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 S/t Lp Rca Lpm 1254 1s/1s 1st Press Mono Elvis Presley 78 Rpm Sun Record 217 Baby Let's Play House/ I'm Left You're Right**rarest** Elvis Presley Vip Boxed Album Set -1969-august- Internatl.hotel & LoaRockabilly --elvis Presley -- Baby Let's Play House --hear Both -1955 Sun 217Elvis Presley - Epb-1254 - Rare Original Ep Two 45 Set Complete Gatefold CleanRockabilly --elvis Presley -- Good Rockin' Tonight --hear Both -1954 Sun 210Elvis Presley - Chirstmas With Elvis - Rare Original Epa-4340 EpElvis Presley €Elvis Presley- Speedway Rare Original Mono Soundtrack Rca Lpm-3989 No ReserveElvis Presley - 1st Elvis - 1956 - Rca Victor Label - MonoElvis Presley The Best Of Elvis Original Uk 10" Lp On Hmv Rockabilly Rock N RollOriginal Orange 78rpm Elvis Presley No. 217 On Sun Label, Maybe Played OnceElvis Costello I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down 1980 Gig Only 2 Tone 7inchElvis Record Album "lpm 3989" "mono"!!!!! Soundtrack Of "speedway"Lot 12: (26) 1950's - 1970's Elvis Presley 45's & Ep's, All With Picture SleevesRare Elvis Promo 45 And Picture Sleeve, How Great Thou ArtElvis Presley €78 Rpm Rockabilly Elvis Presley Sun 209 In G Hear!Scarce 1958 Bonus Photo Elvis In Uniform King Creole Lpm 1884 InsertElvis Presley - Elvis - Rip It Up - 1956 - Rca Victor Label - MonoElvis Presley Sun 217 Baby Let's Play House 78 Rpm Original **rare**Elvis Presley Love Me Tender/ Anyway You Want Me. 1956 7" Mint Minus Rare Cardboard Cover Only Guy Lambert " Could I Fall In Love" Elvis1956 Elvis Presley Record Epb-1254- Gatefold Picture Sleeve Double 45 Rca VictorVintage Sun Elvis Presley 45 #217 W PushmarksRare Elvis Promo 45 And Picture Sleeve, Milky White Way Gold Standard SeriesElvis 45 How Great Thou Art And His Hand In Mine With Picture Sleeve!!!!!!!!Elvis Presley €Lot 15: (87) 1970's & 1980's Elvis Presley 45 Rpm RecordsElvis Presley - Elvis Is Back - 1960 - Rca Victor Label - MonoElvis Presley Girls! Girls! Girls! First Pressing With Calendar Lpm-2621Elvis Presley €Lot 14: (51) 1960's Elvis Presley 45 Rpm RecordsElvis Presley All Shook Up Orig Uk Gold & Purple Hmv 45Elvis Presley Peace In The Valley 45 Ep Rca Epa-5121 Orig Ps Gold Standard NmVintage 78 Rpm Record Elvis Presley, Hound Dog/ Don't Be CruelLot 13: (47) 1950's Elvis Presley 45 Rpm RecordsElvis Promo 45 With Picture Sleeve 'merry Christmas Baby' On Rca From1971Elvis Presley €Lot 11: (24) 1950's & 1960's Elvis Presley Ep 45 Rpm RecordsElvis Presley Records Canadian Loc-1035 Christmas Lp --gold StickerElvis Presley - Frankie And Johnny - 1966 - Rca Victor- Stereo(shrink)(portrait)Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley (lpm-1254) First Pressing! Sealed Orig 63' Elvis Presley: Golden Records Vol. 3 Lsp-2765 Baggy! Look!Elvis Presley €Elvis "how Great Thou Art" Picture Sleeve! Extremely Rare!!!!Elvis Presley - Spinout - 1966 - Rca Victor Label - Stereo(shrink)(photo)Elvis Presley - Clambake - 1967 - Rca Victor Label - Mono(photo)'59 Elvis-style Rockaballad Jimmy Reagan Lonely, Lonely Heart G&g M- Hear Both!Elvis Rare Ask For Picture Sleeve Variation Viva Las Vegas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Highly Collectable First Ep Original Elvis "elvis Presley" Epa-747 NiceLot 97 45 Rpm Records Doo-wop Rockabilly Elvis Little Richard Bo-diddley Berry Elvis Presley A Date With Elvis Og Uk Silver Spot Rca Lp Rd 27128 1b/1bElvis Presley Volvio Rare Argentina Lp Rca Lpm 2231 Deep Groove Mono Long PlayElvis Presley Mint Rca Record And Sleeve Epa-747 1st Pressing Pale Pink LettersElvis Presley Speedway Lp W/ Photo Shrink Sticker On Vg++ Or Better CoverElvis Presley Clambake Lp Rca Full Color Bonus Photo Included Guitar Man Elvis "spinout" Shrink 1st Pressing Lsp-3702 W/bonus Photo 1966 Great RarityElvis Presley Golden Records Lp Original Rca 1958 Blue Lpm 1707 Mono Nm/nm+Elvis "gi Blues" Shrink Rare Rigid Orange Label 1968 Only Pressing Lsp-2256

Recent News: Elvis Presley Records

Source: Google News

Garth Brooks May Surpass Elvis Presley, July 26th

Here is the recap: ( Garth Brooks has never offered up his music digitally, but in a press conference this month all that changed and the move may help him break Elvis Presley's record. "We've never allowed our stuff to go digital. When you...Read more

Take 4 for Boyz II Men in Manila
BusinessWorld Online Edition, July 14th

1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks -- breaking Elvis Presley's record of longevity in the charts. The group broke its own record with the songs "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day", which held the top position for 14 and 16 weeks ...Read more

Boyz II Men to serenade Manila in September, July 9th

This caused one of the best vocal groups to break Elvis Presley's record of longevity in the charts. Boyz II Men wowed the world once more by breaking their own record with the songs “I'll Make Love to You” and “One Sweet Day” (with Mariah Carey), ...Read more

Today in entertainment history: July 7
WNAX, July 6th

1954: Dewey Phillips of WHBQ in Memphis became the first DJ to play an Elvis Presley record. He premiered “That's All Right,” and he also interviewed Elvis. 1968: The Yardbirds broke up. Guitarist Jimmy Page formed the New Yardbirds, which became Led ...Read more

2006 - Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd) - Pancreatic cancer (60)
VVN Music, July 6th

1954 - Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips became the first person to air an Elvis Presley record (That's Alright Mama). 1956 - Johnny Cash debuted at the Grand Ole Opry. 1963 - The Rolling Stones made their debut on British TV on Thank Your Lucky Stars...Read more