Mike Opitz Song Writing and Theory Project

Featuring the Karma Refugees

Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock – Elvis

Elvis Presley is the iconic face of emerging rock and roll. He is the white man who sounds black and sings with the pent up sexuality and attitude of the blues.

“Hound Dog” Big Momma Thornton

By comparing these two clips, you get a visual and audio presentation of the time “race” music turned into rock and roll.

**video is no longer available**

“Hound Dog” Elvis Presley

The history and importance of the song, “Hound Dog,” written by two young white men for Big Mama Thornton, a black woman, and released as “race music” on a blues label—then covered by the emerging Elvis Presley—the first rock star. Note the complex interplay or race, class, gender, music and image woven into this cultural document, a rock song.