"A Big Hunk o' Love" is a song written by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wyche, aka Sid Jaxon. The latter is best known for writing the jazz standard "Okay, Alright, You Win", whereas Aaron Schroeder co-wrote a whole bunch of hits from the rock`n`roll area, from "Fools Hall of Fame" (Pat Boone) to "Because They're Young" (Duane Eddy). In an interview conducted by Jan-Erik Kjeseth, he also revealed that in fact he worked with his partner Wally Gold in order to improve a song submitted by another writer, and the end result was "It's my party", a big hit for Lesley Gore. Schroeder and Gold tossed a coin as to whose name should go on the record, and Gold "won". Other titles written by the duo include "It's Now or Never" and "Good Luck Charm"; both of which - like "A Big Hunk o' Love" - were originally recorded by Americanrock and roll icon Elvis Presley. "A Big Hunk o'Love" was released as a single on June 23, 1959 by RCA Victor and later topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.
The song was revived by Presley in 1972 during his engagements at the Las Vegas Hilton in February 1972 and was used in his live shows until mid-1973. It was performed live for the last time on January 26, 1974. The song is included in the 1972 documentary Elvis On Tour and his 1973 show broadcast via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. During this time period, it was played by the Elvis' TCB Band, and featured Glen D. Hardin and James Burton.
"A Big Hunk o' Love", a hard, driving rocker, was recorded at Elvis' first and only session during his two years of army service. The session took place on June 10, 1958 in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first session that did not include guitaristScotty Moore and bassistBill Black, who had both worked with Elvis since his first recordings for Sam Phillips at the Memphis Recording Service, which later became known as Sun Studios. The recording featured Elvis' regular drummer D.J. Fontana and backing vocaliststhe Jordanaires, who would continue to work with Elvis until Elvis' appearance at the Hilton in Las Vegas. The rest of the musicians were top Nashville session men, such as guitarist Hank Garland on Gibson Byrdland guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano, Bob Moore on double bass, Buddy Harman and D.J.Fontana on a drums . The song was recorded in four takes, the released version is actually spliced from takes three and four.
As stated above, the a-side spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 while the b-side peaked at #12. The single was less successful on the Cashbox Top 100 with the a-side peaking at #2 and the b-side at #23. On the UK Singles Chart the a-side peaked at #4, while the b-side did not appear on the chart. The a-side also peaked at #10 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart.
Due to the songs success, Elvis' next single was another Aaron Schroeder co-composition, "Stuck on You". "A big Hunk o' Love" was the first of four of Schroeder's songs that became #1 hits for Elvis.