In January 1958 the UK release date for the Elvis Presley single Jailhouse Rock was put back a week after Decca Records pressing plant were unable to meet the advance orders of 250,000 copies.
The song, written by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, was the title track to the 1957 film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis with Judy Tyler, Mickey Shaughnessy, Vaughn Taylor and Jennifer Holden.
Adapted by Guy Trosper from a story written by Nedrick Young, the film tells the story of Vince Everett (Presley), a convict who learns the guitar while in prison and later becomes a star following his release.
Some of the characters named in the song are real people. Shifty Henry was a well-known LA musician, not a criminal, The Purple Gang was a real mob and “Sad Sack” was a U.S. Army nickname in World War II for a loser.
The film initially earned mixed reviews, with much of the negative targeted at Presley. In 2004, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, who deemed it “culturally, aesthetically or historically significant.”
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