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Elvis SongPedia: Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why

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Basic Stats

(Just the facts, ma'am!)

Written by: Titus Turner

Recorded: January 12, 1957, Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Released master is take 5.

Single:w/ "Blue River", 47-8740, December 3, 1965
Also re-released as Gold Standard Series, 447-0655, February 1968

RIAA Certified: Gold (as of 03/27/1992)

Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#33 on Billboard Hot 100
#20 on Cash Box chart

1st LP release: Elvis - The Other Sides - Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Vol 2 - August 1971
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"Tell Me Why"
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For other versions, see
Lyrics and Downloads section below.

My Spin

(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)

"Tell Me Why" wasn't released until practically nine years after it was recorded, and then didn't show up on an album for another six years. RCA may have had some legal reason for holding it back for release initially, but certainly it wasn't due to sub-par quality! This is a pure blues outing, and Elvis digs into it pretty heavily, giving a nice rough edge to his vocals at times, contrasting it with gentle cooing at the right places. A fine performance!

Other Spins

(What did the critics and fans say?)

"Tell Me Why", which was not released until 1965, is largely a country ballad. It stood outside the mainstream of Presley's success at that time, and was probably felt to lack commercial appeal. The performance, though, could hardly be improved upon.

Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979

Potent, bluesy ballad (originally by Marie Knight in 1956), a gem done in the old Sun style with lots of echo and Elvis jumping all over the words, slurring, twisting and getting raucous.

Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982

Check out other Elvis fans' opinions on the Elvis News page for Tell Me Why

Check out other opinions at Rate Your Music

"Tell Me Why" Links

"Tell Me Why" Lyrics and Downloads

Every time I look at someone new
Tell me why I think of you
Then you sometimes ask me by
You're playing with love, darling, tell me why

You left me all alone to cry over you
My heart is torn and broken
And there's nothing left to do

In my prayers I'll mention you
When you're gone I feel so blue
Why can't I have all of you
Oh, tell me why, please tell me why
Download the Karaoke Version!

Tell Me Why karaoke - Elvis PresleyTell Me Why
Elvis Presley

Download or just listen to different versions from CD Universe!

What's YOUR Spin on "Tell Me Why"?
Yea or Nay?

Yea! Elvis Blues Classic!

Nay! I Feel So Blue!

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Elvis Website Directories

  • ElvisStartPage - As the name implies, this is the place to start when looking for Elvis sites!
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Study Up Some More!

Elvis song reference books on Amazon!

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. :)