Elvis Presley

Hound Dog

Composed by Otis Blackwell / Elvis Presley

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 Presley [1956] 1956 RCA / BMG 0:00
Elvis' Golden Records 1958 RCA 2:17
No Image 1969 RCA
Elvis' 50 Worldwide Gold Award Hits, Vol. 1 1970 RCA 2:15
No Image 1972 RCA
Elvis Forever [1974] 1974 RCA
Today 1975 BMG 0:00
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
20 Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1981 RCA
No Image 1983 RCA
Rocker 1984 RCA 2:16
All Time Greatest Hits 1986 BMG International 2:17
The Number One Hits 1987 RCA 2:14
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Elvis Presley - 1954-1961 1988 2:17
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
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
Elvis '56 1996 BMG Heritage / RCA 2:17
Classic Elvis 1997 RCA Camden 2:17
No Image 1997
Original Cast Recording
RCA 2:43
Platinum: A Life in Music 1997 RCA 2:35
24 Karat Hits! 1997 Analogue Productions / RCA 2:18
Greatest Jukebox Hits 1997 RCA 2:15
WODS Oldies 103 Boston, Vol. 1: The 50's - Tenth Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 2:12
Rock N' Roll Legends 1997
Various Artists
Mega Stars 2:30
The Elvis Presley Collection: Rock 'N' Roll [Time-Life] 1997 Time / Life Music
A Golden Celebration 1998 RCA 2:46
A Touch of Platinum 1998 RCA 2:35
All the Best, Vol. 1-2 1999 BMG International 4:11
Elvis Shaped CD Box 1999 Eclipse Music Group 2:16
Artist of the Century 1999 RCA 2:15
No Image 1999 RCA 2:16
Rockin' 1999 BMG International 2:18
Rock & Roll 1999 BMG 2:16
The Essential Elvis Presley [Red X] 1999 Red X 3:01
Elvis 2000 2000 BMG International 2:16
Best of Artist of the Century 2000 RCA 2:16
The 50 Greatest Hits 2000 RCA 2:17
Meer Dan Het Beste Van Elvis Presley 2001 BMG International 2:16
Swedish Hit Collection 2001 BMG International 2:16
No Image 2001 RCA 2:46
No Image 2001 Collectables
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
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:15
Everything About Elvis [CD & Book] 2002 Griffin / Lakeshore Records 2:24
Maybellene 2002 Time Music 2:24
Today, Tomorrow & Forever 2002 RCA 2:45
Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits 2002 RCA 2:15
King of Rock 'n' Roll [Platinum] 2002 Platinum Collection 2:32
I Was the One [SS] 2003 SS Music 2:33
Elvis: Close Up 2003 BMG Heritage / RCA 1:20
The Louisiana Hayride Shows 2004 Goldies 4:04
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:15
Garfield: The Movie 2004
Original Soundtrack
Bulletproof / Rykodisc 2:15
Elvis Forever [2004] 2004 RCA
Big Boss Man 2005 Follow That Dream Records 1:31
Hitstory 2005 Sony Music Distribution 2:19
Elvis #1 Singles 2006 RCA / Sony BMG 2:05
Elvis Rock 2006 Sony BMG / RCA 2:17
The Collection: Elvis Presley/Elvis/Loving You 2006 SMG / Sony BMG 2:17
The Essential Elvis Presley [RCA/Sony BMG] 2007 RCA 2:17
Collections, Vol. 1 2007 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:14
Early Elvis 2007 RCA / Sony BMG / Sony Music Distribution 2:17
The Rock 'N' Roll Explosion: 120 Hits That Rocked the World 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:16
Introducing Elvis 2007 Sony BMG 2:17
No Image 2007 RCA 2:13
Dutch Collection 2007 BMG / RCA 2:15
1956 British Hit Parade: Britain's Greatest Hits, Vol. 5, Pt. 2 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:17
America's Greatest Hits, Vol. 8: 1957 2008
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:17
The Complete '56 Sessions 2008 Chrome Dreams 2:44
They Sold a Million [EMI] 2009
Various Artists
Virgin 2:15
No Image 2009 Legacy / RCA 2:19
The Rock 'n Roll [Box Set] 2009
Various Artists
Music & Melody 2:16
Elvis 75 2009 Legacy / RCA / Sony Legacy 2:17
Hits of the ‘50s 2010 Jasmine Records 2:17
No Image 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Sony Music Entertainment 2:16
Then: 1956 2010
Various Artists
Fantastic Voyage 2:17
Purely Rockabilly 2010
Various Artists
Delta Leisure Group / Purely 2:15
Absolutely Hits of 50's 2011
Various Artists
Delta Leisure Group / Music Digital 2:15
Absolutely Rock 'n' Roll 2011
Various Artists
Delta Leisure Group / Music Digital 2:17
Young Man with the Big Beat: The Complete 1956 Masters 2011 Legacy / RCA / RCA Victor 4:30
Legend: Elvis Presley-100 Classic Songs 2012 HLI
Pure... 50s 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:16
No Image 2012 Puzzled Records
The Essential Collection [Play 24-7] 2012 Play 24-7 2:17
Saturday Night Party: Rock 'n' Roll Party, Vol. 2 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:16
The Greatest Ever Rock 'N' Roll 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:18
The 1950s 2014 Sony Legacy 2:19
#1 Hits of the 50s [Music & Melody]
Various Artists
Music & Melody 2:17
300 Hits: Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 2:16
300 Hits: Saturday Night Party
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 2:16
Absolutely Rockabilly
Various Artists
Delta Leisure Group / Music Digital 2:15
America's Greatest Hits, Vol. 7: 1956
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:16
Beatles Beginnings, Vol. 8: The Quarrymen Repertoire
Various Artists
Rhythm & Blues 2:17
Birthday Celebration: 75th ZYX 2:17
Country Number Ones of the 50s
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:16
Don't Be Cruel [Membran] Membran 2:16
No Image Tandem.Mu 2:17
Elvis: Gold Not Now Music 2:17
Flashback Sony Music Entertainment 2:18
Four of a Kind: 200 Classic Songs (From Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry)
Various Artists
HLI
Four of a Kind: 200 Classic Songs (From Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry)
Various Artists
HLI
Four of a Kind: 200 Classic Songs (from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash and Chuck Berry)
Various Artists
HLI
Greatest Hits of the 50s [ZYX]
Various Artists
2:17
Hound Dog
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:16
Keep a Rockin'
Various Artists
Cherished Records
Rock & Roll Legend [Platinum Legends] Platinum Legends 2:16
Rock 'n' Roll Forever: Best of the 50's
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:16
Rock 'n' Roll USA, Vol. 1: 1954-1959
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:16
Rock 'n' Roll [Bella Musica]
Various Artists
Bella Musica
No Image
Various Artists
No Image HMV
The Best of School Disco.com: 10th Anniversary
Various Artists
EMI 2:15
The Golden Rock N' Roll Collection One
Various Artists
Scana
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:18
The History of Rock 'n' Roll, Vol. 2 [Excalibur]
Various Artists
Excalibur
The Rock 'N' Roll Years Dance Street 2:16