In The Ghetto discography & price guide

Es­ti­mated reading time is 9 min­utes.

THIS DISCOG­RAPHY and price guide to In The Ghetto is a listing of var­ious press­ings of the record and its ac­com­pa­nying pic­ture sleeve from around the world. It is a follow-up to “The im­por­tance of In The Ghetto” and “On the im­por­tance of In The Ghetto part 2.″ This piece is sec­ondary to those two: it is a gallery of im­ages of re­leases of the record the pic­ture sleeve for In The Ghetto from around the world.

In The Ghetto was Elvis’ first HUGE hit since Crying In The Chapel in 1965: it spent five weeks on Bill­board’s Top 10 but only reaching #3. On Cash Box it spent six weeks in the Top 10, with one week at #1. While it also topped the charts in sev­eral other coun­tries, in peaked out at #2 in the UK and the same in Canada.

Along with the Cash Both Top 100 in the US, In The Ghetto was #1 in Aus­tralia, Ire­land, New Zealand, Norway, and West Germany.

Less than two months after its re­lease, In The Ghetto re­ceived an RIAA Gold Record Award on June 25, 1969, for sales of 1,000,000 copies in the US. Be­lieve it or not, it was his first award for a single since Hard Headed Woman in 1958, as nei­ther he nor the Colonel nor RCA seemed to have much in­terest in sub­mit­ting the data to the RIAA for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the in­ter­vening years.

Here is a se­lec­tion of records and pic­ture sleeves for In The Ghetto re­leased in the US be­tween 1969 and 1977. The Amer­ican re­leases are first fol­lowed by a se­lec­tion based on vari­ances from the Amer­ican releases.

To read “The im­por­tance of In The Ghetto,” click here.

To read “On the im­por­tance of In The Ghetto part 2,″ click here.




The US pic­ture sleeve for 47–9741 that reads COM­INGS SOON! is fairly common in VG+ con­di­tion and worth $5–15. On the other hand, NM copies and much less common and should bring $20–30.

The pic­ture sleeve that reads ASK FOR is more dif­fi­cult to find in any con­di­tion with NM copies selling for $40–50. (A copy graded Mint sold for $129 on eBay in 2012 but this is cer­tainly an aberration.)




The yellow label pro­mo­tional pressing of 47–9741 is rather hard to find: a NM copy could sell for $40–60.






 The US or­ange label pressing  sold well over a mil­lion copies and is fairly easy to find in NM con­di­tion for $10–15. The three copies above ap­pear to be from dif­ferent plants: note the slight vari­a­tion in the place­ment of the data on the right side.




This is a later printing of the sheet music by the Aber­bach Group for Elvis’s ver­sion of In The Ghetto from the early ’70s. The orig­inal from 1969 had a posed photo of Elvis from but I could not find an ad­e­quate image of it on the In­ternet. The orig­inal has a sug­gested NM value of $20–25; the second issue above, $15–20.




The US Gold Stan­dard reissue 447‑0671 sold con­sid­er­ably less—perhaps a few thou­sand copies in the early ’70s—and is con­sid­er­ably less common than the or­ange orig­inal. But there is con­sid­er­ably less de­mand for it so it can be found in NM con­di­tion for $5–10.




The later black label pressing for this number are very common: Grom­mett only knows how many were pressed fol­lowing Elvis’s death in 1977. Con­se­quently, copies of 447‑0671 have a nom­inal value of $2, al­though it is easy to find these at record swaps for less than a buck in LN (that’s Like New, to you . . .).

Note that copies of this record can be found pressed on opaque black vinyl and on a see-through styrene which al­lows light to pass through the record with a muddy brown color. This does not af­fect the value. 




For the 25th An­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of 1977, RC A is­sued 15 GOLDEN RECORDS – 30 GOLDEN HITS, a boxed set of fif­teen 45s on black vinyl with new pic­ture sleeves. The sleeves were so cheesily third-rate they could have been second-rate re­pro­duc­tions from an unau­tho­rized source.

In­stead, they were second-rate re­pro­duc­tions from the only au­tho­rized source. (RCA did not have the orig­inal art­work for the photos and re­pro­duced the im­ages from older pic­ture sleeves.)

