Elvis IndescribablyBlue PS a 1500 crop 1

what in tarnation are the “haircut sleeves” of the sixties?

IN THE SUMMER OF 1966, I heard Elvis’s new single on the radio and hur­ried to the record store to buy a copy. I al­ways tried to buy new sin­gles as soon as they came out so that I could find a copy with a pic­ture sleeve. Upon seeing the sleeve for this new Elvis single, Spinout / All That I Am, I was con­fused: Elvis’ face was puffy and round and he had the most ridicu­lous, un-hip hairdo imag­in­able.

In fact, the make-up—which in the past had made him look cin­e­mat­i­cally dramatic—combined here with the highly styl­ized hair made him look ef­fem­i­nate. This was def­i­nitely not a look any en­ter­tainer (anyone, straight or gay) needed in the very ho­mo­phobic ’60s.

I had just turned 15 and I was one of my high school’s few Elvis fans, which was not some­thing that one bragged about in most cir­cles at that time. Pres­ley’s fall from the top­per­most of the pop­per­most had begun years be­fore and was made worse by the ar­rival of the Bea­tles and the rest of the British In­va­sion.

 

A cus­tomer of mine re­ferred to these as the “haircut sleeves” back in the 1980s, which I thought both hi­lar­ious and apt and I’ve used the term ever since.

 

While one could argue in 1964 about who was bigger, Elvis or the Bea­tles (Jesus hadn’t en­tered the brouhaha yet), by 1966 there was no de­bate: Elvis was a joke to most se­rious rock & roll fans and his record sales were rapidly de­clining while those of the Bea­tles were still in the mil­lions.

Any less-than-savvy de­ci­sion or unhip move Presley made just made him and his fans look more foolish—and being hip was al­most a req­ui­site for a rock star in the ’60s. And Presley, the Colonel, RCA Victor, and var­ious movie pro­ducers made a lot of down­right dumb moves re­garding Elvis’s ca­reer.

And this “look” with this hairdo was def­i­nitely a dumb move! It also co­in­cided with the pe­riod that saw US sales of a new Elvis single drop from a sure 400,000 to less than half that. While none of these sleeves are rare, for some reason, sev­eral are very dif­fi­cult to find in near mint (NM) con­di­tion.

 

Elvis TickleMe JocelynLane photo 600

Elvis as he ap­peared posing for a pub­licity photo with leading lady Jo­celyn lane for the movie Tickle Me, shot in No­vember 1964. Com­pare this Elvis with the Elvis on the haircut sleeves.

Posthumous feeding frenzy

When I began selling records through the mail via ads in Gold­mine mag­a­zine back in 1980, Elvis had been dead less than three years. The im­pact of his death on col­lec­tors had cre­ated a feeding frenzy on any­thing Elvis: items that had sold for $10-20 the day be­fore his death on Au­gust 16, 1977, were selling for $50-100 the day after his death.

And this mayhem con­tinued three years after the fact. This was un­prece­dented then and re­mains un­matched by any other artist’s death since. (There was an ex­plo­sive rush to buy up all things MJ after Michael Jack­son’s un­ex­pected death in 2009, but it didn’t last long.)

People who knew nothing about col­lecting any­thing were sud­denly “Elvis Col­lec­tors,” paying ab­surdly in­flated prices for readily avail­able items. This should have been a tem­po­rary aber­ra­tion but such was not the case.

In­stead, this aber­ra­tion was mag­ni­fied by the price guides of the time, which ce­mented into place (at least in the minds of the guides’ true be­lievers) the stag­ger­ingly in­flated prices that this new breed of Elvis col­lector had been paying for Elvis items in the years 1977-1979.

 

Elvis FrankieAndJohnny photo Douglas 500 crop

This is a pub­licity shot of Elvis for his movie Frankie And Johnny with co-star Donna Dou­glas (then hot as a pistol as Ellie Mae Clam­pett on The Bev­erly Hill­bil­lies tele­vi­sion show). For the movie, Elvis was no­tably pudgier than normal, with bloating ev­i­dent in his face—which looks rather lifeless—and his ab­domen (and the tight pants ex­ag­gerate the bloating).

