2. Elvis rewrote ‘Love me Tender’ without ever having learned to read music
In 2006, Trude Forsher, private secretary and publicist to Elvis, published a book titled The “Love Me Tender” Years Diary. Within the book she reveals an interview she conducted in September 1956 with Ken Darby, the Love Me Tender music director. In the interview, Darby discusses Elvis’ talent of having a great ear despite not being able to read music,and how he knew how to make a song his own.
“He adjusted the music and the lyrics to his own particular presentation,” Darby says. “Elvis has the most terrific ear of anyone I have ever met. He does not read music, but he does not need to. All I had to do was play the song for him once, and he made it his own. He has perfect judgment of what is right for him. He exercised that judgment when he chose ‘Love Me Tender’ as his theme song.”
Initially, Ed Sullivan said that he would never bring Elvis on his show. The sight of Elvis’s gyrations on television caused a lot of controversy, as people weren’t accustomed to seeing suggestive dance moves during the 1950s. But, when Sullivan learned that his competition was receiving double the amount of viewership when the king of rock ‘n’ roll performed, he decided to book him. On Sept. 9, 1956, 60 million people watched Elvis’ first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. This widened the scope for a broader audience, and is credited for helping Elvis gain mainstream acceptance.