Why the Original Title of Elvis Presley’s Movie ‘Jailhouse Rock’ Got Changed

Elvis Presley’s movie ‘Jailhouse Rock’ once had a completely different title. One of Elvis’ regular songwriters revealed why the film’s original name was abandoned.

Some movies are so iconic it’s hard to imagine that they were originally going to be radically different. Elvis Presley‘s movie Jailhouse Rock once had a completely different title. One of Elvis’ regular songwriters revealed why the film’s initial name was abandoned. In addition, he discussed what he thought about Jailhouse Rock.

Elvis Presley’s movie ‘Jailhouse Rock’ could have been called ‘Ghost of a Chance’

Mike Stoller co-wrote several Elvis tunes, including “Hound Dog,” “Bossa Nova Baby,” “Little Egypt,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” During a 2022 interview with Variety, Stoller revealed the first title of the movie Jailhouse Rock was abandoned in favor of the title of his song.

“I think [the original title] was Ghost of a Chance,” he said. “That changed, I think, as soon as they heard the initial recording. Which is not the one in the film, because the one in the film was blown out and had a bigger orchestra.” Another possible title for the film was The Hard Way.

Mike Stoller didn’t like the film as much as he liked another Elvis Presley movie

Subsequently, Stoller contrasted the single version of “Jailhouse Rock” with the version heard in the movie. “The single record was done with The Jordanaires and with D.J. Fontana on drums and Scotty Moore on guitar, and Bill Black, who passed away after that, on the upright bass,” he said. “They had a piano player, Duddly Brooks, on the session. I played on one of the songs from those sessions, but I wasn’t that good of a player.”

Subsequently, Stoller revealed what he thought about the movie. “I liked Jailhouse Rock, but I don’t think it was a great movie,” he said. “But I thought the next one was pretty good, King Creole. It was a better script, better story. But they all tended to be the same kind of story.” Notably, King Creole was helmed by Michael Curtiz, the director of the classic romance Casablanca.

How the movie ‘Jailhouse Rock’ and its title song changed the world

The scene of Elvis performing the title song from the film Jailhouse Rock became one of the most iconic images of the singer’s career. It inspires numerous pieces of merchandise to this day. In addition, the boy band One Direction partly recreated the scene for their music video “Kiss You.”

Regardless of what Stoller thought of the film Jailhouse Rock, its soundtrack was huge. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits says the title track was No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 for seven weeks. The tune appeared on the greatest hits album Elvis: 30 No. 1 Hits. That album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for three weeks, spending a total of 170 weeks on the chart.

“Jailhouse Rock” remains influential. Eminem and CeeLo Green sampled the tune for their collaboration “The King and I.” In the track, Eminem compares and contrasts himself with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In addition, “Jailhouse Rock” inspired covers by Coven, ZZ Top, and Mötley Crüe.

“Jailhouse Rock” is a great song and it changed the title of a certain film.

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