Elvis Presley’s Songwriter Says 1 of His Hits Deserves More Attention

The co-writer of “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Bossa Nova Baby” said one of Elvis Presley’s hits needs more recognition.

One writer co-wrote several of Elvis Presley‘s hits. Afterward, he named one of the Elvis ballads he thought deserved more attention, and it’s not a song that’s aged very well. While the song was a massive hit in the 1950s, it’s been overshadowed by some of the singer’s other hits today.

The writer of several Elvis Presley hits didn’t like his version of ‘Hound Dog’

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were a songwriting duo known for writing 1950s and 1960s hits such as The Drifters’ “On Broadway,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” and Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” They also co-wrote Elvis’ “Hound Dog,” “Bossa Nova Baby,” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

During a 2022 interview with Variety, Stoller discussed the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “I got to really appreciate Elvis,” he said. “He was a fabulous singer, fabulous performer, and very special … and he’s very hot, again, still. I didn’t like ‘Hound Dog,’ but I loved the way he did our other songs. And we got to demonstrate the others for him.”

Stoller was asked to name an Elvis song he wrote that deserves more recognition. “I very much like the ballad ‘Don’t,’ which was also written on demand, so to speak, over a weekend,” he revealed.

‘Don’t’ became a No. 1 hit when it was released as a double A-side with another song

Stoller revealed what he thought about working with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and certain other artists. “I mean, we enjoyed being in the studio with Elvis; we enjoyed being in the studio with The Drifters, with Ben E. King, with Peggy Lee,” he said. “But the most fun we ever had in the studio working was with The Coasters.”

According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, “Don’t” was released as a double A-side with “I Beg of You.” Notably, “Don’t” was his first ballad to serve as an A-side since the seminal “Love Me Tender.” “Don’t” and “I Beg of You” topped the Billboard Top 100 for a whopping five weeks.

Why ‘Don’t’ hasn’t stuck around the way other Elvis Presley songs have

“Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” remain indelible classics and they impact music to this day. For example, Doja Cat sampled the former for her hit “Vegas” while Eminem and CeeLo Green sampled the latter for the song “The King and I.” On the other hand, “Don’t” is mostly forgotten.

Perhaps it’s because “Don’t” is a little too slow for modern tastes. Of course, Elvis proved over and over again he could use a slower tempo to show off his impeccable vocals. The problem might be the lyrics. In the song, Elvis repeatedly asks a woman to stop refusing his advances. In the modern era, it’s easy to understand “Don’t” as problematic.

Stoller likes “Don’t” but it doesn’t fit well with modern values.

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