Jailhouse Rock is a story about Vince Everett, an ex-convict working in the music industry. After going to jail for a bar fight he did not start, Everett meets Hunk Houghton in prison, and the two men form a bond. Houghton, a washed-up country singer, teaches Everett to play an old guitar, and to sing a few songs.
Upon his release, Everett lands work at night clubs, but not singing. He meets Peggy Van Alden, a record company talent scout, who allows Everett to record a song. They bring his record to an executive at a small record label, who then records the exact arrangement with one of his established stars. Everett and Van Alden then start their own label to bring Everett's records to the public, and fame, riches, and a film career ensue.