Two Very Rare, Weird, and Valuable Elvis Records

I started collecting record albums back in the 80s when CDs took over as the dominant music format. When people bought CD players and started building CD libraries, their old LPs and 45s languished in disinterest.  Ultimately, many people sold their record collections at garage sales.  For years, I was a regular Saturday morning scavenger, hitting as many garage sales as possible, looking for records.  Sometimes I would buy selectively, and sometimes I would make an offer on everything they had.

Ultimately, I ended up selling my doubles and other unwanted albums at record shows in Atlanta, Charlotte, Ashville, and my hometown of Greenville, SC.  I had a partner in these ventures, and sometimes I would leave her minding our tables while I roamed the floor looking for deals on Elvis albums and 45s.  I built up a substantial collection I am quite proud of.

To learn more about the hobby, I subscribed to a record collecting magazine called Discoveries.  For twenty-five years I have read hundreds of articles and learned of several super Elvis rarities worth big bucks.  Despite all the record shows I attended, I have never seen anything that rare or that valuable.  They seemed to be the exclusive providence of the big collectors, who scooped them up whenever they appear on the market.  I’ve thought about doing blogs on some of these Elvis rarities, but it would be a real chore to go back through 600 old issues of Discoveries to find the background information I’d need.  Plus, the lack of quality color photos to illustrate any articles cooled my enthusiasm.

Now, two of these very rare, very weird, and very valuable Elvis records have come up for auction in Memphis during Elvis Week.  Heritage Auction Galleries calls 2010 the Year of The King, and to celebrate his 75th birthday, they are conducting the Ultimate Elvis Auction live at The Peabody Hotel.  The final bids will go in on August 14.

image 



Here’s what Heritage has to say about their Ultimate Elvis Auction:

Every year, [we] present selections of Elvis memorabilia as unique and superior as the legacy of The King himself.  Now, in this milestone year, we're taking it to another level.

Indeed, Heritage has put excellent hi-def photos of all items in their on-line catalog, so let’s take a look at two really cool Elvis records.


Elvis Shares an Album with Jaye P. Morgan –  What?

image 

Elvis Presley and Jaye P. Morgan Promo Double Disc EP 1956

The picture above is not two albums photographed side-by-side.  Rather it is what is called a gatefold double album that has been opened up to show the back and front covers.  Think of it as a skinny book with Elvis on the front cover and lounge singer Jaye P. Morgan on the back cover.  Inside each cover is a pocket containing a 45 RPM record.  However, each disc is an EP (Extended Play) record with two songs on each side.  Elvis released several dozen EPs in the 50s and early 60s, and I own copies of almost all.  They were like mini-albums kids could play on their personal 45 RPM record players (usually found in their bedrooms.)

image

Personal 45 RPM Record Player, Usually Found in Teens’ Bedrooms



Here is the original Elvis EP with the four song titles across the top: “Rip It Up,” “Love Me,” “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again,” and “Paralyzed.”  There is an interesting bit of trivia about “Love Me.”   Although it was never released on a regular two-song record, “Love Me” reached # 2 on the Billboard chart.  Jukebox and disc jockey play clearly showed which of the four songs was the big winner.

image 

1956 Four-Song Elvis EP Album

So, why did RCA combine eight songs from two different artists on this strange product?  Like many other rarities, it was a promotional item.  RCA was trying to do two things.  Mostly, they wanted to convince retailers to carry Rock and Roll records in addition to those of crooners like Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore.  This double disc promo was wrapped horizontally with a 1.25″ wide paper band which contained a multiple choice question (with check-off boxes):

“One of these albums sold… two, four, ten, twenty, hundred, or thousand… times better than the other… which one?”

The album contained an insert with the answer:

image

 

To facilitate their other goal, RCA also listed some facts inside intended to convince retailers that did not already sell records that they should:

image 

So, what is this rare Elvis promo record worth?  Heritage Auction Galleries has listed the minimum starting bid at $6,000, and they estimate it will bring $12,000 or more.  Based on the prices of those other Elvis rarities I read about, I think it will do that easily.

