Elvis Presley started to gain massive attention in 1954. While he didn’t know it then, it would someday turn into massive crowds of screaming fans and a multi-million lifestyle.
In 1954, he was signed to Sun Records label in Memphis. The next year it was sold to RCA Victor. By 1956, he had suddenly become an international sensation heard all around the world.
Where did some of that massive success begin?
On July 5, 1954, the music industry had finally landed on Elvis Presley. Many consider the day he stepped into the studio to record the songs “That’s All Right” and “I Love You Because” as the moment his revolutionary career began.
Elvis Records Two Hit Songs
According to History.com, Sam Phillips, the owner and operator at Sun Records, is often credited with discovering Presley. However, there are several others that often fail to receive proper recognition. This includes a business partner, session men, as well as a Blues figure of the time.
The song “That’s All Right” was written by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. This song would become an international sensation and “The King’s” first true hit. “I Love You Because” never received the same level of love. That may just be because it was recorded on the same day and therefore, overlooked.
However, he performed “I Love You Because” and “Harbor Lights” early on in the studio session and had almost lost the attention of Phillips. “That’s All Right” was his saving grace. It was sent to a local station two days later and was released as a single a couple of weeks later.
The year before, Elvis Presley had recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” as a birthday gift. Phillips had recorded Presley’s session and held on to it for a year.
Phillips wanted a singer that could impersonate the “Black rhythm and blues” but insisted the individual was white. During a radio show, he interviewed Presley live and asked which high school he went to so viewers would know he was white. Elvis and that label sometimes get criticized for being copycats of a certain sound.
The song “I Love You Because” was written originally by Leon Payne in 1949. Although it wasn’t the right choice as a first single, it did appear on Presley’s debut album. Notably, Johnny Cash released a version in 1959. In 1963, Al Martino recorded the most popular version which landed at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Elvis Presley Songwriting
Presley had quickly become an international success. He is now considered the best-selling solo artist with over a billion worldwide sales. During his career, he had recorded well over 600 songs.
However, Elvis Presley was reliant on other people partially in order to get to this level of success. Notably, he never wrote any of his own songs.
According to Playback.fm, it’s impossible to completely confirm that he never wrote his own songs. He had been given co-writing credit on some songs, however, that may be because the label insisted songwriters give up 50% of the credit before allowing Elvis to record it. None of his films ever brought him an Oscar; he had made 31 movies and two music documentaries.