Things tamed down

I am not knocking these guides for as­signing the values that they did as they more or less re­flected the market for sev­eral years. But the market for any kind of col­lec­table tends to be volatile and price guides should be done in the spirit of the daily stock market re­sults in your local news­paper, with ups and downs of the market con­stantly re­flected in the stated values.

By 1980, things had tamed down but this was not re­flected in the price guides. While the values as­signed to the ma­jority of records—especially the more common items—in the guides were ab­surdly ex­ag­ger­ated, many items were in­ex­plic­ably un­der­valued.

Such as a handful of pic­ture sleeves for 45s from 1966-1967 in NM con­di­tion that I refer to as the “haircut sleeves.”

 

Elvis FrankieAndJohnny PS a 600

For the pic­ture sleeve for the single from the movie Frankie And Johnny, RCA Victor reached back and pulled a photo of the sleek Elvis from 1964 and gave us the best looking Presley pic­ture sleeve in a while.

Those fabulous “haircut sleeves”

In 1964, Larry Geller took over as Elvis’s reg­ular hair­stylist, quickly be­coming one of the singer’s closest friends and con­fi­dantes. Geller was a name to be reck­oned with: in 1959, he had opened the first men’s hair-styling salon in America with partner Jay Se­bring.

This salon, Se­bring In­ter­na­tional, pro­vided ser­vices like wom­en’s hair­styling sa­lons, far be­yond the lim­ited scope of the ser­vices of­fered a neigh­bor­hood bar­ber­shops. It at­tracted some of Hol­ly­wood’s biggest names, in­cluding Marlon Brando, Kirk Dou­glas, Henry Fonda, Rock Hudson, Steve Mc­Queen, and the Chairman of the Board him­self, Frank Sinatra.

 

The values in the early price guides re­flected the hys­teria of the post-death market and should have been a tem­po­rary aber­ra­tion.

 

Geller styled Elvis’s hair for sev­eral movies in 1964-1966 and the pho­to­shoots of the time that pro­vided im­ages for pro­mo­tional pur­poses. It’s prob­ably im­pos­sible to guess what he was thinking with the new look he gave Elvis for a pho­to­shoot in mid-1966 that was to pro­vide the Colonel with a se­lec­tion of photos to give RCA Victor for up­coming Presley plat­ters.

Geller’s new ‘do’ con­tinued dying Pres­ley’s hair jet-black and combing it straight back. In these photos, the hair ap­pears to be held in place with an industrial-strength hair­spray or sev­eral coats of var­nish or lac­quer.

 

Byrds EightMilesHigh ad HowHigh 400

For a bit of per­spec­tive on where the record in­dustry and the youth of America were at in early 1966 just be­fore Elvis let Larry do his new “do,” this is how Co­lumbia was ad­ver­tising the Byrds. This full-page ad for the group’s new single Eight Miles High / Why ap­peared in the April 2, 1966, is­sues of Bill­board and Cash Box mag­a­zines. (And I won’t even dare to com­pare the char­ac­ter­less movie music that Elvis was making at the time with ei­ther of these bril­liant sides.)

Lacquered it into place

While pop and rock artists around the world were let­ting their hair down in 1966, falling in their faces as na­ture in­tended, in these photos Elvis’s hair was given a round shape, making it look like a black helmet atop his head. In­stead of Beatle-like bangs, Geller teased a lock of hair down onto Pres­ley’s fore­head and then lac­quered it into place.

To make mat­ters worse, Elvis’s face is bloated and round, pos­sibly a re­flec­tion of his diet or his drug in­take (the latter not even sus­pected by we fans at the time). And his make-up looks like a cheap pan­cake make-up.

