the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 6 (1969)

IN 1969, THE GOLD STANDARD SERIES label was dramatically modified, along with the rest of the RCA Victor catalog (45s, EPs, LPs, and reel-to-reel tapes). Gone was the familiar glossy black background with “RCA Victor” in traditional serif type with the big “V” across the top. Gone, too, was the dog, beloved Nipper, cocking his head to his master’s voice emanating from the horn of an antique phonograph. All gone! And replaced by what?

The new look was a modern look that gave record buyers an insipidly orange label with “RCA” in a (ghastly) open-block, san serif type running vertically up the left side of the label. The second half of the company name, “Victor,” was moved to the right side of the spindle hole and set in Helvetica type, the typeface that conquered America in the ’60s.

This is the sixth 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 term “RCA Victor” was seen by several generations of consumers as one entity: “rcavictor.” With the two sitting on opposite sides of an abyss, that no longer seemed so. It was a now a ‘they.’ While this move may seem self-defeating forty years after the fact, at the time many American companies were trying to keep up with the times, which were indeed a-changing. Rebranding itself as just RCA was hip; the orange labels were not.

Collectors had ignored these orange label GS 45s during the ’70s when Elvis collecting was a-building, and even into the ’80s, when collecting had exploded in response to Presley’s death. For reasons upon which I will not speculate (assume nothing, I am told), these rather rare records were given short shrift even by in-the-know ‘Elvisdealers’ and the price guides of the time.

This is one of several articles with discographies and current market values to be found on the A Touch Of Gold website. Refer to the postscript below for more information on the other articles.


[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]

Why are the orange Gold Standards so bloody rare?

OI have already posted an entire article addressing the issue of the rarity of these orange label GS 45s, “Those bloody Rare Orange Label Gold Standard 45s.” It is probably in every reader’s interest to read that piece first, then come back here and read this . . .

Indianapolis pressings may be the only pressings

Since the ’60s, RCA’s Indianapolis plant manufactured the vast majority of GS 45s. Indianapolis records are easily recognized: by the matrix numbers are machine-stamped into the trail-off area (the dead wax around the label).

There should also be a capital ‘I’ with serifs (referred to as a cross-beam ‘I’) stamped into the same area. This marking is rather small and the impression is often shallow, so it can be difficult to see in some light.


Elvis_GS_0645_dot

Elvis_GS_0616_dos

Elvis_GS_0647_orange_A_full

Above top is the look of the label that rock & roll and Elvis Presley fans know so well from the tens of millions of RCA Victor records that Presley sold with the label between 1955 and 1965! Above middle is the previous look of the mid-’60s: the labels were still black label but “RCA Victor” and Nipper had been moved to the sidelines. Above bottom is the look that greeted record buyers in 1968: gone was the black, gone was “RCA Victor” as a two-word unit, and gone gone gone was the dog and the phonograph.

And like its two predecessors, these new-fangled orange labels made no mention of the fact that these GS 45s were, in fact, part of RCA’s Gold Standard Series of (mostly} reissues. If you didn’t know that the 447 prefix in the catalog number signified reissue then you might have thought you were buying an original.

For the sake of this discography, I have identified two primary label layouts, each based on the information printed on the right side of the label. I refer to them simply as Orange label 1 and Orange label 2 . . .

The basic template for the orange label

RCA had a basic label template made that was then shipped to the regional printers that worked with their pressing plants. These labels had only three bits of information:

•  “RCA” in white, open-block letters ran vertically top-to-bottom on the left side.

•  “Victor” in plain white, san serif type was set horizontally on the right side.

•  “TMK(s)” and other trademark information in tiny type was on two lines laid across the bottom of the label.

Every label had that information in the same style and in the same places. Local printers who worked with RCA’s plants; in the case of most GS 45s, that was one or two shops in the Indianapolis area. The rest of the label data was set by these local printers who followed instructions on the rest of the layout:

•  The artist’s name was in plain black block type (all caps) was above the spindle hole.

•  The song title in the same type was below the spindle hole but above the TMK(s) data.

