THERE ARE FOUR PICTURE SLEEVES associated with RCA’s first Elvis record, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” / “Mystery Train.” One is a legitimate item while another is of questionable authenticity; they are covered separately in their own articles. There are also a pair of RCA Victor 47–6357 bootleg picture sleeves addressed in this article.
RCA Victor released their first Presley record in late 1955, a reissue of his final Sun record. Both sides of that record, I Forgot To Remember To Forget / Mystery Train, had been among the best-selling records on the country & western charts in both the Billboard and Cash Box magazines.
This article is one in a series about collecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56.
But RCA Victor pinched a few pennies and did not manufacture a custom picture sleeve to accompany the new single. But they did not have a custom picture sleeve made to ship with the record. This is baffling, especially in hindsight. Had the girls seen a picture sleeve with the handsome singer on it, the record might have exploded in sales and reached the top of the chart earlier.
In fact, RCA Victor didn’t manufacture a custom sleeve Presley until his eighth record, Hound Dog / Don’t Be Cruel, released in July 1956. Years later, sleeves for these records were made for all the sleeveless Elvis 45s from 1956 by underground entrepreneurs.
As mentioned above, two such sleeves exist for 47–6357.
47–6357 bootleg sleeves
According to Bootleg Elvis, the first sleeve for 47–6357 was manufactured in 1968. It featured two photos of Elvis against a yellow backdrop and looks like a bootleg. This would seem to make it one of the earliest known Elvis bootlegs of any kind.
Ten years later, another picture sleeve was made, this time with one photo set against a white background. The photo used was the same one found on the front cover of RCA Victor LPM-1990, FOR LP FANS ONLY, from 1959. This sleeve actually looks like what an RCA Victor sleeve from 1955 might have looked like.
Avid Record Collector price guide
There’s not a lot to say for these two sleeves except that collectors pay about $25–35 for either in near-mint condition.
Reproductions of the original bootleg sleeves may exist.This article about bootleg picture sleeves for RCA Victor 47–6357 is one in a series about collecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56. Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page was cropped from this promotional photo of Elvis from 1955. This was one of the two photos used on the first bootleg picture sleeve above. To read more about this photo, click here.
The first fourteen articles in this series are almost completed and listed below with links to each. Should you access one of these articles and receive an Error Page, try back a week later.
01 RCA Victor’s “SPD” Series of Specialty Records
02 What Was the First Elvis Record That RCA Victor Released?
03 The Biggest Country & Western Record News of 1955
04 The First RCA Elvis Record Was “I Forgot to Remember to Forget”
05 The RCA Victor Cartoon Picture Sleeves of the ’50s
06 The Elvis “This Is His Life” Cartoon Picture Sleeve
07 RCA Victor 47–6357 Bootleg Picture Sleeves
08 The “Record Bulletin” Picture Sleeve for RCA’s First Elvis Record Is a Fake
09 Did RCA Release Other Versions of Elvis’ Songs to Compete With Elvis’ Records?
10 A New Kind of Hit Re-run With Elvis Presley
11 Was “E‑Z Pop Programming 5” the First LP to Feature an Elvis Track?
12 Was “E‑Z Country Programming 2” the First LP to Feature an Elvis Track?
13 Was SPD-15 the First EP to Feature an Elvis Track?
14 Is the Country & Western Jukebox Promotion Kit a Fake?
More articles addressing the early RCA Victor releases are planned. Each will contain the blockquote, “This article is one in a series about collecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56,” like the one at the beginning of this article.
To find all the articles in the series, copy the blockquote, paste it into the Find option (the magnifying glass in the navigation bar at the top of each page), and then press Return or Enter on your keyboard.
Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)