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]



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]

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 You'll Never Walk Alone/we Call On Him 45 Lot Of 45 Copies Nm WaxElvis Presley - The Best Of -rare 1957 Uk 10" Vinyl Lp 1st Pr Hmv Dlp1159 Vg/vg-Elvis Presley Shock, Rattle 'n' Roll Usa Lp 1983 Nm Rare Vinyl +booklet Lpm-1500 Elvis Presley "aloha From Hawaii" Dtfo-2006 Juke Box Ep In Near Mint ConditionNew Wave / Punk Lot - 12 Lp's - Talking Heads, Clash, Elvis Costello, Billy IdolThe Smiths - Goodbye To Elvis Funn One Uk 7" Grey Vinyl Live In AberdeenRare 1960 Elvis Presley 45-stuck On You "living Stereo" On Rca VictorThe Ultimate Package.. Lpm-3338 Elvis Presley "girl Happy" W/flat Bonus PrintRare Elvis Presley Lp - Clambake - Rca Victor # Lpm-3893 - MonoElvis Presley 2 Lp "aloha From Hawaii" Original Rca Quad Still SealedElvis Presley Elvis Rocks Little Rock Italian Lp 1989 Mint Vinyl Bilko Lpm 1589Elvis Presley-hmv Uk Ep For Love Me Tender- Exc RecordChristmas With Elvis 7" Rca 45 Ep Epa-4340 33 1/3 Juke Box Very Good ConditionElvis Presley - Clambake Lp Rca Lsp-3893 - Stereo W/bonus Photo!! - SealedElvis Presley Sun 209 78 Rpm That's All Right B/w Blue Moon Of Kentucky - VideoFirst Double Ep Original Elvis "elvis Presley" Epb-1254Elvis Presley "jailhouse Rock" Rock N Roll Rca Victor 78 Rpm, Ex+ No Reserve!!Elvis Presley 'peace In The Valley' Rare German 7" EpRare Elvis Presley Lp- Elvis Greatest #### - Import - Ltd. Edition- Color VinylElvis Presley Elvis Uk Lp 1980 Near Mint Marks & Spencer Vinyl Imp 113 2188/3006Rare Elvis Presley Lp - Elvis' Witchcraft Album! - Import - Color VinylDon Robertson / Elvis Presley Rare Uk 1960 One Sided Acetate / "starting Today" Elvis Presley Rca Epb 1254 Cover Only No Vinyl 1956 Rca Victor Elvis Presley 78rpm, Record "hound Dog" Ex Condition No Reserve!!!Elvis Presley Cocktail Di Successi 5 Italian 10" Blue Label Rarest!!!Elvis 7" 45 Rpm Promo + Dos Record Joshua Fit The Battle 447-0651 Rca 1960Elvis Presley Rare Original Record Album Lpm 1254 P D Credit Pale Pink Letters Ost Rock Lp: Elvis Presley, Roustabout 1964 Rca Victor Lsp- 2999'60-elvis Presley Gold Standard-a Touch Of Gold-volume 3-rca Victor-epa-5141Rare 1961 Elvis Presley Compact 33 Single-surrender On Rca VictorElvis Costello Alison 1977 Stiff A1/b1 Matrix Variation 7-inch W/ P/s Unplayed!Elvis Presley Lp Italy Loving You "amami Teneramente" Original In Great ConditioElvis Presley,rca Lsp 3989,"speedway"us,lp,stereo,1970s Vinyl With Alternate CvrElvis Presley,rca Epa 4368,"follow That Dream"us,7" Ep With P/c,original Vinyl, 2 Elvis Presley Religious Promo's With P/s's 447-0651( Joshua) & 447-0652(milkyElvis Presley Elvis Mono Lp No Ad Back Rca Victor Lpm 1382Lot Of (40) 1950's-70's Elvis Presley 7"/45 Rpm Vinyl "nipper" Records Best Of..Elvis Presley - Good Rockin' Tonight - 7" Single / Ep - Cover OnlyElvis Presley Elvis Australian Lp 1975 Ex/nm Vinyl Gatefold Rca Victor Sp-106 GElvis Costello - My Aim Is True - Stiff First Pressing99% Mint Elvis Presley "a Fool Such As I" 47-7506 45 & "elvis Sails"ps Elvis Presley Italy Ep Special Edition PromoElvis Presley Limited Edition Pink & Green Vinyl Record45-pop 253 Elvis Presley 'love Me Tender / Anyway You Want Me' Hmv Records 7"(dr4) Elvis Presley Paralyzed Uk Hmv Gold 7" 45 ExcellentElvis Presley Rare Uk 1957 Original Gold / Purple Hmv / Great Condition !!!'59-elvis Presley Gold Standard Series-a Touch Of Gold-rca Victor 45 Ep,epa-5088Classic 1956 Rock 45 E.p. - Elvis Presley "elvis, Volume Ii"" Rca #epa-993Elvis Presley - All Shook Up / That's When Your Heartaches Begin 78 Rpm Disc Wow! 1s / 1s 99% Mint / Mint Elvis Presley "elvis Sails" Epa-4325Elvis Presley - The E.p. Collection Vol. 2 11 7" Vinyl Set Near Mint 1982Rare Elvis Radio Show Test Pressing Lp- Legend Of A King- Clear Vinyl- Cue Sheet**rare 1958 Elvis 45 Picture Sleeve** Elvis - Sails Epa-4325 German Nm VinylLot Of (37) 1950's-70's Elvis Presley 7"/45 Rpm Vinyl Records Greatest/best Of..Elvis Presley A Touch Of Gold Vol 2 Ep Excellent Elvis Costello When I Was Cruel 2 Lp Rare OopElvis Presley A Canadian Tribute Usa Gold Vinyl Lp 1978 Nm/ex Album Kkl1-7065Elvis Presley Israel Ep (60's Bootleg Sleeve) Elvis Presley "baby Let's Play House" Rca 47-6383Rare Rock 'n Roll 10-inch Lp - Elvis Presley - The Teen-age Rage - Import

