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Love Me Tender

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(Matson / Presley)

 

Information:
Love Me Tender was composed by Ken Darby, although credited to Elvis and Vera Matson, Darby’s wife. It was based on the 1861 ballad, Aura Lee. Aura Lee, written by W. W. Fosdick and George R. Poulton, was a favourite of the Union Army during the Civil War. With new words and retitled Army Blue, it was adopted as the class song of West Point graduates in 1865. Aura Lee was sung by Frances Farmer in the 1936 movie, Come and Get It.

 

Elvis recorded Love Me Tender for his first film, The Reno Brothers. The film’s title was later changed to take advantage of the tremendous success of the single. The recording session took place on either August 2 or September 24, 1956, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Vita Mumolo was the guitar player heard on the record. Background vocals were provided by Chuck Prescott, John Dodson, and Red Robinson. The film version of Love Me Tender had slightly different lyrics and one extra verse. Advanced sales of the single release exceeded one million copies – the first record in history to do so. Love Me Tender entered Billboard’s Top 100 chart at #12. Over the next nine weeks, it was number one for four weeks, exchanging the top spot with Jim Lowe’s The Green Door. Singing the Blues by Guy Mitchell eventually assumed the top position. Love Me Tender was #3 on the Country Best-Seller chart and #4 on the rhythm & blues chart. Probably the first cover record of Love Me Tender was by the Sparrows (Davis 456) in late 1956.

 

Elvis sang Love Me Tender on all three of his performances on The Ed Sullivan Show (September 9, 1956; October 28, 1956; and January 6, 1957) and on his last appearance on the Louisiana Hayride (December 16, 1956). One line of the song was sung by Elvis with Frank Sinatra in the Frank Sinatra-Times Special, Welcome Home, Elvis. Elvis sang Love Me Tender in his 1968 TV special, Elvis, and in the documentaries Elvis – That’s the Way It Is (from an August 13, 1970 appearance at the International Hotel) and Elvis on Tour (from a performance in Hampton Roads, Virginia, on April 9, 1972). The film This Is Elvis showed a clip of Elvis from The Ed Sullivan Show singing Love Me Tender.

 

In the fall of 1978 a duet of Elvis and Linda Ronstadt singing Love Me Tender gained considerable airplay across the U.S.. Ray Quinn, program manager of radio station WCBM in Baltimore, dubbed together Elvis’s 1956 single and Ronstadt’s 1978 version from her album Living in the U.S.A. Although demand for the tape grew, no copies were made available to the public. A three-dollar bootleg single was made, however, on the Duet Label (Duet 101). The duet was inspired by the Barbra Streisand-Neil Diamond’s duet You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.

 

Love Me Tender was the first song by Elvis that Priscilla Beaulieu ever heard. It became her favourite ballad. For Christmas 1962, Priscilla gave Elvis a musical cigarette case that played Love Me Tender.

 

Lyrics:

Love me tender, l
ove me sweet, never let me go
You have made my life complete and I love you so
Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfil
For my darlin' I love you and I always will
 

Love me tender, love me long, take me to your heart
For it's there that I belong and we'll never part

Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfil
For my darlin' I love you, and I always will


Love me tender, love me dear, tell me you are mine
I'll be yours through all the years t
ill the end of time

Love me tender, love me true, all my dreams fulfil
For my darlin' I love you, and I always will


(When at last my dreams come true, darling this I know
Happiness will follow you e
verywhere you go)


(*) extra verses that Elvis sings in the movie version of the same title.

