Black Velvet won Alannah the 1990 Grammy for best female rock vocalist. Original Canadian release in the fall of 1989 met with #1 response in Quebec, preferring BV to her first Love Is single in Western Canada. BV was released to US radio in the fall of 1990, the single went to number 1 for 2 weeks with a bullet on Billboard's Top 40 Chart by April,1990. And thus her star took flight.
The video for Black Velvet was directed by Doug Freel in July 1989 on Alannah's family ranch at her family's 200 year old, square cut log pioneer cabin in Buckhorn, Ontario. It was released as the 4th single from her eponymously titled debut Atlantic Records CD in 1990, hitting #1 for 2 weeks on Billboard in April 1990 qualifying for a 1991 Grammy win for Best Female Rock Vocalist.
Black Velvet has little to do with the cheesy black velvet Elvis paintings from the 60's. Nor, contrary to popular myth does it have anything to do with Seagram's Whiskey. The lyric in the song alludes to the voice of African Americans whom Elvis championed in his recorded and live music. Elvis' black hair, his regal presence and his voice sounded like black velvet, where soulful, black stylings from the American south were like velvet to the ears and as American as mom's apple pie.
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