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Posts Tagged ‘Elvis Presley’

At number 20 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This songwriting pair have written some of the best known songs in rock ‘n’ roll, including “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Yakety Yak”, and “Stand By Me” (which they co-wrote with Ben E. King).

Unlike the songwriting partnership of Lennon and McCartney, where both wrote melodies and lyrics, Leiber and Stoller’s partnership was more traditional, in that Leiber wrote the lyrics and Stoller the melodies (this was also the case for e.g. “Gilbert and Sullivan” and “Rodgers and Hammerstein”). Leiber and Stoller met in Los Angeles in 1950, and found that they shared a love of blues and rhythm and blues music. They began collaborating in the same year, and continued to work together for the best part of 50 years.

At number 20 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

At number 20 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

The song of theirs that I have decided to share in this blogpost is “Jailhouse Rock”, which they specifically wrote in 1957 as the title song for Elvis Presley’s third movie. The song became a massive hit for Presley, reaching number 1 in the US singles charts. It has sold over 2 million copies world-wide, and is at number 67 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

 

The warden threw a party in the county jail.
The prison band was there and they began to wail.
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing.
You should’ve heard those knocked out jailbirds sing.
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone.
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang,
the whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

Number forty-seven said to number three:
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see.
I sure would be delighted with your company,
come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me.”
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

The sad sack was a sittin’ on a block of stone
way over in the corner weepin’ all alone.
The warden said, “Hey, buddy, don’t you be no square.
If you can’t find a partner use a wooden chair.”
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

Shifty Henry said to Bugs, “For Heaven’s sake,
no one’s lookin’, now’s our chance to make a break.”
Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, “Nix nix,
I wanna stick around a while and get my kicks.”
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock.
Everybody in the whole cell block
was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock.

 

Here is Elvis Presley’s memorable “Jailhouse Rock” video. Enjoy!

Which is your favourite Leiber and Stoller song?

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At number 19 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley. This song was released in 1956 and is cited by some as being the beginning of the rock ‘n’ roll revolution. The song was written by prolific songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and first recorded by Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in 1953. However, the Elvis Presley version is quite different, not only musically but even the lyrics are altered.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 19 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley.



Lyrically the song is extremely simple, but with its driving rhythm and singing style, it was very different from most of the pop songs recorded up until that time. It was the song which brought rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues to a white audience, forever changing the course of popular music.


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.

When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
You ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.


Here is a video of this groundbreaking song. Enjoy!




Which is your favourite Elvis song?

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