Category: hound dog

On this day in music history: August 18, 1956 – “Don’t Be Cruel” / “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for 11 weeks. Written by Otis Blackwell / Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller,  it is third chart topping single for Presley. Penned by songwriter Otis Blackwell (“Great Balls Of Fire”, “All Shook Up”, “Return To Sender”), “Cruel” is recorded at RCA Studios in New York on July 2, 1956, with the master version being the twenty eighth take. The flip side “Hound Dog”, written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952 for R&B legend Big Mama Thornton, is recorded by Presley during the same session. A big fan of Big Mama’s version as well as the answer record “Bear Cat” by Rufus Thomas, Presley decides to record “Hound Dog” after an ill fated performance engagement in Las Vegas. While playing an  two week stint in Las Vegas during the Spring of 1956, Elvis sees the lounge act Freddie Bell And The Bellboys performing a comedy burlesque cover of “Hound Dog” in their show. Liking their arrangement, Presley decides to record himself. Elvis and his band along with vocal group The Jordanaires record thirty one takes of the song before finally capturing the master take. The single is released eleven days later on July 13, 1956, and is an immediate smash. Technically the B-side of the single, it is listed along with “Hound Dog” beginning the week of August 11, 1956 when the it reaches #2, then topping the chart the following week. The double A-sided singles run at the top of the charts is unprecedented in the rock era. The record remains unbroken until 1992 when “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men holds the number one spot for 13 weeks beginning on August 15, 1992, thirty six years to the week that Presley hits number one. “Cruel” returns to the Billboard top ten thirty two years later, when Cheap Trick’s cover version peaks at #4 on October 8, 1988. “Don’t Be Cruel” is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002.

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On this day in music history: August 13, 1952 – “Hound Dog” by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton is recorded. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the biggest hit for the Alabama born Rhythm & Blues singer. Recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, CA, the track features legendary R&B bandleader Johnny Otis (featured on drums) along with members of his band. Otis (“Willie And The Hand Jive”) co-produces the record with Leiber and Stoller. Released on Houston, TX based Peacock Records in March 1953, the single is an instant smash, spending  seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart selling nearly two million copies. Four years and one week to the day that the original version is recorded, Elvis Presley’s cover version of the song hits number one on the Pop chart. In time, “Hound Dog” is regarded as one of the most important and influential rhythm and blues songs in music history. Big Mama Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2013.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: June 5, 1956 – Elvis Presley appears on comedian Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater” variety show on NBC performing his then current hit single “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”, and the about to be released follow up “Hound Dog”. It is Presley’s performance of the latter that thrusts the singer into controversy. Backed by his band featuring Scotty Moore (guitar), Bill Black (bass) and D.J. Fontana (drums), Elvis sings the song with it seguing into a slow grinding tempo while he gyrates and thrusts his hips. Television critics and most adult viewers react with complete shock and outrage calling Presley’s performance “vulgar” and “obscene”. The appearance earns Elvis the infamous “Elvis The Pelvis” nickname much to his annoyance and displeasure. However, the program draws such high ratings that Elvis is immediately booked to play “The Steve Allen Show” (also on NBC) a month later on July 1, 1956. Presley again performs “Hound Dog”, but in a much tamer performance with the singer wearing a white and black tails while singing the song to a basset hound in a bow tie and top hat. The footage of Elvis performing “Hound Dog” on Milton Berle’s show is featured in the documentary feature “This Is Elvis” and in the film “Forrest Gump”.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: August 13, 1952 – “Hound Dog” by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton is recorded. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the biggest hit for the Alabama born Rhythm & Blues singer. Recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, CA, the track features legendary R&B bandleader Johnny Otis (featured on drums) along with members of his band. Otis (“Willie And The Hand Jive”) co-produces the record with Leiber and Stoller. Released on Houston, TX based Peacock Records in March 1953, the single is an instant smash, spending  seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart selling nearly two million copies. Four years and one week to the day that the original version is recorded, Elvis Presley’s cover version of the song hits number one on the Pop chart. In time, “Hound Dog” is regarded as one of the most important and influential rhythm and blues songs in music history. Big Mama Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2013.

On this day in music history: June 5, 1956 – Elvis Presley appears on comedian Milton Berle’s “Texaco Star Theater” variety show on NBC performing his then current hit single “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”, and the about to be released follow up “Hound Dog”. It is Presley’s performance of the latter that thrusts the singer into controversy. Backed by his band featuring Scotty Moore (guitar), Bill Black (bass) and D.J. Fontana (drums), Elvis sings the song with it seguing into a slow grinding tempo while he gyrates and thrusts his hips. Television critics and most adult viewers react with complete shock and outrage calling Presley’s performance “vulgar” and “obscene”. The appearance earns Elvis the infamous “Elvis The Pelvis” nickname much to his annoyance and displeasure. However, the program draws such high ratings that Elvis is immediately booked to play “The Steve Allen Show” (also on NBC) a month later on July 1, 1956. Presley again performs “Hound Dog”, but in a much tamer performance with the singer wearing a white and black tails while singing the song to a basset hound in a bow tie and top hat. The footage of Elvis performing “Hound Dog” on Milton Berle’s show is featured in the documentary feature “This Is Elvis” and in the film “Forrest Gump”.