•  The songwriter credits appear below the title in lowercase type.

These three lines of type were flushed left with a hard vertical line. There were variations on this basic label, which I refer to in this article as Orange label 1 and Orange label 2. These variations all take place on the right side of the spindle hole below “Victor.”

Orange label 1: without publishing data

Orange label 1 can also be called the simple version due to its having less information than Orange label 2. Basically, this label variation does NOT have any publishing data on it. There are three bits of information on three lines on the right side: 1) the 447 catalog number above 2) “Victor” with 3) the matrix number below.

Like so:

   [catalog number]
   Victor
   [matrix number]

Elvis_GS_0616_orange

These three lines are usually flushed left and usually with a hard vertical line. Minor typesetting errors may exist.

Orange label 2: with publishing data

Orange label 2 is a more detailed variation and includes the song’s publishing information (let’s call it the complex version). It has five bits of information on at least seven lines of type on the right side: 1) the catalog number is above 2) “Victor” but below is very different: there we find 3) the song’s publisher with either ASCAP or BMI taking up two or three lines. Then comes 4) the matrix number followed by 5) the side’s running time (one line).

Like so:

   [catalog number]
   Victor
   [publishing data]
   [matrix number]
   [time]

Elvis_GS_0646_orange

These lines are flushed left with a hard vertical line. Again, don’t be surprised to find similar typesetting errors.

A few more discrepancies

There are several other discrepancies with orange label GS 45s for which I have not found a pattern.

•  Copies may be found with or without a recording date above the spindle hole. The date may be the month, day, and year or simply the year.

•  Copies may have either “TMK(s) REGISTERED” in upper case or “TMK(s) Registered” in upper/lower case at the bottom of the label.

Designated promos

The term designated promo refers to a stock copy of a record designated for promotional use with a NOT FOR SALE sticker affixed to the label on one or both sides. I have not seen an orange label GS 45 designated for promotional use in such a manner; the example below is a computer-created designated promo.


Elvis_GS_0616_orange+NFS

On red and the newer black label GS 45s, NOT FOR SALE stickers were apparently placed by hand on the records, as there is neither rhyme nor reason to their placement: right side or left, top or bottom. They could be on one side of record or on both—some are even upside down! If orange label GS 45s were designated for promotional use, they would look like this image.

Gold Standard company sleeves

The section is a truncated version of a longer entry on company sleeves that can be found in Elvis’ Gold Standard 45s Part 2. Each GS 45 was shipped in a protective paper sleeve. These sleeves may have been plain white or brown paper with no print whatsoever; this was the most inexpensive way to go and every record company used such sleeves.

There were also orange label EPs pressed at this time. These are also among the rarest commercially issued Elvis records and sell for $200–400 each!

RCA had specially manufactured special sleeves for the GS 45s. They were made of inexpensive, uncoated paper that identified the record as being part of the Gold Standard Series but were generic in that they did not identify the record. Each sleeve had a die-cut window on both sides so that the record’s labels could be read.

Record collectors refer to these by several terms—manufacturers sleeves and factory sleeves are common—but it is company sleeves that I favor and use exclusively in my articles on record collecting. And there are six major designs for the Gold Standard Series generic sleeves.

For the Perfect Elvis Collection, each GS 45 should be housed in a GS sleeve manufactured at the time for use with that record.


Elvis_GS_cs3a

Elvis_GS_cs3b

For this eight part series of articles, I refer to this sleeve as “Gold Standard company sleeve design 2.” Pictured above is the front and back of the sleeve. It was introduced in the mid-’60s and lasted into 1973. Therefore, every orange label GS 45 in your collection should be housed in one of these sleeves!

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_0647_orange_B_label

Despite being the easiest number to find among the orange label Gold Standards, 447-0647, Blue Christmas / Santa Claus Is Back In Town, can still sell for three figures if in mint condition and attracting a couple of determined collectors.

And now for the discography

The discography and price guide section that follows should be self-explanatory. I assume that most readers have seen and used some form of price guide for some sort of collectable. Since I know that I should never assume anything, let’s take a quick walk through it anyway with an example of the first listing in the discography.

