the world’s most famous and iconic rock & roll photograph

Elvis 1956 photo Robertson 1600

THE MOST ICONIC IMAGE in rock & roll his­tory was taken at the dawn of the gen­re’s rise to pop­u­larity. It is of a young Elvis Presley be­fore most of the world had even heard his name, let alone his music. He is on stage, legs spread, his body pulled back from his new Martin D-28 guitar. Eyes tightly closed as he sings—he looks trans­formed like the music has taken him away. 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

at the crossroads: on being an elvis fan in 1968 when all appeared lost

Elvis Charro header cropped copy 2

AS A SYMBOL OF POTENCY, by 1968 Elvis Presley was per­ceived by many as being, um, flaccid. His records had lost any sem­blance of al­le­giance to—or even recog­ni­tion of—the pas­sion and fervor of its country and blues roots. The sound­track music he had been recording for the req­ui­site three movies per year owed more to “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” than to Big Boy Crudup or Hank Williams. READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 8 (1976–2000)

Elvis GS header 8 OnStage 1500

IN 1976, the Gold Stan­dard Se­ries was re­vamped for the fourth and final time with a new ‘retro’ look. Along with the rest of the RCA cat­alog, the modern look and layout of the pre­vious or­ange and red la­bels was jet­ti­soned and the com­pany opted for a retro look: black was back and so was Nipper! But the ef­fect was cheesy: the paper used for the la­bels seemed of a lesser quality—a dull black rather than the high gloss stock of the past.  READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 7 (1969–1976)

Elvis GS 7 Header Rolex 1500

IN 1969, the Gold Stan­dard Se­ries was changed for the third time: the vi­su­ally life­less or­ange label was re­placed by a more at­trac­tive bright red label. (The or­ange label re­main as the pri­mary label for RCA’s stan­dard cat­alog sin­gles and al­bums.) Oth­er­wise, the layout and the type­face re­mained the same from the pre­vious to the newest. 

In 1968, RCA had switched from its classic black label to a more ‘modern’ or­ange label for all its records. READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 6 (1969)

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IN 1969, the Gold Stan­dard Se­ries label was dra­mat­i­cally mod­i­fied, along with the rest of the RCA Victor cat­alog (45s, EPs, LPs, and reel-to-reel tapes). Gone was the fa­miliar glossy black back­ground with “RCA Victor” in tra­di­tional serif type with the big “V” across the top. Gone, too, was the dog, beloved Nipper, cocking his head to his mas­ter’s voice em­a­nating from the horn of an an­tique phono­graph.  READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 5 (1965-1968)

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IN 1965, the Gold Stan­dard Se­ries label was changed for the first time. The la­bels re­mained an at­trac­tive glossy black, but “RCA Victor” was moved to the right side of the spindle hole while Nipper was placed on the left side. Again, there was no men­tion of “Gold Stan­dard” any­where on the label; only the 447 prefix iden­ti­fied these records as reis­sues. READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 2 (company sleeves)

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SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, the powers-that-be at RCA Victor de­cided that the record­ings that Elvis Presley la­bored over in the studio were not up to snuff. You know, the ones that sold a ba­jil­lion copies and al­most single-handedly jus­ti­fied the in­ven­tion of the 45 rpm single as a medium. Ap­par­ently, some of those record­ings simply were not good enough tech­ni­cally to pre­serve on a 33⅓ rpm LP album. READ MORE

the elvis presley gold standard 45s part 1 (foreword)

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THE GOLD STANDARD SERIES of reis­sues of Elvis Pres­ley’s 45 pm sin­gles ran for more than forty years. During this time, ninety-five records were re­leased, in­cluding thir­teen unique pic­ture sleeves! Some of these records went through five label changes, meaning each has five major vari­a­tions of in­terest to must-have-it-all Elvis col­lec­tors, of which there are more than a few. READ MORE

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