EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Jailhouse Rock’ – Elvis Presley

What was the number one song in the UK on 24th January 1958?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

Elvis is back! He was number one for 3 weeks with Jailhouse Rock.

Well, the 50s are now just going from strength to strength. We had Jerry Lee Lewis as the previous number and now we have Elvis and Jailhouse Rock. Considering, how often the average person has probably heard this song, it still sounds great. From Elvis’s vocals to the guitar interlude, the double bass to the piano and not forgetting the jailhouse characters featuring throughout the lyrics, it’s categorically peak Elvis. Jailhouse Rock was also the biggest selling single of 1958 in the UK.

Wikipedia

“Jailhouse Rock” is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that first became a hit for Elvis Presley. RCA Victor released the song on a 45 rpm single on September 24, 1957, the song had a film release of Presley’s motion picture under the same name, Jailhouse Rock.

Rolling Stone magazine included it at number 67 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2004, it finished at number 21 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. On November 27, 2016, the Grammy Hall of Fame announced its induction, along with that of another 24 songs.

Presley’s performance of the song in the film, choreographed as a dance routine involving himself and a large group of male prisoners, was featured among other classic MGM musical numbers in the 1994 documentary That’s Entertainment! III. The film version differs from the single version of the song, featuring backing instrumentation and vocals not heard on the record.

Lyrics

“The warden threw a party in the county jail
The prison band was there and they began to wail
The band was jumpin’ and the joint began to swing
You should’ve heard them knocked-out jailbirds sing
Let’s rock everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone
Little Joe was blowin’ on the slide trombone
The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang
The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang
Let’s rock everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Number forty-seven said to number three
“You’re the cutest jailbird I ever did see
I sure would be delighted with your company
Come on and do the Jailhouse Rock with me”
Let’s rock everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Sad sack was sittin’ on a block of stone
Way over in the corner weepin’ all alone
The warden said, “hey, buddy, don’t you be no square
If you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair”
Let’s rock everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Shifty Henry said to Bugs, “For Heaven’s sake
No one’s lookin’ now’s our chance to make a break”
Bugsy turned to Shifty and he said, “Nix, Nix
I want to stick around a while and get my kicks”
Let’s rock everybody, let’s rock
Everybody in the whole cell block
Was dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock
Dancin’ to the Jailhouse Rock”

The Playlist

Relive, enjoy and share every song and keep following Talk About Pop Music for more Number One posts!

Every UK Number One Song

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