447-0600    I Forgot To Remember To Forget / Mystery Train
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S/4S)

The records are listed in chronological order based on the catalog numbers. Each listing has three lines of information:

•  Line 1 has the catalog number (here 447-0600) followed by the titles of the two songs on the record (here I Forgot To Remember To Forget / Mystery Train).

•  Line 2 notes that it is in fact an orange label record, which is followed by the assigned value (here $100–150).

•  Line 3 notes the location of the pressing plant where the record was manufactured (here Indianapolis), and that pressing is identified by machine-stamped numbers in the trail-off vinyl (here 3S and 4S).

I again have to assume that all the numbers below were made in Indianapolis—records pressed elsewhere would be rare indeed. Any record with engraved or etched numbers in the trail-off area probably indicate another pressing plant’s product. These would probably be rather rare records and I would certainly appreciate your notifying me of their existence . . .

Tips for collectors

A few suggestion/observations: all Gold Standard company sleeves were made equal. These sleeves were used with GS 45s by other RCA artists, most of whom are not very collectable. Should you be flipping through stacks of 45s and come across a Gold Standard record by other artists in NM sleeves and the seller wants a couple of quarters for the record, buy it! The sleeve can be removed and used to replace a plain paper sleeve on one of the Presley platters in your collection.

My own “common sense” based on forty years of buying and selling records and writing about buying and selling records came into play when assigning the values.

Every one of these numbers with an orange label is a rather rare record. Some of the harder-to-find numbers (and they may be the big hits or the not-so-big hits) are probably undervalued below: should you want to buy them and own them NOW, you might have to wait years before finding them for sale.

While we know that Blue Christmas and Kiss Me Quick are the most easily found orange label GS 45s, we really don’t know which are the rarest. While Indescribably Blue has the highest assigned value below, that may because of its uniqueness as much as to rarity. Time will tell . . .

At the same time that these orange label GS 45s were manufactured, many of EP’s EPs were also pressed with orange labels—both the Gold Standard titles and the regular titles. These are also among the rarest commercially issued Elvis records and generally sell for $200–400 each!

Both Elvis’ Christmas Album and A Touch Of Gold, Volume 3 with orange labels may be the rarest of the batch: I watched copies sell for $300 thirty years ago.

The images of the records

I don’t own the records that are illustrated below. I pulled these images off the Internet, hence the variable quality of those images. They are placed in the discography below to break up the monotony of the list, although each image is can be found near its listing.




1969–1970


Elvis_GS_0600_orange

Elvis’ first RCA Victor was a reissue of his final Sun single: fans and historians prefer to think of it as Mystery Train b/w I Forgot To Remember To Forget. That way, the A-side is an extraordinary, scintillating blues and one of Presley’s best ever recordings. Alas, such was not the case: RCA wisely promoted the more sedate country side, and it reached #1 on the Billboard and Cash Box C&W surveys in early 1956. That is, the very first RCA Victor Elvis record was I Forgot To Remember To Forget b/w Mystery Train, which is how the record is listed in these articles of mine.


447-0600    I Forgot To Remember To Forget / Mystery Train
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S/4S).


447-0601     That’s All Right / Blue Moon Of Kentucky
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0602     Good Rocking Tonight / I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                              $    ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0603     Milkcow Blues Boogie / You’re A Heartbreaker
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (2S/3S).


447-0604     Baby, Let’s Play House / I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


Elvis_GS_0605_orange_cs

Finding an orange label GS 45 from 1969 in a company sleeve manufactured almost ten years earlier is not that unusual when collecting Elvis Gold Standards. The sticker stuck in the upper left corner of the sleeve shows a retail price of 98¢, a price common to 45s from the ’50s into the ’70s. For some collectors, the sticker mars the beauty of the item; for others, it adds a patina of age and even nostalgia to the record. As these company sleeves are of nominal value, sellers rarely mention them in their advertisements—hence they are under no obligation to mention the sticker in their ads.


447-0605     Heartbreak Hotel / I Was The One
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S/2S).


