Elvis made it to the top once more with another double-A-side single of recordings he made before leaving to be a soldier in Germany. It was his fourth and final number 1 of the 50s.
Opening with a now comically deep baritone vocal from Jordanaire Ray Walker, A Fool Such As I is a sign of Presley treading water. It had been written by Bill Trader back in 1952, and the original version was sung by country star Hank Snow. Whereas Elvis’s vocal helped lift previous single I Got Stung/One Night, here it just sounds a bit lazy and Elvis-by-numbers, and the most interesting part of the track is the guitar from either Presley, Chet Akins and/or Hank Garland.
Clearly, the single’s performance suggests record buyers were more than happy, though, and perhaps some of his female fans, heartbroken and concerned about their hero being a GI in Germany, identified with the verse:
‘Pardon me if I’m sentimental
When we say goodbye
Don’t be angry with me should I cry
Well, you’re gone, yet I’ll dream
A little dream as years go by
Now and then there’s a fool such as I’
There’s even less to say about I Need Your Love Tonight. It had been written by frequent Presley collaborator Sid Wayne, along with Bix Reichner. It’s more of the same really. It trundles along and then it’s done, and the lyrics are just as forgettable:
‘Oh, oh, I love you so
Uh, uh, can’t let you go
Oh, oh, don’t tell me no
I need your love tonight’
Elvis was now equal with Frankie Laine and Guy Mitchell for the highest amount of UK number 1s in the 50s (four each), but there was a noticeable decline here. These songs signified that Elvis and his team thought they could get by with releasing songs without the danger or wit of previous material, and they were right. There was worse to come in the 60s, though.
A Fool Such As I: Bill Trader/I Need Your Love Tonight: Sid Wayne & Bix Reichner
Producer: Steve Sholes
Weeks at number 1: 5 (15 May-18 June)
The Sisters of Mercy singer Andrew Eldritch – 15 May
Actress Tracy Hyde – 16 May
Comedian Paul Whitehouse – 17 May
Singer Morrissey – 22 May
Actor Rupert Everett – 29 May
Actor Adrian Paul – 29 May
Racing driver Martin Brundle – 1 June
Comedian Hugh Laurie – 11 June
1 June: The first edition of music series Juke Box Jury on the BBC. Presented by David Jacobs, the presenter would ask a panel of four each week to judge whether a new record was a hit or miss. The original panel featured Pete Murray, Alma Cogan, Gary Miller and Susan Stranks. The series ran until 1967, but briefly returned in the 70s, 80 and 10s.
11 June: Christopher Cockerill’s hovercraft was officially launched.