LPM 1515 Black Label Dog On Top
Side 1. Mean Woman Blues / (let me be your) Teddy Bear / Loving You / Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do / Lonesome Cowboy / Hot Dog / Party.
Side 2. Blueberry Hill / True Love / Don't Leave Me Now / Have I Told You Lately That I Love You / I Need You So.
Released in July 1957 this LP made Billboard’s Hot 100 chart at the number 1 slot, it would stay there for 10 weeks, and spend a total of 29 weeks in the chart.
This LP was also released in the UK in August 1957 in a 10’ format and was on RCA label (RCA RC 24001).
Elvis entered Radio Recorders studio in Hollywood on January 12th 1957, along with Scotty Moore , Bill Black and D.J. Fontana, also in attendance were The Jordanaires, he was there to do something he always wanted to do, record an EP of religious numbers, to be titled Peace In The Valley, along with some tracks for a single, however during the session he also laid down a song for the Loving You soundtrack, a Schroeder and Weisman number, Got A Lot O Livin’ To Do, which they nailed in nine takes, this was not really a rock’n’roll number, more a foot-tapper with lots of energy, and would appear as both first and last number in the movie.
On the 13th they started the session with Mean Woman Blues, a more poppier than rock’n’roll number, but is packed with life, and after 14 takes it was nailed, time was running out for the session at Radio Recorders and the next session was to be taped elsewhere, Colonel Parker had arranged with Paramount that the songs for Loving You should come from Elvis’ publishing firms, so with soundtrack sessions booked at a scoring stage at Paramount. The next location was larger, Elvis preferred a more intimate space like he had at Sun Studios or at Radio Recorders, this was also a place where people like his co-star Lizabeth Scott wandered in and out during recordings and where union rules meant that musicians were subject to enforced breaks, sun an environment didn't help the off the cuff creativity that had been part of Elvis’ music making, a style that producer Hal Wallis found fascinating. Progress was slow in this environment, Lonesome Cowboy (the original title for the movie) was recorded on January 15th after the move, this number would take 25 takes to achieve, and the version that wound up on the Loving You soundtrack was a splice of takes 20 and 25.
Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe’s (let me be your) Teddy Bear had a hit written all over it, the song oozes charm, once in the can it was an obvious choice for a new single, the movie’s title track was written specifically for the movie by Leiber and Stoller, and it proved harder to capture, however it would feature three times in the movie, but the versions Elvis and the band recorded in mid-January at Paramount were lacklustre.
Leiber and Stoller's Hot Dog was next, it came in at just 72 seconds, and took 17 takes to nail, but proved an endearing choice, it's up-tempo, fast pace and nifty work with the guitar.
It was back to Radio Recorders on the 19th January, as well as more work on the Peace In The Valley EP, Elvis also cut a version of the Fat's Domino number Blueberry Hill, the band couldn't just find the warmth of the original but Elvis vocals are sincere, albeit a little careful, as if he didn't want to make any mistakes on the track, next up was Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, a previous hit for Gene Autry.
The final Loving You recordings too place on the 23rd and 24th February, during extra sessions booked at Radio Recorders to fulfil Elvis' various obligations, including completing the soundtrack following the slow start during the previous sessions. Schroeder and Weisman's Don't Leave Me Now drew yet another fine vocal performance from Elvis against a slow swing beat, while the number was present on the soundtrack LP it didn't make the movie, but a revamped version did appear in Jailhouse Rock.
The next number indicated the depth of Elvis' musical interests and ambitions, Cole Porter's True Love, a 1956 smash hit for Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, after that the band tried I Need You So, a big hit on the rhythm & blues charts for Ivory Joe Hunter in 1950, it had been attempted the previous September, but it was rejected on that occasion, this time it provided the soundtrack with a slow, dramatic song featuring a fantastic vocal, the next day (24th February) a master was achieved for Loving You, secured in just 4 takes.
Released in July 1957, the Loving You Soundtrack proved yet another chart topper, but lessons were learnt during these sessions, which meant that Elvis and the Colonel would take more control in future recording sessions.
Mean Woman Blues - Recorded January 13th 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
(let me be your) Teddy Bear - Recorded January 18th 1957 Paramount Sound Stage, Hollywood
Loving You - Recorded February 24th 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do - Recorded January 12th 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Lonesome Cowboy - Recorded January 15th 1957 Paramount Sound Stage, Hollywood
Hot Dog - Recorded January 18th 1957 Paramount Sound Stage, Hollywood
Party - Recorded January 21st 1957 Paramount Sound Stage, Hollywood
Blueberry Hill - Recorded January 18th 1957 Paramount Sound Stage, Hollywood
True Love - Recorded February 23rd 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Don't Leave Me Now - Recorded February 23rd 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - Recorded January 19th 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
I Need You So – Recorded February 23rd 1957 Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Elvis Presley - Vocals, Guitar
Scotty Moore, Hilmer ‘Tiny’ Timbrell - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
D.J. Fontana – Drums
Dudley Brooks, Hoyt Hawkins, Gordon Stoker - Piano
George Fields - Harmonica
The Jordanaires - Vocals
US - 1
UK - 1
US - July 1957
UK - October 1957