The overall ef­fect was weird and, in hind­sight, Elvis looks like an over-the-hill gay male-model, but I’m not cer­tain that a gay male would come out into public looking like this in 1966.

Un­for­tu­nately, these photos were used in ad­ver­tising and on records into late 1967, in­cluding the afore­men­tioned “haircut sleeves” used by RCA Victor in the US and sev­eral other Eu­ro­pean coun­tries. For­tu­nately, this was ap­par­ently the only time Elvis used this “do” of Geller’s, at least in public.

 

NU ATOG book 600

My second all-Elvis price guide, A Touch Of Gold – The Elvis Presley Record & Mem­o­ra­bilia Price Guide, was self-published by my own White Dragon Press in 1990. De­spite being so old, it is still the eas­iest Elvis guide to read and un­der­stand and be­cause the Elvis market peaked and de­clined since the values are sur­pris­ingly ac­cu­rate.

A Touch Of Gold

In the early 1980s, I sold records under the name Pet Sounds Records through ads in Gold­mine mag­a­zine. De­spite my sixties-ish busi­ness name, I spe­cial­ized in finding near mint copies of Elvis items that were hard to find in NM con­di­tion. One day, a cus­tomer asked me if I had any NM copies of the “haircut sleeves.”

After he ex­plained what he was re­fer­ring to, I thought his term was both hi­lar­ious and apt and I’ve used it ever since! And I im­me­di­ately began looking for copies in NM con­di­tion, which I turned over as fast as I could find them. This ex­pe­ri­ence stayed with me when I be­came ed­itor of the O’SullivanWoodside record col­lec­tors price guides a few years later.

When OW pub­lished my Elvis Presley Record Price Guide in 1985, many of the is­sues con­cerning values as­signed records that were both too high and too low were cor­rected. Those that weren’t prop­erly ad­justed in that book were sub­se­quently ad­dressed 1990 with the pub­li­ca­tion of A Touch Of Gold – The Elvis Presley Record & Mem­o­ra­bilia Price Guide by my own White Dragon Press.

 

Elvis Spinout PS Germany 800

This is the Spinout / All That I Am sleeve from Ger­many. Ap­par­ently, RCA de­ter­mined that the term “spinout” had no meaning out­side the US, so the title of the movie was changed to “Cal­i­fornia Hol­iday” in many coun­tries.

Record values

All values below are based on a de­f­i­n­i­tion of Near Mint (NM) that can be found in my ar­ticle “On Grading Records.” The records that ac­com­pa­nied these pic­ture sleeves are not in­cluded below; they are much easier to find in NM con­di­tion and can usu­ally be found selling for in the $10-15 range. White label promo copies of these records are much harder to find in col­lec­table con­di­tion and prices vary con­sid­er­ably but are usu­ally in the $30-60 per title.

For this ar­ticle, I want to call readers’ at­ten­tion to these “haircut sleeves” with their absurd-looking photos—apparently se­lected by the Colonel—which used by RCA Victor at a time when Presley’s rep­u­ta­tion and sales were drop­ping pre­cip­i­tously.

Re­garding those di­min­ishing sales, I have in­cluded the US sales fig­ures for each record ac­cording to Ernst Jor­gensen’s data in Elvis – Day-By-Day (Bal­lan­tine Books, 1999).

Each entry also notes peak chart po­si­tions from the Bill­board Hot 100 and the Cash Box Top 100 charts. I have also in­cluded the peak po­si­tions of each side on the UK charts to show that for a while, Elvis did con­sid­er­ably better there than here.

This group of five sleeves and one LP pro­vide a tiny glimpse into just how out of touch the Colonel and Elvis were at this time.

 

Elvis DoubleTrouble EP France haircutsleeve 800

In France, a Double Trouble EP was re­leased using the same photo and cover de­sign as the Long Legged Girl pic­ture sleeve (below).

