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Elvis Presley Albums


Elvis Presley's second album, simply titled Elvis, was recorded on September 1-3, 1956, and released on October 19. It did not include "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel," his monumental single releases of that summer. Singles represented a large part of the record-buying scene during that period and were treated as releases unto themselves rather than as a means to promote albums. So, it was not unusual that these two major singles did not end up on Elvis' next album.

David B. Hecht photographed Elvis Presley for the cover of Elvis.
David B. Hecht photographed Elvis Presley for the cover of Elvis.

While Steve Sholes and Chet Atkins had guided Elvis' earlier sessions for RCA, Elvis was in the saddle this time around, and he thoughtfully mulled over each take of each song until he understood what he wanted. The result is an eclectic blend of songs that truly reflects the singer's personal taste in music as well the components of his style, and that is the album's strength and significance.

The Jordanaires
Formed In 1948, the gospel quartet the Jordanaires have backed many diverse performers, including Kitty Wells, Hank Snow, and Ricky Nelson. The members have changed several times over the years. The four who backed Elvis Presley were Gordon Stoker (first tenor), Neal Matthews (second tenor), Hoyt Hawkins (baritone),and Hugh Jarrett (bass). In January 1956, Stoker was included as a backup singer on Elvis' first RCA recording session In a makeshift group with Ben and Brock Speer of the gospel-singing Speer Family. On another session later that year, Stoker was again hired to back Elvis without the rest of his quartet. When Elvis asked the tenor where the rest of the Jordanaires were, Stoker replied that he had been the only one asked. Elvis told him, "If anything comes of this, I want the Jordanaires to work all my sessions from now on, and my personal appearances, too." With that verbal agreement, the Jordanaires became "the Sound Behind the King" for over a decade.

The album included everything from rock 'n' roll tunes such as "Long Tall Sally" to old country weepies such as "Old Shep." The heart-stopping ballad "Love Me" proved a popular hit despite not being released as single. It was included on the extended-play record Elvis, Volume 1, which was a scaled-down version of Elvis. It became the first EP in history to sell a million copies.

Except for "So Glad You're Mine," all tracks were recorded at Radio Recorders in Los Angeles because Elvis was in Hollywood making his first film. For the rest of the 1950s and for much of the 1960s, Elvis recorded at this studio.

Only Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D.J. Fontana accompanied him on this album, while the Jordanaires provided background vocals. Elvis played piano on "Old Shep," marking the first time he played piano on a record. The LP entered Billboard's chart at number seven. A month later, it reached the top of the chart, where it remained for five weeks.

By this time, Elvis was well-known enough that he could indulge his personal interests in his music. Having loved Christmas his whole life, he was inspired in 1957 to record Elvis' Christmas Album, the first in a series of Christmas albums he would put out over the span of his career. To learn more about Elvis' Christmas Album, see the next section.


  • "Rip It Up"
  • "Love Me"
  • "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again"
  • "Long Tall Sally"
  • "First In Line"
  • "Paralyzed"
  • "So Glad You're Mine"
  • "Old Shep"
  • "Ready Teddy"
  • "Anyplace Is Paradise"
  • "How's the World Treating You"
  • "How Do You Think I Feel”

For more fascinating information about Elvis Presley, see: