the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 4 (1964)

IN 1964, THE GOLD STANDARD SERIES was used by RCA to expose the old Elvis to the new (younger) record buyers brought to the stores by the Beatles and the rest of the British Invasion—which in early 1964 was basically the Fab Four and the Dave Clark 5. Exactly who made the decision is unknown, but five Presley platters from the ’50s were selected and promoted as if they were new releases.

This is the fourth of eight articles that provides collectors with the most complete and accurate discography and price guide to Elvis’ Gold Standard 45s and picture sleeves on the Internet!

The records selected are interesting choices: two were RCA reissues of Sun records from 1954–55 (Blue Moon Of Kentucky and Good Rockin’ Tonight), and three #1 hits from 1956–57 (Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, and All Shook Up). The sleeves featured recent photos of a healthy, handsome Elvis and were much more attractive than the photos that adorned his most recent ‘new’ 45 and LP releases.

They were apparently issued in June 1964 to coincide with the release of the first Gold Standard ‘original’ single, Kiss Me Quick / Suspicion. Released as 447-0639, this single included a picture sleeve with a photo from the same time and a design identical to the five other sleeves. Also, all six sleeves had the same back cover: orange and yellow vertical stripes backing a list of thirty-six Presley singles then available.

Whether or not the promos got Elvis more airplay, or the picture sleeves increased sales of his back catalog, is unknown and will no doubt remain that way. But this little burst of promotional creativity did provide Elvisionados with several rare items to pursue and hopefully add to their collection.


[one_fourth]Elvis_GS_0601_dot_cs_150[/one_fourth][one_fourth]Elvis_GS_0652_dos_cs_150[/one_fourth][one_fourth]Elvis_GS_0605_orange_cs_150[/one_fourth][one_fourth_last]Elvis_GS_0617_red_cs_150[/one_fourth_last]

Clearing up some confusion

There is a lot of confusion about these five records and their picture sleeves, and I will be combining both the research of others, the data before me, and my oh so flawed memory banks. There were five new sleeves and they may not have been intended for promotional use, but hundreds of specially manufactured white promotional labeled singles were shipped to radio stations housed in these new sleeves.

Why? To stir some interest in older, classic Elvis at a time when it seemed like everything American was being swept aside by anything British! And for Elvis, this meant taking a backseat to the Beatles, the first serious challenge to Presley’s preeminence in the art of selling records since his arrival eight years earlier.

But there is nothing about these sleeves that indicates that RCA had printed them for promotional purposes: they appear to be standard commercial sleeves pressed into service as promos after the fact. Still, many sellers and buyers connect these sleeves with the promo records and there is little we can do about it at this time.

That said, I am listing ONLY the promo records and the sleeves below. The majority of these sleeves were shipped to wholesalers for distribution to stores around the country. Whether RCA pressed up a new  batch of records at Indianapolis for the sleeves or simply used inventory that was on-hand is not known at this time . . .


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The back cover for these five sleeves plus that of 447-0639 (Kiss Me Quick / Suspicion) are all the same: the first four titles listed are Presley’s last four catalog (and hit) singles. The rest of the list is the Gold Standard titles then in print in 1964 (and the observant reader might notice that six numbers had been deleted).

Assigning values to these items

The figures should tell you the approximate range of prices that a buyer should expect to pay a knowledgeable seller for a record in near mint (NM) condition. Of course, you might find any record below for less or have to pay more in a competitive auction, but you get the message. Records in less than NM condition are worth considerably less than the values assigned here! For more information, refer to the subheading “A few notes on assigned values and grading” in Elvis’ Gold Standard 45s Part 1.


Elvis_GS_0601_wlp

Each of the five white label promotional records were manufactured at the same pressing plant: RCA’s facility in Rockaway, New Jersey. Consequently, each record’s labels look similar to this one for 447-0601.

