Elvis Presley

Hound Dog

Composed by Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller

Song Review by

One of the songs that is forever tied to the rise of rock & roll is Elvis Presley's version of "Hound Dog." Originally written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller for rhythm & blues singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, the tune in its original incarnation was a modified rhumba, fueled on the original recording by an extended guitar solo from Pete Lewis. The popularity of Big Mama's version inspired an answer record on Sun by Rufus Thomas, "Bear Cat," sounding close enough to the original to inspire a lawsuit. Reportedly, Elvis got his inspiration to cover the song when he saw Freddie Bell & the Bellboys doing it in Las Vegas on an early ill-fated tour in 1956. But what Elvis did with it was entirely new and different; the beat was modified to a driving rock & roll rhythm with off-time handclaps provided by his backing singers, the Jordanaires. The guitar breaks were now kept to two 12-bar solo bursts, played effectively by Scotty Moore and, above all, the song was infused with Presley's manic vocal energy. The song blew the rock & roll movement through the roof, becoming a lightning rod for critics of the music as well as a rallying cry for the nation's youth movement. It's been successfully covered by Jerry Lee Lewis and others over the years, but nothing beats Presley's version, as emblematic a song from the '50s as you're likely to come across.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1956 RCA
Elvis [1956] 1956 BMG Heritage 2:17
Elvis' Golden Records 1958 BMG / BMG International / RCA 2:17
No Image 1968 SMG
NBC-TV Special ['68 Comeback] 1968 BMG International 0:55
The '68 Comeback Special [DVD/Video] 1968 Lightyear Video
Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada 1970 BMG International 1:53
Elvis' 50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Vol. 1 1970 RCA 2:15
That's the Way It Is 1970 RCA 2:46
As Recorded at Madison Square Garden 1972 RCA
Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite 1973 BMG 2:27
No Image 1975 Arcade Music
50 Years-50 Hits 1976 BMG 2:15
No Image 1978
The '56 Sessions 1978 RCA
Elvis Sings Leiber & Stoller 1980 RCA
Elvis Aron Presley 1980 RCA 3:24
This Is Elvis 1981 RCA
No Image 1981 Ariola Express
No Image 1983
No Image 1984 Camden
Don't Be Cruel 1986 Documents 2:15
The Top Ten Hits 1987 RCA 2:14
The Alternate Aloha 1988 Sony BMG / RCA
Jailhouse Rock [Ariola Express] 1989 Ariola Express
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1956 1989
Various Artists
Rhino 2:18
Heartbreak Hotel & Other Hits 1990 RCA 2:14
The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters 1992 RCA 2:16
Aloha from Hawaii 1992 BMG 1:06
Forrest Gump 1994
Original Soundtrack
Epic 2:16
His Life and Music 1995 Life Times & Music 2:13
Gold: The Very Best of the King 1995 BMG International 2:16
The Legend Begins [Essential Gold] 1995 Essential Gold 3:13
The Legend Begins [Magnum] 1996 Magnum Force / Magnum 10:16
Elvis '56 1996 RCA 2:16
Louisiana Hayride 1996 Branson Gold 3:27
It's Now or Never [Zound] 1996 Zounds Music / Zound
Great Elvis Presley Live 1997 Goldies 2:20
An Afternoon in the Garden 1997 RCA 2:06
Classic Elvis 1997 RCA Camden 2:17
No Image 1997
Original Cast Recording
RCA 2:43
Hayride 1997 Prism Entertainment 2:35
Greatest Jukebox Hits 1997 RCA 2:15
WODS Oldies 103 Boston, Vol. 1: The 50's - Tenth Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 2:15
The Elvis Presley Collection: Rock 'N' Roll [Time-Life] 1997 Time/Life Music
A Golden Celebration 1998 RCA 1:43
Blue Suede Shoes: The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Collection [BMG] 1998 BMG 2:16
A Touch of Platinum 1998 RCA 2:35
Memories: The '68 Comeback Special 1998 RCA 0:47
All the Best, Vol. 1-2 1999 BMG International 4:11
Remembering Elvis: Louisiana Hayrides & Tribute 1999 Double Gold 4:04
Concert 1999 World Tour 1999 BMG 2:05
Burning Love 1999 BMG
No Image 1999 RCA 2:15
Rockin' 1999 BMG International 2:18
Elvis Presley '55 1999 Delta Distribution 2:23
No Image 2000 The Magic Collection
Elvis 2000 2000 BMG International 2:16
Best of Artist of the Century 2000 BMG
Good Rockin' Tonight: Evolution of Elvis Presley, Vol. 1 & 2  - The Complete Louisiana 2000 Charly Records 2:24
Tucson '76 2000 Follow That Dream Records
Swedish Hit Collection 2001 BMG International 2:16
Playing with Fire: At the Louisiana Hayride 2001 Synergie 3:21
