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!
posted by flapjax at midnite (52 comments total)
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