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  • One of Elvis Presley’s songs from the 1960s reached No. 2 because of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ song has the same name as a famous tune from the 2000s.
  • Elvis’ hit was co-written by a famous songwriter.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons had a bunch of big hits during the early 1960s. They even stopped one of Elvis Presley‘s songs from hitting No. 1. Notably, the song in question was from one of the King of Rock’ n’ Roll‘s classic movies.

1 Elvis Presley song from ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’ battled Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Elvis Presley’s “Return to Sender” became a big hit. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The track appeared on the soundtrack of the musical Girls! Girls! Girls! before appearing on the compilation album Elvis: 30 #1 Hits. The latter climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for three weeks and spent 166 weeks on the chart in total.

According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, “Return to Sender” was blocked from the No. 1 position by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” not to be confused with Fergie’s song of the same name. 

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were up against an Elvis Presley song meant to be pop

“Return to Sender” was co-written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell. During a 2008 interview with Elvis Australia, Scott discussed how he came to write tunes for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. “Otis Blackwell was a good friend of mine and convinced me to start writing for pop artists as opposed to just R&B performers,” he recalled. 

“Otis had written several songs for Elvis including classics like ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and ‘All Shook Up,’ and he had learned just how much more rewarding it was to write for a star like Elvis,” Scott recalled. Notably, Blackwell would release his own versions of hits he wrote for Elvis on the album These Are My Songs! Listening to the album, it’s striking how much Blackwell’s voice resembles the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” singer’s.


1 Song Stopped Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ From Hitting No. 1

Winfield Scott co-wrote several songs for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in rapid succession

Scott recalled how “Return to Sender” came together. “In early 1962, we struck gold and had three songs recorded in just a few weeks,” he remembered. “‘Return to Sender’ and ‘We’re Comin’ In Loaded’ for the film Girls! Girls! Girls! and ‘Easy Question’ for the Pot Luck album. 

“We wrote ‘One Broken Heart For Sale’ which became the hit single for the next movie [It Happened at the World’s Fair], and ‘Please Don’t Drag That String Around’ which ended up on the B-side of ‘(You’re the) Devil In Disguise,'” he added. “A few years later, I wrote ‘Long Legged Girl’ with Leslie McFarland and, in 1970, Elvis recorded ‘Stranger in the Crowd’ which I had written on my own.”

“Return to Sender” is a great pop song even if Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were more popular at the time.