Elvis Presley Movies: Love Me Tender

Elvis Movie #1
Twentieth Century Fox, 1956

Elvis Presleys Opening Night for Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender” is a song recorded by Elvis Presley and published by Elvis Presley Music, adapted from the tune of “Aura Lee” (or “Aura Lea”), a sentimental Civil War ballad with music by George R. Poulton and words by W.W. Fosdick. “Aura Lee” was published in 1861 and this Civil War song later became popular with college glee clubs and barbershop quartets. It was also sung at the U.S.Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Elvis Presley performed “Love Me Tender” on The Ed Sullivan Showon September 9, 1956, shortly before the single’s release and about a month before the movie, Love Me Tender, was released, for which the song was originally recorded. On the following day, RCA received 1 million advance orders, making it a gold record before it was even released. The studio, 20th Century Fox, originally wanted to call the movie The Reno Brothers but instead re-titled it Love Me Tender to capitalize on the song’s popularity.

Movie producer Hal Wallis  would not allow Presley’s regular band (Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D.J. Fontana) to play on the soundtrack. Instead, The Ken Darby Trio provided the musical backing with Red Robinson on drums, Charles Prescott on bass, Vita Mumolo on guitar, and Jon Dodson on background vocals, with Presley providing only lead vocals.

The song is credited to Presley and Vera Matson because of the publishing agreement reached for the assignment of royalties, but the principal writer of the lyrics was Ken Darby (Matson’s husband). The song was published by Elvis Presley Music. Darby also adapted the Civil War tune, which was in the public domain. When asked why he credited his wife as co-songwriter along with Presley, Darby responded, “Because she didn’t write it either.”

Presley received co-songwriting credit due to his Hill & Range publishing deal which demanded songwriters concede 50 percent of the credit of their song if they wanted Presley to record it; Presley never wrote any of his own songs according to Peter Guralnick. But he did co-write “You’ll Be Gone” and “That’s Someone You Never Forget”. As with nearly all his early RCA recordings, Presley took control in the studio despite not being credited as producer. He would regularly change arrangements and lyrics to the point the original song was barely recognizable. This, arguably, justified the cowriting credit in this case.

Elvis Presley - Love Me Tender Movie Poster

Elvis in Love Me Tender


A Look at Love Me Tender:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcvsy6G7u60 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-9a7a9aMdI
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One Response to Elvis Presley Movies: Love Me Tender

  1. Micaela Schäfer says:

    You can certainly see your love for Elvis in the way you write about him. There should be more passionate people like you in the world that recognize and honor Elvis the way you do here, You obviously speak from the heart and I find this refreshing, Elvis deserves to remembered in this way!

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