447-0607     I Want You, I Need You, I Love You / My Baby Left Me
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S/2S).


447-0608     Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (7S/6S).


447-0609     Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S/2S).


447-0610     I Got A Woman / I’m Counting On You
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.



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.



447-0611     I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) / I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                              $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0612     Tryin’ To Get To You / I Love You Because
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                              $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0613     Blue Moon / Just Because
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


Elvis_GS_0614_orange

No matter which Gold Standard label style one discusses, 447-0614 is always one of the hardest numbers to find. This is a shame, as Money Honey may be the standout track on Elvis’ first long-playing album, ELVIS PRESLEY (LPM-1254). Hell, it’s one of the stand-outs of 1956, a year full of exceptional recordings! He retains the machismo and the sassy nudge-nudge-wink-wink knowingness of Clyde McPhatter’s original, but turns the whole into a swinging piece of rockabilly that echos the sound and feel of his earlier Sun sides.


447-0614     Money Honey / One Sided Love Affair
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (1S-A1/5S).


447-0615     Shake, Rattle And Roll / Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
                      Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                      •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0616     Love Me Tender / Any Way You Want Me (That’s How I Will Be)
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (2S/2S-A3).


447-0617     Too Much / Playing For Keeps
                      Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                      •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0618     All Shook Up / That’s When Your Heartaches Begin
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (2S-A1/2S-A1).


447-0619     Jailhouse Rock / Treat Me Nice
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0620     (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Loving You
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (10S/13S).


Elvis_GS_0621_orange

Gold Standard 447-0621 is one of the more difficulty of he #1 hits from the ’50s to find with an orange label, no doubt due to a large inventory of unsold copies from the previous black label pressings. While I Beg Of You is hardly one of Elvis’ best sides, it is likeable and infectious; had it been issued separately as an A-side, it might have been yet another #1 while Elvis was in the Army.


447-0621     Don’t / I Beg Of You
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S/16S).


447-0622     Wear My Ring Around Your Neck / Doncha Thinks It’s Time
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (13S/14S).


447-0623     Hard Headed Woman/ Don’t Ask Me Why
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0624     I Got Stung / One Night
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (10S/3S).


447-0625     (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I / I Need Your Love Tonight
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (9S/9S).



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. 



447-0626     A Big Hunk O’ Love / My Wish Came True
                      Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (10S/9S).


447-0627     Stuck On You / Fame And Fortune
                      Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0628     It’s Now Or Never / A Mess Of Blues
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (18S/11S).


447-0629     Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Gotta Know
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S/2S)


Elvis_GS_0645_orange

When strong, non -soundtrack singles were needed to offset the impact of the initial onslaught of Beatlemania, Such A Night was pulled from the extraordinary ELVIS IS BACK album of 1960 and issued as Presley’s fourth single of 1964. A fanbloodytastic workout, Elvis outperforms both Clyde McPhatter’s and Johnny Ray’s hit versions of the ’50s. Unfortunately, it was wasted in ’64, where it failed to reach the Top 10. Had this been an A-side in 1960, it would have been a #1 hit here and abroad. (PS: This is the type of recording where Elvis fans shake their heads in disbelief that non-Elvis people don’t get it . . .)


447-0630     Surrender / Lonely Man
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                     
  •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0631     I Feel So Bad / Wild In The Country
                      Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 200–300
                      •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (11S/3S).


447-0634     Little Sister / (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S/4S).


447-0635     Can’t Help Falling In Love / Rock-A-Hula Baby
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (5S-A3/3S-B5).


447-0636     Good Luck Charm / Anything That’s Part Of You
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


Elvis_GS_0636_orange

As almost all the attention and airplay was focused on Good Luck Charm. the flip-side was overlooked (it peaked at #31 on Billboard and only reached #55 on Cash Box). That said, Anything That’s Part Of You is a gorgeous recording, although as a song it feels unrealized, especially in the bridge. Presley’s voice here is damn near perfect and this is one of the reasons that I think of the early ’60s as his best period for ballads.


