Little Sister

Album: The Essential Elvis Presley (1961)
Charted: 1 5
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Elvis sings about how he was hurt by a girl who showed interest in him and then left for another guy. This girl has a little sister, and now he is taking an interest in her, but hopes she doesn't leave him the same way.
  • This was written by the Brill Building songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. They also wrote the 1959 hit "A Teenager In Love," which also deals with a young man who is baffled by women.
  • This was released as a single with another Doc Pomus / Mort Shuman composition: "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame," which made #4 US on September 18, 1961, two weeks before "Little Sister" peaked at #5. Although "Marie" was the bigger chart hit, "Little Sister" had a lot more staying power, becoming one of Elvis' classics.
  • Artists to cover this song include Ry Cooder, Link Wray and Jimmy Barnes. Dwight Yoakam released his version in 1987, taking it to #7 on the Country chart.

Comments: 15

  • David R. Moran from Mass.>> "I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
    Than to be with another man"

    Amazing how bad grammar unwittingly becomes comically homophobic.

    Agree 'Little Sister' lyrics are seriously messed-up even for the day.
  • Larry D Hunley from Inkster Michigan It wasn't James Burton on guitar. It was the late Hank Garland. Great old rock and roll song
  • Paul Osman from Liverpool, EnglandThe Ry Cooder Band version of LS is far superior to Mr Presley . RC changed the tune into a more soulful affair with backing vocals and it's my favourite version
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSteve as I recall James didn't play guitar on this song.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI understand this was either the last or one of the last songs the late Hank Garland played on before his car crash.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLove this tune, especially the drummer and the guitars, whoever they were.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLove the opening guitar, but especially the drums on this song. I understand how the lyrics could be contraversial, especially in this day and age, but how many of us in anger and hurt said I'm Gonna Get You. Or Kill You, but don't mean it literally.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 26th 1961, I would have loved to been 'a fly on the wall' at RCA Studio 'B' in Nashville, Tennessee...
    For on that day Elvis recorded "(Marie's the Name} His Latest Flame" and "Little Sister" at the studio; and Roy Orbison, using five musicians who played on the Elvis session, recorded "Crying"...
    All three records made the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart; and for the week beginning on September 25th, 1961 all three were on the Top 10 at the same time, "Crying" was at #4, "Little Sister" at #6, and "His Latest Flame" right at #10.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI agree with George...it has a very neat hard edged guitar sound played by James Burton...very cool
  • George from Belleville, NjWhat a great rocker.This song rocks.It has a tough edge and a hard guitar sound and a rocking beat.This is what early 60's rock and roll sounded like and Elvis was the leader of the pack.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyElvis wasn't my all-time favorite {that's Buddy Holly} but he certainly was the King. With this song along with it's flip side {Marie's the Name - His Latest Flame} he had a total of five 45s were both sides made the Top 10. 'Little Sister' peaked at #5 were 'Marie' peaked at #4...
  • Patrick Vermeirsch from Lokeren, BelgiumI agree with Richard, Anniston, AL, that Ry Cooder's version is an amazingly good version of this great Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman song.
  • Patrick Vermeirsch from Lokeren, BelgiumThe Line "I's Rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man" has also been used by John Lennon in Run For Your Life on the Revolver album.
  • Richard from Anniston, AlAmong the covers of this great song is Ry Cooder's from his album "Bop Til You Drop".
  • Michael from Elgin, IlIt's a good thing Elvis was so physically attractive in his youth, or the teeming throngs of screaming teenagers might have stopped to listen to what he was singing, and heard the somewhat less than romantic overture, "Ev'ry time I see your sister
    Well she's got somebody new
    She's mean and she's evil
    Like that old Boll Weevil
    Guess I'll try my luck with you."

    Still, it's better than the last verse of "Baby Let's Play House":
    "Now listen to me, baby
    Try to understand.
    I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
    Than to be with another man."

    See, that's just creepy, and I mean Fabulous T-Birds "Wrap It Up" creepy.
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