Thursday, May 5, 2011

Elvis' First Number 1--(1956)

    On this date in 1956, Elvis Presley hit No. 1 for the first time with, "Heartbreak Hotel". It was first released in January of that year, but took off to the top spot after an appearance on the TV show, "Stage Show" starring Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. The song itself almost never made it to the studio as just about everyone who heard the song (written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton) thought it was "terrible" and "morbid". The song had been based on a news story from Miami who had destroyed his identification papers and then committed suicide leaving just a note that, "I walk a lonely street". In writing the song Mae asked the question, "Why not put Heartbreak Hotel at the end of that street".....

     Upon hearing it for the first time, Elvis loved it and played it ten more times until he memorized it, then promised Mae that he would record it. Sam Phillips at Sun records and many executives at RCA didn't like it either, but Elvis persevered and it soon became his first huge hit...the clip below is from the actual Dorsey show in Feb. of 1956.

     If you like this and want to hear the oldies you remember and the great songs that never had the chance to be a hit, click on the live365 banner to hear the best in music from the past....


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