Given that it's Elvis Presley's 75th Birthday on Friday, I thought I would celebrate by sharing this video of Elvis performing Hound Dog on the Milton Berle show in 1956.
In early June 1956 Elvis hadn't recorded Hound Dog yet but had been performing it live in concert after seeing a similar version played at a Vegas show. The Milton Berle performance is notable for the fact that Elvis isn't playing guitar and gets pretty suggestive with his hip shakes and leg movements. If anyone didn't know that Rock and Roll was a euphemism for sex, they did after seeing this on their 12" B&W TVs. It's pretty safe to say that the 40 million Americans who tuned in had never seen anything this suggestive on their sets. This performance was also the genesis of the nickname "Elvis the Pelvis."
The outrage was immediate and intense, with NBC receiving literally tens of thousands of letters protesting Elvis' "vile" gyrations. Three weeks later, Elvis was scheduled to perform on the Steve Allen show and Allen, a known hater of Rock and Roll, made Elvis dress up in a tux and tails and sing Hound Dog to an actual Basset Hound. Elvis, although cheeky on stage, was reportedly furious and embarrassed. Elvis got the last laugh however, as he funneled that anger into the studio, where the next day he recorded the rip-roaring version of Hound Dog we all love today.