 


 

09/1966

RCA Victor 47-8941

Spinout
b/w All That I Am

 

 Elvis Spinout PS WatchFor a 600

Elvis Spinout PS WatchFor b 800

First print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Watch For Elvis’ Spinout LP Album” in a black border at the bottom of both sides.

 

Elvis Spinout PS AskFor a 800

Elvis Spinout PS AskFor b 800

Second print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Ask For Elvis’ Spinout LP Album” in a black border at the bottom of both sides. 

US Charts: Spinout peaked at #32 on Cash Box but only reached #40 on Bill­board. The flip-side All That I Am peaked at #39 on Cash Box but only reached #41 on Bill­board.

UK Charts: All That I Am reached #18 on one survey while Spinout did not make any UK survey.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were ap­prox­i­mately 400,000.

First printing: The sleeve has “Watch For Elvis’ Spinout LP Album” at the bottom.

 Sug­gested VG value for the “Watch For” sleeve: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the “Watch For” sleeve: $30-40

Second printing: The sleeve has “Ask For Elvis’ Spinout LP Album” at the bottom.

 Sug­gested VG value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $40-50

Com­ments: Need­less to say, I don’t like any of the photos used on these sleeves, but this de­sign is sev­eral stan­dards above the rest that fol­lowed. Whereas the others are head­shots, here we get Elvis from the waist up. The two-panel de­sign with one side looking like a frame from a strip of film is vi­su­ally strong due to Elvis’s gold top against the blue back­ground.

Along with the Top 20 suc­cess of All That I Am on the UK charts, it made the Top 10 on the Bill­board easy-listening survey. This should have made clear that it was ob­vi­ously the side that RCA should have been pro­moting from the be­gin­ning, re­gard­less of the Colonel’s dic­tates.

 


 

10/1966

RCA Victor LPM-3702 (mono)
RCA Victor LSP-3702 (stereo)

Spinout

 

Elvis Spinout LPM 3702 shrink sticker 600

Elvis Spinout LSP 3702 shrink sticker 600

The mono (top) and stereo (bottom) jacket cover looked slightly dif­ferent due to the place­ment of “LSP-3702 STEREO” in the upper left corner. The ad­di­tional space at the top makes the stereo cover slightly more ef­fec­tive graph­i­cally. The blue sticker ad­ver­tises the bonus photo in­cluded in the album and is af­fixed to the shrinkwrap, not the album’s cover.

US Charts: Spinout reached #18 on the Bill­board Best-Selling LPs survey.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were ap­prox­i­mately 300,000.

First pressing: The record has black la­bels with “RCA Victor” and Nipper on top at 12 o’­clock. There were no second press­ings for ei­ther LPM-3702 or LSP-3702.

•  Sug­gested VG value for the mono album: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the mono album: $30-50

•  Sug­gested VG value for the stereo album: $5-10
 Sug­gested NM value for the stereo album: $25-40

Note: Copies of LPM-3702 or LSP-3702 that are still in the orig­inal shrinkwrap with the blue “Spe­cial Bonus” sticker have a sug­gested NM value of $50-75. Copies that are still factory-sealed with the sticker have a sug­gested NM value of $150-200.

 

Elvis Spinout BonusPhoto 600

Orig­inal mono (LP-3702) and stereo (LSP-3702) copies of Spinout were pack­aged with an 11 x 11-inch bonus photo of Elvis with “the haircut.” Sug­gested NM value for this photo is $20-30.

Com­ments: What word comes to mind when I look at this de­sign? For me, it’s in­sipid. If you need an­other word, Google’s dic­tio­nary of­fers plenty of syn­onyms, these being the most apt: anemicboring, char­ac­ter­less, dull, life­less, unin­ter­esting, and my fa­vorite, zest­less.

Re­orders for this album were non-existent and it was rather quickly deleted from RCA’s ac­tive cat­alog and so there were no second press­ings for ei­ther LPM-3702 or LSP-3702. Spinout was reis­sued in stereo in 1980 (AYL1–3684) to meet the de­mand for all things Elvis in the wake of his death in 1977.

