A Big Hunk o' Love
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|"A Big Hunk o' Love"|
|Single by Elvis Presley|
|B-side||"My Wish Came True"|
|Released||June 23, 1959|
|Format||7-inch 45 RPM|
|Recorded||June 10, 1958|
|Studio||RCA, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Songwriter(s)||Aaron Schroeder, Sidney Wyche|
|Elvis Presley singles chronology|
"A Big Hunk o' Love" is a song written by Aaron Schroeder and Sid Wyche, a.k.a. Sid Jaxon. The former is best known for writing the jazz standard "Alright, Okay, 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 American rock 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 guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill 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 vocalists the 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.
- Elvis Presley – lead vocals
- Hank Garland – lead guitar
- Bob Moore – double bass
- D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman – drums
- Floyd Cramer – piano
- Steve Sholes – producer
- Bob Ferris – engineer
Release and chart performance
RCA Victor had paired "A Big Hunk o' Love" for release as an a-side single with "My Wish Came True" as the b-side in both the United States and England. When the single was released on June 23, it was the third release to come from Elvis' army session after "I Got Stung" on October 21, 1958, and "I Need Your Love Tonight" b/w "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" on March 10, 1959.
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.
Single track listings
|1959 7" 45 RPM|
|1.||"A Big Hunk o' Love"||Aaron Schroeder, Sid Jaxon||2:12|
|2.||"My Wish Came True"||Ivory Joe Hunter||2:32|
|2007 7" 45 RPM|
|1.||"A Big Hunk o' Love"||Schroeder, Sidney Wyche|
|2.||"My Wish Came True"||Hunter|
|3.||"A Big Hunk o' Love – Alt. Take 1"||Schroeder, Wyche|
- ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits (CD liner). Elvis Presley. RCA Records. 2002. pp. 11, 18. 68079-2.
- Whitburn, Joel (2010). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (9th ed.). Billboard Books. p. 520. ISBN 978-0-8230-8554-5.
- Jorgensen, Ernst Mikael (1998). Elvis Presley: A Life in Music – The Complete Recording Sessions. New York City: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-18572-3.
- "The Cash Box Top 100 Singles: Week Ending August 29, 1959". Cash Box Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- "Featured Artists: Elvis Presley". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 468.