 

Where it was released:

Released for the fist time on single »
 
Singles:

- Love Me Tender / Anyway You Want Me (RCA 20-6643) October 1956. Standard 78 RPM release. The pictures sleeves for the record came in black and white, black and green, black and dark pink, and black and light pink »

- Love Me Tender / Anyway You Want Me (RCA 47-6643) October 1956. Standard 45 RPM release »

- Love Me Tender / Anyway You Want Me (RCA 447-0616) March 1959. Gold standard series reissue »

- Love Me Tender / Anyway You Want Me (RCA PB-11108) October 1977. One of the 15 singles in the boxed set 15 Golden Records – 30 Golden Hits (RCA PP-11301), and 20 Golden Hits in Full Color Sleeves (RCA PP-11340) boxed set that was released two months later.

- Love Me Tender / Loving You (PB-13893) October 1984. One of six singles in the boxed set Elvis’s Greatest Hits – Golden Singles, Volume 2 (RCA PB-13898). The record was pressed in gold vinyl with a special gold “50th” anniversary label.

 

EPs:

- DJ-7 (1956) »

- Great Country / Western Hits (1956) »

- Love Me Tender (1956) »

 

LPs/CDs:

- Elvis' Golden Records (1958) »

- NBC TV Special (1968) »

- Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Volume One (1970) »

- Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden (1972) »

- Elvis (1973) »

- Elvis, A Legendary Performer, Volume 1 (1974) »

- Pure Gold (1975) »

- Elvis - A Collectors Edition (1976) »

- Elvis in Concert (1977) »
– Elvis' Golden Records (1977) »

- The Elvis Presley Story (1977) »

– From Elvis With Love (1978) »

- Elvis: Memories (1978) »

- Elvis Commemorative Album (1978) »

- Elvis! His Greatest Hits (1979) »

- Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden (1979) »
– Elvis Aron Presley (1980) »
Pure Gold (1980) »

– This Is Elvis (1981) »

– Elvis NBC TV Special (1981) »

– Elvis Love Songs (1981) - K-Tel »

– Rock'n'Roll Forever (1981) - Candlelite »

– It's Now Or Never (1981) - Camden »

- Essential Elvis (1986)

- Essential Elvis – The First Movies

- The Collection, Volume 1 (1986)

- The Number One Hits (1987)

- The Top Ten Hits (1987)

- Collectors Gold (1991)

- From the Heart (1991)

- The King of Rock’n’Roll – The Complete 50’s Masters (1992)

- From Nashville to Memphis – The Essential 60’s Masters (1993)

- The Essential Collection (1994)

- Gold – The Very Best of the King (1995)

- All Time Greatest Hits (1997)

- Always Elvis – The Dutch Album (1997)

- An Afternoon in the Garden (1997)

- Forever in Love (1997)

- Jailhouse Rock (1997)

- Platinum – A Life in Music (1997)

- Are You Lonesome Tonight (1997)

- A Golden Celebration (1998)

- A Touch of Platinum, Volume 1 (1998)

- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)

- Memories The ’68 Comeback Special (1998)

- All the Best (1999)

- Elvis The Concert (1999)

- Artist of the Century (1999)

- Ballads (1999)

- Burbank ’68 (1999) – FTD »

- Love Songs (1999)

- Can’t Help Falling in Love (1999)

- Elvis 2000: Best of the King (2000)

- The 50 Greatest Hits (2000)

- The Love Songs (2000) – Green Hill

- That’s the Way It Is – Special Edition (2000)

- Good Rockin’ Tonight (2000) – Music Mill

- One Night in Vegas (2000) – FTD »

- Greatest Hits (2001)

- Live in Las Vegas (2001)

- The 50 Greatest Love Songs (2001)

- The Hillbilly Cat (2001) - Magnum

- 50 Years 50 Hits (2001)

- The Very Best of Love (2001) - Madacy

- Elvis Hits (2001)

- Dixieland Rocks (2001) – FTD »

- It’s Midnight (2001) - FTD »

- Playing with Fire (2001) – Magnum

- Elvis; Elvis is Back; Elvis Presley (2001)

- Elvis; Jailhouse Rock (2001)

- Elvis 30 #1 Hits (2002)

