Elvis Presley hit track was inspired by gruesome horror movies star

Elvis: Trailer for new Baz Luhrmann biopic on King of Rock

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By 1957 Elvis Presley was truly beginning to break through into the music industry of the USA. After a few years of releasing some hit singles, it seemed as if his 1957 tracks could go nowhere but up, reaching number one single status three times in a row. The fourth number-one single – and his 19th single overall – All Shook Up, was released on March 22, 1957. But the song’s writer went on to lead a career in Hollywood.

Elvis worked with Otis on a number of singles, but the songwriter had received some inspiration from another creative in the industry.

In 2009 David Hess (previously David Hill) revealed he was the person who originally came up with All Shook Up and even recorded it before Elvis. He said at the time: “As far as All Shook Up, the title came from a real set of circumstances and when I decided not to write it, Otis Blackwell did and I had the first recording for Aladdin Records.”

David added: “It was my title, but Otis wrote the song and Presley took a writing credit in order to get him to record it. That’s the way things happened in those days.”


David is perhaps best known for playing the role of Krug Stillo in the 1972 horror film The Last House on the Left. The infamous movie made headlines at the time because of its realistic depictions of murder and sexual abuse. This was even reflected in the film’s tagline: “Can a movie go too far?”

Although this horrific slasher thriller is intrinsically connected to Elvis’ seventh number-one single of all time, the King himself claimed it was actually him behind the musical magic.

Elvis Presley stars in trailer for Double Trouble in 1967

Elvis was interviewed at the time of the release of All Shook Up on October 28, 1957. “I’ve never even had an idea for a song,” he confessed. “Just once, maybe. I went to bed one night, had quite a dream, and woke up all shook up.”

Elvis claimed this dream was enough for him to kickstart the idea of this track. He added: “I phoned a pal and told him about it. By morning, he had a new song, All Shook Up.”

Whoever wrote the song, it was an enormous success. On top of reaching number one in the singles chart, Elvis achieved an incredible 2x platinum rating from the RIAA. It was also ranked in Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest songs of all time. All Shook Up was even covered by some iconic acts, including The Beatles.

The Beatles performed the song from 1957 through to 1960 while they were The Quarrymen. In fact, this was one of the original songs John Lennon and Paul McCartney bonded over as kids. Len Garry, in his book John, Paul & Me, said All Shook Up was one of the songs the young Beatles played on the day they first met in July 6, 1957.


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