is the “country & western jukebox promotion kit” for spd-15 more fake news?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 7 min­utes.

RCA VICTOR SPD-15, a col­lec­tion of ten un­ti­tled records, were known only by their group cat­alog number for decades. The ten 45 rpm extended-play (EP) records con­tain forty tracks by ten country artists, in­cluding four by Elvis Presley. The records were made for juke­boxes and are now in­cor­rectly re­ferred to as the “Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit.”

Be­fore pro­ceeding with this ar­ticle, please read “Was SPD-15 The First EP Album To Fea­ture An Elvis Track?” That ar­ticle gives an in-depth look at the set of SPD-15 records.

This ar­ticle is one in a se­ries about col­lecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56.

Un­like most of the sets of seven-inch records that RCA Victor made during this time, SPD-15 was ap­par­ently shipped without a custom box. Or, at least, no one had ever found a box for this set of EPs. 

And then a mir­acle oc­curred: a box was found!

The box was ti­tled “Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit,” which seems ap­pro­priate given the con­tent of the records in SPD-15 and the in­tent of RCA Victor in man­u­fac­turing them. 

This title is now how some col­lec­tors refer to SPD-15 but I am not among them.

Read on and find out why.


Elvis SPD 15 box ER 800
This is the front cover of the box ti­tled Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit. Click on this image to ex­pand it and read part of “Stereo­phonic” on the front of the ma­chine. (This photo is from the Elvis Records web­site and is used with permission.)

Jukebox vs. juke box

In 2014, an auc­tion on eBay ad­ver­tised an in­com­plete SPD-15 set that in­cluded a then-unknown box. The wording of the ad­ver­tise­ment re­ferred to the box simply as “the box,” which made the seller ap­pear obliv­ious to the fact that boxes for SPD-15 were not known to exist!

And not only was there now a box for SPD-15, but the box had a title: “Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit.” But three things about the auc­tion made my Spidey-sense tingle:

1.  A weird spelling on the box’s cover.
2.  A blurred photo of the box.
3.  A false use of data in the de­scrip­tion of the item.

First, the cover pro­motes “40 Jukebox Tunes.” In the ’50s, the record in­dustry uni­formly spelled that one word as two—juke boxes. I searched a few dozen is­sues of Bill­board and Cash Box from those years and it was al­ways spelled as two words. I don’t know when the two words were con­tracted into one, but it wasn’t in the ’50s.


Jukebox Promotion Kit: gray-label record with four Elvis tracks from the SPD-15 set of ten ep records.
This is record 599‑9089 from the SPD-15 set. It fea­tures four Elvis tracks orig­i­nally recorded for Sun Records. While the gray label records for SPD-15 are rare, the black label records from the same set are even rarer!

Jukebox Promotion Kit

Second, the photo used in the ad was an itty-bitty image of the box. Even with the zoom op­tion uti­lized, the en­larged image wasn’t big enough nor sharp enough to make out the de­tail. Plus, when the image was en­larged, it ap­peared that it was a blurred photo, to begin with. This is hardly the type of image that I ex­pect to see in an auc­tion for a col­lectible item that is po­ten­tially worth thou­sands of dollars.

Third, in a de­scrip­tion of the item, the seller quoted pas­sages from the book Juke­boxes: An Amer­ican So­cial His­tory by Kerry Seg­rave. The seller claimed that the reader would find the fol­lowing state­ment on page 239 of that book:

“Within two weeks of an­nouncing its cam­paign, Bill­board had re­ceived more than 1,100 di­rect re­quests from var­ious mem­bers of the in­dustry for pro­mo­tional kits. Those were in ad­di­tion to more than 7,500 kits mailed al­ready to top op­er­a­tors, as­so­ci­a­tions, and disk jockeys at the start of the campaign.”

The seller in­tended po­ten­tial buyers to ac­cept that the 7,500 kits in Sea­grave’s state­ment re­ferred to SPD-15. I copied the two sen­tences and pasted them into my browser. This took me to the ar­ticle “Op­er­a­tors, Man­u­fac­turers Set An­niver­sary Pro­mo­tion Drive” on page 172 of the May 23, 1953, issue of Bill­board.

And that is where those sen­tences first ap­peared, two years be­fore SPD-15 was man­u­fac­tured. Meaning that quote had nothing to do with SPD-15.

What did all this crap mean? 

I didn’t know but my Spidey-sense was tin­gling all over now!


Jukebox Promotion Kit: custom title sleeve for record number 599-9089 with four Elvis recordings from the SPD-15 from 1956.
This is the title sleeve for record number 599‑9089 with four Elvis record­ings from the SPD-15 set. Al­though not a pic­ture sleeve, it is among the rarest Elvis sleeves if it is authentic!

Yet more boxes

De­spite the odd­i­ties noted above, the item re­ceived thirty bids and sold for $2,343. Should we as­sume that none of the bid­ders did any re­search on the box, in­cluding some­thing as simple as tracking the state­ment about 7,500 kits? Or was some­thing else more ne­far­ious going on that set off my Spidey-sense?

