Music video by Nat King Cole performing Love Me Tender. King Cole Partners LP, under exclusive license to Beach Road Music, LLC
"Love Me Tender" is a song sung by Elvis Presley, adapted from the tune of "Aura Lee" (or "Aura Lea"), a sentimental Civil War ballad with music by George R. Poulton and words by W.W. Fosdick. "Aura Lee" was published in 1861 and this Civil War song later became popular with college glee clubs and barbershop quartets. It was also sung at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
Elvis Presley performed "Love Me Tender" on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956, shortly before the single's release and about a month before the movie, Love Me Tender, was released, for which the song was originally recorded. On the following day, RCA received 1 million advance orders, making it a gold record before it was even released. The studio, 20th Century Fox, originally wanted to call the movie The Reno Brothers but instead re-titled it Love Me Tender to capitalize on the song's popularity.
The song is credited to Presley and Vera Matson because of the publishing agreement reached for the assignment of royalties, but the principal writer of the lyrics was Ken Darby (Matson's husband). The song was published by Elvis Presley Music. Darby also adapted the Civil War tune, which was in the public domain. When asked why he credited his wife as co-songwriter along with Presley, Darby responded, "Because she didn't write it either."
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