elvis and the illuminating turntable

Es­ti­mated reading time is 12 min­utes.

AN ELVIS REISSUE may be one of the rarest and most valu­able Elvis records of the past fifty years. Or, it may be an­other fake col­lectible de­serving no better status than that of a cleverly-made-yet-unnecessary bootleg. And it’s tied in with a fooked-up but very in­ter­esting pic­ture cover and—get this—an il­lu­mi­nating turntable!

Since 2003, col­lec­tors have found two other items as­so­ci­ated with the record player: an in-store dis­play ad­ver­tising the free record along with a pic­ture sleeve for the record. I don’t pay much at­ten­tion to posthu­mous Elvis re­leases as col­lectibles. I de­pend on savvy readers of this blog who are willing to take the time to alert me to “new” finds.

Most col­lec­tors have never seen an ac­tual copy of any of these items and, most likely, most never will.

The items in this ar­ticle came to my at­ten­tion just such a reader sent me scans of a pre­vi­ously un­known pic­ture sleeve for this record. My re­search into the sleeve led me to a se­ries of ques­tions con­cerning as­pects of the sleeve and the record. So, here I de­scribe, as­sess, and ad­dress these four items:

•  the record
•  the record player
•  the in-store display
•  the pic­ture sleeve

Each item has its own sec­tion that in­cludes a de­scrip­tion with com­men­tary and an as­sess­ment of the item’s “re­al­ness.” (Or, in to­day’s mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world, the item’s non-fakeness.) Due to the rarity of the items in this ar­ticle, there are only a few sales doc­u­mented online.

For this reason, I will not be of­fering any sug­gested values.


Elvis ThatsAllRight 2003 label Reynolds 12 800
The scan for this copy of BMG Spe­cial Prod­ucts DPC-13558 was sub­mitted to me via email by a friend who in­sists the la­bels are silver.

So, is it real?

For each item, I have listed three po­ten­tial opin­ions. Here is a key to un­der­standing the opinions:

       “Seems au­thentic to me” should not re­quire an explanation. 

       “Seems a bit iffy to me” means there are not enough facts avail­able to de­ter­mine whether the item is au­thentic or a bootleg.

       “Stay away, Joemeans stay away, what­ever your name is!


Elvis ThatsAllRight 2003 label Dowling gray 800
The scan for this copy of BMG Spe­cial Prod­ucts DPC-13558 was sub­mitted to me via email by a friend who in­sists the la­bels are gray.

The record

The story goes like this: in 2003, BMG Spe­cial Prod­ucts apparently—and get used to that word and its syn­onyms in this article—manufactured an Elvis record for a com­pany that in­tended to use it as a give­away with the pur­chase of an Elvis-themed record player. The player did not sell well and both it and the record are hard to find col­lectibles twenty years later.

The record is a seven-inch, 45 rpm single with the same 1954 recording of That’s All Right on both sides. The single’s cat­alog number is DPC-13558 and it has a 2003 copy­right date. It has la­bels that some see as silver and others as gray and both sides look identical.

On the left side of the spindle hole is the sil­hou­ette of a dancing Elvis from the 1957 movie Jail­house Rock. On the right side are the song title and the artist’s credit.

The matrix/parts number “DPC-13558-7 A” is en­graved in the trail-off area on both sides. The letter “U” in a circle is also stamped into that area, which means the record was pressed by United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Both sides of the record are iden­tical in what ap­pears on both the la­bels and in the trail-off area. This means that the record does not have the tra­di­tional A‑side and B‑side.

This record is not a part of RCA’s of­fi­cial line of Elvis Presley records, so I refer to it as BMG DPC-13558. It was pu­ta­tively man­u­fac­tured for KNG America, a com­pany that sold elec­tronic nov­el­ties, in­cluding an Elvis mu­sical lamp. This record was al­legedly in­tended to pro­mote a new Elvis record player.

A little bit of weird­ness: the la­bels for DPC-13558 refer to the record as a com­pi­la­tion, which is weird as that term is usu­ally re­served for album collections.

