Today in Elvis History - Elvis Sings To Basset Hound on The Steve Allen Show

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Today in Elvis History - Elvis Sings To Basset Hound on The Steve Allen Show

In what Elvis often referred to as the most embarrassing moment of his career, on July 1, 1956, he performed his hit song "Hound Dog" to an actual basset hound on "The Steve Allen Show" in New York City.

The controversy surrounding Elvis' hip-shaking moves began with his performance on "The Milton Berle Show" in June of 1956. Elvis set his guitar to the side while singing the same song and performed what became one of the most controversial moments of television history. This performance sparked backlash from the press and adult viewers. Elvis' was then condemned by certain factions of the establishment and religious communities.

On strict orders to not have a repeat of the same situation, Elvis was told no hip-wiggling, no gyrations and he would perform to the Basset hound named Sherlock dressed in a full tuxedo.

All the while, teenagers across the country were blown away by the king's sexy moves and rock 'n' roll edge. The following day after "The Steve Allen Show" performance, Elvis hit the recording studio where he recorded "Hound Dog" to an acetate. Released in July of 1956, "Hound Dog" along with its b-side "Don't Be Cruel" topped the charts and later received platinum status in record sales. At first, Ed Sullivan said he would never want Elvis on his show. Sullivan had a change of heart after "The Steve Allen Show," the night Elvis performed, had twice as many viewers and trumped his show in ratings. 

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Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 1:33 PM
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