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This Elvis classic borrows the chord progression as well as the melody from the Italian song "O Sole Mio," which was first recorded by Giuseppe Anselmi in 1907. Mario Lanza popularized the song, and Tony Martin released the first English translation as "There's No Tomorrow" in 1949. (thanks, James - Hagerstown, MD)
When Elvis was in the US army, he was stationed in Germany and heard "O Sole Mio." When he was discharged, he asked his record company to write an English translation for him, a task that went to songwriters Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold.
Barry White heard this song in 1960 when he was in jail for stealing tires. The song had such an impact on White, that it convinced him to pursue a career in music. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
This was one of seventeen songs written by songwriter and producer Aaron Schroeder for Elvis. Others include "Stuck on You" and "A Big Hunk O' Love" but this was the biggest hit that he penned for The King. Another familiar tune to many that he wrote was the theme song for the TV series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
Schroeder also discovered, managed and directed the career of Gene Pitney and helped the young careers of acts like Jimi Hendrix and Barry White.
Bill Porter was an American audio engineer who helped shape the Nashville sound and recorded such stars as The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison from the late 1950s through the 1970s. In one week of 1960, his recordings accounted for 15 of Billboard Magazine's "Top 100," a feat none have matched. He recalled one particular session with Elvis on April 3-4 1960, which included this song. "In those two days, we recorded 12 songs, two of which went to No 1," Porter remembered. "Elvis was having trouble with 'It's Now or Never' because he basically sang in the baritone range, and the end was in the tenor range. We recorded this song for at least seven or eight takes. At one point, I finally pushed the talkback button and said, 'EP, we can just do the ending. I can splice it on without doing the song all the way through again'. He answered me with, 'Bill, I'm gonna do it all the way through, or I'm not gonna do it at all!' So, we did it again. And, of course, he got it the way he wanted it."
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