Elvis G.I.Blues movie scene baby 1500 crop

Wooden Heart compact 33 single and picture sleeve

IN 1961, RCA Victor re­leased four Elvis sin­gles in the US: Sur­render, I Feel So Bad, Little Sister, and Can’t Help Falling In Love. These over­lapped with RCA Vic­tor’s ex­per­i­menting with 7-inch sin­gles that played in mono but at 33 rpm in­stead of the usual 45. Five of Elvis Pres­ley’s new sin­gles were also is­sued as Com­pact 33 Sin­gles in the US.

These are all re­ally rather rare records and each has its own chapter on this web­site! This some­thing that cannot be said about al­most any other com­mer­cially re­leased Elvis ti­tles.

In the rest of the world, an­other single was is­sued during the same time: due to pop­ular de­mand, Wooden Heart was is­sued as a single in West Ger­many cou­pled with Tonight’s All Right For Love. Ac­cording to some sources, it sold a mil­lion copies in that country alone. It was also a huge hit throughout Eu­rope, where it is also ru­mored to have sold an­other mil­lion.

 

So it seems likely to me that the idea to re­lease Wooden Heart at both speeds simply went nowhere.

 

During a twelve-month pe­riod from Feb­ruary 1961 to Feb­ruary 1962, RCA Victor is­sued five of Elvis Pres­ley’s new sin­gles as Com­pact 33 Sin­gles in the US. These are all re­ally rather rare records and each has its own chapter on this web­site!

This some­thing that cannot be said about al­most any other com­mer­cially re­leased Elvis ti­tles. Yet there have been ru­mors of a sched­uled sixth such single for ei­ther here or Canada. Given the record’s pop­u­larity in Canada (#2 on the CHUM chart) and the Com­pact 33 phase that RCA was in at the time, such spec­u­la­tion is not un­war­ranted.

 

WoodenHeart_German_PS

WoodenHeart_Germany

In West Ger­many, RCA 47-9340 (above) was is­sued with a pic­ture sleeve with the song ti­tles in German. “Muss  I denn” ap­pears to be a di­alectic idiom and can mean sev­eral things. But the flip-side, G’schichten Aus Dem Wiener Wald, trans­lates as “Tales from the Vi­enna Woods”!

 

WoodenHeart_UK

In the UK, it was is­sued as RCA 1226 (above) and was an­other #1 for Elvis and sold more than 600,000 copies.

 

WoodenHeart_Canada

In the colonies, it was not is­sued in the States but was is­sued in Canada with a dif­ferent flip-side as 47-7865, Wooden Heart / Shoppin’ Around (above).

 

WoodenHeart_Spain

Wooden Heart was re­leased as a Com­pact 33 in Spain (RCA 37-2076, above), where it was also pop­ular. The B-side was What’s She Re­ally Like.

First it was a hit in Germany

The ex­is­tence of a Com­pact 33 Single num­bered 37-7865 has been ru­mored to exist for a long time. If that record does exist, it would prob­ably have been man­u­fac­tured in the US but ex­clu­sively for ex­port to the Cana­dian market.

“As you know, Wooden Heart was one of the most pop­ular se­lec­tions from the movie G.I. Blues. As ex­pected, the record was a hit in Ger­many in Feb­ruary 1961, where it was first re­leased as a single. That led to it being re­leased in other mar­kets. In March, RCA Victor of Canada pulled that song and an­other one from the film as a single.

Ac­cording to the March 13, 1961, issue of Bill­board, the re­lease was re­quested by CHUM radio and RCA Victor obliged by re­leasing the single at the 45 rpm speed. The song jumped to #2 on the CHUM chart (April 10) and stayed in the Top 10 through May 1st.

No com­pact 33 sin­gles were ever is­sued in Canada; only the Com­pact 33 Dou­bles were re­leased there. Sup­pos­edly was going to be re­leased in Canada, but to date no copies of a Cana­dian 37-7865 have sur­faced. So it seems likely to me that the idea to re­lease Wooden Heart at both speeds simply went nowhere.” – Frank Daniels

 

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FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page was taken from the 1960 movie G.I. Blues. In that movie, Elvis sang Wooden Heart during a puppet show for chil­dren in Ger­many.

 

Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, as stated above by Mr. Daniels, ex­cept for the Spanish record, the Wooden Heart Com­pact 33 single is the mys­tery disc in this mix. (And as it was for Cana­dian re­lease, the ex­is­tence of an ac­com­pa­nying pic­ture sleeve is not ax­iomatic.) Like Frank, I am un­aware of an ac­tual copy ex­isting any­where. Should you know of a copy of 37-7865 in ex­is­tence some­where, please con­tact me with that in­for­ma­tion.

 

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