Song Lyric Sunday – (Let Me Be Your)Teddy Bear

The prompt from Jim:

This week the theme is songs that feature Lion, Tiger, Bear, Eagle, Shark suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II.

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear” was written by Karl Mann and Bernie Lowe and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957 for his movie “Loving You”. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 and also hit number one on the country and R&B charts.

The lyrics for the song contain the words bear, lion, and tiger, so it is a good fit for today’s prompt.

Dewey Phillips, the Memphis DJ who introduced Elvis to the airways in 1954, was invited to California to visit Elvis. According to various articles, Elvis played a copy of “Teddy Bear” (scheduled to be released in June of that year) for Phillips, warning him not to take a copy. Phillips snuck a copy of the song into his luggage and upon his return to Memphis, played the song on air before the studio release which infuriated Elvis. Demands for the record poured in that the studio and distributors could not fulfill. This put a tremendous strain on the friendship between Dewey and Elvis.

In June of 1957, RCA released a single with songs from the movie’s soundtrack track. “Loving You” and “Teddy Bear” were both included, but there was no designation as to which was the A side vs. the B side. Requests for “Teddy Bear” far outweighed the other and less than a month later, it had reached #1.

A false rumor spread that Elvis had a collection of Teddy Bears. Fans started flooding Graceland with gifts of teddy bears. There were so many, the bears were taking over the mansion. The day after Christmas in 1957, Elvis donated the bears to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. (There are some who believe this rumor about Elvis’ love for teddy bears was the inspiration for the songwriters to write the song.)

Even though this was one of Elvis’s most successful songs, it has been ignored by the industry for rewards and inclusion in ‘top hit’ lists throughout the years because of the silliness of the lyrics.

The video below includes the lyrics.)

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other bloggers.