Lot 69: Group of Seven Rare Elvis Presley 45 RPM RCA Victor "Promotion Record" Acetates Produced in Anticipation of RCA's 1958 "Gold Standard Series" Re-release of Elvis Presley's Sun Singles
October 29, 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
The offered group of incredibly rare 45 RPM "RCA Victor PROMOTION RECORD" acetates dates from 1958, most likely produced to promote the rerelease of Elvis Presley's original Sun singles. As part of its "Gold Standard Series," RCA reissued the 10 Sun recordings several times, starting in 1958. Although RCA did release the 10 Sun singles immediately upon acquiring Elvis in late 1955, the labels on the offered group of acetates match other known examples from 1958. These promotional acetates most likely come from radio station WQAM in Miami, Florida, as other acetates with the same hand-written, 5-digit numbering system and the station's call letter stampings on them have been seen. The 5-digit numbers (i.e. 45103) don't seem to have anything to do with RCA serial or matrix numbers, and most likely refer to some internal tracking system set up by the radio station to deal with the great number of discs it would have acquired over the years. The recordings themselves have the extra echo effect added by RCA when it re-released the Sun singles. Most collectors agree that the addition of the echo was unnecessary and actually distracting when combined with the already present "slap back" sound of Sam Phillips' early Elvis' recordings. Each record's title has been manually typed on the label, followed with "ELVIS PRESLEY with Scotty and Bill." The collection includes: "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "Good Rocking Tonight," "Milkcow Blues Boogie," "You're a Heartbreaker," "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone," "Baby Let's Play House" and "Mystery Train." This offering represents a highly desirable archive of RCA's promotional efforts to keep Elvis front and center in the minds of young listeners as he headed off to serve in the Army in 1958. Each acetate measures 6 3/4 inches (17.14 cm) in diameter and the group is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The acetates are generally free of major defects and present in playable condition. The labels show signs of filing storage wear, but remain readable and relatively clean. Excellent condition overall.