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Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock

The film Jailhouse Rock premiered on October 17, 1957, in Memphis, Tennesse. The movie went nationwide a little bit later on November 8, 1957. However, the single  of Elvis Presley singing “Jailhouse Rock” came out a little bit earlier on September 24, 1957, to build excitement.

The song “Jailhouse Rock” was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  In 1957 it went to #1 on the U.S.Pop Chart, the R&B Chart, the Country & Western Chart, and the U.K. Chart. The song is on Rolling Stone‘s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.” The record was backed with “Treat Me Nice,” which also charted well.

The dance sequence was the first scene shot for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock, which starred Elvis, Judy Tyler (who was Princess Summerfall Winterspsring on Howdy Doody), and Mickey Shaughnessy.  Elvis gave the number all he had. Unfortunately, he aspirated a temporary cap on one of his teeth. It lodged in his lung and required surgery to be removed. He was hoarse for a few days and recovered. Strangely enough, where life imitates art, there is a scene in the movie where the character Elvis played, Vince Everett, gets punched in the throat and loses his voice. They wait to see if he could sing again…and he could.

Here are the lyrics to “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley:

“The warden threw a party in the county jail
The prison band was there and they began to wail
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing
You should’ve heard them knocked-out jailbirds sing

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone
Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang
The whole rhythm section was the purple gang

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Number forty-seven said to number three
‘You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me’

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Sad sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, ‘Hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair’

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Shifty Henry said to Bugs, ‘For Heaven’s sake
No one’s lookin’; now’s our chance to make a break’
Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, ‘Nix, nix
I want to stick around a while and get my kicks’

Let’s rock; everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock

Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Daéncin’ to the Jailhouse Rock”

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 an all-request Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for our Youtube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop.

P.S. If you want to see Elvis perform “Jailhouse Rock” in the movie:

1 Comment

  1. bob says:

    More interesting stuff on daily doo wop. thanks. I remember Princess summer fall winter spring but i didn’t know she was in Jailhouse rock. Sadly, I see that she was killed in an auto accident at the age of 24. I liked Elvis but I was never a big fan. I have a 4 album set on RCA called Elvis’s Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits.

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