Elvis Presley had already recorded some of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s hits (does the breakout cut “Hound Dog” ring a bell?), but “Jailhouse Rock” was the first song the duo wrote especially for him. Or more accurately, for the movie of the same name, in which Presley was set to star. From that ominous guitar riff to the lyrics’ sly homosexual innuendo (“No. 47 said to No. 3, ‘You the cutest jailbird I ever did see’ “), “Jailhouse Rock” charted new territory in popular music. In the film, Presley performs the song while dancing; choreographer Alex Romero took the rock star’s signature hip swivel and worked it into a routine that rivals even the most outlandish of contemporary pop music’s theatrics.
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