The five picture sleeves have the same back cover as that of Kiss Me Quick / Suspicion: each lists Presley’s Gold Standard catalog to dat with 447-0639 (Kiss Me Quick) the most recent release. Since the sleeves were apparently all manufactured at the same time, and Kiss Me Quick was released in April 1964, I am going to assume that the five Gold Standard reissues were also issued as early as April 1964. June is the month normally assigned to their release.

Pressed between the pages of my aging mind

I remember seeing them for sale in Woolworth’s in Wilkes-Barre, the six singles together in a special browser box. I also remember them being hugely discounted at 69¢ each, although this may be flawed memory, as that left little room for the store to realize a profit.

Glossy black labels with “RCA Victor” and Nipper on top. These are often abbreviated as “DOT” (dog on top).

While any previous pressing of the record may have been shipped with the sleeve, it was usually an Indianapolis pressing as that was the plant manufacturing the bulk of RCA’s singles by 1964.


 


VALUES FOR LOWER GRADES: The values listed here are for records with labels and vinyl in near mint condition (NM). Records in a lower grade condition are worth considerably less: a record graded VG+ might be worth approximately one-half (40-50%) of the listed value. A record in VG condition might be worth no more than one-fifth (10-20%) of the listed value. 


 

1964


Elvis_GS_0601_wlp

447-0601     That’s All Right / Blue Moon Of Kentucky
                      White label promo with “RCA Victor” on top                                         $ 100–200
                      Rockaway pressing with “Not For Sale” on one line (4S/4S-A1).
                      Note: The value here is for the record alone! The majority of the 45s offered for sale have obviously been handled and played many times, and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $25–$50. Copies with radio station notation written in ink or felt-tip pen are common and should be noted in any description when advertising such a record for sale.


Elvis_GS_0601_ps

447-0601     That’s All Right / Blue Moon Of Kentucky
                      • Full color picture sleeve                                                                            $ 200–300
                      Note: The value here is for the picture sleeve alone! This sleeve was also issued commercially and can be found with standard black label records. The majority of these picture sleeves offered for sale have noticeable wear—especially on the front cover—and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $50–$150.


 


 


Elvis_GS_0602_wlp

447-0602     Good Rocking Tonight / I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine
                       White label promo with “RCA Victor” on top                                        100–200
                       • Rockaway pressing with “Not For Sale” on one line (6S-B/6S).
                       Note:
The value here is for the record alone! The majority of the 45s offered for sale have obviously been handled and played many times, and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $25–$50. Copies with radio station notation written in ink or felt-tip pen are common and should be noted in any description when advertising such a record for sale.


Elvis_GS_0602_ps2

447-0602     Good Rocking Tonight / I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine
                       • Full color picture sleeve                                                                            $ 200–300
                     
Note: The value here is for the picture sleeve alone! This sleeve was also issued commercially and can be found with standard black label records. The majority of these picture sleeves offered for sale have noticeable wear—especially on the front cover—and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $50–$150.


 


 


Elvis_GS_0605_wlp2

447-0605     Heartbreak Hotel / I Was The One
                       White label promo with “RCA Victor” on top                                       100–200
                       • Rockaway pressing with “Not For Sale” on one line (2S-A1/3S-A1).                             Note: The value here is for the record alone! The majority of the 45s offered for sale have obviously been handled and played many times, and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $25–$50. Copies with radio station notation written in ink or felt-tip pen are common and should be noted in any description when advertising such a record for sale.


Elvis_GS_0605_PS_y

447-0605     Heartbreak Hotel / I Was The One
                       • Full color picture sleeve                                                                            $ 200–400
                      Note: The value here is for the picture sleeve alone! This sleeve was also issued commercially and can be found with standard black label records. The majority of these picture sleeves offered for sale have noticeable wear—especially on the front cover—and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $50–$150.




Elvis_GS_0608_wlp

447-0608     Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel
                       White label promo with “RCA Victor” on top                                        $ 100–200
                       • Rockaway pressing with “Not For Sale” on one line (3S/4S).
                       Note:
The value here is for the record alone! The majority of the 45s offered for sale have obviously been handled and played many times, and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $25–$50. Copies with radio station notation written in ink or felt-tip pen are common and should be noted in any description when advertising such a record for sale.


