Elvis Presley charted this legendary multi-million selling single record on July 18, 1960. The record became his second #1 hit single after his return home from a two-year tour of duty in the US Army. The first #1 was STUCK ON YOU in April of 1960 and just three months later, IT’S NOW OR NEVER began its climb up the Billboard Hot 100.
The melody of the song is adapted from the Italian standard O SOLE MIO, but the inspiration for the song actually came from the song THERE’S NO TOMORROW a hit for Tony Martin, in 1949. The writers of this great Elvis recording are Wally Gold and Aaron Schroeder. The single record climbed right to the top of the Hot 100, holding the #1 spot for 5 weeks. In the UK it spent 8 weeks at #1 on the UK Singles Chart. The single version of IT’S NOW OR NEVER sold over 25 million copies worldwide, his biggest international single record ever. It charted at #7 on the Billboard R&B singles chart.
In early 2005 the single was re-released in the UK and again became a #1 hit record on the UK Singles Chart for 1 week in February of 2005.
On July 25, 1960 the flip-side of IT’S NOW OR NEVER…A MESS OF BLUES…made its Hot 100 chart debut. The song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman charted at #32 and remained on the chart for 11 weeks. It’s Elvis, at his bluesy best. The huge success of IT’S NOW OR NEVER and its heavy air-play most likely cost A MESS OF BLUES some air time, or this wonderful blues recording most likely would have charted higher than it did.
Till the next time—Joe