Elvis in the Grooves, The Whispers on the Label:

Once or twice before, I have commented on ElvisBlog about how auctioneers have made really low estimates about what certain Elvis memorabilia will bring.  Well, this is another one.

image

“Doncha’ Think It’s Time” by Elvis – pressed on disc with The Whispers label.

This is a picture of a 45 RPM record.  You can see that the label clearly says the song is “One For The Money” by The Whispers.  However, the song pressed in the grooves is Elvis’ minor hit “Doncha’ Think It’s Time.”   Screw ups like this create valuable collectibles, especially if Elvis is involved… and, especially if there are only two of them in existence.

We are talking about a very rare, very desirable record here.  The auction minimum bid is $1,500 and the estimate is $3,000 and up.  I’m betting it will be way up.

So, what’s the story on this Elvis record anomaly?  It dates back to 1976 when RCA’s Indianapolis plant wanted to test a new process whereby all label information was actually stamped, or embossed, right into the vinyl itself, rather than printed on paper which was glued to the disc.  The result of this stamping process was slightly raised lettering, similar to Braille.  Somehow, they had the technology to incorporate different shades of gray into the embossing process, so all the printing you see above is right on the disc.  Because RCA’s record labels were basically black and white, unlike the multi-colored labels of most other record companies, they could be simulated in the embossing.

This experiment did not give the intended result and the idea was scrapped, but three test copies were kept to substantiate the results.

The description of the record on the Heritage Auction website is about two of these.  The other information they reveal does not fully explain how we got Elvis songs on Whispers records.  Here is what they say, for what it’s worth.

Both sides of the disc play the original 1958 Elvis hit, “Doncha’ Think It’s Time.”
However, the “label” imprint is for “One For the Money,” a 1976 soul single by the Whispers — a convenient hit record being produced at that same time.

Obviously, there is more to the story.  Why would the flip side of Elvis big 1958 hit “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” be on a record produced in 1976?

image

I spoke with Jerry Osborne, famous music historian, writer, Elvis collector and memorabilia marketer.  At one time he owned all three of these strange records.  The third one had Elvis’ song “What’d I Say” on it, with the same Whispers song information on the disc.  Osborne sold it and one copy of the “Doncha’ Think It’s Time” record to a major private collector, and so far, they haven’t come back on the market.

All I know is – this is one very rare, unique Elvis record, and it should bring well over $3,000. 

©  2010    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> 

 

31 Responses to Two Very Rare, Weird, and Valuable Elvis Records

  1. I have the RCA I Gotta Know / Are You Lonesome tonight 45 47-7810 that has the original I gotta Know Label on both sides. The songs are correct. Is there any special Elvis collector interest in that anomaly. Has it been reported before ?

    • Hi Jeff: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. I hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  2. Hi , from England UK.
    Bakerlite 10″ Long player , ” Best of Elvis Presley ” 10 tracks
    Numbers :- HMV DLP 1159 inner ring OXAV 289 IN
    circa 1950′s . ( tracks listed if interested )

    • Hi Richard:

      I guess the purpose of your comment was to see if anyone was interested in purchasing your record. You also might want to contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  3. Father-in -law gave me his 78 record collection when he retired. Mostly from the mid 50′s. In a metal box that contained these records I came across an elvis magazine with a paper 78 rpm record that you pop off the front cover. Magazine entitled, (Elvis answers back), The record is gold in color. Can anyone explain what this is ?

    • Hi Ken: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  4. Ihave an elvis ep unfoutuateley bit broke of which I have. There’s no cover …RCA jailhose rock otheer side treat me nice. Rca 1028. Wouyld it be of any value

    • Hi Veronica: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  5. I have a 45 record of elvis that is a promotional 45, and i was wondering what it might be worth. And where to sell valuable records at, and get close to what they are worth. Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Donnie: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  6. Dominick Cavuoto

    Hi great site I Have a Collectors set of ten 45 records that came out in 1977 in original box i was told they are not worth to much however checking all the labels i came arcoss the number PB.11111 and both side have the same Song Name > Where Do You Come From , is it worth anything with the same label on both side record is unplayed,
    Thank You.
    Dominick

    • Hi Dominick: I don’t know the answer to your question, but I know who does. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  7. My name is Nate and I have some Elvis records that have been handed down to me from my grandfather. Wondering if you would be so kind and help me value these. I know you probably get annoyed with so many emails but if you could help me out that would be great :) The albums I have are as follows.