Her­itage Auc­tions of­fered a copy of this record for sale in 2021 with the fol­lowing description:

“Per the no­ta­rized LOA from the con­signor, this was a spe­cial 7‑inch single made in 2003 with That’s All Right pressed on both sides. Known to be one of only 25 ever made, this came with an Elvis Presley record player sold at the Fo­ley’s de­part­ment store. Comes with a printout of the promo for dis­play pur­poses only.”

There are three im­por­tant bits of in­for­ma­tion here:

•  The Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable was sup­pos­edly made for Fo­ley’s de­part­ment stores. There is no reason to dis­pute this al­though there are no longer any Fo­ley’s stores to check this state­ment with.

•  There were sup­pos­edly only twenty-five copies “ever made.” This makes little sense as the unit cost would have been out­ra­geous. And why would Fo­ley’s have in-store dis­plays ad­ver­tising the free record and ef­fec­tively have no record to give away?

•  The printout of the promo is dis­cussed in The Dis­play sec­tion below.

Also, the ac­cu­racy of these bits of in­for­ma­tion de­pends on the knowl­edge and ve­racity of an anony­mous con­signor. Un­for­tu­nately, pro­viding in­au­thentic let­ters of au­then­ticity is a growth in­dustry in the world of col­lectibles so the LOA car­ries no weight.

An­other issue is that while there are sev­eral photos or scans of this record on the in­ternet, they are con­found­ingly un­alike. Some are silver, others are gray. On one, the name “ELVIS” above the spindle hole is lop­sided, slanting down­ward from left to right. Of course, these may merely be is­sues of poor photos or scans.

The Avid Record Collector’s Price Guide

Only one sale of this record is listed in Pop­sike as having sold on eBay: in 2022, a copy graded near mint sold for $255. There has also been only one sale on Discogs, where a copy that was graded mint sold for $580 in 2020.

Based on those two sales, a rea­son­able value to as­sign a near mint copy would be in the area of $400. At this time, there is only one copy avail­able for sale on the in­ternet: a copy graded Mint has an asking price of $999 on Discogs.

So, is it real?

 √   Seems au­thentic to me.
       Seems a bit iffy to me.
       Stay away, Joe.


Elvis IlluminatingTurntable box top 800

Illuminating turntable: side of the box for the Elvis Illuminating Turntable from 2003-2004.
The image on top is the top of the box for the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable. The image on the bottom is a por­tion of one of the side panels of the box for the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable. It has the logo and ad­dress for KNG America.

The illuminating turntable

Be­fore the record, there was the record player. At least, I as­sume that the record player pre­ceded the record. In 2003–2004, KNG America mar­keted the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable + CD & Radio. It was a portable unit ap­prox­i­mately 16.9 x 15.7 inches and 8.6 inches high (model number 426825).

It con­tained a record player that played two speeds (33and 45 rpm), a CD player, and an FM radio. It was ap­par­ently mar­keted with the au­tho­riza­tion of Elvis Presley En­ter­prises (EPE).

The record player came in a custom silver-gray box. There is nothing on the box that ties the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable with the That’s All Right record ex­cept for the dancing Elvis silhouette.

How­ever, there are two items that do link the record and the record player: an in-store dis­play and a pic­ture sleeve.

I could not find any men­tion of the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable during its ac­tual pe­riod of being mar­keted in 2003–2004. There were no ads from KNG America, no men­tions in news ar­ti­cles in 2003, etc. I tried con­tacting KNG America via sev­eral phone num­bers and two web­sites but they led nowhere.

Nonethe­less, the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable looks au­thentic to me. I be­lieve it was mar­keted by KNG Amer­ican twenty years ago, it failed to sell in suf­fi­cient num­bers, was quickly dis­con­tinued, and is now a rare Presley nov­elty item.

The Avid Record Collector’s Price Guide

Cur­rently, there are only two copies of this record player that I could find for sale on the in­ternet. One is graded “new in box” (al­though the box is slightly bat­tered) is on eBay with an asking price of $650. An­other eBay of­fering has the player with a “loose con­nec­tion” and without the box for $250.

That’s it—no reg­is­tered sales from which to get even a hint of a value and two items for sale. What’s it worth? Your guess is as good as mine.

So, is it real?

