introduction to elvis – a touch of gold

Estimated reading time is 7 minutes.

MY BABYBOOK states that my favorite song in 1956 was “Sh-Boom.” As I turned five that year, that makes sense. But my aging brain tells me that “Hound Dog” has been my fave for as long as it has been translating my experiences into memories and storing them! How’s that for an introduction to a blog?

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.

I mean, really big faves. But it doesn’t matter because it’s Hound Dog that’s embedded in my consciousness—that’s part of my psyche.

This site is open to your participation through the comment section, where I read every correction, suggestion, and criticism.

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”).

Of course.


Elvis 1957 Nudie GoldSuit 800 trim
This is a photo from early 1957 with Elvis in his soon-to-become-famous gold lame suit. The man standing with him is Nuta Kotlyarenko, better known as Nudie Cohen, the proprietor of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors.

A blog is a blog

Not too long ago, a blog was a form of online journal-keeping, a diary open for all to read on the World Wide Web. As little I do bears any resemblance to that type of writing, I never thought of this as a blog.

But the times they have been a-changing: a blog is now also defined as a “regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors.”

Well, yoga is as yoga does but that certainly sounds like Elvis – A Touch Of Gold is a blog! So, for those of you who want to get right down to the nitty-gritty, grab your backwoods baby by the hand and read the bloody blog, click on the link below and do the clam!


NU OW Elvis 800 1
My first Elvis book was the 1985-1986 edition of The Elvis Presley Record Price Guide which was published by O’Sullivan-Woodside in 1986.

My experiences as a fan, a buyer, and a seller

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. (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) Hell’s Belles, I might even mention compact discs.

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 collectible 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. (Unfortunately, that includes his drug abuse, which took a vibrant man on top of the world in 1969-1970 to an ignominious death in a few years’ time.)


Elvis ATouchOfGold 1 800

Elvis ATouchOfGold 2 EPA 5101 800

Elvis ATouchOfGold 3 EPA 5141 800
The first volume of the TOUCH OF GOLD series (EPA-5088) was issued in April 1959. It initially sold less than 150,000 copies, the lowest sales for any single Presley EP album up to that time. The second volume (EPA-5101) was followed in September and sold even fewer copies. The third and final volume (EPA-5141) was issued in February 1960 and reputedly sold fewer than 60,000 copies.

Introduction to “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 of previously released material.

In 1958-1959, RCA took previously released 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.


NU ATOG book 700
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.

The comeback and decline

In 1968, I turned 17 and I took my music more seriously than any other 17-year-old you’ve ever met. While other kids were buying whatever made it onto the Top 10 of their local AM radio stations, I was playing albums most of my high school classmates had never heard of: SONG CYCLE and NEIL YOUNG and SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS. As I was also a big Elvis fan, I took everything that Elvis did very, very seriously. With the broadcast of the Elvis television on December 3, 1968, I believed the “real” Elvis had returned—that the joke that his career had been for several years was a part of the past.

With the release of In The Ghetto and FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS in 1969, I thought fans would never have to put up with their peers making fun of their love for Elvis. And then I watched as one career misstep after another was taken until the whole “comeback” thing unraveled—and it happened so quickly: By 1971, Elvis was on his way to becoming a joke. Again.

Or maybe I should say he was becoming a cult figure. There would be Elvis fans and everybody else. Oh, he’d connect with the mainstream every so often, notably with Burning Love in 1972 and the Aloha From Hawaii television special in ’73, but for the most part, his career choices—and the often inexplicable decisions that Colonel Parker made—would set Presley outside of the mainstream of the pop music world.

While artists like Peter Frampton would watch as a ho-hum live album sold 10,000,000 “units” in less than a year, an endless stream of Elvis records would come and go, all to a few hundred thousand fans who bought just about everything.

And I was one of those fans.


ATOG 1970 onstage fist 1200

FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page was taken on stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1970. It would have made a boffo album cover.


This is a gorgeous photo of Elvis from the 1968 NBC-TV special.

FORMER FEATURED IMAGE: This is the gorgeous photo taken in June 1968 for the NBC-TV special Elvis (also referred to as Singer Presents Elvis) that was briefly the featured image on the home page of Elvis – A Touch Of Gold.

Elvis GoldSuit 1959


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
Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide

If you want a more “intimate” look-see at me, click over to A Little Background Information. It’s a list of 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.



4 thoughts on “introduction to elvis – a touch of gold”


      Here is my original response to your comment: “I don’t know enough about that one to have an educated comment at this time but it looks like at least one person did not think the asking price excessive.”

      Then I contacted the seller and there is a very interesting story behind the “My Boy” / “Loving Arms” release and he is going to help me write an article about it. But it will be a while before I get to it.

      Here is what I do and do not know about the item at this time:

      • I know the record is not rare and probably worth in the $20-30 range.

      • I do not know how rare the company sleeve is and therefore do not know what its value is.

      • I believe the title insert is very rare but do not know what its value is.

      • I know that most of the title inserts out there are reproductions.

      • I do not know how to tell the difference between the real title insert and the better repros.

      • I do not know what a realistic value for the three items together.

      Hope this helps! 



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