August 13, 1952 “Hound Dog” is recorded for the first time by Big Mama Thornton
Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” (1956) is one of the biggest and most instantly recognizable pop songs in history. It’s a song so closely associated with the King of Rock and Roll, in fact, that many may mistakenly assume that it was a Presley original. In fact, the story of the song that gave Elvis his longest-running #1 hit (11 weeks) in the summer of 1956 began four years earlier, when “Hound Dog” was recorded for the very first time by the rhythm-and-blues singer Ellie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in Los Angeles, California.
Cryin’ all the time” and “You ain’t never caught a rabbit.” During his first Las Vegas engagement in the spring of 1956, Elvis Presley heard Freddie Bell and the Bellboys performing the reworked “Hound Dog” and added it to his repertoire almost immediately.