Red Foley based his song “Old Shep” on Hoover, a German Shepherd he had as a child which was poisoned by a neighbor. He recorded the song three times, but the song is most known for a different reason.
Elvis Presley first public performance was on October 3, 1945 at the Mississippi-Alabama Farm and Dairy Show, when he was ten years old. He stood on a chair to reach the microphone, but came in fifth place winning fair tickets and five dollars. Elvis had been encouraged to enter the contest because his Sunday school teacher was impressed when he sang it.
Elvis performed the song again at a high school talent show in 1951, and recorded it at the 1956 session for his second album, Elvis.
Rolling Stone named “Old Shep” one of the saddest country songs of all time in this entertaining list. Our own previous post about dogs on record covers included the happy fella sitting by Neil Young.