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  • A writer of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” revealed what he thought of Baz Luhrmann’s movie Elvis.
  • He discussed the way the film utilized “Hound Dog” and other songs he wrote.
  • He reacted to Eminem sampling “Jailhouse Rock” in a song from the movie’s soundtrack.

The co-writer of Elvis Presley‘s “Hound Dog” is still alive — and he saw Baz Luhrmann’s movie Elvis in a private screening with Priscilla Presley. He revealed what he thought of the biopic. He also discussed his opinion of Austin Butler’s performance.

1 writer of Elvis Presley’s ‘Hound Dog’ revealed his thoughts on Austin Butler’s dancing

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller co-wrote a number of hits by Elvis, including “Bossa Nova Baby,” “Trouble,” “Little Egypt,” and “Jailhouse Rock.” They might be most known for penning “Hound Dog.” Blues singer Big Mama Thornton originally recorded “Hound Dog” before the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll made it one of the biggest and most influential hits of his career.

During a 2022 interview with Variety, Stoller was asked if he’d seen the movie Elvis. “Yes, Priscilla invited us to a private screening, and she and Jerry Schilling were there,” he said. For context, Schilling was a member of the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer‘s posse, the Memphis Mafia.

Stoller revealed what he thought of the movie. “It’s a very strong film; I really like the movie,” he said. “The kid who plays Elvis, Austin Butler, is a knockout as an actor, a dancer and a singer.”

Mike Stoller discussed the way the movie used different versions of ‘Hound Dog’

Stoller discussed what he thought of the way Luhrmann used his music. “And I was very happy with the way my songs were used,” he said. “There’s about three different uses of ‘Hound Dog,’ including the original Big Mama Thornton version, and of course there’s some ‘Jailhouse Rock’ in there. I thought the way they used the song ‘Trouble’ was very effective.” For context, the movie depicts Elvis singing “Trouble” before getting in trouble with the police.

Stoller discussed the movie by referring to Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker. “The Colonel would’ve made a movie like this — you know, without Baz Luhrmann’s ability or chops,” he opined. “Baz Luhrmann is much like Colonel Parker. [Laughs.] He sells!”


Why Elvis Presley’s Songwriters Didn’t Like His Version of ‘Hound Dog’

What Mike Stoller thought of Eminem sampling Elvis Presley’s ‘Jailhouse Rock’

Stoller discussed what he thought of the Eminem song from the movie that sampled “Jailhouse Rock.” “What can I say?” he replied. “I hope it’s a big hit. They call it ‘The King and I,’ which is a good title. It’s [Eminem performing] over the background sound of Elvis’ recording of ‘Jailhouse Rock.'”

“The King and I” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune appeared on the soundtrack album Elvis. That album reached No. 26 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks. Not bad for an album full of songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s!

Stoller enjoyed Elvis and the movie only cemented his musical legacy.