They were is­sued in the late ’70s to meet the de­mand for more! More!! MORE!!! new Presley Product in the wake of Elvis’s death. RCA used second-rate re­pro­duc­tions of pic­ture sleeves that al­ready ex­isted but changed which ti­tles went in which sleeve.

For ex­ample, the sleeve for In The Ghetto / Any Day Now was orig­i­nally used for the sleeve for Devil In Dis­guise in 1963. As al­most no one breaks up the boxed set, this record and sleeve are rarely seen for sale without the box. (Con­se­quently, I could not find an image of the crappy looking black label reissue of this record for in­clu­sion in this ar­ticle.) Nonethe­less, the record and sleeve to­gether have a sug­gested NM value of $4–8. 2





For the 50th An­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of 1985, RC A is­sued ELVIS’ GREATEST HITS –  GOLDEN SIN­GLES VOLUME 1, a boxed set of six 45s on col­ored vinyl with at­trac­tive new pic­ture sleeves. In The Ghetto was cou­pled with If I Can Dream as a near per­fect airing. As al­most no one breaks up the boxed set, this record and sleeve are rarely seen for sale without the box. Nonethe­less, the record and sleeve to­gether have a sug­gested NM value of $4–8.



Elvis posing on the set of Change Of Habit with Ma­halia Jackson and co-star Bar­bara McNair.

A gallery of international collectables

Here is a se­lec­tion of records and pic­ture sleeves for In The Ghetto re­leased in var­ious coun­tries in 1969. This is far from com­plete: it is simply a look a some of the more in­ter­esting vari­a­tions avail­able for col­lec­tors. I can claim little ex­per­tise in non-American press­ings; con­se­quently, there are no values listed with these records and sleeves.



This sleeve for Spain is the only one that I found that makes no men­tion of the up­coming FROM ELVIS IN MEM­PHIS album, re­placing the ad­ver­tise­ment in the lower right corner with a mean­ing­less filigree.




Italian pic­ture sleeve has a dif­ferent photo (from 1968 in­stead of ’69) and a more in­ter­esting color scheme and also lists Any Day Now in Italian as Bam­bolina, which seems to trans­late as “pretty girl.”




The Japanese sleeve is es­sen­tially iden­tical to the Amer­ican sleeve ex­cept that the Japanese char­ac­ters are so much more graph­i­cally ex­citing that it al­ters the ef­fect of the image. 





In the UK, the switch had been made to man­u­fac­turing 45s with small holes for the newer turnta­bles that Brits were be­gin­ning to buy in great num­bers in the latter part of the ’60s. In The Ghetto was a big hit, reaching #2 and be­coming the twelfth biggest selling single of 1969 in Great Britain. The two im­ages above are of two dif­ferent press­ings from two dif­ferent plants. Also, one car­ries the cor­rect Eng­lish cat­alog number (1831) while the other has the Amer­ican number (47–9741). 1





It was also is­sued in Eng­land as the little-record-with-big-hole, al­though all press­ings were man­u­fac­tured with the LP spindle adapter (often called a knockout centre in Eng­land) a part of the record. Again, the need for two plants to press the record is ev­i­dent by the vari­ances in the place­ment of the data on the right side of the label.





The top image (green) ap­pears to be the orig­inal sheet music from the Carlin Music Group; the bottom (or­ange) is a later printing from a sub­sidiary of Carlin whose name ap­pears to be B‑n-B Music Limited.





While most of the coun­tries that man­u­fac­tured records by or for RCA Victor had switched to the com­pa­ny’s new or­ange label by the end of 1968, India (big hole) and Aus­tralia (small hole) were two of only a few that still had a ware­house full of the older black label stock. 




This sleeve from Sin­ga­pore (which I have cropped rather heavily around the bor­ders) has a dif­ferent color scheme and the blurb box in the lower right merely reads FROM ELVIS IN MEM­PHIS with no men­tion of the fact that that is the title of the up­coming LP album!




This sleeve is from Ger­many and is one of a se­ries of sim­i­larly de­signed Oldies But Goodies sleeves from the mid 1970s. That is it for the gallery of col­lec­table items. Should you be aware of any that I have not in­cluded (and I would like a scan of the yellow label promo for the US re­lease of 47–9741 and of the first US sheet music).




This at­trac­tive sleeve was is­sued in Por­tugal for an EP that col­lected four sin­gles sides: In The Ghetto and Any Day Now on side 1 with If I Can Dream and Charro on Side 2. While extended-play al­bums did last into the early ’70s in a few coun­tries, such items are al­most al­ways rather rare records.



