Friday, April 13, 2007

50 years ago: Elvis at #1 for 8th week with “All Shook Up”

All Shook Up

Elvis Presley

Writer(s): Otis Blackwell, Elvis Presley (see lyrics here)

Released: March 22, 1957

First Charted: March 30, 1957

Peak: 18 US, 13 HP, 17 CB, 16 HR, 11 CW, 14 RB, 17 UK, 11 CN, 5 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, -- UK, 7.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 32.3 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The song is credited to Otis Blackwell and Elvis although the singer had nothing to do with writing it. Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, often demanded a share of the songwriting credit be given to his client. SF However, accounts of Elvis’ involvement are disputed. In his book Last Train to Memphis, Peter Guralnick says Elvis came up with the idea for the refrain, WK and Elvis himself claimed he got the idea for the song from a dream when he woke up all shook up. He then phoned a friend and told him about it and by morning had a new song. WK

Meanwhile Al Stanton, one of the owners of Shalimar Music – Blackwell’s publishing company – says the song came out of an incident in which he shook up a bottle of Pepsi and then suggested Blackwell write a song based on the phrase “all shook up.” WK Blackwell was struggling to write a follow-up to “Don’t Be Cruel,” his first chart-topping hit for Elvis. He took up the challenge as a dare and finished the song in a couple of days. SF

Regardless of its origins, Elvis was not the first to record it. Under the stage name David Hill, the actor David Hess recorded it for Aladdin Records. Hess claimed he came up with the title, Blackwell wrote it, and then Elvis was given a co-writing credit in order to get him to record it. WK Elvis recorded it at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on January 12, 1957. The Jordaniares and the Blue Moon Boys are featured on the record. WK Four gospel songs recorded from the two-day session were released on the Peace in the Valley EP the same month as the “All Shook Up” single. BR

“All Shook Up” logged eight weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 which, in 1957, was a mix of three charts – Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys, and Most Played in Jukeboxes. The song topped all three of those charts. All told, its time atop the four charts spanned from April 13, 1957 to June 17, 1957. The latter chart was discontinued in June 1957, making “All Shook Up” the last song to top that chart. WK

“All Shook Up” was named Billboard’s song of the year, following his “Heartbreak Hotel” song topping the list for 1956. This makes him the only artist to top the year-end chart in two simultaneous years. BR All told, Elvis spent 50 weeks at #1 in 1956 and 1957 with eight different songs. SF

In The Complete Beatles Chronicle, author Mark Lewisohn says the Beatles (when they were known as the Quarrymen) regularly performed the song from 1957 through at least 1960 with Paul McCartney on lead vocal. In his book John, Paul & Me, Len Garry, a former member of the Quarrymen, says it was one of the songs the group played on July 6, 1957 – the day when John Lennon and Paul McCartney met. WK There’s no known recording of their version. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Elvis Presley
  • BR Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 21.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 10/30/2019; last updated 10/4/2021.

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