Fun & Games
• Shifty Henry was a well-known L.A. musician, not a criminal.
• The Purple Gang was a real mob of bootleggers and hijackers operating in Detroit in the 1920s.
• “Bugs” was probably Bugsy Siegel, an American gangster, who was behind large-scale development of Las Vegas. His “baby” was the Sands Casino.
• “Sad Sack” was a U.S. Army nickname for a loser in World War II, who also became a popular comic book character.
Mike Stoller, one half of the songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller, survived the 1956 sinking of the luxury ship Andrea Doria off Nantucket Island. When he returned to New York on a rescue freighter, he was greeted by his partner Jerry Leiber who told him that they had just scored their first hit record by “some white kid called Elvis Presley.” Stoller replied “Elvis who?” The Song: “Hound Dog.”
The duo then provided Elvis with “Jailhouse Rock.” It was first released as a 45 rpm single on Sept. 24, 1957, to coincide with the release of Presley's motion picture, Jailhouse Rock.
• The song, as sung by Elvis, is #67 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and has been recorded by more than 25 different artists.
• The single, with its B-side “Treat Me Nice,” was a U.S. #1 hit for seven weeks in the fall of 1957, and a UK #1 hit for three weeks early in 1958.
• Elvis refused to watch this movie because of co-star Judy Tyler’s tragic death in a car wreck July 4, 1957, three days after filming was completed.
• Due to his unorthodox movements, Elvis became the uncredited choreographer for what would become one of the most memorable dance numbers of all time, second only to Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain.” Ironically, Gene Kelly was watching as Elvis Presley performed the "Jailhouse Rock" set piece for the film.
• Six months later, when Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army in March, 1958, his monthly pay dropped from $100,000 to $78.