ELVIS PRESLEY–“TEDDY BEAR”/ “LOVING YOU”

Hello,  Following the huge success of ALL SHOOK UP in April of 1957 Elvis Presley was ready for a new motion picture to be released and a new follow-up single.  It would have to be something special because ALL SHOOK UP was a multi-million seller, a #1 hit for 9 weeks and remained in the Billboard Top 100 for 30 weeks.

Elvis Presley’s new movie was “LOVING YOU” the film premiered in Memphis on July 9, 1957, it was Elvis’s first color film.  Making their screen debuts in the movie were Scotty Moore, Bill Black, D.J. Fontana, Vernon and Gladys Presley and the Jordanaires.  A month before the films release, RCA Victor Records released a new single record from Elvis.  The single was (Let Me Be Your) TEDDY BEAR along with the title song from the movie LOVING YOU.  On June 24, 1957 both side of the record made their Billboard Top 100 debut.  TEDDY BEAR exploded right from the start and didn’t stop until it became the #1 song in the USA, on July 15, 1957, chasing Pat Boone’s LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND out of the top spot.  TEDDY BEAR became the #1 song for 7 weeks on the Top 100, #1 on the Billboard Country and R&B charts and #1 on the Cashbox magazine’s best-selling record chart.  TEDDY BEAR remained on the Billboard Top 100 for 25 weeks and became a multi-million selling single.

TEDDY BEAR was written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe and was written for Elvis because of his fondness for teddy bears.  TEDDY BEAR was released on both 45RPM and 78RPM single records and was a short song, at just 1:46.  The “B” side of the record LOVING YOU was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  The single charted at #20 on the Top 100, remaining on the chart for 22 weeks and is a classic love song that is a powerful as any from the era.  LOVING YOU charted on the Billboard R&B chart with TEDDY BEAR at #1 and was a #15 hit on the Billboard Country chart.

TEDDY BEAR became Elvis’s  7th #1 Billboard Top 100 single and the third of 4 #1s he would have in 1957.  It would also be his 4th #1 Billboard R&B single and his 7th Billboard Country single.  He was just getting started!!!  The movie soundtrack album of LOVING YOU became the #1 album on the Billboard Album chart, remaining at #1 for 10 weeks and was certified gold.  There were also two EP’s (Extended Play albums) LOVING YOU-VOL 1, which included both sides of the single, charted at #1 for 5 weeks and was on the EP chart for 32 weeks.  LOVING YOU-VOL 2, charted at #4 and was on the chart for 7 weeks.  So, back to the opening statement, Elvis needed a special song to follow ALL SHOOK UP …..and he sure did it.

Over the years many artists have covered TEDDY BEAR, from Pat Boone, Tanya Tucker, ZZ Top, Donna Loren and others.  The kings music lives on…a tribute to the great talent that is ELVIS PRESLEY.

Till the next time—Joe

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