In The Ghetto discography & price guide

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.

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.


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


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.




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, 1959, 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.


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