Return to Sender (song)
|"Return to Sender"|
|Single by Elvis Presley|
|from the album Girls! Girls! Girls!|
|Released||September 5, 1962|
|Recorded||March 27, 1962, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
Recorded on March 27, 1962, at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, it is about a man mailing a letter to his girlfriend after an argument. She continually writes "return to sender" and he keeps receiving the letter with various reasons for returning to sender, including "address unknown" and "no such person". He keeps mailing letters, refusing to believe the relationship is over. Elvis performed "Return to Sender" in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!.
Featuring Presley's longtime cohorts Barney Kessel on electric guitar, Tiny Timbrell on acoustic guitar, Ray Siegal on Double bass, D.J. Fontana on drums, Dudley Brooks on piano, Boots Randolph on baritone saxophone, and the Jordanaires on backing vocals [augmented by various L.A. session personnel, including drummer Hal Blaine ], the song features an opening saxophone bar. Another saxophonist, Bobby Keys, claimed he performed the solo at the instigation of pianist Glen D. Hardin, in his 2012 memoir Every Night's A Saturday Night. However, Hardin did not meet Elvis until February 1970 when he joined his touring band. In addition, his claim is not supported by RCA, Ernst Jorgensen (the official archivist for Presley's recordings), or session logs.  
The song peaked at number 1 on the United Kingdom music charts, and number 2 on the American Billboard singles chart, but reached number 1 on the rival Cash Box and Music Vendor singles charts. "Return to Sender" also went to number five on the R&B charts. It was the first Christmas number one in Ireland, as the Irish Charts had been founded in October 1962. The single was certified "Platinum" by the RIAA for sales in excess of 1 million units in the US.
The phrase "no such zone" in the song refers to U.S. postal zones, a predecessor of the current U.S. ZIP Code. A postal zone was a one- or two-digit number written between the city and state ("New York 1, NY"), whereas a ZIP Code is a five- or nine-digit number written after the state ("New York, NY 10001").
On January 8, 1993, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp honoring Elvis Presley. Many stamp collectors mailed envelopes, franked with this stamp, to fictitious addresses in the hopes that they would receive their letters not only postmarked with the first day of issue, but also with a "return to sender" postal marking.
- Jorgensen, Ernst (1998). Elvis Presley: A Life in Music - The Complete Recording Sessions. St. Martin's Press.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 468.
"Lovesick Blues" by Frank Ifield
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December 13, 1962
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