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Hound Dog

(Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

This song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller is a twelve-bar blues, which was first recorded in 1952, and released in March 1953, by Big Mama Thornton.  It was recorded 5 times in 1953 alone, 26 times between then and 1964 and countless times since.

The original lyrics were re-written by Freddie Bell at the request of Bernie Lowe and the new version led to both a tour and a gig in Las Vegas for Freddie Bell and the Bellboys.  The best-known and most successful recording was made by Elvis Presley in 1956 and took 31 takes to perfect it.  It reached the No.1 spot on the Billboard Pop, Country and R&B Charts as well as No. 2 in the UK Top 40 charts, but his appearance on the Milton Berle Show created around 800,000 complaints from the watchers due to him gyrating on stage.

Jimi Hendrix also recorded it in the late 1960s for the BBC Sessions but it wasn’t released until 1998.  Jerry Leiber is said to have stated to Rolling Stone in 1987 that the first line actually means “You ain’t nothin’ but a motherf*cker.”

Patsy Brewer recordings
Pilot Master, 8061-37A (US 45)