1 Song Stopped Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ From Hitting No. 1

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” is one of Elvis Presley‘s most famous songs. Despite this, it did not top the Billboard Hot 100. Notably, the song that stopped “Can’t Help Falling in Love” from reaching No. 1 was connected to a famous dance craze.

"Can't Help Falling in Love" singer Elvis Presley with a microphone
Elvis Presley | Frank Carroll/Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The dance song that kept Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ at No. 2

The Twist is one of the most famous dance crazes ever. It influenced a number of 1960s songs, including Joey Dee and the Starliters’ “Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1.” According to Stereogum, that song prevented “Can’t Help Falling in Love” from reaching No. 1. During a 2020 interview with New Jersey Stage, Dee discussed his early career.

“I think I was like a young Mike Tyson,” Dee recalled. “I was hungry. I was dedicated. And I knew I didn’t have the talent to make it on my own, so I was going to have other people help to get me there. As a result, I went out and I got the best, and it worked.”

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How Joey Dee and the Starliters’ ‘Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1’ was created

Subsequently, Dee discussed the origin of “Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1.”

“When we went in to record ‘Peppermint Twist’ — Henry Glover, from Roulette Records, and I wrote that song on a Sunday afternoon in October of 1961 — and when we went to record it, Henry tried David Brigati, he tried Rogers Freeman, and he tried another one of our vocalists, Larry Vernieri, singing lead and he just wasn’t happy. 

“He said to me, ‘Why don’t you try it?’ and I said, ‘I’m a background singer!’ and he said, ‘Well, just try it,’ and so I did,” Dee recalled. “Henry loved it, and he said, ‘That’s what I want to hear!'”

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How the public reacted to Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and Joey Dee and the Starliters’ ‘Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1’

“Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1” became Joey Dee and the Starliters’ biggest hit. For three weeks, it topped the Billboard Hot 100. And it stayed on the chart for 18 weeks. None of the group’s other songs topped the chart.

Notably, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” didn’t last as long on the chart as “Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1.” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 14 weeks. The track appeared on the compilation album The Essential Elvis Presley. And that album peaked at No. 42 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 90 weeks.

While “Peppermint Twist — Pt. 1” was a bigger hit in the 1960s, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” seems to have inspired more covers. Zayn Malik, Meghan Trainor, Bono, UB40, Britney Spears, and numerous others have covered Elvis’ track. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is a classic track even if it didn’t hit No. 1.

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