447-0637     She’s Not You / Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello
                     Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                            $ 200–300
                      NOTE : The only copy of this record auctioned on eBay sold for $280 in 2014.


447-0638     Return To Sender / Where Do You Come From
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 100–150
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S-B3/4S-B2).


447-0639     Kiss Me Quick / Suspicion
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 60–120
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (3S-A3/5S).


447-0640     One Broken Heart For Sale / They Remind Me Too Much Of You
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                                $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0641     (You’re The) Devil In Disguise / Please Don’t Drag That Skin Around
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0642     Bossa Nova Baby / Witchcraft
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0643     Crying In The Chapel / I Believe In The Man In The Sky
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                                $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


Elvis_GS_0644_orange

In early 1964, I Want To Hold Your Hand sat atop all the charts in America and the rest of the civilized world for weeks on end. And how did Elvis Presley greet the British Invasion? With the poorest excuse for a rock & roll single in his career: Kissin’ Cousins made the track that previously held that honor, Rock-A-Hula Baby, sound like a masterpiece! But the flip-side was another story: It Hurts Me is probably the finest recording that he made between 1962 and 1966; it remains a powerful and neglected side almost fifty years later. Had it been an A-side on its own, it would have been another worldwide hit, even during Beatlemania. 1


447-0644     Kissin’ Cousins / It Hurts Me
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (5S-B2/8S-A3).


447-0645     Such A Night / Never Ending
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S/3S).


447-0646     Viva Las Vegas / What’d I Say
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (4S-A6/4S-A4).


Elvis_GS_0646_orange

Viva Las Vegas was a dud as an A-side in 1964—a terrible choice for a single during the height of the British Invasion. It was almost immediately challenged for AM radio air-time by its flip-side, a remake of Ray Charles’ masterpiece What’d I Say. But Viva Las Vegas has achieved a life of its own: since Presley’s death,it has become synonymous with Elvis in Las Vegas if not with Vegas itself! It has appeared in a host of Vegas-based movies in the past few decades and will probably find its way into a few more! 3


447-0647     Blue Christmas / Santa Claus Is Back In Town
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 60–120
                       •  Rockaway pressing with an “R” in the trail-off area (8S-A-1D/7S).
                       •  Rockaway pressing with an “R” in the trail-off area (9S-B/7S-A1-E).
                       NOTE: Very weirdly, there are no Indianapolis pressings known to exist for this record.


447-0648     Do The Clam / You’ll Be Gone
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0649     Ask Me / Ain’t That Loving You, Baby
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0650     Puppet On A String / Wooden Heart
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0651     Joshua Fit The Battle / Known Only To Him
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0652     Milky White Way / Swing Down, Sweet Chariot
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0653     (Such An) Easy Question / It Feels So Right
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


Elvis_GS_0654_orange

Whatever possessed RCA to champion I’m Yours as the hit side of this record escapes me: it’s a rather staid ballad, rather lifelessly sung by Elvis. While It’s A Long Lonely Highway is far from a great rocker, it would have been infinitely preferable on the radio in the same year as Ticket To Ride and Mr. Tambourine Man and Satisfaction and etcetera. (Even if it was associated with the extraordinarily lame Tickle Me movie, notable only for the lovely presence of Julie Adams and Jocelyn Lane.) 4


447-0654     I’m Yours / (It’s A) Long Lonely Highway
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0655     Tell Me Why / Blue River
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0656     Frankie And Johnny / Please Don’t Stop Loving Me
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $   ____
                      NOTE: The existence of this record is unverified; there is no assigned value.


447-0657     Love Letters / Come What May
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0658     Spinout / All That I Am
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 150–200
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


447-0659     Indescribably Blue / Fools Fall In Love
                       Orange labels with “RCA” on the left side                                               $ 200–300
                       •  Indianapolis pressing with an “I” in the trail-off area (?S/?S).


Elvis_GS_0659_orange

RCA Victor 447-0659, Indescribably Blue / Fools Fall In Love, is the only Gold Standard release for which the orange label is the first pressing! For years, its existence was unknown to most collectors! When more buyers and sellers realize this, its value should go—especially as it is also one of the rarest of the orange label GS 45s.


