"Milk Cow Blues" is a blues song written and originally recorded by Sleepy John Estes in 1930 (The Blues Line: Blues Lyrics from Leadbelly to Muddy Waters, edited by Eric Sackheim, Jonathan Shahn, Da Capo Press, 2003).
Robert Johnson recorded a version of Sleepy John Estes' song, re-titled "Milkcow's Calf Blues", at his last recording session on 20 June 1937. It was released by Vocalion Records in September 1937 as the B-side to "Malted Milk."
In 1941, Johnnie Lee Wills (younger brother of James Robert Wills aka Bob Wills) recorded a version which was released the same year by Decca Records as "Milkcow Blues" by Johnny [sic] Lee Wills & His Boys. It was sung by Cotton Thompson.
Elvis Presley, accompanied by Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Black on bass, recorded a rockabilly version retitled "Milkcow Blues Boogie" at Sun Records in November or December 1954. The arrangement was closer to Wills' version than to the Arnold original. The single was released in January 8, 1955 with "You're a Heartbreaker" as the B-side, but would not be released on LP until 1959, when it was included on the RCA LP A Date with Elvis. The tune was also released as a 45 rpm single, along with "You're a Heartbreaker" on RCA Victor records (47-6382). It is listed as 2:34 minutes long, with the publisher Leeds Music ASCAP. It has a catalog number (F2WW-8044).
1946: Cotton Thompson. On King Records. This is sometimes incorrectly credited to Moon Mullican because Cotton was part of Moon's band and recorded this after a Mullican session in 1946. Available on 2 Mullican CDs nowadays and called "New Milk cow blues".
1955: Mike Seeger recorded a banjo version that was inspired by the Johnnie Lee Wills version.
1960: Ricky Nelson b-side of single w/ You Are The Only One, also included on album Million Sellers and compilation Legendary MAsters