"Heartbreak Hotel" is a song recorded by American rock and roll musician Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley's first on his new record label RCA Victor. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.
The lyrics were based on a newspaper article about the suicide of a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window. Axton subsequently presented the song to Presley in November 1955 at a country music convention in Nashville. Presley agreed to record it, and did so on January 10, 1956 in a session that featured his band, the Blue Moon Boys, as well as guitarist Chet Atkins and pianist Floyd Cramer. "Heartbreak Hotel" is composed of an eight-bar blues progression, and features major echo during the entire track, in an attempt to follow the characteristic of Presley's Sun recordings.
The single topped Billboard's Top 100 chart for seven weeks, was number one on the Country and Western chart and reached number five on the R&B chart, becoming Presley's first million-seller, and one of the best-selling singles of 1956. It would eventually be certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Presley had first performed "Heartbreak Hotel" during a live show in December 1955 during a tour of the Louisiana Hayride, but the song gained strong popularity after his appearance on Stage Show in March 1956. It became a staple of Presley's repertoire in live appearances, last performed by him on May 29, 1977 at the Civic Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 1995 "Heartbreak Hotel" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2004 Rolling Stone magazine named it one of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". That year it was also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". A rock and roll standard, since its original release "Heartbreak Hotel" has been covered by several rock and pop acts, including Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, who recorded a duet version that topped the Country charts in 1979.File Hashes