Exactly thirty years ago, the recordings of Patsy Cline and Elvis Presley were named as the most played jukebox songs of the first hundred years. Can you tell what these songs are? If you’ve been an avid fan of the two legendaries, you’re certainly familiar with these hits. And if you’ve been listening to them at the height of their popularity, you surely agree they deserve such distinction. So, here they are, the two great hits that hugely ruled the jukebox scene several years ago: Cline’s “Crazy” and Presley’s “Hound Dog”
“Crazy” by Patsy Cline
The 1961 song “I Fall to Pieces” was Cline’s first top hit on the chart. The song, undeniably, propelled her to instant success as a recording artist. However, it was her follow-up record “Crazy” that paved the way for her further fame. Her version of “Crazy” almost hit both the Hot Country Songs and Easy Listening charts’ top peaking at No. 2 in 1961. Cline’s cover of the song was the only version that charted in the United States becoming the biggest hit of her career. And so, three decades ago, the Amusement and Music Operators Association named “Crazy” as one of the most played jukebox songs in the US.
Cline shared this honor with Willie Nelson who penned the tune at the time when he was still a struggling country singer. His self-penned song and Cline’s recording gave him his big break. Accordingly, the song became one of Nelson’s timeless compositions. A year after Cline’s recording, Nelson covered the song and included it on his debut album And Then I Wrote. Many other notable artists have since recorded the song including Dottie West, Ray Price, Crystal Gayle, and LeAnn Rimes. Rimes’ version became a Top 40 hit in the UK.
Get crazy once again to Cline’s timeless tune, “Crazy.”
“Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley
Before Presley recorded “Hound Dog” in 1956, the song was already a hit and many other artists have covered it. This 1952 tune was originally written for R&B singer Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. The song became a smash hit for her. After Presley heard Freddie Bell and the Bellboys sing it in Las Vegas, he decided to add the song to his stage act in 1956. During the Milton Berle Show that year where Presley delivered a hip-swiveling performance of the song, the said rendition became an instant sensation. The King of Rock and Roll considered performing the song in his succeeding TV appearances.
In July 1956, Presley released his version of “Hound Dog” which later became the best-known cover of the song. Selling about 10 million copies worldwide, the record ranked No. 19 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 500 Great Songs of All Time. Also, Grammy inducted Presley’s version into its Hall of Fame in 1988. Accordingly, it was named as one of the most played jukeboxes hits in the US by Amusement and Music Operators Association that same year. Two white teenagers penned the song named Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Here is an old clip showing a young Presley giving out a groovy performance of “Hound Dog.”
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