October 21

Black & White Nostalgia in Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock”

When trying to determine the greatest hits of Elvis Presley, I would personally argue that ‘Jailhouse Rock’ deserves a special and rightful place in the list and I’ll argue it with a big ass saxophone. The Rolling Stone magazine even included it at number 67 on its list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Last year, the said song was even inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The same song was also featured in Elvis Presley movie of the same name where the King of Rock and Roll played a wrongly accused convict who became a star after he gets out.

Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock

Yes, you guessed it right. In the movie of the same name, Jailhouse Rock, Presley did an elaborate number of dancing inside the jail with the song. In an interview with Mojo magazine, April 2009, Jailhouse Rock writer, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller revealed how they came about on writing the song:

“We flew in to New York from LA, where were living at that time, and we had a hotel suite. We had a piano put in, in case the muse struck us, and Jean Aberbach – he and his brother (Julian) owned Hill & Range Songs and they had to deal with Colonel Parker but created Gladys Music and Elvis Presley Music-handed us a script for a movie.

We threw it in the corner with the tourist magazines that you get in hotels. We were having a ball in New York, going to the theatre, going to jazz clubs to hear Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, doing a lot of drinking. On a Saturday morning- we’d been there about a week – Jean knocked on the door and said, in a very Viennese accent, ‘Vell boys, you vill haf my songs for the movie.’ Jerry said, ‘Don’t worry Jean, you’ll have them’ Jean said, ‘I know.’ And he pushed a big chair in front of the door and sat down and said, ‘ I’m going to take a nap and I’m not leaving until you have my songs.’ So we wrote four songs in about five hours and then were free to go out.”

Watch the music video below and let us know what you think:



Elvis Presley, Greatest Songs of All Time, Jailhouse Rock

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