"Old Shep" is a song by Red Foley and Arthur Willis about a dog Foley owned as a child (in reality, the dog, poisoned by a neighbor, was a German shepherd named Hoover). Foley and Willis wrote the song in 1933. Foley first recorded the song in 1935, again in 1941 and yet again in 1946.
On October 3, 1945, Presley at age ten sang "Old Shep" for his first public performance, a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Dressed as a cowboy, he stood on a chair to reach the microphone. He came in fifth place, winning $5 and a free ticket to the fair rides.
In the British TV sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Old Shep is Del Boy's favourite song. In the 1982 Christmas special "Diamonds Are for Heather", Del gets a local mariachi band to sing "Old Shep". At the end of the episode, after being dumped by Heather, he pays some Christmas carol singers to sing the song to cheer himself up. In a later episode, "Modern Men", Del has "Old Shep" as the "on hold" music on his mobile phone, plus it plays on the radio in Sid's cafe in "The Long Legs of the Law". The song was also heard in the third episode of the prequel series Rock & Chips, "The Frog and the Pussycat".
Colombian performer Marco recorded a Spanish version in 1986.
Led Zeppelin's song "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", which is about Robert Plant's dog, mentions 'Old Shep' in the line 'When you're old and your eyes are dim ain't no Old Shep gonna happen again'.
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