 √   Seems au­thentic to me.
       Seems a bit iffy to me.
       Stay away, Joe.


Elvis ThatsAllRight 2003 store display Heritage 800xx
This is a dis­play pur­port­edly used in stores to pro­mote sales of the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable. (A copy of this dis­play was part of a sale at Her­itage Auc­tions, hence the iden­ti­fying wa­ter­mark on the image.)

The display

The ex­is­tence of the in-store dis­play is based on its being men­tioned in two ads for the record. Based on these ads, we have a pic­ture of the dis­play (above) and know that it is ap­prox­i­mately 18 x 18 inches. What we don’t know is whether it is a card­board standup meant to sit on a store’s coun­tertop or a paper poster meant to hang on a store’s wall.

In this ar­ticle, I refer to this item as a dis­play.

Re­fer­ring to the Her­itage Auc­tions page in The Record sec­tion above, the record of­fered for sale in­cluded a “printout of the promo for dis­play pur­poses only.” A photo of this “promo” was in­cluded in the ad.

The Her­itage auc­tion lot did not in­clude the ac­tual dis­play but a copy of the dis­play that was printed out from a com­puter. The real dis­play could have been scanned or pho­tographed,  then loaded into a com­puter, and then printed out. Or the dis­play could have been cre­ated on a com­puter using Pho­to­Shop or GIMP and then printed out.

In 2006, a seller ad­ver­tised a copy of BMG DPC-13558 that also in­cluded a photo of the dis­play. The text states, “The ac­tual dis­play that was in stores is around 18” x 18.” So we know its size but not whether it sat or hung in stores.

And, like Her­itage, this ad did not have nor did they see the ac­tual dis­play, just a photo of the display—which could have been an­other com­puter printout.

Does the com­plete lack of an ac­tual copy of this item prove this item to be fake?


But . . .

The Avid Record Collector’s Price Guide

Need­less to say, I could not find any in­for­ma­tion about any sales of this dis­play as a collectible.

So, is it real?

       Seems au­thentic to me.
 √   Seems a bit iffy to me.
       Stay away, Joe.


Illuminating turntable: front of the picture sleevefor BMG DCP-13558 "That's All Right."

Illuminating turntable: back of the picture sleeve for BMG DCP-13558 "That's All Right."
The image on top is the front of the pic­ture sleeve as­so­ci­ated with BMG DCP-13558. The image on the bottom is the back of the pic­ture sleeve. There are sev­eral is­sues with the text on this item that cause col­lec­tors to call the item’s au­then­ticity into question.

The picture sleeve

The latest dis­covery is a pic­ture sleeve os­ten­sibly in­tended for BMG DPC-13558. It is printed on heavy paper stock with two very dif­ferent sides: the front is blue with a mock-up of the record. The back is a bur­gundy red with a photo of the top of the box for the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable. Both sides fea­ture blurb-like text.

This sleeve en­tered the world of Elvis col­lectibles out of nowhere. There is nothing on ei­ther the Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable box or the dis­play that ties the sleeve in with the record or the pro­mo­tional cam­paign for the record player.

Then there is the pic­ture sleeve. The first time I saw it I thought the de­sign rather tacky but then, I think that about count­less posthu­mous Elvis re­leases. But there are some more sub­stan­tial is­sues with this sleeve.

1.  The text at the bottom of the back side has three BIG errors:

•  It er­ro­neously credits KING America in­stead of KNG America. Given that this item would al­most cer­tainly have been com­mis­sioned by KNG, it’s dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that the com­pa­ny’s art de­part­ment or proof­readers would over­look such a mistake.

•  It uses British Eng­lish punc­tu­a­tion and puts the comma out­side the quo­ta­tion marks (“KING AMERICA”,) in­stead of Amer­ican Eng­lish, where the comma is in­side the quo­ta­tion marks (“KING AMERICA,”).

•  It states that the record was “Re­leased in Con­junc­tion with the ELVIS ON SUN Cam­paign.” Um, there was no “Elvis On Sun” cam­paign that I am aware of. How­ever, in 2004, there was a modest cam­paign by BMG to pro­mote the newly re­leased ELVIS AT SUN album.

