotations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. The song was published by Elvis Presley’s music publishing company Gladys Music, Inc. It was recorded by Presley in June 1968, just two months after King’s assassination. The recording was first released to the public as the finale of Presley’s ’68

Brown was asked to write a song to replace “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as the grand finale on NBC’s “Elvis”, from June 20–23, 1968 (now also known as ‘68 Comeback Special). Knowing about Presley’s fondness for Martin Luther King Jr., and about his devastation related to his then-recent assassination, he wrote “If I Can Dream” with Presley in mind. After Presley heard the demo, he proclaimed “I’m never going to sing another song I don’t believe in. I’m never going to make another movie I don’t believe in.” And he, in his nine years remaining, kept his promise.

The song was published by Presley’s company Gladys Music, Inc.

After Colonel Tom Parker heard the demo of the song sent by Earl Brown, he said: “This ain’t Elvis’ kind of song.” Elvis was also there, and he countered Parker’s argument, then he pleaded: “Let me give it a shot, man.” Earl Brown said while Elvis recorded the song, he saw tears rolling down the cheeks of the backing vocalists. One of them whispered to him: “Elvis never sung with so much emotion. Looks like he means every word.”

After filming for the TV special was complete with its eventual editing, then broadcast in December the same year, the song was released as a single with “Edge of Reality” as the flip side in November 1968. It charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 3 months and a week, peaking at #12, with more than one million sales; although the RIAA certified the song as only gold (500,000 units shipped) as of March 27, 1992. In Canada, the song peaked at #6 on RPM’s top singles chart, maintaining that position for two weeks.