Fifty years in the jailhouse.
May 2, 2007 6:47 AM Subscribe
Fifty years ago today Elvis Presley recorded what would prove to be one of the iconic standards of the rock'n'roll canon, Leiber and Stoller's Jailhouse Rock. The song's sly allusions ("number 47 said to number three, you're the cutest jailbird I ever did see") to same-sex prison liaisons went unnoticed (or at least uncommented on) at the time, and it stayed a US #1 radio hit for 7 weeks straight. The unisex production number [youtube] from the movie of the same name has come to be recognized as one of the grandfathers of the pop/rock video. A black-leather-clad, still-svelte Presley performed the song on his 1968 [youtube] "comeback" TV special, and was singing it (slurred delivery, sequins and all) right up into 1977 [youtube], the year of his death. In 1980 John Belushi and company turned in a fine version [youtube] as the closer to the Blues Brothers movie, and the song was a regular feature of their live [youtube] shows as well. Happy 50th birthday, Jailhouse Rock!
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