Hello, Elvis Presley owned the 1950’s beyond any doubt. In 1956 when his first Billboard Top 100 single record HEARTBREAK HOTEL became the #1 song in America…the “King Of Rock and Roll” ruled the charts. Elvis charted 11 #1 hit records on the Top 100 alone, 6 #1 Billboard R&B hits and 6 #1 Billboard Country and Western hits, all between 1956 and 1959…he was in the US Army between 1958 and 1960, so he was not able to perform live in the US…but we had his records and how the “King” could rock…and how tenderly he could melt your heart with a ballad.
His hist are legendary, but in this post I want to talk about the hit records of 1959. The songs that came out when Elvis was in the Army. The songs he recorded for single release. In November of 1958, RCA Victor released ONE NIGHT and I GOT STUNG as a single record. ONE NIGHT entered the Billboard Hot 100 on November 10 and I GOT STUNG entered the chart on week earlier on November 3, 1958. I GOT STUNG became a huge hit, rocking its way up the chart to #8. The rock and roll hit record was written by Aaron Schroeder and David Hill and recorded by Elvis on June 11, 1958 at RCA’s Nashville studios. It was the last song Elvis would record until March 20, 1960. I GOT STUNG charted at #1 in the UK. ONE NIGHT is the bluesy, ballad side, it charted at #4 on the Hot 100. ONE NIGHT also charted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart. ONE NIGHT was written by Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King. The single version was recorded by Elvis on February 23, 1957. Sales for the double-sided hit record were over 1 million copies, Elvis was awarded a “Gold Record” one of 50+ he would be awarded. ONE NIGHT remained on the Hot 100 for 17 weeks, I GOT STUNG remained on the chart for 16 weeks.
Elvis’s next single release entered the Hot 100 on March 23, 1959. His great recording of the Hank Snow country hit, (NOW AND THEN THERE’S) A FOOL SUCH AS I was recorded on June 10, 1958 at RCA’s Nashville studios, while on leave from the Army. His million-seller charted at #2 on the Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 15 weeks. The single was #1 in England for 5 weeks. The “B” side of the record is Elvis at his rock and roll best, I NEED YOUR LOVE TONIGHT. The song was recorded on June 10, 1958. I NEED YOUR LOVE TONIGHT was written for Elvis by Sid Wayne and Bix Reichner. The record charted on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks and climbed to #4. I NEED YOUR LOVE TONIGHT became another million-seller for Elvis.
The last single record to chart for Elvis in the 1950’s is his huge rock and roll classic, A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE. The single entered the Hot 100 on July 6, 1959. A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE was also recorded on June 10, 1958 while on leave from the Army. Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wayne wrote this classic and Elvis made it his last #1 hit of the 1950’s. The single held the #1 spot for 2 weeks and remained on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks. This song was sung by Elvis in many of his live performances. A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE sold over 1 million copies. On July 13, 1959 the “B” side of Elvis’s hit record made it chart debut. The beautiful ballad, MY WISH CAME TRUE was recorded on September 6, 1957. This classic ballad was written by Ivory Joe Hunter. The single charted at #12 on the Hot 100 and remained on the chart for 11 weeks. It also became a #15 Billboard R&B hit.
There they are the last three single records released in the 1950’s by Elvis Presley…His return from the Army was just around the bend and the 1960’s were ahead. There would be more classic hits to come, more #1’s, but the 1950’s…they were special…Elvis showed the world that rock and roll was not just a passing fancy…but as Danny & The Juniors said, “Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay”. Elvis opened the doors to all who would follow. He made it possible for the others who followed…the R&B artists, were now getting their music played…the teen-idols that would follow. John Lennon said it best, “BEFORE ELVIS, THERE WAS NOTHING”.