BEFORE THERE WERE RIAA GOLD RECORDS, similar awards were presented to artists by their record companies. Collectors differentiate between these two types of awards by referring to company awards as “in-house” whereas RIAA awards are “official.” While searching the internet, I found an RCA Victor award for an Elvis record on the Rockhurst Auction website.
It’s a gold record award for All Shook Up presented from RCA Victor to Colonel Parker. American record companies did not stop producing their own awards when the RIAA began offering theirs. Most companies didn’t even think the RIAA awards were necessary and didn’t bother to request certification.
While RIAA awards for Presley records show up regularly on the internet, I don’t see too many in-house awards. This is a short article (especially for me): I just wanted readers to see how attractive some in-house awards were back before the RIAA started their Gold Record Award program in 1958.
RCA’s regal in-house awards
The description of the award on the Broadhurst Auction website acknowledged that “record labels regularly issued ‘in-house’ awards to their artists. And no label awards looked more regal than those issued by RCA, as evidenced by the offered Gold Record Award for Elvis Presley’s 1957 single All Shook Up, with its deep green velvet background, gold frame, and engraved silver plaque.”
The award measures 16 1/8 by 14 1/8 inches and the plaque reads ‘To Col. Tom Parker in Appreciation of His Contribution Toward Making All Shook Up A Million Seller 1957.’ Parker always received his own copies of awards for Elvis’ hits.
The Broadhurst people noted, “This example was likely restored at the behest of Colonel Parker during the 1970s, as its design details and framing differ slightly from those hailing from the 1950s.”
This was Presley’s seventh (or eighth, depending on who is counting) record to sell more than a million copies in little more than a year. There were six singles:
• Heartbreak Hotel
• I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
• Hound Dog
• Love Me Tender
• Too Much
There was also one EP album that sold over a million, ELVIS VOLUME 1 (EPA-992), plus Don’t Be Cruel easily sold a million copies independent of Hound Dog. But I don’t know if RCA presented Elvis with awards for these two achievements.
If not, then All Shook Up was his sixth in-house award.
And we are done so that’s all, folks!
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.)