Elvis debuted ‘Hound Dog’ and hip gyrations 56 years ago today


By , Featured Writer, Death & Taxes

While a high degree of artistic experimentation and daring had existed within the underground of the world’s great cities long before 1956 (the Belle Epoque, Dada, futurism, surrealism, erotica, etc.), nothing had prepared the puritanical forces of America for Elvis Presley‘s performance on the Milton Berle Show.

Elvis, cresting at the time, adored by girls and emulated by boys, debuted his cover of the song “Hound Dog” on the program without his guitar. Instead, Presley brought his suggestive hip gyrations to the masses, which scandalized the studio audience and the nation. Presley, as influential as he was in fusing black and white forms of music together and bringing it to the world, was no Alfred Jarry, Marcel Duchamp or Comte de Lautreamont, but his hip gyrations and the nature of the song (written by Leiber and Stoller) were an incredibly revolutionary moment in pop culture.

The collective gasp of American puritans must have been something to see if it could have been witnessed in its totality simultaneously. And what magic it must have been to see the “Leave It To Beaver” of the 1950s world disintegrate and the forces of progress advance.

Below is the video of Elvis debuting “Hound Dog.” Dig it.

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This entry was posted in 1950s, Culture, Elvis, Elvis Presley, History, Music, Music History, Nudes, Rock n Roll and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Elvis debuted ‘Hound Dog’ and hip gyrations 56 years ago today

  1. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve watched Elvis movies or videos…. the same overwhelming excitement still comes over me!

    • Sad Man's Tongue: Rockabilly Bar & Bistro - Prague says:

      Too me there is no bigger surprise, than just before you go to bed and you are glicking the channels, all of a sudden you realize there is a late night movie of Elvis. perfect reason to stay up 🙂

  2. Cindy Meitle says:

    When you look at this video, it becomes apparent that most of his moves were very tame, it’s that one intentional “humping” motion that got to everyone each time he said the word Hounddog, and then he actually humps the emcee lololol! Funny, an entire genre of music is now based on humping…clubs all over the USA and abroad have people fake-humping one another all night long, and it’s perfectly normal. Elvis loved to push the envelope and always new when he was ruffling feathers. He dared to wear clothing the average man thought was far too flamboyant…but when men realized just how cool he looked, and how well the ladies liked it, they quickly caught on that Elvis was on to something…something BIG! The thing I enjoyed the most about this video is that it truly displays Elvis Presley’s sense of humor. He often looks so serious during his performances, but you see here that he could look at the lighter side of life and have fun with the best of them. Thanks for this post, it’s awesome! The image is incredible.

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