On August 11, 1959, Elvis Presley would release his double-sided hit "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog," which would quickly become No. 1 on the US charts. The songs would set a record that wasn't broken until 1992 by Boyz II Men.
Before recording "Hound Dog," Elvis witnessed several performances of the song by Freddy Bell and the Bell Boys in Las Vegas. Originally recorded by blues singer Big Mama Thornton in 1952, the song was written for her by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Over the years the song has been recorded 250 times with Elvis' being the best-known version which ranked No. 19 on 's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004 but was replaced by Thornton's version in 2021.
After the double single release of "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" in 1959, the song would remain at the top of the charts for a record eleven weeks. Elvis would hold this record for 36 years when Boyz II Men's "End Of The Road" broke the record staying on top for thirteen weeks.
Before the release, Elvis would perform "Hound Dog" for the first time on his second appearance on The Milton Berle Show in June. This performance created quite a controversy but it wasn't from his signature energetic hip-swaying, pelvis-grinding moves. The controversy came part way through when the song would be slowed down and he made suggestive motions with the microphone stand, walked drunkenly, then turned towards the audience thrusting towards them. This was deemed too sexually suggestive for a family show.
Elvis Week at Graceland
Elvis Week 2023 takes place August 9-17 in Memphis and the annual event celebrates the King of Rock N Roll. The event features live music, panels, contests, screenings and more.
This year's highlights include:
- August 16 Aloha from Hawaii 50th Anniversary Concert featuring Elvis on the big screen backed by a live band.
- ’68 Special Enhanced Screening with Elvis bigger than life in black leather.
- The annual Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and performances by many of EPE's past Ultimate winners.
- Conversations on Elvis, with those who knew Elvis best, sharing memories and stories.
- The cornerstone event of the week, the annual Candlelight Vigil on August 15, where fans gather in quiet remembrance of the king.
Welcome to Stairway to 11, the classic rock & golden oldies news and opinions site from FanSided Network. Stairway to 11 is dedicated to providing top-notch classic rock and golden oldies news, views, and original content. This site also serves as a community for like-minded fans to catch up on the latest news and discuss their passion. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.