Hound Dog (1956)

Elvis Presley

Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
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Elvis bassettsAs good as it is, “Hound Dog” has entered the doghouse where all good puppies that have been too successful have to go.

It rocks with the fury of pent up youth. The vocals are rousing, raucous, lightly bitter, and belted out with reckless abandon. Critics saw in it the decline of Western civilization. Frank Sinatra sarcastically called it a “masterpiece.”

Check out the mini-profile of Elvis’s first smash hit and find out why SongMango “retired” this solid-gold oldie, one of the key DNA strands of Rock-N-Roll.


  • Big Mama Thornton released the first version of “Hound Dog” in 1953. It sold around one million copies and spent the better part of two months at #1 on the R&B charts. (Check out Mama’s rendition via the video at left.)
  • The Presley cover has sold in excess of 10 million copies since it was released, although the real number may be much higher.
  • It was the biggest seller in the careers of both performers.
  • The Hendrix video (at left) is fascinating on many levels.

Also by Elvis Presley on SongMango.com:

  • Heartbreak Hotel The release of “Heartbreak Hotel” is one of the great cultural milestones of 20th century America, second only to “Like A Rolling Stone.”