Did you know that apt­ness (noun), aptly (ad­verb), and aptest (ad­jec­tive) are all ac­cept­able in most dic­tio­naries? I think I prefer most apt over aptest, the latter sounding like some­thing most high school se­niors rou­tinely flunk.

 


 

11/1966

RCA Victor 47-8950

If Every Day Was Like Christmas
b/w How Would You Like To Be

 

Elvis IfEveryDayWasLikeChristmas PS a 800

Elvis IfEveryDayWasLikeChristmas PS b 800

First and only print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Ask For Elvis’ New RCA Victor Stereo 8 Cat­alog” in a black border at the bottom of both sides.

US Charts: If Every Day Was Like Christmas did not qualify on ei­ther the Cash Box or Bill­board pop chart as both mag­a­zines did not in­clude Christmas records in their reg­ular sur­veys. The flip-side How Would You Like To Be did not make ei­ther the Cash Box or Bill­board pop charts.

UK Charts: If Every Day Was Like Christmas reached #9 on one survey while How Would You Like To Be did not make any UK chart.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were ap­prox­i­mately 200,000.

First printing: The sleeve has “Ask For Elvis’ New RCA Victor Stereo 8 Cat­alog” at the bottom. There was only one printing of this sleeve.

•  Sug­gested VG value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $5-10
•  Sug­gested NM value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $20-40

Com­ments: If the Top 40 radio sta­tions in the US had played If Every Day Was Like Christmas like a reg­ular single in 1966 (as sta­tions in the UK and else­where did), with 200,000 sales it would have easily made the Top 20. Of course, if it had re­ceived round-the-clock air­play, it would have been heard by mil­lions of more people and prob­ably would have sold con­sid­er­ably more copies.

As for this sleeves’ de­sign, I’m going to borrow one of the syn­onyms from the com­ments on the Spinout LP above and say, “What a zest­less sleeve this is!”

 


 

01/1967

RCA Victor 47-9056

In­de­scrib­ably Blue
b/w Fools Fall In Love

 

Elvis IndescribablyBlue PS A 600

Elvis IndescribablyBlue PS b 800

First and only print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Coming Soon! Elvis’ new Sa­cred LP Album How Great Thou Art” in a white border at the bottom of both sides.

US Charts: In­de­scrib­ably Blue peaked at #26 on Cash Box but only reached #33 on Bill­board. The flip-side Fools Fall In Love did not make ei­ther the Cash Box or Bill­board pop chart.

UK Charts: In­de­scrib­ably Blue reached #21 on one survey while Fools Fall In Love did not make any UK chart.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were ap­prox­i­mately 300,000.

First printing: The sleeve has “Coming Soon! Elvis’ new Sa­cred LP Album How Great Thou Art” at the bottom.

Second printing: Copies of this sleeve with “Ask For Elvis’ new Sa­cred LP Album How Great Thou Art” at the bottom are not known to exist.

 Sug­gested VG value for the “Coming Soon” sleeve: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the “Coming Soon” sleeve: $40-60

Com­ments: As for this sleeves’ de­sign, I’m going to borrow one of the syn­onyms from the com­ments on the Spinout LP above and say, “What a dull, life­less sleeve this is!”

 


 

04/1967

RCA Victor 47-9115

Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On)
b
/w That’s Someone You Never Forget

 

Elvis LongLeggedGirl PS a 600

Elvis LongLeggedGirl PS b 600

First print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Coming Soon Double Trouble LP Album” in a white border at the bottom on both sides.

 

Elvis LongLeggedGirl PS AskFor a 600

Elvis LongLeggedGirl PS AskFor b 600

Second print­ings of this pic­ture sleeve have “Ask For Double Trouble LP Album” in a white border at the bottom on both sides. 

