On This Day: Elvis Presley Recorded ‘All Shook Up’

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It was 62 years ago today (January 12th, 1957) that Elvis Presley recorded “All Shook Up,” which went on to become his sixth Number One hit, topping the charts for nine weeks. Elvis recorded the song at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, during a three-day session, which included both gospel recordings and songs eventually featured in his second motion picture, Loving You.

Elvis and his band, which included guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, drummer DJ Fontana, and backing vocalists the Jordanaires, took ten takes to perfect the song. The unique tapping heard on the track is Presley’s hand slapping the back of his Martin acoustic guitar, with his ring finger accentuating the beat.

“All Shook Up” went on to be ranked the Number One single of 1957. The tune was featured in “The King’s” setlists extensively throughout the ’70s — one of the few of Elvis’ ’50s hits to make the transition into his Las Vegas-era shows.

The late DJ Fontana, the last member to join Elvis’ original band, recalled meeting Elvis and the group: “They had worked all through Mississippi and Alabama, they were just gettin’ started. And then they come to Shreveport, Louisiana, this hayride down there, y’know? It was a thing, like the Grand Ole Opry is today. They come in and say, ‘Hey, we need a drummer’ they said, ‘You play?” I said, ‘Well, yeah, I guess so. That’s why I’m here. That’s what they hired me for.’ I just learned a lesson, they had such a unique sound — that Sun (Records) thing, y’know? I thought, I’ll just stay out of their way, give ’em a little rhythm back with brush and stick and be quiet; so I guess they appreciated that.”

Over the years, the songs from these sessions have been scattered over many different albums, starting with 1969’s From Elvis In Memphis and 1970’s Back In Memphis.

Today, the best place to collect Presley’s legendary 1969 American Studio Recordings is the compilation Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology, which was released in 1999.

In 2003, an updated dance remix of Presley’s “Rubberneckin'” charted throughout Europe.

Elvis Presley Enterprises netted over $600,000 from the auction held in Memphis at The Guest House Graceland. Billboard reported, “Graceland says a red velvet shirt likely worn on stage by Presley at a 1956 show in Tupelo, Mississippi, sold for $37,500. A gold and diamond ring that Presley wore on stage and gave to his father sold for $30,000. A ring Presley gave to singer J.D. Sumner sold for $22,500. A winter ski jacket and a ‘Love Me Tender’ theater lobby standee also were sold.”

Photo Courtesy of RCA

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