The Day Elvis Made Music History With His Jailhouse Rock
It's hard to pinpoint the actual inspiration for the song "Jailhouse Rock" (and the movie), though it's not a stretch to look at a movie that came out the previous year, The Girl Can't Help It, which also featured a similarly themed and performed song called "Rock Around the Rockpile." In that performance, the actor Edmond O'Brien plays a villain who alludes an attempt on his life by jumping onstage and launching into song (doesn't everyone do that?), while backed musically by prison-stripe-clad The Ray Anthony Band. O'Brien's performance of "Rock Around the Rockpile" even included similar Elvis-esque lower-body gyrations and hip-swiveling.
The producers for the movie The Girl Can't Help It reportedly wanted Elvis for the role, but Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, wanted way more money than they were willing to pay, so O'Brien landed the gig. Two of that film's uncredited musical composers, Hugo Friedhofer and Lionel Newman, also composed music for Elvis' 1956 film Love Me Tender. more on this story
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