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Elvis Presley Heartbreak Hotel

Rock and Roll

And then there’s the King of Rock and Roll, whose songs are perennials and always fresh more so than golden oldies.  “Heartbreak Hotel” was Elvis Presley’s his first #1 hit on the Billboard Top 100 Pop Chart and his first hit for his new label RCA Victor. That is, his first big nationwide hit on his new label. Elvis had been with Sun Records out of Memphis previously, but the hope was that RCA Victor would launch him nationally. It did. The song was #1 on the Country and Western Chart and was within the top five on the R&B Chart. It subsequently has been certified as 2x Platinum by the RIAA in 1999.

The song was written by  Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden. They had come across a report in The Miami Herald about a man who committed suicide by jumping out of a hotel window and left a note that only said, “I walk a lonely street.” Axton allegedly told Durden, “Everybody in the world has someone who cares. Let’s put a Heartbreak Hotel at the end of this lonely street.” Despite the sad content – or maybe because of it – Elvis took to the song and made it his own. The record has Elvis’ backup group at the time, which consisted of  Scotty Moore on electric guitar, Bill Black on double bass, and D.J. Fontana on drums. Also playing are Chet Atkins on acoustic guitar and Floyd Cramer on piano.

They had recorded the song in January, 1956. Two months later, by the time they performed it at the Louisiana Hayride and the reception was beyond enthusiastic.  Scotty Moore said that the “auditorium down there almost exploded…That’s the earliest I can remember saying, ‘What is going on?’”

Here are the lyrics to “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley:

“Well, since my baby left me
Well, I found a new place to dwell
Well, it’s down at the end of Lonely Street
At Heartbreak Hotel
Where I’ll be–where I get so lonely, baby
Well, I’m so lonely
I get so lonely, I could die

Although it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken-hearted lovers
To cry there in the gloom
And be so, where they’ll be so lonely, baby
Well, they’re so lonely
They’ll be so lonely, they could die

Well, the bellhop’s tears keep flowin’
And the desk clerk’s dressed in black
Well, they’ve been so long on Lonely Street
Well, they’ll never, they’ll never get back
And they’ll be so, where they’ll be so lonely, baby
Well, they’re so lonely
They’ll be so lonely, they could die

Well now, if your baby leaves you
And you’ve got tale to tell
Just take a walk down Lonely Street
To Heartbreak Hotel
And you will be, you will be, you will be lonely, baby
You’ll be so lonely
You’ll be so lonely, you could die

Well, though it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken-hearted lovers
To cry there in the gloom
And they’ll be so, they’ll be so lonely, baby
They’ll be so lonely
They’ll be so lonely, they could die”

For another song by Elvis: “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

If you would like to purchase and hear more music by Elvis Presley, please consider this: Elvis 75-Good Rockin’ Tonight

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley.

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7 Comments

  1. Great! This is one of my favorites by Elvis. I even heard it when it first came out. Rockabilly at its finest. You have a lot more about Elvis. I’ll check out the doo wop groups, too.

  2. Very good blog! I like the background information you give. Rock n roll will never die!

  3. Hi there! It’s such a sad story in the song but I just heard Elvis Presley’s voice. The king of rock and roll for me.

  4. Tanya Maxine says:

    Elvis will always be the king of rock and roll for me. this song made me cry.

  5. […] Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining Shine on the one that’s gone and left me blue” If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by Elvis Presley: “Heartbreak Hotel.” […]

  6. […] other songs by Elvis Presley: “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and […]

  7. Bob Phillips says:

    Remember buying it on those little 45 record holders that spun around!! THE KING!!!!

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