    Good Luck Charm/Anything That’s a Part of You, 45 RPM
    Elvis’ Album Blue Hawaii, 45 RPM
    Elvis Presley I gotta know are you lonesome tonight, 45 RPM
    Gold Standard Series, Peace in the Valley, 1959.
    Gold Standard Series, A Touch of Gold, Volume II, Maroon Label, 1959

    • Hi Nathan: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. Hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  8. hello.I have a bootleg album from 1972 called I wanna be a rock-n-roll star.Produced by somone called Vincent Lust.I think the main selling point was a then unreleased sun track My babies gone.Is this of any interest do you think.It is in mint condition probably played 3-4 times.David

    • Hi: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. I hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister

  9. could you possibly tell me the value of my two 78 records. .side 1 and side 2 are factory pressings
    samples blank on one side.with song his hand in mine.made in england.side one reads L2PP 4729 RD27211 the other record reads L2py 4730 rd27211 note these are two records.

    regards karen owen.

    • Hi: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. I hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  10. I have the whole set of Elvis albums that I ordered in 1979. I think there are about 5 maybe more albums that came in a case. Are these rare worth anything or do I just hang on to them? I have had these for 32 or 33 years and never thought they might be worth anything I ordered them from a magazine and thought they were expensive even back then. How do I find out if they are of any value? Thank you

    • Hi Shirley: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is JPO@olympus.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. I hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  11. Charlotte Davis

    I have an original 45 rpm record from the movie jailhouse rock that i am willing to part with if i can get a reasonable amount for it. It has 5 songs total on it. The reason that I want to sell it is because I want to go to Graceland for my next birthday and I will need the money for that. It is in good condition.

    • Hi Charlotte: I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is phh46@verizon.net.

      Thanks for reading ElvisBlog. I hope you enjoy it.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  12. How can we purchase rare songs played on the Sirus Elvis channel? Love on a gravel road, etc.?

  13. i have a rca 45 record of elvis that has 4 songs on it. 2 on one side and 2 on the other. do you know if there is any out there like this? do you know if it is worth anything?

    • Logan: What you have is an EP (extended play), and Elvis issued dozens of them. There may be some value to the one you have if the record and cover sleve are in near-mint condition.
      It is impossible to tell you more without knowing the catelog number shown on both the sleve and disc.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  14. is my 1973 elvis promo of “raised to rock” worth anything other than shipping costs? thanks, mike

    • Mike: Sorry, I have no idea about the value of your Elvis promo. I get a lot of requests like this, so I have created a standard reply. Please contact Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian. His website is jerryosborne.com, his phone number is 360-385-1200, and his e-mail address is phh46@verizon.net.

      Phil Arnold, ElvisBlogmeister

  15. I have a 1 of a kind record of Elvis that is an RCA 45, it is mispressed with “edge of reality” on one side and , it’s supposed to have have “if I could dream” on the other side- buts its polka type music??????- no one has ever heard of this…… So I’ve been told, do you know of anything of that nature?

    • Sorry to be so late replying to your comment. I think you may have something of value here. The best expert I know if Jerry Osborne, a famous Elvis collector, historian and author. I would suggest you go to his website.

      http://jerryosborne.com/

      If you scroll way down on the home page you will find his mailing address and phone number. His e-mail address is

      jpo@olympus.net

      Also, click on the Buying and Selling Collectibles tab before contacting him.

      Hope this helps. Phil Arnold

    • Amie Graves, I have the same record. Could you please tell me what you found out about this record?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>