“I walk a lonely street” was the line from a suicide note that inspired the lyrics.
Elvis had just jumped from SUN to RCA and this morose unclassifiable song became his first single, released 60 years ago Jan 27 1956: The Year Of Elvis.
at first, RCA worried that SUN has given them the wrong artist they didn’t know how to work with him and worried about letting him be in charge of his own sessions. All that tape cost money and all those takes – the idea of RCA eventually releasing every take was not to be until the 1980s and 1990s.
with strong material, Elvis was magic and with weak and worthless material, he made it listenable. but it wasn’t really about the songs, it was about him emoting his way through it, they were not just words, they were last words from the heart, not just the throat and lungs
The songs Elvis sang in the 1950s were teenager songs, first love, first lust, first heartache the feels like the worst ever – and firsts really are….
Later the adult songs of more complicated break ups, adultery, temptation, finding new love or greeting unrequited love and lost love…
Elvis recorded Heartbreak Hotel in 1956 and by the time he died in 1977, a hard core Elvis fan would have bought it 17 times over singles, extended singles, albums, reel to reels, cassette tapes and 8-tracks – that one studio version plus concert concert versions.
Love me or I’ll die Elvis cried I can’t help falling in love with you Elvis crooned, his body rocked and rolled