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Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” Movie Debut

| November 15, 2010 | 0 Comments

On November 15, 1956, Love Me Tender premiered and launched the acting career of Elvis Presley. Originally titled The Reno Brothers, the film’s name was changed when advanced sales of Presley’s recording of the song “Love Me Tender” sold over a million copies after he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show during a break in filming.

The song’s music was based on a Civil War ballad called “Aura Lee,” with lyrics written by Ken Darby who wrote all of the songs on the soundtrack. Presley’s notorious manager, Colonel Tom Parker, added four songs to the film in order to cross-promote it with the soundtrack, and pulled his infamous act of adding Elvis’ name to the writing credits in order to collect publishing royalties for his company.

In the movie Presley played Clint Reno, one of the Reno brothers who stayed home while his brother went to fight in the Civil War. Thought dead, the brother comes home to find his wife married to brother Clint, and ends with a gunfight between the two brothers where Clint is killed.

It turned out that during the movie’s test screenings people became so completely undone over the death of Elvis that he filmed an extra scene with him playing and singing over the end credits. And when his mother cried watching her son’s character die, Elvis insisted that his characters would never die on screen again.

Category: In Case You Haven't Heard

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