"Don't Be Cruel
" is a song recorded by Elvis Presley and written by Otis Blackwell
in 1956. "Don't Be Cruel" was the first song that Presley's song publishers, Hill and Range, brought to him to record.]Blackwell was more than happy to give up 50% of the royalties and a co-writing credit to Presley to ensure that the "hottest new singer around covered it". But unfortunately he had already sold the song for only $25, as he stated in an interview of American Songwriter. Freddy Bienstock, Presley's music publisher, gave the following explanation for why Elvis received co-writing credit for songs like "Don't Be Cruel." "In the early days Elvis would show dissatisfaction with some lines and he would make alterations, so it wasn't just what is known as a 'cut-in'. His name did not appear after the first year. But if Elvis liked the song, the writers would be offered a guarantee of a million records and they would surrender a third of their royalties to Elvis'. Presley performed "Don't Be Cruel" during all three of his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show
in September 1956 and January 1957.