Recent News: Elvis Presley Records

Source: Google News

Elvis Presley record sells for $300K
Justice News Flash, January 17th

Memphis, TN – The first recording made by iconic singer Elvis Presley recently sold at an auction for $300,000. As reported by WebProNews, the record titled “My Happiness” was left in the home of Presley's friend, Ed Leek, for 60 years after being...Read more

First Elvis Presley record fetches $300000
Khaleej Times, January 11th

First Elvis Presley record fetches $300,000 (AP) / 12 January 2015. Presley recorded the song in 1953 at Sun Records, the Memphis studio operated by Sam Phillips. Presley, then 18, paid $4 for the recording. Elvis Presley. An acetate recording of the...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

First-ever Elvis Presley record to go on auction
Channel 24, November 14th

Washington - The first record Elvis Presley ever made will go on auction next year, along with his first driver's licence, his Graceland estate said on Thursday. They are among 68 Presley collectibles going under the hammer at the second "Auction at ...Read more

Elvis Presley's record player sells for £4400 at auction, December 13th

Elvis Presley's record player sells for £4,400 at auction. The singer gave the Perpetuum Ebner Musical 5v Luxus away as a wedding gift for Ellen Marschhauser, who had done some translation work for him. Share0 Tweet0 Share0. Elvis Presley's record ...Read more

Elvis Presley record player sells for £4400 at auction
BBC News, December 12th

A record player that once belonged to Elvis Presley has sold for double its estimated price at auction. The singer gave the record player as a wedding gift to Ellen Marschhauser in Germany in 1959, where he was stationed during his Army service. She...Read more

Elvis Presley record player to be auctioned in Cornwall
BBC News, November 30th

A record player that Elvis Presley gave to a German woman as a wedding present is expected to fetch up to £2,000 when it is auctioned. Ellen Marschhauser met the rock'n'roll star when she attended a party at the Hotel Grunewald in Bad Nauheim in 1959...Read more

Lil Wayne surpasses Elvis Presley with most appearances on Billboard Hot 100 ...
New York Daily News, September 27th

The self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” can lay claim to a new mantle: Bigger than Elvis. Lil Wayne has surpassed Elvis Presley's record of appearances on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, the magazine announced Thursday. The King of Rock and Roll held the ...Read more