August 15, 1960 - Elvis Presley started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'It's Now Or Never', also No.1 in the UK. It was Presley's first post-army No.1. The song which was based on the Italian song, 'O Sole Mio', but the inspiration for it came from the song, "There's No Tomorrow", recorded by U.S. singer, Tony Martin, in 1949. The lyrics were written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold.
In the late 1950s, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Presley heard Martin's recording. He told the idea to his music publisher, Freddy Bienstock, who was visiting him in Germany. Mr. Bienstock, who many times found songwriters for Presley, returned to his New York office, where he found songwriters, Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold, the only people in that day. The two wrote lyrics in half an hour. Selling more than 20 million records, the song became number one in countries all around and was Presley's best selling single ever. A song they finished in 20 minutes was the biggest song of their career.
Bill Porter was an audio engineer who helped shape the Nashville sound and recorded such stars as The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison from the late 1950s through the 1970s. In one week of 1960, his recordings accounted for 15 of Billboard Magazine's Top 100, a feat never matched. Porter recalled a session with Elvis on April 3-4 1960, which included this song: In those two days, we recorded 12 songs, two of which went to No 1. Elvis was having trouble with 'It's Now or Never' because he basically sang in the baritone range, and the end was in the tenor range. We recorded this song for at least seven or eight takes. At one point, I finally pushed the talkback button and said, 'EP, we can just do the ending. I can splice it on without doing the song all the way through again'. He answered me with, 'Bill, I'm gonna do it all the way through, or I'm not gonna do it at all!' So, we did it again. And, of course, he got it the way he wanted it.
Barry White heard this song in 1960 when he was in jail for stealing tires. The song had such an impact on White, that it convinced him to pursue a career in music.