from elvis on thomas street, memphis, tennessee

AmericanSoundStudio 1500 crop brown

BY JANUARY 1968, a new Elvis single was suc­cessful if it merely reached the Top 40 and sold 300,000 copies. This was a far cry from three years be­fore when a new single reached the Top 20 and sold at least a half mil­lion copies. And that was a far cry from the dizzying heights of 1960 when a Presley hit sold in the mil­lions!


rca victor ads for elvis presley records in 1956

Elvis 1956 photo Wertheimer HudsonTheatre 1500 copy

ELVIS PRESLEY OWNED 1956! That year he as­cended the heavens of pop­u­larity to be­come the most talked-about new per­son­ality in the last ten years of recorded music! By the end of the year, he had six #1 records on var­ious charts, sold more than 12,000,000 sin­gles, and was uni­ver­sally known, both de­ri­sively and af­fec­tion­ately, as “Elvis the Pelvis.” READ MORE

the original RIAA gold standard was based on units of one million

Monkees Pisces 1500 crop

THE ORIGINAL RIAA GOLD RECORDS were in­tro­duced in 1958, and there were only two awards: a Gold Record for sin­gles, and a Gold Record for LPs. To qualify, a single must have sold a min­imum of 1,000,000 copies, while an LP album must have sold $1,000,000 at the man­u­fac­tur­er’s whole­sale price. READ MORE

moody blue – facts and fallacies about elvis’ final album as a collector’s item

Elvis MoodyBlue cover photo 1500

AUGUST 16, 1977, was the day the Earth stood still: Elvis died. Very few fans were aware of his de­te­ri­o­rating health and we were un­pre­pared for our own re­sponse to his death. Fans were aware of Elvis in gen­eral: his latest album, MOODY BLUE, had been re­leased four weeks ear­lier and was selling better than usual. READ MORE

about those electronically reprocessed stereo albums

Elvis Army Germany header

ELECTRONICALLY REPROCESSED STEREO. What is it and why do so many Elvis fans hate it? And what is “rechan­neled stereo” and Duo­phonic stereo and why does everyone hate them, too? Be­fore ad­dressing these ques­tions, I want to men­tion a few things about stereo records. Most people—including music his­to­rians and record collectors—take stereo for granted, but it has a lengthy and in­ter­esting past. READ MORE

facts and fallacies about elvis’ gold records volume 4

Elvis LiveALittle header dark

IN FEBRUARY 1968, RCA Victor is­sued ELVIS’ GOLD RECORDS VOLUME 4, the first com­pi­la­tion of million-sellers by Elvis in five years. Or, at least they were sup­posed to be million-sellers, but only half the album con­sisted of gen­uine gold record hits. The whys and where­fores for this are filled with fal­lacies and mis­con­cep­tions that began with the al­bum’s re­lease.  READ MORE

can fifty million elvis fans be wrong? (yet more gold records vol. 2)

Elvis 1957 OnStage goldsuit 1500 crop

IN TWO RECENT ESSAYS here on A Touch Of Gold, I ad­dressed is­sues re­garding Elvis Pres­ley’s 1959 album ELVIS’ GOLD RECORDS VOL. 2 (RCA Victor LPM-2075). Specif­i­cally, I ex­am­ined how the record was ti­tled in its Wikipedia entry, where it is re­ferred to as by the phrase “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong,” as if that was the record’s title. READ MORE

Blue Hawaii is one of the best Elvis albums ever!

BlueHawaii header

REGARDING PRIME-TIME TELEVISION as the American-entertainment-medium-of-choice: Berni and I are in­vet­erate non-viewers. I swore off the glass teat back in 1969 when ‘they’ took the best-ever show in all of his­tory off the air. Ex­cept for the de­lightful Nick­leodeon car­toons of the ’90s that I watched with my daughter—‘Aaahh! READ MORE