Country Throwback: Listen to Elvis Presley’s Unreleased Recording of His First #1 ‘I Forgot to Remember to Forget’

by Emily Morgan

An unreleased recording of Elvis Presley performing from his early days recently emerged from the archives, giving fans a dose of Elivs before he became eternalized as “The King.” 

Before his massive break into stardom, a fresh-faced Elvis would often perform on the radio show, Louisiana Hayride. The host of the show, Horace Logan (who coined the famous catchphrase “Elvis has left the building,”) hosted the young heartthrob on October 1, 1955. After he introduced Presley to an eager crowd, Elvis took the mic. 

During the broadcast, listeners hear Presley mumbling the words to his song, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget.” With that, the rock-n-roll icon kicked off an incredible performance of passion and profound talent. As the singer wrapped up the song, Logan told the audience, “That was Elvis Presley with… a song that’s been doing remarkably well across the country for the past several weeks.”

“I Forgot to Remember to Forget” is a rockabilly and country song, recorded by Presley and written by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers. It was Elvis’ first charting topping hit and first No. 1 record in the country. The single was the fifth and final single released on Sun Records before Elvis signed with RCA Records. 

Elvis Presley Breaks into Country Music Stardom with Hit Song

Before his performance on the Louisiana Hayride, Elvis recorded the song at Sun Studios on July 11, 1955. He released it on August 20, 1955, along with “Mystery Train.” Scotty Moore’s guitar riff gave the song a Nashville steel guitar sound, and Bill Black played a clip-clop rhythm. The heart pumping instrumentals paired with Elvis’ brooding vocal made this the closest the trio came to a traditional country song.

The song topped the “Billboard National Country Music” chart at the No. 1 position on February 25, 1956, and remained there for two weeks. The song also spent five weeks at No. 1 on the “Billboard C&W Most Played in Juke Boxes” chart. The record reached No. 4 on the “Billboard Most Played by Jockeys” chart. The release of the song marked the first time Elvis was nationally known as a country music star. The song remained on the country charts for 39 weeks.