About The Song

Original Version (1956):

  • Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for Big Mama Thornton, a blues singer.
  • Their original version, released in 1956, was a suggestive blues song about a woman putting a man in his place.

Elvis Steps In (1956):

  • Elvis Presley first encountered the song during a live performance by Freddie Bell and The Bellboys, who toned down the lyrics for a more rock and roll audience.
  • Elvis incorporated their version into his own act, adding his signature energetic performance style and vocal inflections.
  • His version was released as a single later in 1956 and became a massive hit.

Controversy and Legacy:

  • Elvis’s version was criticized for its suggestive lyrics and energetic performance, seen as too much for younger audiences at the time.
  • However, the controversy only fueled its popularity, making it a rock and roll anthem for the rebellious youth.
  • Despite the controversy, “Hound Dog” remains a fun and iconic song, showcasing Elvis’s early rock and roll sound and stage presence.

Interesting Facts:

  • Elvis’s recording of “Hound Dog” actually outsold Big Mama Thornton’s original version.
  • The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years, but Elvis Presley’s rendition remains the most recognizable.