Young ElvisThis is a song that changed history. Written by a pair of 19 year-olds named Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, it had been Big Mama Thornton’s biggest hit, spending 14 weeks on the R&B charts in 1953, but the world-changing part came in 1956, when a young singer from Tennessee named Elvis Presley recorded the tune, making today


You ain’t nothing’ but a hound dog, cryin’ all the time!

The song exploded across America, selling 10 million singles and changing the musical landscape overnight. Soon the whole world was demanding more and more of this Rock & Roll, a new kind of music that made you feel a whole new kind of way. Excited. Free. Excited and free with an attitude!

Before you could say Tutti Frutti, Elvis opened the floodgates for a hundred fine Rock & Roll artists, which allowed important originators like Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard to graduate from the R&B charts to the Big Time, selling millions of records and touring to sold out houses, effectively ending musical segregation.

The primal scream that was early Rock & Roll might have happened without the kickstart of Elvis’ version of Hound Dog, but it didn’t, and this 2 minutes and 20 seconds of foot-pounding joy told the world in no uncertain terms that, from this moment on, things are going to be very, very different.

•Suggested Activities: Hats off to the hips that shook the world.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top