The Rock and Roll era may have started in 1955 when “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and The Comets reached number one on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Singles Charts during 1955. Still, some very non-rock songs had reached number one such as “Lisbon Antigua” by Nelson Riddle and “Poor People Of Paris” by Les Baxter who followed each other at the top of the charts during early 1956. Enter Elvis Presley!
On November 22, 1955, RCA announced that they had bought the contact of Elvis Presley from the Sun label for the sum of $35,000 plus another $5000 for Elvis. His first recording session for the label took place January 10 and 11 in Nashville and one of the songs he recorded was “Heartbreak Hotel,” which was released as the A side of his first single for the label.
“Heartbreak Hotel” was one of the biggest hits of his career as it topped all four BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts.
Beat Sellers In Stores Chart – 4/21/56 – Eight weeks at number one.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – 5/12/56 – Three weeks at number one.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – 5/5/56 – Eight weeks at number one.
Billboard Top 100 – 5/5/56 – Seven weeks at number one.
Elvis proved to be more than a successful artist who reached number one. He changed not only American music but American culture as well. “Heartbreak Hotel” was the beginning of Elvis Presley’s massive popularity.