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Elvis Presley‘s “She’s Not You” was written by three of the best songwriters of the early 1960s. It’s no surprise that artists decided to take inspiration from one of the greatest country songs ever. Considering the pedigree of “She’s Not You,” the song itself is pretty disappointing.

Elvis Presley’s ‘She’s Not You’ was inspired by ‘I Really Don’t Want to Know’

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were the songwriting duo behind Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” one of the most popular songs ever written. They also teamed up for several Elvis songs, including “Jailhouse Rock,” “Hound Dog,” “Bossa Nova Baby,” and “She’s Not You.” 

During a 2006 interview with Elvis Information Network, Leiber revealed what he thought of Elvis’ “She’s Not You.”

“Elvis did a really good job on it,” he opined. “He never did a bad job on any song. ‘She’s Not You’ is based on the style and sentiment of ‘I Really Don’t Want to Know,’ one of the greatest country songs ever written.”

Why the song worked for Elvis Presley

Stoller said he and Leiber co-wrote the song with Doc Pomus, the musical genius behind “Viva Las Vegas,” “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame,” and “Little Sister.”

“Doc Pomus called us up one day,” he recalled. “We were all in the Brill Building. Doc was a dear friend and Jerry and I had produced lots of Doc and Morty’s (Shuman) songs with The Drifters. 

“Mort had either gone off to Japan or moved to Paris,” he added. “Doc, who was feeling somewhat abandoned, said, ‘Come on up, let’s write a song for Elvis.’ So, at Doc’s request, the three of us did just that.”

Stoller said something that gave insight into why “She’s Not You” worked so well for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “I think Elvis’ performance of the songs we wrote for him were generally better than those that were written for someone else,” he said. Stoller cited “Love Me,” a ballad originally performed by Willy & Ruth, as an exception to that rule.


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How ‘She’s Not You’ performed on the pop charts

“She’s Not You” became a modest hit for the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer. That track reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 10 weeks. It didn’t perform as well as other songs from Elvis’ pop-heavy early 1960s catalog, such as “It’s Now or Never” or “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” That might be because it wasn’t as good. The melody isn’t particularly memorable and the backing vocals lack the punch they have in other Elvis songs like “Burning Love” and “Suspicious Minds.”

“She’s Not You” appeared on the compilation album Elvis: 30 #1 Hits. That record became a much bigger deal than “She’s Not You.” The album topped the Billboard 200 for three weeks. It lasted on the chart for a total of 182 weeks — longer than any of Elvis’ other albums. Elvis: 30 #1 Hits was so big that it spawned a sequel: Elvis: 2nd to None.

“I Really Don’t Want To Know” might be one of the best country songs ever written. On the other hand, “She’s Not You” isn’t one of the best Elvis songs ever written.