Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elvis Presley: Hound Dog



Elvis Presley sings Hound Dog on the Milton Berle Show, on June 5, 1956, the first time he performed the song to a nationwide audience estimated at 40-million people. Presley's gyrating body movements led to protests from some self-appointed guardians of public morality and him gaining the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis."
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Written by: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Recorded: July 2, 1956:  New York City
Released: July 13, 1956
Label: RCA Victor
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Hound Dog is a twelve-bar blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1952. The song was subsequently rewritten by Bernie Lowe and Feddie Bell of Feddie Bell and the Bellboys, with the aim of appealing to a broad teenage audience, and released in 1955.

When Elvis Presley saw Feddie Bell and the Bellboys perform in Las Vegas in May 1956, he loved the reworked version of it, seeing in it a type of vaudevillian performance and comic relief, notably the exaggerated gyrations of the pelvis. Accordingly, Elvis added it to his repertoire on May 16, 1956, a few weeks before performing the song to a national audience on The Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956, Wikipedia says:
By this time, Scotty Moore had added a guitar solo, and D.J. Fontana had added a hot drum roll between verses of the song. Presley appeared for the first time on national television sans guitar. Before his death, Berle told an interviewer that he had told Elvis to leave his guitar backstage. "Let 'em see you, son," advised Uncle Miltie.[21]
An upbeat version ended abruptly as Presley threw his arm back, then began to vamp at half tempo, "You ain't-a nuthin' but a hound dog, cuh-crying all the time. You ain't never caught a rabbit..." A final wave signaled the band to stop. Elvis pointed threateningly at the audience, and belted out, "You ain't no friend of mine."[22] Presley's movements during the performance were energetic and exaggerated. The reactions of young women in the studio audience were enthusiastic, as shown on the broadcast.[23][24]
Over 40,000,000 people saw the performance and the next day controversy exploded. Berle's network received many letters of protest. The various self appointed guardians of public morality attacked Elvis in the press.[25] TV critics began a merciless campaign against Elvis, making statements that he had a "caterwauling voice and nonsense lyrics" and was an "influence on juvenile delinquency," and began using the nickname, "Elvis the Pelvis".
A recording of the song was done in July 1956, where it sold over 4 million copies in the United States on its first release. It was Presley's best-selling single, and starting in July 1956 it spent a record eleven weeks at no. 1. It stayed in the no.1 spot until it was replaced by Love Me Tender, also recorded by Elvis.

Hound Dog:Rolling Stone magazine has ranked Elvis' version of the song no. 19 on its 2004 list of 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.
Source: Wikipedia


Hound Dog
by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

Well they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

Well they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

Well they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Ya know they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
And you ain't no friend of mine

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Cryin' all the time
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
You ain't no friend of mine

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