Elvis Presley was the first artist of the rock and roll era to replace himself at number one on the pop singles charts. The double sided hit. “Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel” had topped the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts for two months and when it fell to number two, another Elvis hit was waiting.
Elvis debuted “Love Me Tender” on the ED SULLIVAN Show. The song had orders of over one-million copies before it was released. It was issued as a single October 6, 1956, and was the first single to debut at number two. One week later it was number one and would eventually top all four BILLBOARD Singles Charts.
Best Sellers In Stores Chart – 11/3/56 – 5 weeks at number one.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – 11/3/56 – 5 weeks at number one.
Must Played In Jukeboxes Chart – 12/8/56 – 1 week at number one.
Billboard Hot 100 – 11/24/56 – 2 weeks at number one.
The song was adapted from an old Civil War era tune called “Aura Lee.” Elvis even took a rare writing credit for the song. It proved so popular that the name of his upcoming movie was changed from THE RENO BROTHERS to LOVE ME TENDER. As with many of his early hits, the flip side also became a hit in its own right when “Anyway You Want Me” reached number 20.