Love Me (Leiber/Stoller song)
Conceived as a parody of country and western music, it was initially recorded by R&B duo Willy and Ruth in 1954 (Spark 105), garnering a review spotlight in Billboard on August 14. Willie Headen was the lead singer of a vocal group, the Honey Bears and Ruth was the wife of another group member. That record was quickly followed the same year with cover versions by Georgia Gibbs, Connie Russell, Billy Eckstine, Kay Brown, the Four Escorts, the Billy Williams Quartet, the Woodside Sisters and the DeMarco Sisters, and in January 1955 by Jimmie Rodgers Snow. Most of these records were well reviewed in the trades, but none was a hit.
Elvis Presley recorded the song on September 1, 1956, for his second album, Elvis (RCA Victor, LPM-1382), issued on October 19. It was also released on the EP, Elvis Vol. 1 (RCA Victor, EPA-992). It climbed to the #2 position on the Billboard Top 100 in the United States, a first for a title not coming from single. "Love Me" also peaked at number seven on the R&B chart. "Love Me" was not released as a single to avoid confusion with Presley’s "Love Me Tender". Presley sang "Love Me" on the October 28, 1956, Ed Sullivan Show. Elvis included this song in the 1968 Comeback Special with the NBC network, and often performed it in concerts in the seventies, including his last tour in June 1977.
Johnny Burnette recorded "Love Me" in 1960, in a style similar to that of Presley, on his album Dreamin' (Liberty LST 7179) and on the maximum-45 lathes Dreamin' (Liberty LSX 1004).
- Leiber and Stoller interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
- Alan Hanson, "Elvis Roots … Early R&B, Hillbilly and Doo Wop Influences", Elvis History Blog. Retrieved 5 April 2016
- "BMI Check List of New Record Ratings by the Trade Press". Billboard. October 23, 1954. p. 36.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 467.
- on YouTube
- Johnny Burnette: Liberty 1004