US Charts: Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On) peaked at #35 on Cash Box but only reached #63 on Bill­board. The flip-side That’s Someone You Never Forget peaked at #92 on Bill­board, but did not make the Cash Box chart.

UK Charts: Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On) reached #49 on one survey while That’s Someone You Never Forget did not make any UK chart.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were less than 200,000.

First printing: The sleeve has “Coming Soon Double Trouble LP Album” at the bottom. 

 Sug­gested VG value for the “Coming Soon” sleeve: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the “Coming Soon” sleeve: $30-40

Second printing: The sleeve has “Ask For Double Trouble LP Album” at the bottom.

 Sug­gested VG value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $15-20
 Sug­gested NM value for the “Ask For” sleeve: $40-60

Com­ments: Com­pared to the Spinout sleeve above, this sleeve pales, but com­pared to If Every Day Was Like Christmas and In­de­scrib­ably Blue, this un­in­ter­esting sleeve de­sign is bold. As to why RCA Victor pulled That’s Someone You Never Forget off the 1962 album POT LUCK WITH ELVIS to use as a B-side in 1967 is un­known. At this point in Pres­ley’s ca­reer, it was get­ting to be “Who cares?”

 


 

08/1967

RCA Victor 47-9287

There’s Al­ways Me
b/w Judy

 

Elvis TheresAlwaysMe PS a 600

Elvis TheresAlwaysMe PS b 500

US Charts: There’s Al­ways Me peaked at #45 on Cash Box but only reached #56 on Bill­board. The flip-side Judy peaked at #78 on Bill­board but did not make the Cash Box chart.

UK Charts: There’s Al­ways Me did not make any British survey while Judy did not make any UK chart.

US Sales: Ini­tial sales were less than 200,000.

First printing: The sleeve has no border at the bottom. There was only one printing of this sleeve.

 Sug­gested VG value for the sleeve: $10-15
 Sug­gested NM value for the sleeve: $30-50

Com­ments: As sales of new Presley Plat­ters were plum­meting, RCA Victor reached back to the 1961 album SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY and pulled There’s Al­ways Me (from the LP’s “Ballad Side” and a per­sonal fave of Elvis) and Judy (from the LP’s “Rhythm Side”). Ac­cording to the blurb on the sleeve, they were re­leased as a single “by pop­ular de­mand,” al­though who was doing the de­manding was never said. (The rabid readers of Elvis Monthly?)

Both are fine record­ings but un­ex­cep­tional and ab­solutely the wrong choices for a single during 1967’s Summer of Love. Judy is a per­sonal fave of mine and made an ex­cel­lent album track in 1961 but here Judy’s in dis­guise as a would-be hit single, for which it was most un-apt (an un­gainly word also found in most dic­tio­naries).

 


 

Elvis Stereo8 ad double 1000 1

This is a three-panel, fold-open poster sent to re­tail record stores for hanging on their walls. A copy of this cat­alog has a sug­gested NM value of $100-200.

Stereo-8 catalog

In 1966, RCA Victor began is­suing their vast cat­alog of pop­ular music LP al­bums on the new-fangled 8-track tape car­tridge medium. For Elvis, they is­sued sev­en­teen tapes with a single LP on each and three tapes with two LPs on each. In hawking this new product, RCA used a photo from “the haircut” ses­sions in ads in trade pub­li­ca­tions, on a cat­alog that was handed out to cus­tomers at stores, and as a 3½ x 5-inch bonus photo that was in­serted into each of the tape car­tridge boxes.

 

Elvis Stereo8 catalog 500

This 3½ x 7-inch cat­alog was handed to cus­tomers at re­tail record stores in the latter part of 1966, usu­ally when the cus­tomer had ei­ther pur­chased and Elvis 45 or LP or simply re­quested the cat­alog. A copy of this cat­alog has a sug­gested NM value of $15-20.

