This song was written by the prolific R&B songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They came to the first recording session for the film "Jailhouse Rock" on April
30, 1957 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. This was their first meeting with Elvis, whom they had predetermined to be "musically ignorant". They were surprised to find immediately that Elvis was knowledgeable of even the most obscure R&B songs and was a big fan of the genre. At these sessions were Elvis regulars Scotty Moore, Bill Black, DJ Fontana and The Jordanaires. Dudley Brooks played piano.
It was during one of these sessions that Elvis walked out, not come back for several days, when he found out that an MGM representative had admonished The Jordanaires for wasting time singing gospel songs with Elvis instead of recording the material at hand. That executive did not appreciate the fact that this was Elvis' way of relaxing and getting energized to work. Later, Bill Black walked out in frustration from switching over from playing his usual upright bass to his new electric Fender bass. Much to everyone's surprise, Elvis calmly picked up the thrown instrument and played the bass line for Bill.
Take 6 of "Jailhouse Rock" was the single shipped on September 24, 1957 with "Treat Me Nice"as the flip side. Elvis had believed that "Treat Me Nice" would be one of his biggest hits from the film, but peaked only at only #18 on the pop chart in the U.S. "Jailhouse Rock" was the big hit. In its 27-week run on Billboard's pop singles chart it hit #1 for 7 weeks. It charted country for 24 weeks, peaking at #1. It charted R&B for 15 weeks with a 5-week run at #1. On the British pop singles chart it was #1 for 3 weeks.
Others to record the song since then include: Jeff Beck, The Blues Brothers, Eric Burdon and the Animals, John Cougar Mellencamp, Tom Jones, Carl Perkins with Michael Bolton, Twisted Sister, ZZ Top and Motley Crue.