MY BABYBOOK states that my favorite song in 1956 was “Sh-Boom.” As I turned 5-years-old that year, that makes sense. But I don’t remember it that way: my aging gray matter tells me that “Hound Dog” has been my favorite record since as long as it has translating my experiences into memories and storing them within its folds. I also know that such lines as “Who wears short shorts,” “The little Nash Rambler went beep-beep,” and “It was a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater” are forever embedded in my memory as they were also faves of my childhood years.
Doesn’t matter: it’s Hound Dog that’s embedded in my consciousness, that’s part of my psyche.
The memory issue may be caused by the fact that I stopped listening to the novelty records fifty-odd years ago, whereas Hound Dog is a part of everyday life. I sing it to myself when walking, and I’ve even requested that it be played at my funeral!
And just as Sh-Boom was not the original black hit that I heard as a kid (of course it was the white-on-white Crew Cuts!), it’s not Big Mama Thornton’s version of Hound Dog that I sing to myself (“You can wag your tail, but I ain’t gonna feed you no more”).
It’s Elvis’s version (“You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine”).
This site is open to your participation through the comment section, where I read every correction, suggestions, or just plain old criticism.
This blog focuses on the music and the records of Elvis Presley, especially those that were released as 78, and 45 rpm singles and 45 and 33 1/3 rpm albums (EPs and LPs, respectively) on vinyl during his lifetime. I also address Presley’s movies, television and concert appearances, and even some memorabilia—mostly the ’50s Elvis Presley Enterprises novelties like charm bracelets, lipstick, and other yucky stuff for girls.
Each article will contain facts, commentary, and opinion, and will usually feature data that interest record collectors in general and Elvis record collectors in particular.
I will try to include a discography, labelography, and record collectors price guide for the records and memorabilia that are discussed in each article. Hell’s Belles, I might even mention compact discs. 1
Most of the articles posted here are based on four different types of personal experiences:
1. My experiences as a fan of the music since the ’50s.
2. My experiences as a buyer and collector of records since the ’60s.
3. My experiences as a wheeler-dealer of collectable records since the ’70s.
4. My experiences as an author chronicling those records in articles, books, and now the Internet since the ’80s.
What’s not on A Touch Of Gold is gossip. But I do differentiate between gossip (like what he did or didn’t do in the bedroom and, for the most part, with whom) and addressing events in Presley’s personal life that obviously affected his professional life. 2
A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 1 (EPA-5088) was issued in April 1959. It sold less than 150,000 copies, the lowest sales for any Presley EP album up to that time. VOLUME 2 (EPA-5101) was issued in September 1959 and sold less than 100,000 copies. VOLUME 3 (EPA-5141) was issued in February 1960 and sold less than 60,000 copies, making it the rarest and most valuable on the collectors market.
Why “A Touch Of Gold”?
When Elvis Presley entered the US Army in March 1958 for a two-year stay, RCA Victor was left with only a few unreleased recordings to cover that period. Yet the flow of Presley Product needed to continue and so, under the guidance of Colonel Parker, RCA began the recycling previously released material.
In 1958-1959, RCA took previously tracks and collected them into new LP and EP albums. There were three volumes of EPs jointly titled A TOUCH OF GOLD. The title implied that they were compilations of gold records, but only some of the twelve tracks were genuine million-sellers. And each of the tracks had been issued on seven-inch 45 rpm records, making these albums redundant.
None of these EPs or LPs sold as well as the earlier Elvis records, but they kept the pot boiling for two long years. The three A TOUCH OF GOLD albums have long been big with fans because of their attractive packaging, and the striking, iconoclastic images of Elvis in his gold lamé suit.
They have also been big with collectors for their relative rarity: the combined sales of the three volumes were less than that of a single EP of new material in the years preceding them.
In 1990, I thought of these EP albums when I published my second all-Elvis record collectors price guide, A Touch Of Gold – The Elvis Presley Record & Memorabilia Price Guide. I chose to retain the title just in case I ever get around to producing the second volume of that book. 3
My books & more information
There are eight articles on this site explaining the various books I published for record collectors. These posts provide additional background information on me and my career. They are best read in the following order, which is roughly chronological:
1. O’Sullivan Woodside’s Rock & Roll Record Albums Price Guide
2. O’Sullivan Woodside’s Elvis Presley Record Price Guide
3. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1st edition)
4. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (5th edition)
5. Goldmine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide
6. Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Jazz Albums
7. A Touch Of Gold – Elvis Record & Memorabilia Price Guide
8. Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide
If you want a more “intimate” look-see at me, click on over to A Little Background Information. It’s a list of my a few of my favorite things, like my favorite novel, favorite movie, and favorite whiskey that will give you a small sense of who I am.
FEATURED IMAGE: Elvis on stage in Las Vegas in 1970. Finally, I am sixtysomething years old (it changes annually) and still railing against life’s injustices, butting heads the vast rightwing conspiracy, and dodging the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or absorbing them when I don’t move fast enough.
POSTSCRIPTUALLY, while Elvis – A Touch Of Gold is laid out and presented like a blog and therefore looks just like a blog, I neither conceive of it as a blog nor do I treat it as such with the usual blog-related working rules. I treat each post/article as a work-in-progress, its facts open to challenge and its conclusions fluid.
As corrections and additions are made they will be adapted into the article without strike-throughs and other mannerisms of the traditional blogger.
So, after you have read a piece here, if the information matters, you might want to revisit the article periodically. I will mark major changes in information in each post in red print.
Finally, this site is open to your participation through comments, corrections, additions, suggestions, and just good old criticism.
1 The values assigned will reflect the groundwork that I laid out in my two Elvis price guides mixed with current trends as reflected in such online sources as Popsike and Collectors Frenzy.
2 Unfortunately, that includes his drug abuse, which took a vibrant man from top of the world (1969-1970) to an ignominious death in a few years’ time.
3 For more information on any of my books, click on the individual images on the sidebar on the right.