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Love Me (Leiber/Stoller song)

1956 Elvis Presley sheet music.

"Love Me" is a sentimental song composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and recorded and popularized by Elvis Presley in 1956.[1]

BackgroundEdit

Conceived as a parody of country and western music, it was initially recorded by R&B duo, Willy & 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.[2] 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,[3] but none was a hit.

Elvis Presley recordingEdit

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.[4] "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 NBC Network Comeback Special and often performed it in concerts in the seventies, including his last tour in June 1977.[5]

In Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time issue in 2008, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant recalled singing the song with Elvis in 1974:

When I met Elvis with Zeppelin, after one of his concerts in the early '70s, I sized him up. He wasn't quite as tall as me, but he had a singer's build, and he was driven. At that meeting, Jimmy Page joked with Elvis that we never soundchecked - but if we did, all I wanted to do was sing Elvis songs. Elvis thought that was funny and asked me, 'Which songs do you sing?' I told him I liked the ones with all the moods, like that great country song 'Love Me' - 'Treat me like a fool/Treat me mean and cruel/But love me.' So when we were leaving, after a most illuminating and funny 90 minutes with the guy, I was walking down the corridor. He swung 'round the door frame, looking quite pleased with himself, and started singing that song: 'Treat me like a fool.' I turned around and did Elvis right back at him. We stood there, singing to each other. What he did was he made it possible for me, as a singer, to become otherworldly.

Led Zeppelin has also performed the song during a soundcheck before a concert.

Other recordingsEdit

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).[6]

Pat Boone included the song on his 1963 album Pat Boone Sings Guess Who?

David Keith recorded it for the 1988 soundtrack album for the film Heartbreak Hotel.

A version was recorded by country music artist Davis Daniel on his 1991 debut album Fighting Fire with Fire.

Robert Gordon released his version on Greetings from New York City in 1991.

The Mavericks recorded the song for the 1994 album It's Now or Never - The Tribute to Elvis.

American country band the Little Willies covered the song on their 2006 album The Little Willies.

Engelbert Humperdinck recorded it on his 2001 album I Want to Wake Up With You.

A live version of the song was released by country singer Billy "Crash" Craddock on 2009's Live -n- Kickin'.

The song was included in the musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe, as a medley with "Don't".

Actor and comedian Jorge Garcia sang "Love Me" in the Hawaii Five-0 (2010 TV series, season 5) episode "Ua helele’i ka hoku" ("Fallen Star") which originally aired in April, 2015.[7]

Chris Isaak released it on the Beyond the Sun album.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Leiber and Stoller interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  2. ^ Alan Hanson, "Elvis Roots … Early R&B, Hillbilly and Doo Wop Influences", Elvis History Blog. Retrieved 5 April 2016
  3. ^ "BMI Check List of New Record Ratings by the Trade Press". Billboard. October 23, 1954. p. 36.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 467.
  5. ^ Elvis Presley – Love Me – Video mix showing live performances on YouTube
  6. ^ Johnny Burnette: Liberty 1004[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Bruce Simmons (May 29, 2015). "Hawaii Five-0, Jorge Garcia Does Sing Elvis". BruSimm.com. Retrieved November 5, 2017.