This song was based on the Civil War song "Aura Lee" written in 1861 by W. W. Fosdick and George R. Poulton. With the name change to "Army Blue" it became theclass song for the West Point class of 1865. "Love Me Tender", the version Elvis recorded with its new lyrics and new title, was the title song for his first movie. This version was an adaptation by Ken Darby, the musical director for the film. Darby gave the writer's credits to his wife Vera Matson and to Elvis.
Elvis recorded it on August 24, 1956 at Fox Stage 1 in Hollywood. Not only did he have to record on a huge 20th Century-Fox sound stage, but he also had to do so without his regular band and back-up singers. Musicians: Vito Mumolo (guitar), Mike "Myer" Rugin (bass), Richard Cornell (drums), Luther Rountree (banjo), Dom Frontieri (accordian). Vocals were performed by Rad Robinson, Jon Dodson, and Charles Prescott. The engineers were Bob Mayer and Ren Runyon.
Take number 2 was chosen as the single release and shipped on September 28, 1956. It reached #1 on Billboard's pop singles chart in the USA, holding the top spot for 5 weeks and staying on the chart a total of 23 weeks. It reached #3 on Billboard's R&B singles chart and was on that chart a total of 13 weeks. It reached #3 on Billboard's country singles chart with a total of 18 weeks on that chart. On the British pop singles chart it reached #11, a total run of
9 weeks on the chart.
Others who have recorded it are Ray Conniff, The Browns, Duane Eddy, Connie Francis, Engelbert Humperdinck, the Lettermen, Paul Petersen, The Platters, Tony Bennett, Amy Grant, Shawn Colvin, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, Percy Sledge, Sly &The Family Stone, Keely Smith, B.J. Thomas, Jimmy Wakely, Paul Anka and Sam Cooke.