(Article via Carleton University)
Carleton University journalism professor Randy Boswell has published research in Rolling Stone magazine, the New York-based “bible of rock & roll,” revealing the mysterious individual who inspired Elvis Presley’s massive 1956 hit Heartbreak Hotel.
It’s the song that catapulted Elvis from regional popularity in the U.S. South to international stardom, helped ignite the rock & roll revolution and famously inspired a host of future rock superstars — John Lennon and Paul McCartney among them — to pursue music careers.
“The story behind the song’s genesis is legend, repeated thousands of times in newspapers, magazines, books, blogs and documentaries,” says Boswell. “Florida songwriters Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton always claimed that the creative spark was a 1955 Miami Herald article about an unidentified man’s suicide and the one-line note he’d left behind: ‘I walk a lonely street.’ That spawned ‘down at the end of Lonely Street,’ the signature lyric and idea behind Heartbreak Hotel.”