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All Shook Up

Posted by ESC on May 21, 2003

ALL SHOOK UP - Songwriter Otis Blackwell ("Don't Be Cruel," Great Balls of Fire," "Return to Sender," "Fever") remembers the genesis of one song: "A fellow that used to work in the Shalamar (Music) office came in with this Coca Cola bottle. He was told I could write a song about anything. So he made me a bet. (According to lore, he began shaking the coke bottle and letting the fizzing soda squirt all over the wall, betting Otis that he couldn't write a song about the fizzing coke. Otis took the bet and retired to his writer's cell.) I didn't realize what the hell I was doing. I went in and wrote 'All Shook Up.' Then they just shot it over to Elvis and it really worked!" "In Memoriam: The Man Behind the Songs You Love," by Tom Russell, "The Oxford American" magazine, sixth annual music issue.

I highly recommend the Oxford American music editions - the articles and the music on the CD.