In the 1950s, selling singles was a bigger deal for up-and-coming rock ’n’ rollers than selling albums. That’s where the money was, and the biggest moneymaker of the second half of the decade was Elvis Presley.

Presley’s first singles, in 45 and 78 RPM formats, were released by Sun Records. Few logos in popular music are as iconic as the crowing rooster on the yellow Sun label, especially if the name of the artist at the bottom of that label is a guy named Elvis Presley.

The first Presley single for Sun was "That’s All Right" in 1954. With Sam Phillips at the mixing board, Scotty Moore on lead guitar, Bill Black on upright bass, and Presley on vocals and rhythm guitar, the trio recorded the track live in the studio, with no overdubs or even drums. The single’s B-side was a Bill Monroe bluegrass tune from the 1940s called "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

Two more Sun singles followed that year, with another pair in 1955, for a total of five Sun singles containing 10 songs. RCA re-released them all when it paid Sam Phillips $35,000 for Presley’s contract. Dozens more RCA singles were released throughout the 1950s, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don’t Be Cruel," and "Hound Dog" from 1956, and "All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock" from 1957—all of these charted at number-one.

RCA kept Presley busy recording albums, too. Elvis Presley in 1956 came first. It included covers of "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins and "I Got a Woman" by Ray Charles, as well as a Rogers and Hart tune from the 1930s called "Blue Moon." The album reached number-one on the charts, as did the next two Presley albums for RCA (Elvis’ Christmas Album from 1957 has sold more than 9-million copies and remains the best-selling Christmas album ever recorded).

Presley was drafted in 1958 and served in the Army for two years, leaving with an honorable discharge in 1960 as a sergeant. During that time, RCA continued to release Presley records. The soundtrack for King Creole came out during this time, as did four compilations and half a dozen EPs.

But the things that kept Presley’s flame alive were the singles. "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" was released in April of 1958, just weeks after Presley reported for duty at Fort...

Another collectible genre of Presley records are the soundtracks for movies the singer made from 1956 (Love Me Tender) to 1969 (Change of Habit). Jailhouse Rock from 1957 can be found as an EP, with five tracks, including the Leiber and Stoller penned title. Parts of G.I. Blues were filmed when Presley was still stationed in West Germany, and the film and soundtrack (vintage vinyl collectors can acquire all 10 versions) were both huge hits when they were released in the summer of 1960.

But the biggest music-movie crossover hit for Presley was Viva Las Vegas, which was released in 1964 as an EP of four songs, none of which, astoundingly, was the title track. Presley’s single of the Ray Charles hit "What’d I Say," which was also in the film, actually features the movie’s title track as its B-side.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Elvis Presley Record Research Database

Elvis Presley Record Research Database

The Elvis Presley Record Research Database takes a big subject, The King of Rock ’n’ Roll, and boils it down to… [read review or visit site]

Sun Records Discography

Sun Records Discography

John Boija's comprehensive site offers photos of every 45, 78, and LP recorded at Sun Records—from those recorded… [read review or visit site]

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas

Vinyl Divas pays homage to international female opera singers of the LP era. Chronicling more than 800 singers, the… [read review or visit site]

317X

317X

Despite its mysterious title, 317X is plain and simple—an online gallery of vintage LPs, with a 1950s vintage fee… [read review or visit site]

Mybeatles.net

Mybeatles.net

Jesse Barron's collection of Beatles 45s, picture sleeves, magazines, books, and memorabilia. Browse singles and al… [read review or visit site]

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors

This great site, from the Association of Vogue Picture Record Collectors, offers detailed background information an… [read review or visit site]

