Return To Sender

Album: Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
Charted: 1 2
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about a guy who sends a letter to a girl, but she refuses to read it, instead writing "Return To Sender" on it and having it sent back to him. Our hero has a hard time believing she doesn't want to read the letter, so he sends it special delivery to make sure it arrives. When that letter gets sent back, he decides to hand-deliver it.
  • The year after this was released, postal "Zones" were replaced by Zip Codes, making the line, "No such number, no such zone" outdated.
  • Otis Blackwell, who had written Elvis' hits "Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up," wrote this with Winfield Scott, who was in a vocal group called The Cues and wrote the song "Tweedle De" for LaVern Baker. When Elvis needed songs for his movie Girls! Girls! Girls!, Blackwell convinced Scott to try his hand writing Pop songs, and they came up with this and "We're Comin' In Loaded" for the movie.
  • On January 8 1993, the US postal service released a stamp commemorating Elvis on what would have been The King's 58th birthday. This caused a stir, as stamps were usually reserved for historical figures rather than entertainers, so the postal service let their customers vote on one of 2 designs for the stamp: a young Elvis or an older (and heavier) Elvis. Young Elvis won handily and on January 8, 1993, the stamp was released. Enterprising stamp collectors put Elvis stamps on letters that day and mailed them off with false addresses so they would be sent back marked "Return To Sender" and become collector's items.

Comments: 14

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1962 {November 11th} "Return To Sender" by Elvis peaked at #2 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's* Hot Top 100 chart, the five weeks it was at #2, the #1 record for those five weeks was "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons...
    "Return Tender" reached #1 in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden...
    The King had five other records peak at #2; "Love Me", "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck", "A Fool Such As I", "Can't Help Falling In Love", and "Burning Love"...
    And let us not forget, he had eighteen records that made it to #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart...
    May the King R.I.P. {1935 - 1977}...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of Billboard's Top 10 on November 11th, 1962:
    At #3. "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals
    #4. "All Alone Am I" by Brenda Lee
    #5. "Next Door To An Angel" by Neil Sedaka
    #6. "Gina" by Johnny Mathis
    #7. "Bobby's Girl" by Marcie Blane
    #8. "Don't Hang Up" by The Orlons
    #9. "Limbo Rock" by Chubby Checker
    #10. "The Cha-Cha-Cha" by Bobby Rydell
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 11, 1962, "Big Girls Don't Cry" by the Four Seasons peaked at #1 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, and it remained in the top spot for five weeks...
    And for the five weeks it was at #1, the #2 record for all five of those weeks was "Return to Sender" by Elvis, and that would be it's peak position on the Top 100.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSteve, like the sax as well.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'I gave a letter to the postman,
    He put it his sack.
    Bright in early next morning,
    He brought my letter back.'
    So here's some obscure trivia:
    On February 15th 1842 in New York City, the City Dispatch Post was the first post office to use adhesive stamps...
    And one hundred-twenty years and ten months later on October 14th, 1962 Elvis' "Return To Sender" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; four weeks later on November 11th it would peak at #2 {for 5 weeks} and it stayed on the chart for 16 weeks...
    Of course because its Elvis, the record's B-side, "Were Do You Come From", also made the Top 100, though for just one week at position #99...
    The King had five other records that peaked at #2 on the Top 100; they were "Love Me", Wear My Ring Around Your Neck", "A Fool Such As I", "Can't Help Falling In Love", and "Burning Love"...
    Let us not forget, he had eighteen records that made it to #1.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    It's been learned that composer Winfield Scott died October 26th, 2015 at the age of 95...
    Winfield co-wrote "Return To Sender" and "One Broken Heart For Sale" (both with Otis Blackwell) as well as LaVern Baker's hit, "Tweedlee Dee," Connie Francis' "Many Tears Ago" and Bill Haley's "Burn That Candle"...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 21st 1962, Elvis Presley's eleventh feature movie, 'Girls! Girls! Girls!', opened in theaters across the U.S.A. and Canada...
    The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for 'Best Motion Picture - Musical'...
    One month earlier October 14th, 1962 "Return to Sender", which was featured in the movie, entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #68; and on November 11th, 1962 it peaked at #2* {for 5 weeks} and spent 16 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #5 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    The record's B-side, "Were Do You Come From", which was also from the movie, made the Top 100 for a single week, at position #99...
    * The five weeks it was at #2; the #1 record for those five weeks was "Big Girls Don't Cry" by the Four Seasons.
  • Michael from Eastleigh, United Kingdomi agree with all the comments. a great song smooth silky vocal by elvis and good sax. col. parker actually insisted that the song be included in the film ' girls,girls, girls because elvis liked it so much. producer hal wallis didn't want it in the film because he thought the film would run over time, but parker made sure elvis got his way. also did you know that the songs composer otis blackwell never met elvis, because he said that he [blackwell] might be disappointed. i heard he later regretted not meeting elvis.
  • Rick from Belfast, Mewhat can I say?....this is Elvis at his best......also a great song to dance with the one you love
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaLove the Baritone Sax and vibrola guitar in
    this song by sung Elvis...it is quite entrtaining to watch him perform this on the big screen.
  • Daniel from Edmonton, AbRegarding the comment, "I never understood the..." is actually referring to the lyrics, "Sent it special D" which means, special Delivery!
  • John from Brisbane, United StatesI never understood the line ,I sent a special de bright and early next morning it came right back to me,What is a special de?
  • Kristian from Cleveland, Txthis is my favorite song, and its song in g.i blues
  • George from Belleville, NjThis is a classic early sixties rock song and the performance of it in the movie Girls girls girls is highly entertaining to watch.There's just nobody quite like Elvis in the music business.

    George, Belleville,N.J.
  • Maha from Auckland, New ZealandCertainly is one my favourite Elvis songs!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.