Elvis_GS_Charro_header

HEADER IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is Elvis on the set of Charro! with director Charles Marquis Warren. The script was initially offered to Clint Eastwood, then riding high on his spaghetti westerns. Eastwood turned it down but Elvis tok the role with glee. Unfortunately, when he arrived in Arizona for filming in mid-’68, the script had been completely overhauled.

Variety’s review (March 12, 1969) was generous to the star: “Presley strolls through a tedious role that would have driven many another actor up the wall. Even more at fault than Presley, who has occasionally responded in the past to the demands of a good director, is Charles Marquis Warren, who takes credit (or blame?) for the script, the direction and even part of the production.”


Elvis_GoldSuit_1959

Postscriptually, this article “The Elvis Presley Gold Standard 45s Part 6 (1969)” is the sixth of a planned eight articles addressing the complete run of Gold Standard singles as collectable records. When it is completed, I will include a list of the articles with hyperlinks here at the bottom of each article for easy access.


 


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)

 


FOOTNOTES:

1  It is interesting to note that while Elvis and da Colonel and RCA all seemed to have selected Stay Away as the A-side of the record. As the front and back covers of the picture sleeve make evident, the featured side was Stay Away and the record was issued to promote Elvis’s new movie. But the DJs flipped the record over and played U.S. Male. 

[one_half]Elvis_GS_StayAway_ps_250[/one_half][one_half_last]Elvis_GS_StayAway_ps2_250[/one_half_last]

And U.S. Male is the record that record-buyers bought and the side that marched up the charts: on Billboard, U.S. Male reached #28 while Stay Away stayed at #67. On Cash Box, it was #26 and #50, respectively. Despite this, the RCA Listing Notice for the first release of this record as Gold Standard 447-0646 lists Stay Away as the A-side. Go figure . . .

2   I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of the discography above with an embedded video, but that’s what footnotes are for on this site. Enjoy!


[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2DZ32pB9Ro]


3   Since we are on the topic, it’s Movie Recommendation Time: give a loo-see to 3000 Miles From Graceland, where Kurt Russell (who played Elvis as a rather angry person in the first movie bio on Presley) leads a pack of thieves all dressed as Elvis into a Vegas casino during Elvis Impersonator Week intended to rob the place. The film is stolen by a brilliant performance by Kevin Costner as a psychopath who may be Elvis’ bastard son.

3000 Miles From Graceland also features Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz, Howie Long, Bokeem Woodbine, Ice-T, Thomas Haden Church ( a personal fave of mine ever since George Of The Jungle), and Courteney Cox Arquette—who is so damn sexy when she isn’t Monica Geller.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJPNc2NOKc8]

A promo video was made for the Internet featuring Russell lip-synching to Such A Night, the unofficial theme song to the movie. Again, enjoy . . .

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EwMHtri1rg]

4   This footnote is just an excuse for me to fit a pair of photos of two exceptionally lovely women (and a classic movie poster) into this otherwise visually boring article:


Elvis_GS_JulieAdams

Julia Adams as the heroine of Creature From The Black Lagoon, a dreadful, often hilarious monster movie from 1954 that monster movie fans love anyway. Regarding her male lead, Julia noted, “Despite his status as a superstar singer and stage performer, Elvis took his acting very seriously. He was always prepared, and did a good job in the roles he was given. When he did his musical numbers in Tickle Me, sometimes walking from table to table in a nightclub set, he did them perfectly in one take.”


Elvis_GS_Lagoon

I would be remiss if I did not include this: Creature From The Black Lagoon was a staple of Saturday matinees in second-run theaters around the country in the ’60s, so many of us boys grew up with a crush on Julia Adams.


Elvis_GS_JocelynLane

The gorgeous (if otherwise forgettable) actress Jocelyn Lane illustrating why men of a certain age look on “the look” of the ’60s with more than mere nostalgia. Needless to say, those “men of a certain age” would be those of us who went to Saturday matinees in second-run theaters around the country in the ’60s.

Like me . . .



 

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