ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s August 13 – the 225th day of the year. And on this day in 1952, one of the biggest and most recognizable pop songs in history, “Hound Dog,” was recorded for the first time, but not Elvis Presley’s version.
The song is so associated with Elvis that most people assume it’s a Presley original.
The song was Elvis’ longest running No. 1 hit at 11 weeks, but that happened four years after it was first recorded by rhythm and blues singer Ellie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton.
It was a smash it for her, selling two million copies, but it collected little profit.
But it wasn’t Thornton’s version that Elvis heard – it was Freddie Bell and the Bellboys.
In 1956, Presley heard the group performing “Hound Dog” and added it to his repertoire immediately.
Bell changed the original lyrics to include “cryin’ all the time” and “You ain’t never caught a rabbit.”
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