2 of Elvis Presley’s 1960s Songs Were Jokes Written for Another Band

Two of Elvis Presley‘s songs were jokes written for a 1960s R&B group. During an interview, the co-writer of the songs revealed what the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll thought about the tunes. Sadly, one of the tracks features some stereotypes.

The Coasters originally sang 2 of Elvis Presley’s 1960s songs

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were a songwriting duo known for writing Elvis songs such as “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “She’s Not You.” They also penned tracks for the R&B group The Coasters. During a 2020 interview with Elvis Australia, Stoller discussed how two Elvis songs were originally by The Coasters.

“‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ and ‘Little Egypt’ were both written for The Coasters, who were sort of our alter egos,” he remembered. “We wrote funny songs for them. Jerry’s the lyricist and I write the music, but we work closely with each other on everything. The Coasters were really our voice. ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ wasn’t a big hit for The Coasters. So we said, ‘Well, maybe Elvis could do it,’ and be obviously liked it.”

What Mike Stoller thought about songs the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll covered

Subsequently, Stoller discussed whether the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll sang songs Leiber and Stoller wrote for him better than cover songs. “That’s hard to say,” he said. “I think Elvis’ performance of the songs that we wrote for him were generally better than those that were written for someone else. ‘Love Me’ is an exception. It was a great performance.

“I like the original version of ‘Bossa Nova Baby’ done by Tippie & the Clovers better than Elvis’ version,” he added. “It’s got a Latin feel and it had certain elements of bossa nova, but it wasn’t the real thing. The Clovers’ version was much cooler than Elvis’ version, which was in the film Fun in Acapulco.”

How Elvis Presley’s ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ and ‘Little Egypt’ performed on the charts

“Girls! Girls! Girls!” didn’t chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on the soundtrack album for the film Girls! Girls! Girls!, which did not chart on the Billboard 200 either. The most famous song on the soundtrack isn’t the title song. It’s “Return to Sender,” which peaked at No. 2 in the United States.

“Little Egypt” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. “Little Egypt” became part of the soundtrack for the movie Roustabout. That soundtrack became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard 200 for a week, lasting on the chart for a total of 27 weeks. While “Little Egypt” gained some prominence due to its appearance on a famous soundtrack, its use of stereotypes has aged poorly. It fetishizes Egyptian culture in a way that’s othering.

“Girls! Girls! Girls!” and “Little Egypt” aren’t famous anymore but they both have complex backstories.

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