If one copy of a sup­pos­edly non-existent item turning up wasn’t sus­pi­cious enough, in 2016, a second box showed up. This one sold for only $590.

In 2017, yet an­other box ap­peared, this time selling for a mere $159.

Pop­sike has not listed any more sales of this box since has listed one sale of a re­pro­duc­tion of the box’s cover!


Elvis SPD 15 label black Side14 800
This is record 599‑9089 from the SPD-15 set. It fea­tures four Elvis tracks orig­i­nally recorded for Sun Records. These black label records are much rarer than the gray label records from the same set!

Fake alert!

Well, my Spidey-sense’s tin­gling ap­pears to have been ac­cu­rate: a few months be­fore I was even aware of this box, the Elvis Records web­site posted a “Fake alert” about it. In the alert, web­master Paul Combs pointed out some­thing that I hadn’t no­ticed: the jukebox on the cover of the box is a Rock-Ola 1493 Princess, a model that wasn’t man­u­fac­tured until 1962, six years after the box was sup­posed to have been made!

I don’t know much about juke­boxes but I should have no­ticed that the first few let­ters of the word “STEREO­PHONIC” ap­pear on the plastic window on the front of the ma­chine on the box’s cover.

Try this: En­large and view the image of the box above and then check the photo of the 1493 Princess in the Fea­tured Image below).

So, the Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit box is a fairly re­cent fake made up to cheat buyers.

So, the dis­covery of a super-rare Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit box is “fake news” be­cause the box is a fairly re­cent fake in­tended to cheat buyers.

Un­for­tu­nately, un­like eBay, Posike does not allow us to look at all the bids on an auc­tion. Given the odd­i­ties in the item and in the ad­ver­tise­ment noted above, it makes me wonder if some of the bid­ders were shills there to drive the price of the fake item up, up, and away . . .

This ar­ticle about the ‘Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit’ is one in a se­ries about col­lecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56. Click To Tweet

Jukebox Promotion Kit: photo of Rock-Ola 1493 Princess jukebox from 1962.

FEA­TURED IMAGE: I found this photo of a 1962 model of the Rock-Ola 1493 Princess jukebox on the Games Room Com­pany web­site. It ap­pears to be for sale with an asking price of £12,000 (ap­prox­i­mately $14,255). Aside from a few photos, the Games Room people de­scribe the item as “Man­u­fac­tured by jukebox giant Rock-Ola, the Princess is the smallest free-standing vis­ible mech­a­nism ma­chine ever pro­duced.” For more in­for­ma­tion on this jukebox, check out their website.

Elvis GoldSuit 1959Postscriptually

The first four­teen ar­ti­cles in this se­ries are al­most com­pleted and listed below with links to each. Should you ac­cess one of these ar­ti­cles and re­ceive an Error Page, try back a week later.

01  RCA Vic­tor’s “SPDSeries of Spe­cialty Records
02  What Was the First Elvis Record That RCA Victor Released?
03  The Biggest Country & Western Record News of 1955
04  The First RCA Elvis Record Was “I Forgot to Re­member to Forget”
05  The RCA Victor Car­toon Pic­ture Sleeves of the ’50s
06  The Elvis “This Is His Life” Car­toon Pic­ture Sleeve
07  RCA Victor 47–6357 Bootleg Pic­ture Sleeves
08  The “Record Bul­letin” Pic­ture Sleeve for RCA’s First Elvis Record Is a Fake
09  Did RCA Re­lease Other Ver­sions of Elvis’ Songs to Com­pete With Elvis’ Records?
10  A New Kind of Hit Re-run With Elvis Presley
11  Was “E‑Z Pop Pro­gram­ming 5” the First LP to Fea­ture an Elvis Track?
12  Was “E‑Z Country Pro­gram­ming 2” the First LP to Fea­ture an Elvis Track?
13  Was SPD-15 the First EP to Fea­ture an Elvis Track?
14  Is the Country & Western Jukebox Pro­mo­tion Kit a Fake?

More ar­ti­cles ad­dressing the early RCA Victor re­leases are planned. Each will con­tain the block­quote, “This ar­ticle is one in a se­ries about col­lecting Elvis records from late 1955 and early ’56,” like the one at the be­gin­ning of this article.

To find all the ar­ti­cles in the se­ries, copy the block­quote, paste it into the Find op­tion (the mag­ni­fying glass in the nav­i­ga­tion bar at the top of each page), and then press Re­turn or Enter on your keyboard.

Fi­nally,  thanks to the fol­lowing for their input on some or all of these articles:

•  Paul Combs (Elvis Records)
•  Frank Daniels (Frik­tech)
•  Dave Reynolds (Elvis Rare Records)
•  Joe Spera (Elvis Presley Tapes)



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