This song was recorded for the movie "GI Blues" on April 28, 1960 at RCA Studios in Hollywood. It an adaptation by Kay Twomey, Fred Wise and Ben Weisman of a German folk song called "Muss I Denn".
Musicians in the session included: Scotty Moore and Tiny Timbrell on guitar; Ray Siegel on bass, D.J. Fontana and Frank Bode on drums; Jimmie Haskell on accordian; and Dudley Brooks on piano. The Jordanaires provided vocal backup and at times, Jordanaires member Neal Matthews also filled in on guitar and Jordanaires member Hoyt Hawkins played tambourine.
Although the song was featured in the smash hit movie "G.I. Blues" in 1960, "Wooden Heart" was not put out as a single until November 1964, serving as the flip side to a seasonal reissue of Elvis' 1957 hit "Blue Christmas". Take #4 of "Wooden Heart" was chosen for the release. "Wooden Heart" did not chart in the USA, but it peaked at #1 for 6 weeks in a 27-week run on the British pop singles chart.
The song has also been recorded by Bobby Vinton, Tom Petty, Billy Swan, Connie Francis, and The Gentrys.