Elvis_GS_0608_ps

447-0608     Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel
                       • Full color picture sleeve                                                                            $ 200–400
                      Note: The value here is for the picture sleeve alone! This sleeve was also issued commercially and can be found with standard black label records. The majority of these picture sleeves offered for sale have noticeable wear—especially on the front cover—and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $50–$150.




Elvis_GS_0618_wlp

447-0618     All Shook Up / That’s When Your Heartaches Begin
                      White label promo with “RCA Victor” on top                                       100–200
                      • Rockaway pressing with “Not For Sale” on one line (3S/3S).
                      Note:
The value here is for the record alone! The majority of the 45s offered for sale have obviously been handled and played many times, and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $25–$50. Copies with radio station notation written in ink or felt-tip pen are common and should be noted in any description when advertising such a record for sale.


Elvis_GS_0618_ps2

447-0618     All Shook Up / That’s When Your Heartaches Begin
                      • Full color picture sleeve                                                                            $ 200–350
                     Note: The value here is for the picture sleeve alone! This sleeve was also issued commercially and can be found with standard black label records. The majority of these picture sleeves offered for sale have noticeable wear—especially on the front cover—and do not fall into the assigned NM values above. These obviously inferior, lesser grade sleeves still sell for $50–$150.


SOLICITATION: The pressings listed for each title begin with a bullet (•) and end with stamper numbers (the “S” numbers). These records are known to exist, and almost all are from RCA’s Indianapolis plant. Other pressings may exist: should you have any in your collection, please consider sharing the information with me, so that I may share it with others. Simply add the new information to the Comments sections below: stampers numbers in the order that I have the sides listed and whether there is an “H” or an “I” or an “R” in the trail-off area. You can also reach me via the Contact Me link at the footer of each page.


Elvis_GS_header_4

HEADER IMAGE: At the time that RCA was celebrating its Elvis ‘Summer Special,’ MGM was preparing for the release of what proved to be one of its biggest hits of the year, Viva Las Vegas. While just another ho-hum Presley vehicle, the presence of co-star Ann-Margret was enough to spark Presley’s plugs and during their musical scenes together, he gave his most pelvicly persuasive performance of the decade.

According to Wikipedia, the box office take for Viva Las Vegas was approximately $9,400,000, which does not sound like a lot by contemporary standards. But if that figure represents tickets paid for by viewers, then that would translate to almost $100,000,000 in 2015.

Note that unlike the ’50s movies, in the ’60s ‘Presley vehicles’ era, the manifest sexuality of his persona was played down. And for this movie, so was the ever-yummy Ann-Margret’s. Nonetheless, the two were lovers behind the scenes and they simply sizzled whenever they were together, on screen and off . . .


Elvis_GoldSuit

Postscripturally, I just want to stress to collectors that finding the picture sleeves listed above in “Elvis’ Gold Standard 45s Part 4” in truly NM (near mint) condition is far more difficult that even the relatively dear values above would indicate. Should you come across any of these sleeves without the almost ubiquitous wear and ring-impressions at an affordable price—buy it!

Now, here are all the articles on the Elvis Gold Standard 45s listed in the suggested reading order:

1The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 1 (Foreword)

2The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 2 (Company Sleeves)

3The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 3 (1958–1965) 

4The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 4 (1964)

5. The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 5 (1965-1968)

6. Those Bloody Rare Orange Label Gold Standard 45s

7. The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 6 (1969)

8. The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 7 (1969–1976)

9. The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 8 (1976–2000) 



2 Replies to “the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 4 (1964)”

  1. Are the prices shown for the recording and/or sleeve alone?

    If one found them together, have they struck the “Mother Load”?

    I’ll never pass a box of 45s at a yard sale again!

    1. Thank you for the question. I can understand the confusion! So that others will not have to deal with that confusion, I have changed the layout of the list above. It will answer your questions . . .

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