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Old Shep

(Foley / Arthur)


Red Foley and Willis Arthur wrote Old Shep in 1933. The song was about Foley's 19-year-old German shepherd dog, Hoover, who had been poisoned. It wasn't until 1940 that Foley recorded his song. Old Shep (Decca 46052) was reissued in 1947.


Old Shep was the song Elvis sang to win fifth prize at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show in 1945 - his first public singing appearance. Later, in 1953, Elvis sang the song at the Humes High School Minstrel Show.


On September 2, 1956, at Radio Recorders, Elvis recorded several takes of Old Shep, all featuring him on piano. Take #5 was released by RCA on record. An alternate take (#1), however, was on the first pressing of the British LP, Elvis Presley Nº. 2 (HMV - CLP-1105).



When I was a lad and old Shep was a pup
Over hills and meadows we'd stray
Just a boy and his dog, we were both full of fun
We grew up together that way

I remember the time at the old swimmin' hole
When I would have drowned beyond doubt
But old Shep was right there, to the rescue he came
He jumped in and helped pulled me out

As the years passed and rolled, Old Shep he grew old
And his eyes were fast growing dim
And one day the doctor looked at me and said
I can't do no more for him, Jim

With hands that were trembling I picked up my gun
And aimed it at Shep's faithful head
I just couldn't do it, I wanted to run
I wish they would shoot me instead

He came to my side and he looked up at me
And he laid his old head on my knee
I had strucked the best friend that a man ever had
I cried so I scarcely could see

Old Shep he has gone where the good doggies go
And no more with old Shep will I roam
But if dogs have a heaven, there's one thing I know
Old Shep has a wonderful home


Where it was released:

Released for the fist time on Elvis »



- Old Shep / (blank) (RCA CR-15) December 1956. Disc jockey promotional release used to promote the LP Elvis. This record is extremely rare and is much sought by collectors.

- Old Shep / You'll Never Walk Alone (Collectables DPE1-1018 4518) December 1986.



- Elvis, Volume 2 (1956) »

- Promotion Disc (RCA PRO-12) (1956)



- Elvis (1956) »

- Separate Ways (1973) »

- Elvis Forever (1974) »
- Separate Ways (1975) »
- Double Dynamite (1975) - Pickwick »

- Elvis - A Collectors Edition (1976) »
– Pickwick Pack (1978) »

- Elvis Sings for Children and Grownups, Too! (1978) »

– Memories of Elvis (1978) »

- The Elvis Presley Collection, Volume 2 (1979) »

– Country Music (1981) - Time Life »

- Double Dynamite (1982)

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

- Great Country Songs (1996)

- All the Best (1999)

- 50 Years 50 Hits (2001)

- Country Collection (2001) – Time Life

- The 50 Greatest Love Songs (2001)

- The Country Side of Elvis (2001)

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

- Elvis; Jailhouse Rock (2001)

- Elvis Sings for Kids (2002)

- Great Country Songs (2003)

- Elvis (2005)

- Elvis Presley / Elvis (2007) – Hallmark

– Elvis (2014) - FTD »
– Rebel With a Cause '56 (2018) - FTD »


Bootleg Releases:

- Eternal Elvis (1978) - no label

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

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