Elvis Presley Record Price Guide


Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

MY SECOND BOOK for record col­lec­tors was the 1985–1986 edi­tion of the Elvis Presley Record Price Guide. Pub­lished by O’Sullivan-Woodside, it was the third Elvis price guide under the OW im­print. Ex­cept my book was rad­i­cally dif­ferent from the ear­lier edi­tions: I as­signed values to the records that ac­tu­ally re­flected what they sold for in the marketplace!


NU OW Elvis 800

The Elvis Presley Record Price Guide boasted one of my fa­vorite covers on any price guide. The records were laid out on a huge roll of gold paper: the space that you see on the cover was ap­prox­i­mately 6 x 10 x 12 (six feet wide, ten feet high, and twelve feet deep).

The Elvis Price Guide

The Elvis book did not have the first problem: the pre­vious edi­tions had done an ex­cel­lent job of doc­u­menting most of the vari­a­tions on Amer­ican press­ings of Presley records. The problem with the Elvis book was al­most en­tirely with the ‘prices.’

The ma­jority of the values were ex­ces­sive. For the most part, the values seemed to re­flect prices from two sources:

A. The panic-buying in the wake of Elvis’s death in 1977. Anyone reading this who was in­volved in record col­lecting in the late ’70s will at­test to buyers willing to pay any price to get their hands on any Elvis records. 

B. Many of those panic-buyers be­came ac­tive Elvis col­lec­tors, but they had little in­ter­ac­tion with the rest of the world of record col­lecting. This led to spe­cial­ized ‘Elvis dealers’ who re­al­ized these in­flated prices by selling al­most ex­clu­sively to these in­ex­pe­ri­enced collectors.

For­tu­nately, this was a rel­a­tively easy issue to deal with in most cases: as I said, I simply low­ered the as­signed values of hun­dreds of over­priced ti­tles! Most of these ‘real’ values were easy to as­cer­tain, as they were records that were bought and sold on a reg­ular basis.

As with the OW album book, I was loathed to cause too much sticker-shock with the low­ering of values. For the most part, I stayed with the system that I had used with the LP book and cut the values of the over­priced Elvis records by no more than half (50%).

Finding rea­son­able market values for some of the truly rare and ob­scure pro­mo­tional items from the 1950s was a dif­ferent matter. As part of my re­search, I bought a few of these high-priced records and then tried to re­sell them for ‘book value.’

For ex­ample, I found a copy of RCA Victor SP-33–10‑P, an un­ti­tled pro­mo­tional sam­pler from Oc­tober 1958. This record in­cluded King Creole and was there­fore of in­terest to some Elvis com­pletists, al­though it was of little in­terest to most Elvis fans.

I found the record at a col­lector show in Los An­geles in early 1985. Dealer Kip Brown had it dis­played on the wall be­hind his table with an asking price of $400. Kip told me that he re­ally wasn’t sure of its worth, but he did what we all did back then: he took the OW book value, cut it in half, and bar­gained from there.

The pre­vious edi­tion of the OW Elvis book had SP-33–10‑P listed at $800, so Kip was asking $400. But he had had the record for a while and no one was in­ter­ested, so he of­fered it to me for what he had paid for it—a mere $100!


NU Rock OW 300 copy

This is how this ar­ticle opens on all six of my blogs. But having du­pli­cate pages on blogs is a no-no when it comes to Google’s ranking process. To avoid that, I have to send you to an­other page to read my hope­fully en­ter­taining look at my first all-Elvis book. To read the en­tire ar­ticle, click here.



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