2.  By far the weirdest thing about this sleeve is the type­set­ting error on the front cover. In the first line in the second para­graph below the spindle hole, the year 2003 is pre­ceded by a tiny cap­ital P, a normal-size cap­ital O, and 2003.

     •  The letter and fig­ures look like this: PO2003.
     •  They are sup­posed to look like this: ℗2003.

The P‑in-a-circle (“℗”) is often used as a copy­right symbol for sound record­ings, records, and re­lated items. This is a rather se­rious error made by the person who “de­signed” this sleeve, whether it was a type­setter at a com­mer­cial print­er’s shop (who should prob­ably seek a ca­reer in an­other line of work) or a boot­legger (who should prob­ably in­vest in soft­ware to add to his home com­puter that in­cludes common sym­bols used in the everyday world).

Do these gram­mat­ical and punc­tu­a­tional boners prove this item to be fake?


Nonethe­less . . .

The Avid Record Collector’s Price Guide

I only found one sale of this sleeve logged onto Discogs, where a copy that was graded mint sold for $444 in 2022. I found only one copy being of­fered for sale on the in­ternet at this time: graded mint, the asking price is $744.

So, is it real?

       Seems au­thentic to me.
 √   Seems a bit iffy to me.
       Stay away, Joe.

Elvis silhouette JailhouseRock dance 200
One thing that the record, record player, and pic­ture sleeve have in common is this crude sil­hou­ette of Elvis.

Buyer beware

Be­fore I began this ar­ticle, I was un­aware of the ex­is­tence of any of the items in this ar­ticle. As I com­plete this ar­ticle, there are two turnta­bles, one record, one sleeve, and no dis­plays cur­rently avail­able for sale on the internet. 

Among the al­most 3,000,000,000 web­sites on the World Wide Web. If you want one now, that’s it.

Whether they are legit or not is still a ques­tion. I checked the opinion that seems the wisest op­tion at this time. I am rarely con­ser­v­a­tive about much of any­thing but I am when it comes to things like this. My na­tive skep­ti­cism kicks in and I start thinking I must have been born in Mis­souri in­stead of Pennsylvania.

It’s dif­fi­cult to be­lieve that anyone set about making “bootleg” record players but the other three are in Au­then­ticity Limbo at this time. If they are legit, one of two things should happen:

•  They will re­main rare and their values will con­tinue to climb (and you might wish you had never read this article).

•  More of them will be found and their values will drop (and you will be very glad in­deed that you read this article).

What would con­vince me? The sim­plest thing that could an­swer my ques­tions would be seeing an ad­ver­tise­ment in a mag­a­zine or news­paper from 2003–2004 an­nouncing the Elvis Il­lu­mi­nating Turntable along with the “free gift” of a record and pic­ture sleeve.

Until then, “Caveat emptor!”

Most col­lec­tors have never seen an ac­tual copy of any of the items in this ar­ticle and, most likely, most never will. Click To Tweet

Elvis JailhouseRock dance background 800

FEA­TURED IMAGE: As the image at the top of this page ap­pears else­where in this ar­ticle, I chose this pub­licity photo of Elvis that was used to pro­mote the 1957 movie Jail­house Rock to fill this Fea­tured Image spot. 

Illuminating turntable: photo of Elvis in gold suit from 1957.Postscriptually

Here are a few things to wrap this ar­ticle up. Thanks to everyone who con­tributed any­thing to this ar­ticle and es­pe­cially (and in al­pha­batet­ical order):

•  Paul Combs (Elvis Records)
•  Frank Daniels (Frik­tech)
•  Craig LaPine
•  Dave Reynolds (Elvis Rare Records)
•  Joe Spera (Elvis Presley Tapes)

KNG America is also re­spon­sible for such “classic” (quo­ta­tion marks so that the irony of my choice of mod­i­fiers es­capes no one) col­lectibles as:

•  Elvis Presley Come­back Spe­cial Nov­elty Phone
•  Elvis Mu­sical Lamp
•  Elvis Dec­o­rated Lamp

Fi­nally, as I said above: most of us have never seen an ac­tual copy of any of the items in this ar­ticle, and most likely, most of us never will.



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