The cover of Rolling Stone

The July 12, 1969, issue of Rolling Stone (#37) gave Elvis the cover and fea­ture story. Ti­tled “Elvis Presley On Set: You Won’t Ask Elvis Any­thing Too Deep?” by William Otterburn-Hall, it ad­dressed Presley on the set of his latest movie, Change Of Habit.

Like so many other artists that publisher/editor Jann Wenner did not find hip, Elvis was treated iron­i­cally and some­what condescendingly:

“And where Elvis goes, the bar­riers go up as if some sin­ister germ war­fare ex­per­i­ment were being car­ried on within. Like a suck­ling in­fant, he is swathed and cod­dled against the re­al­i­ties of the world out­side, as if he were made of rare porce­lain rather than hewn from good old-fashioned Ten­nessee stock.”

To be fair, al­most any jour­nalist who did not fawn on Elvis be­fore­hand would have needed to be some­what ironic in his or her writ­ings; how else de­scribe the way that Presley lived his life? But Mr. O‑H was un­nec­es­sarily so: the movies’ co-stars—the very tal­ented and very adult Mary Tyler Moore, Bar­bara Mc­Nair, and Jane Elliot—were dis­missed as “three mini-skirted girls.” Oddly, the writer made a sur­prising discovery:

“Slow-talking Elvis may be. But he cer­tainly isn’t the slow-witted hick from the back­woods his de­trac­tors make out. If he is, then he’s a better actor than they give him credit for. Get through to him, and you find a pleasant, honest, not-too-articulate home­town boy who has been pro­tected for his own good from the hys­ter­ical pe­riphery of his present world.”

As a col­lec­table, this issue of Rolling Stone has a sug­gested NM value of $20–30. Note that finding any old is­sues of this mag­a­zine without the pages turning yellow or brown or sign of mul­tiple read­ings in var­ious hands is damn near difficult!


Elvis 1969 ChangeOfHabit Rubberneckin 1500

FEA­TURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is a still from Change of Habit in which Dr. Carp­neter takes the time to en­ter­tain his charges by singing Rub­ber­neckin’. The use of this recording was the first time that a song that had not been recorded for an Elvis movie sound­track was used in a movie since the Tickle Me project in 1965.


Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POST­SCRIP­TU­ALLY, I want to briefly ad­dress a com­plaint that I hear re­peat­edly: “Hey, what’s up? I can’t give Elvis stuff away at my store/collectors con­ven­tion!” Presley Pro­duct’s value in the col­lec­tables market con­tinues to rise also, if by “col­lec­tables” one is re­fer­ring to es­tab­lished ar­ti­facts from Pres­ley’s ca­reer while he was alive that have es­tab­lished value be­yond that of sen­ti­men­tality of kitsch.

And if one is re­fer­ring to said col­lec­tables in top con­di­tion: while items such as orig­inal copies of the record and pic­ture sleeve for In The Ghetto (47–9741) have de­clined in value in less than near mint con­di­tion, copies ap­proaching mint con­di­tion are rising. Of course, a seller has to know how to grade ac­cu­rately (read “con­ser­v­a­tively”) to re­alize these prices in a sale.



1   Cu­ri­ously, In The Ghetto ac­tu­ally re­ceived a bad re­view from Record Mirror, who dis­missed it by stating that “it could have been sung by anyone”! (Like Tom Jones? Engelbert?)

2   (You’re The) Devil In Dis­guise (47–8188) was a big hit in 1963.  In some ways, it was Pres­ley’s last gasp as a rock & roll artist (de­spite its pre­fab­ri­cated and some­what er­satz en­ergy) be­fore turning into a slave to sev­eral b‑movie pro­ducers and the Colonel’s de­sire to have every movie a cheapie with its sound­track an af­ter­thought. DID re­mains a per­sonal fave of my­self and al­most every Elvisad­dict that I know and still gets play on oldies stations.


2 thoughts on “In The Ghetto discography & price guide”

  1. I’m sure someone al­ready brought this to your at­ten­tion, but here I go: You wrote “The July 12, 1959, issue of Rolling Stone” the first issue of Rolling Stone wasn’t until Nov. 1967....


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