This Saturday, April 18, is Record Store Day, and this one will be the most Elvis one yet.
Record Store Day celebrates everything about independent record stores – the customers, the owners, the musicians – and vinyl records. The movement has grown so much since its inception in 2007 that now thousands of record stores across the world participate. Artists plan new or special, limited releases that are available at participating stores for that day only (and those releases are often in very limited quantity).
Of course, Elvis Presley and records go hand-in-hand, so Record Store Day is an excellent way to celebrate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Elvis’ own personal record collection included thousands of records from all sorts of genres of music.
He loved rock ‘n’ roll, soul, country and gospel. His collection includes Tom Jones, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and many, many more.
He had an impressive collection of gospel records by artists such as The Blackwood Brothers, The Stamps Quartet, The Statesmen Quartet and Mahalia Jackson.
He also had copies of his own tunes. You can see part of his record collection in the TV Room at Graceland.
What Elvis didn’t keep, however, was the first music he ever recorded at the Memphis Recording Service, home to Sun Records. He recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” and took the 78 rpm acetate of those songs to the home of his friend Ed Leek, who owned a record player. He left the acetate with Leek, and Leek’s family had it included in the Auction at Graceland on January 8, 2015.
Renowned musician Jack White purchased the acetate, known as rock ‘n’ roll’s “holy grail,” for more than a quarter of a million dollars at the auction.
White, known for his solo work and his bands The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and The Raconteurs, has his own label and record store, Third Man Records, in Nashville. Third Man is dedicated to preserving vinyl while also pushing the limits of the medium; they’ve released all kinds of unusual and unprecedented types of vinyl records, including a Triple Decker Record (a 7″ within a 12″), a Rose-Petal Filled Record, Liquid Filled Record and a Scented Record.
White took the record to Alan Stoker, curator of Recorded Sound Collections at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (and he’s the son of Jordanaires member Gordon Stoker). Stoker carefully made a digital transfer of the two songs on the acetate, and Third Man Record will reissue the tracks on a facsimile 78 rpm 10-inch vinyl for Record Store Day.
A cleaned-up and remastered version will be released in the future as a 7″ record. The actual acetate will be on display at Third Man Records in Nashville on Record Store Day.
Shop Graceland is getting in on the Record Store Day action, too.
For the first time, Shop Graceland is offering three of Elvis’ albums on vinyl. Complete your own Elvis vinyl collection with “Elvis Presley,” “ELVIS at STAX,” and “Elvis Presley Showroom Internationale.”
“Showroom Internationale” is a double-LP set that features concerts from the International Showroom in August 1970. “ELVIS at STAX” is also a double LP set and includes incredible tracks from Elvis’ Stax sessions. Take it back to the beginning with “Elvis Presley,” which features so many of Elvis’ hits, such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Blue Moon” and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You).”
Visit Shop.Graceland.com and start shopping now, and celebrate everything that is Elvis and vinyl this weekend!