an introduction to a blog about elvis’ records and music

Es­ti­mated reading time is 6 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.

BIG faves.

Doesn’t matter: 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.


Introduction: cover of Neal Umphred's book ELVIS PRESLEY RECORD PRICE GUIDE from 1985.

My first Elvis book was the 1985-1986 edi­tion of The Elvis Presley Record Price Guide and was pub­lished by O’Sullivan-Woodisde 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. 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 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. 2


Introduction: cover of the EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 1 from 1958.

Introduction: cover of the EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 2 from 1959.

Introduction: cover of the EP album A TOUCH OF GOLD VOLUME 3 from 1960.

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.

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.


Introduction: cover of Neal Umphred's book A TOUCH OF GOLD from 1990.

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 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.


Introduction: photo of Elvis on stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1970.

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.


Introduction to A Touch Of Gold: photo of Elvis in his gold suit in early 1957.

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, while Elvis – A Touch Of Gold is laid out and pre­sented as 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.


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Hi Neal, thanks for all the in­for­ma­tive and orig­inal ar­ti­cles on Elvis record collecting.
here is a re­cent ebay listing, i know this is rare but i think this is an ex­ces­sive asking price, what do you think.

thank you

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