Recorded: July 2, 1956, RCA Studios, New York
Released master is take 31.
Single:w/ "Don't Be Cruel", 47-6604, July 13, 1956
Also released as 78rpm, 20-6604, July 1956
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, 447-0608, March 1959
Also w/ "Baby Let's Play House", PB-13875, August 1984
RIAA Certified: 4 x Multi-Platinum (as of 07/15/1999)
Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#2 on Billboard's Hot 100
#1 on Cash Box Top 100
#1 on Country Juke Box chart
#1 on Rhythm & Blues chart
1st LP release: - April 1958
Click to download or buy "Hound Dog"
now from CD Universe!
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For other versions, see Lyrics and Downloads section below.
(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
If you're not already aware that Elvis had this big hit called "Hound Dog", then you probably need some basic Elvis 101, or maybe even Twentieth Century 101. Any way you look at it, you need some schoolin'... baby I'm not foolin'... (maybe Zeppelin 101 as an elective, too).
Although it may have started as a half-joke that Elvis incorporated into his early live shows, Big Mama Thornton's R&B hit "Hound Dog" quickly became Elvis' show-stopping finale, and eventually became one of a handful of iconic songs that are forever identified with Elvis and with early Rock 'N' Roll! The perfect blend of humor and rock 'n' roll outrageousness, it summed up the power and the fun of early rock! It also doesn't hurt that it's a near-perfect performance of a funny, brash and absolutely rockin' tune!
(What did the critics and fans say?)
"Hound Dog" is truly sensational, with a pull that packs as big a punch decades after it was recorded. This is the young rebel revealed, rooted deep in the blues soil. Presley's "Hound Dog" is the essence of rock 'n' roll. It is the pull of conflicting harmonies which give this song its aggressive quality; the song is in C major, the major chord of which (and on which Bill Black's bass line is based) is C, E and G. Presley erupts into the song with his never-to-be-forgotten opening in E flat. This sets up tremendous tension against the E natural in the bass, Presley spits the words with contempt. [The Jordanaires'] singing adds great impact. Later in the song they clap, against solid drumming and inspired guitar licks.
ElvisStartPage - As the name implies, this is the place to start when looking for Elvis sites!
Elvis Presley - Another directory of Elvis websites. The place to go to find Elvis on the web!
Study Up Some More!
Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)