34 – A cover, or a rip-off?
In 1956, Presley performed his own rendition of Big Mama Thornton’s song “Hound Dog”, originally released in 1953. Thing is, Thornton’s original wasn’t nearly as popular as Presley’s take on it.
Presley’s critics accuse him of stealing the song to this day, calling it a complete rip-off. Fans, however, say that Presley did nothing wrong, as many songs in the fifties were seen as public domain, and many musicians performed their own covers and renditions of the music around those times, without issues. Presley’s own cultural adaptation of the song is well remembered. Furthermore, the producer/songwriter team – Jerry Leiber and Michael Stoller – claimed “Hound Dog” was theirs, as well.