Little Sex, Drugs, And Rock And Roll Movement

1506 words - 6 pages

In today’s world, thrusting your hips on national television wouldn’t be an issue for most people. We have songs that use profanity, degrade women, men, children, and even animals. If you jump back almost 70 years, moving your hips back and forth was the equivalence of this. Someone always wanted to push the boundaries and see how far they could go until someone said stop. Elvis did just that. He showed the world what a little sex, drugs, and rock and roll could do for society. But Elvis couldn’t have done this new and controversial movement alone. He needed help. He needed music and that music was the song “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.” This song progressed what live entertainment meant. Parents through up their arms in a rage, and teens jumped to their feet to see every “vulgar” movement. This song left a never-ending impact on society and is still used today throughout the entertainment industry. Most people believe that the song, “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog,” was originated by Elvis, this is incorrect. The song went through numerous revisions in order to get to its final destination.
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were young songwriters that had the dream of making it big. They are wrote numerous songs that had been played in some garages, but nothing that was sticking to the mainstream. That was until they came across Willie Mae “Big Mamma” Thornton. She was an African American woman that had a passion for Jazz. She had been roughed up with scares on her face and a few extra pounds. When Leiber and Stoller met her they didn’t really know what to say, they had not seen anything truly like it. This inspired them to originally write the song. They wanted the song to portray a woman telling her man to take a walk. This is how “Big Mamma” came across to them. As they began to write the song they wanted to stay true to the story of Big Mama. They did this by keeping the song slow. The words “you ain’t nothing but a hound dog” are code for a man that expected his women to care for him at all times. Leiber and Stoller didn’t waste any time trying to write the song. They completed it in less than 30 minutes. After it was completed, they took it to their producer and had Big Mama sing it for them. They immediately approved. They recorded the song and it was released in 1953 after only doing two takes.2 This made Big Mamma the first person to ever record the song on record.1 The song conquered the billboard charts for almost 14 weeks. It then went on to sell over 1,000,000 copies. As the song climbed up to the top it lacked one thing, the young and foolish. It’s main listeners were mostly African Americans at the time. As the song progressed so did the interest in covering it.
Hound dog gained national attention from people all over the world. One person that noticed this song was Bernie Lowe.3 When he first heard the song, he saw potential. He also noticed that the song wasn’t ‘mainstream’ enough for anyone to actually pick up and...

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