The Remington Site

The Remington Site

Since 1999, the Remington Site has offered classical music collectors a glimpse into Remington Records, an independ… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Elvis Presley My Happiness 78 Rpm Rare Lp Third Man Record Store Day 2015Hmv Clp 1093 Elvis Presley Rock N Roll First Pressing Vinyl Near Mint ConditionSun 78 #209 Elvis/that's All Right/edge Chip 12 Grooves/alan Freed Lot/vg++Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Rare 1960's 45 Records Lot Of 134 Beatles Elvis Soul R&b Doo Wop PromosElvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm 10" Single Rsd Record Store Day 2015 Third Man Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm 10" Single Rsd Record Store Day 2015 Third ManElvis Presley Epa-4340 Christmas With Elvis Ep Original NmElvis Presley 447-0608 Gold Standard Hound Dog W/ Rare Sleeve NmElvis Presley - Sings The Beatles Etc, Record Store Day Double Red Vinyl AlbumElvis Presley Lpm-1382 2nd Self Titled Lp Nm 1956 OriginalElvis Epa 747 In Misprint Promo Envelope/sleeve?Elvis Presley My Happiness 78 Rpm Rare Lp Third Man Record Store Day 2015Elvis Presley* The Best Of Elvis* Original 1957 Hmv 10inch Hmv L.p .ex Con Elvis Presley My Happiness 78 Rpm Rare Lp Third Man Record Store Day 2015Rsd 2015 Elvis 10"/third Man Records/white StripesElvis Presley Lpm-1884 King Creole Lp Original NmElvis Presley My Happiness 78 Rpm Rare Lp Third Man Record Store Day 2015 RsdElvis Presley - Rip It Up 7" 45 Rpm Single First Pressing Uk 1956 Hmv 45-pop 305Elvis Promo For Kid Galahad Sp-45-118 & Dj Promo SleeveSun Record Elvis Presley Mystery Train/i Forgot To Remember 78rpmElvis Presley My Happiness Vinyl Record Store Day 2015 Rsd New Brand NewElvis Presley "my Happiness" 78 Rpm Record Store Day 2015 Rsd Third Man RecordsElvis Presley My Happiness 78 Rpm Rare Lp Third Man Record Store Day 2015 RsdElvis Presley Epa-747 Self Titled 1st Ep Original Silver Line Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes 7" 45 Single First Pressing Uk 1956 Hmv 7m 405Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Variation Sleeve Third Man Jack White Rsd 2015Elvis Presley - My Happiness 10" Rsd 2015 Record Store Day (third Man Records)Elvis Presley My Happiness Rsd 2015 Tmr Elvis Presley - My Happiness 78 Rpm Vinyl 10" Rsd 2015 Third Man RecordsElvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley Lpm-1707 Golden Records Lp Original 1958 NmThird Man Records White Stripes Jack Elvis Towel Rib Jones Prints PinElvis Presley - My Happiness 10" Rsd 2015 Record Store Day (third Man Records)Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Rsd 2015 Elvis 10"/third Man RecordsElvis Presley - Mystery Train 7" 45 Single First Pressing Uk 1956 Hmv 45-pop 295Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Elvis Presley Rsd 2015 Special Release Third Man Records Limited Rare NewElvis Presley Third Man Records Rsd 2015 Jack White 10" Replica SunElvis Presley Record Store Day 2015, 10 Inch 78 Rpm Rare. "my Happiness"Elvis Presley Lpm-2011 A Date With Elvis Lp W/ Sticker Original Nm Elvis Record "gi Blues" 33 Rpm Album#2 Rare 1960's 45 Records Lot Of 134 Beatles Elvis Soul R&b Doo Wop PromosElvis Presley Lp S/t 1st Album 1956 Long Play **mono**Elvis Presley "my Happiness" Record Store Day 2015 Rsd Third Man New 10" 78rpmElvis Presley My Happiness Jack White Third Man Record Store Day 2015 Lim Ed RsdElvis Presley - My Baby Left Me 7" 45 Single First Pressing Uk 1956 Hmv 7m 424Rsd 2015 Elvis 10"/third Man Records/white Stripes/tmrRsd 2015 Elvis 10"/third Man Records/white Stripes/tmrRsd 2015 Elvis Presley My Happiness 10 Inch 78 Rpm Record Store Day Third ManElvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Third Man Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015Rsd 2015 Elvis Presley My Happiness 10 Inch 78 Rpm Record Store Day Third ManElvis Presley Self Titled "elvis Presley" Rca Victor Lpm-1254 Mono 1956Elvis Presley 74-0572 Merry Christmas Baby 45 W/ Sleeve Nm Elvis Presley My Happiness 78rpm Jack White Record Store Day Rsd 2015

Recent News: Elvis Presley Records

Source: Google News

Robbie Williams to perform in Malaysia (video)
The Rakyat Post, April 12th

ATTENTION, concert-goers: one of Britain's bestselling recording artiste, Robbie Williams, is set to perform in Malaysia this year. According to online lifestyle portal hype.my, the concert will be held at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 27...Read more

Today in Music History - April 2
mysask.com, March 31st

In 2008, Madonna also beat an Elvis Presley record, surpassing the King for the most top-10 hits with her 37th for her hit "4 Minutes," featuring Justin Timberlake. In 2009, Charley Pride flew from his home in Texas to Leduc, Alta., to reimburse fan...Read more

Jack White Paid $300000 for Elvis Presley's First-Ever Recording + Will ...
Diffuser.fm, March 6th

The acetate of the July 18, 1953 track was auctioned back in January, and the buyer remained anonymous … until now. White not only purchased the recording — which is of Presley's “My Happiness” and “That's When Your Heartaches Begin” — but will ...Read more

From Elvis In Memphis is the only Elvis Presley record you need
A.V. Club DC, February 2nd

Elvis Presley was at his most fascinating in the '50s and the '70s, when he seemed extraterrestrial. He came to this world a sexy hillbilly Superman and left it a sequined celebrity Jesus, and whether ascendant or freefalling, he was something to behold...Read more

Garth Brooks Surpasses Elvis Presley in Album Sales... Again
RollingStone.com, January 13th

With his ninth studio album, Man Against Machine, earning platinum certification, Garth Brooks once again tops the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) list as the best-selling solo album artist of all-time, moving past the King of Rock...Read more

First Elvis Presley record sells on birth anniversary
Times of Malta, January 10th

An acetate recording of the first song Elvis Presley ever recorded has been auctioned on what would have been his 80th birthday. The ballad My Happiness was bought for $300,000 by an undisclosed internet buyer at Graceland, the museum and tourist ...Read more

Elvis Presley record 'My Happiness' sells for $300000 at auction
Christian Science Monitor, January 9th

An undisclosed Internet buyer placed the winning bid at Graceland, the museum and tourist attraction that was once Presley's home. 'My Happiness' was the first song Presley ever recorded. By Adrian Sainz, Associated Press January 9, 2015. close...Read more

Elvis Presley's first recording to be sold
BBC News, November 13th

The first record Elvis Presley ever made is to be sold at auction. In June 1953, an 18-year-old Presley went to the Memphis Recording Service to record My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin onto acetate. He wanted to find out what his...Read more