 

Elvis Stereo8 full age ad 600

This full-page ad for the new Elvis Presley Stereo 8 car­tridge tapes ap­peared in the Oc­tober 8, 1966, is­sues of Bill­board, Cash Box, and Record World mag­a­zines.

 

Elvis Stereo8 bonusphoto 600

This 3½ x 5-inch photo was in­serted into the RCA Victor box along with the car­tridge tape and then shrinkwrapped and shipped to whole­salers. A copy of this card has a sug­gested NM value of $5-10.

Wrap-up

In 1966-1967, the ca­reer of Elvis Presley was in free-fall: he had lost many (most?) of his orig­inal fans from the ’50s when he was the rock & rolling “Elvis the Pelvis” and was in the process of losing the new fans he had picked up in the early ’60s as a pop singer and movie mat­inée idol.

Every de­ci­sion made by Colonel Parker con­cerning his ca­reer proved in hind­sight to have been the bad de­ci­sion: these in­clude keeping Elvis from touring and ap­pearing on tele­vi­sion, having Elvis make one spir­it­less, blood­less, and life­less (all syn­onyms for in­sipid) movie with its ac­com­pa­nying sound­track album after an­other, and on in­sisting that Elvis got a piece of the pub­lishing on every song he recorded.

In fact, it’s dif­fi­cult to find a single sane, and sound de­ci­sion the Colonel made at this time! And yet, Elvis went along with each of them, never once putting his foot down and saying “No more!” to poorly con­ceived, cheaply made movies—where was his sense of duty to his fans?—or the often ex­e­crable songs that were part of the film sound­track.

 

Elvis never once put his foot down and said “No more!” to all those poorly con­ceived, cheaply made movies and their ex­e­crable sound­tracks.

 

And RCA Victor went long with each lousy pho­to­graph given them as the cover shot for Pres­ley’s sin­gles and al­bums. Ap­par­ently, they did step in at times and make de­ci­sions about their Presley product—at least I am as­suming it was their idea to use an older photo of a leaner Elvis for the cover of the PARADISE, HAWAIIAN STYLE album.

(I would love to hear someone as­so­ci­ated with RCA in 1968 ex­plain the ra­tio­nale be­hind the tracks se­lec­tion for ELVIS’ GOLD RECORDS VOLUME 4, which ig­nored a pile of gold hits—such as “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Re­turn to Sender,” and “Crying in the Chapel”—for al­most un­known flip-sides at a time when Presley’s cred­i­bility was be­coming a joke. But that’s an­other story.)

Back to the “haircut sleeves”: as far as I know, this is the ex­tent of the use of the photos from the “haircut” pho­to­shoot. That is, Geller’s “do” ap­pears to have been a one-time thing for that par­tic­ular photo ses­sion in 1966: Elvis cer­tainly never made a movie sporting it and it’s pos­sible he never even walked through the door of Grace­land with it atop his head.

There may be other uses of the “Geller-do” photos for pro­mo­tional pur­poses, es­pe­cially ad­ver­tise­ments for the Stereo 8 tapes. If you know of any, please con­tact me via the com­ments sec­tion below.

 

Elvis Spinout lobbycard 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: The fea­tured image that I had ini­tially se­lected for this rewrite was this is a lobby card from Spinout with Diane McBain standing up to Elvis. Note that for the movie, Mr. P has his normal hair­style of the mid-’60s, meaning the pub­licity shots of him with his new ‘do’ were chosen over photos of his better-looking self in the ac­tual movie. Then I found a huge re­pro­duc­tion of the In­de­scrib­ably Blue pic­ture sleeve (al­most 1,500 pixels wide!) and opted for it in­stead.

 

Elvis_GoldSuit

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, please note that many of the im­ages above are from the fan­tastic web­site 45cat, where they are at­tempting a mas­sive discog­raphy of more artists than I care to count. Sub­mis­sions, cor­rec­tions, edi­tions, com­ments, etc. are made by mem­bers, and of course, anyone can join.

 

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