- The Elvis Broadcasts on Air (2002) - Cleopatra

- Elvis Presley at the Louisiana Hayride / The Original Roots of Elvis Presley (2002) – Charly / Snapper

- Elvis at the International (2002) – FTD »

- Elvis 30 #1 Hits – Deluxe Edition (2003)

- Heart and Soul (2003)

- Can’t Help Falling in Love – The Hollywood Hits (2003)

- Close Up (2003)

- Dragonheart (2003) - FTD »

- Closing Night (2004) – FTD »

- Elvis Forever – Limited Edition (2004)

- Polk Salad Annie (2004) – FTD »

- The Impossible Dream (2004) - FTD »

- Elvis as Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis (2004) - FTD »

- Rockin' Across Texas (2005) - FTD »

- Elvis (2005)

- Hitstory (2005)

- Love, Elvis (2005)

- Love, Elvis – UK Edition (2005)

- All Shook Up (2005) - FTD »

- Summer Festival (2005) - FTD »

- Elvis Movies (2006)

- I Found My Thrill (2006) - FTD »

- Writing For the King (2006) - FTD »

- Live in L.A. (2007) – FTD »

- Nevada Nights (2008) - FTD »

- Elvis in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas (2008) - FTD »

- I'll Remember You (2008) - FTD »

- Dixieland Delight (2009) - FTD »

- The Wonder of You (2009) »

- Rockin' Across Texas (2009) - FTD »

- High Sierra (2010) - FTD »

- Elvis as Recorded at Boston Garden '71 (2010) - FTD »

- Chicago Stadium (2010) - FTD »

– Live in Las Vegas (2011) - FTD »

- Live in L.A. (2011) - FTD »

– Amarillo '77 (2011) - FTD »

– 48 Hours to Memphis (2011) - FTD »

- Another Saturday Night (2012) - FTD »

– 3000 South Paradise Road (2012) - FTD »

– Sold Out! (2013) - FTD »

– Hot August Night (2013) - FTD »

– The On Stage Season (2013) - FTD »

– Elvis (2014) - FTD »

– Love Me Tender (2014) - FTD »

- The Return to Vegas (2014) - FTD »

– In Florida (2014) - FTD »

- This is Elvis (2015) - FTD »

- Elvis' Golden Records (2015) - FTD »

– NBC-TV Special (2016) - FTD »

- Taking Care of Business (2016) - FTD »

- Home Town Shows (2016) - FTD »

– Las Vegas '74 (2017) - FTD »

– Elvis in Atlanta (2017) - FTD »

– Elvis at Madison Square Garden (2017) - FTD »

– Lake Tahoe '74 (2017) - FTD »

– The Bicentennial Show (2017) - FTD »

– Murfreesboro '74 (2018) - FTD »

– Rebel With a Cause '56 (2018) - FTD »
– Omaha, Nebraska '74 (2018) - FTD »

Off-On Stage (2018) - FTD »

The Wild One '56 (2018) - FTD »

 

Bootleg Releases:

- The King of Las Vegas Live (1973) – Hazbin / Wizardo Records

- Elvis (1974) – Neuphone Records

- From Las Vegas… to Niagara Falls (1974) – Live Productions

- The Hillbilly Cat, 1954-1974, Volume 1 (1974) – Brookville Records

- The King Goes Wild (1975) – Wilde Productions

- Loving You (1975) – Gold Suit Productions

- From the Waist Up (1976) – Golden Archives

- The Sun Years (1977) – Sun International Corp.

- Eternal Elvis (1978) – no record label

- America’s Own (1979) - Geneva

- The Burbank Sessions, Volume 2 (1979) – Audifon Records

- The Rockin’ Rebel, Volume 2 (1979) – Golden Archives Records

- The Rockin’ Rebel, Volume 3 (1979) – Golden Archives Records

- Special Delivery from Elvis Presley (1979) - Flaming Star Records

- Elvis On Tour (1980) – Amiga Records

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