I Forgot to Remember to Forget:
"With each release, Presley has been coming more and more quickly to the forefront. His current record has wasted no time in establishing itself. Already it appears on the Memphis and Houston territorial charts. It is also reported selling well in Richmond, Atlanta, Durham, Nashville and Dallas. Both sides are moving, with 'I Forgot' currently on top."
The Sun release first charted the following week (September 17, 1955) at #14 on Billboard's list of C&W "Best Sellers in Stores" and at #10 on the C&W "Most Played by Jockeys" chart. It first charted on the C&W "Most Played on Juke Boxes" at #10 on October 8. It first made all three C&W lists at the same time on November 5 ("Sellers" #7, "Juke Boxes" #9, "Jockeys" #12). The Sun release of "I Forgot" remained within the top 10 on all three charts the rest of November.
RCA buys Elvis and re-releases "I Forgot"
On November 21, 1955, however, the single underwent a metamorphosis. On that day RCA Victor purchased Elvis's contract from Sam Phillips. As part of the deal, RCA obtained the rights to all of Presley's Sun recordings. Soon after, RCA pressed and distributed a single of "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" and "Mystery Train" on its own label.
As an RCA release, "I Forgot" made a small advance on the C&W charts in December 1955. On January 17, 1956, it was at #3 on "Sellers" and "Jukes" charts, and #4 on the "Jockeys" list. The final push it needed to get to #1 was provided, ironically, by "Heartbreak Hotel," it's competitor for the honor of Elvis's first #1 record. Presley appeared on the Dorsey Brothers national TV program, "Stage Show," four times in January and February 1956. He sang "Heartbreak Hotel" on the February 11 show. His performance not only launched that record up the pop charts, but also boosted the demand for his only other record out at that time.On February 25, 1956, "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" reached #1 on the C&W "Best Sellers in Stores" Billboard chart. The next week it topped the "Most Played in Juke Boxes" list. Ultimately, it spent 2 weeks atop the "Sellers" chart and 5 weeks at #1 on the "Juke Boxes" list. It never did reach #1 on the "Most Played by Jockeys" chart, peaking at #4. "I Forgot" was listed on at least one of Billboard's three C&W charts for 40 straight weeks, finally dropping off of all three on June 23, 1956.
"Heartbreak Hotel's" phenomenal chart record
Now, let's compare "I Forgot's" chart success with that of "Heartbreak Hotel." Elvis's first new single release for RCA first appeared on a Billboard chart on March 3, 1956, when it entered the Top 100 list at #68. Just two weeks later, it reached #1 on the C&W "Best Sellers" chart, displacing Presley's own recording of "I Forgot to Remember to Forget." By April 28, it was #1 on all three C&W charts. Then on May 5, "Heartbreak Hotel" reached #1 on the Top 100 pop chart, where it remained for seven consecutive weeks. On May 12, "Heartbreak Hotel" established a Billboard record. That week it was #1 on eight charts at the same time—the Top 100, "Honor Roll of Hits," and both the pop and C&W "Sellers," "Juke Boxes," and "Jockeys" charts. By mid-April "Heartbreak Hotel" had sold a million copies, making it Elvis's first gold record.
"I Forgot to Remember to Forget" was the first Elvis single to reach #1 on a Billboard chart when it topped the magazine's C&W "Best Sellers in Stores" list on February 25, 1956. It did so as an RCA release. "Heartbreak Hotel" first reached #1 on a Billboard chart three weeks later on March 17, 1956, when it topped the same C&W "Best Sellers" list. It wasn't until seven weeks later that it reached #1 on Billboard's Top 100 pop chart.
So … If the question is, "What was Elvis's first Billboard #1 record?" the answer is "I Forgot to Remember to Forget." If the question is, "What was Elvis's first #1 record on the big daddy of all record charts, Billboard's Top 100?" the answer is "Heartbreak Hotel." However, I'm sure there will always be some Elvis fans who would argue with you About this.lol.