Radio Songs 2001
Various Artists
Global TV 2:15
That's the Way It Was 2001 Follow That Dream Records
Live in Vegas 2001 RCA 3:58
Greatest Hits: Live 2001 BMG
The Hillbilly Cat [Magnum] 2001 Magnum (UK) / Magnum 3:20
No Image 2001 Collectables
The Very Best of Love 2001 Madacy Distribution / Madacy
It's Midnight 2001 Follow That Dream Records
L' Essentiel [German] [2002] 2002 BMG 2:17
Jukebox Hits of the '50s [Collectables] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:15
The Elvis Broadcasts on Air 2002 Stardust Records 3:24
Everything About Elvis [CD & Book] 2002 Griffin / Lakeshore Records 2:24
Maybellene 2002 Time Music 2:24
Today, Tomorrow & Forever 2002 RCA 2:45
The Great Performances, Vol. 3 2002 Rhino
Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits 2002 BMG / RCA
The Early Recordings 2002 Charly Records 2:23
Elvis at the International 2003 BMG International 1:28
Live at the Louisiana Hayride 2003 Dynamic 2:31
I Was the One [SS] 2003 SS Music 2:33
Elvis: Close Up 2003 BMG Heritage / RCA 1:20
Capital Gold: Rock & Roll Legends 2003
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Louisiana Hayride and Interviews with Elvis 2003 Essential Gold 2:31
The Louisiana Hayride Shows 2004 Goldies
New Year's Eve 1976 2004 Follow That Dream Records
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:15
Impossible Dream 2004 Follow That Dream Records 1:02
Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite [DVD Deluxe Edition] 2004 BMG Heritage
Takin' Tahoe Tonight 2004 Follow That Dream Records
Polk Salad Annie 2004 Follow That Dream Records 2:38
Elvis Forever [2004] 2004 RCA
The Legend Live 2004 Phantom Import Distribution
Rockin' Across Texas 2005 Follow That Dream Records 3:00
Rehearsals 2005 RCA
All Shook Up 2005 BMG
No Image 2005 Pop Legends
Concert Anthology 1954-1956 2005 Master Classics 3:24
Summer Festival 72 [Bonus Tracks] 2005 Follow That Dream Records
Hitstory 2005 Sony BMG 2:15
Elvis #1 Singles 2006 RCA / Sony BMG 2:05
Most Famous Hits: Early Years [DVD] 2006
Dove Collection [Prism Platinum] 2006 Prism Leisure Corporation (UK)
The Collection: Elvis Presley/Elvis/Loving You 2006 Legacy / RCA 2:17
No Image 2006 RCA
Ultimate Roots of Rock and Roll 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:17
Elvis at the Hayride 2006 Efr / CBUJ Distribution 4:04
The Early Years [DVD/CD] 2006 Braun/Whe 1:43
The Essential Elvis Presley [RCA/Sony BMG] 2007 Legacy 2:16
Hit Parade 1956 2007
Various Artists
Dynamic Nostalgia / Dynamic 2:14
Live in L.A. 2007 Follow That Dream Records 2:01
The Greatest Country Hits of 1956 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:16
Love Me [Goldies] 2007 Goldies
The  Roots of Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 3 2007
Various Artists
Hallmark / Hallmark Recordings 2:14
That's Alright 2007 Snapper 2:16
Collections, Vol. 1 2007 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:14
Early Elvis 2007 RCA / Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 2:17
No Image 2007 RCA 2:13
Hound Dog 2007 Sony Music Distribution 2:17
Elvis #1 Hit Performances 2007 RCA
America's Greatest Hits [Acrobat] 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:16
The Birth of the King 1954-1956 2007 Saga All Stars 2:17
The Original Hit Albums 2007 Not Now Music
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 2:17
Forever 2008 BMG / Sony BMG
The Sound of the 50s: America 2008
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:19
Rock 'N' Roll: The Essential Collection 2008
Various Artists
Avid Jazz / West End Records 2:16
Elvis: The Early Recordings 2008 ZYX Music 2:16
The Complete '56 Sessions 2008 Chrome Dreams 2:19
No Image 2008 Commercial Sales / Sony BMG 2:17
Greatest Hits [Steel Box Collection] 2008 Commercial Canada / RCA / Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 2:14
Number One Hits: 66 US Hits of the 50's 2008
Various Artists
Hallmark Recordings 2:14
No Image 2008 Golden Stars
Music of My Life: Golden Decade, Vol. 18 (1956) 2008
Various Artists
Membran 2:14
No Image 2008 Noel
The Rock 'N' Roll Roadshow 2008
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:17
No Image 2008 Madison Records 1:17
Kings of Rock 'n' Roll [Not Now] 2009
Various Artists
Not Now Music 2:17
No Image 2009 Legacy / RCA / RCA/Legacy 2:19
Elvis Presley [Music Digital] 2009 Music Digital / Delta Distribution
Best BMG
No Image Tandem.Mu 2:17
Rock Hits Success 2:15
No Image
Various Artists
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