Jack White to reissue first Elvis recording on Record Store Day
Many were a bit shocked last November, when the first ever recordings of Elvis Presley went for more than three times the estimated price, fetching a record $300,000. At the time, the winning internet-based bidder was unnamed, but it has now been revealed to be none other than Jack White, and he is going to make the music available to the public on Record Store Day (April 18).
The 1953 acetate features Presley singing the ballads “My Happiness” and “That’s When The Heartaches Begin” and was recorded at the legendary Sun Records for a mere $4. The King apparently took it to the home of Ed Leek to hear it, as his family did not own a record player at the time. Amazingly, Presley left the record at Leek’s home, and it was passed down to his niece who eventually put it up for auction.
The two songs will be released via White’s Third Man Records as an exclusive vinyl single, and knowing White’s past for making unique vinyl, there will be some tricks and treats as well. In fact, White made the actual delivery of the original quite an adventure, having the original handed to Billboard’s Joe Levy by a mysterious man with a black suitcase tell him to rush to Nashville. Upon arriving at the Third Man offices, White said, “This is the first recording ever made by Elvis Presley. On Record Store Day, Third Man Records will issue this on vinyl.”
While Dave Grohl is technically the ambassador for this year’s incarnation of Record Store Day, there’s no question that the Presley release will be one of the most in-demand items available. Along with the normal hordes of record collectors, with such an item in the mix, it will perhaps help to bring an older or at least different audience into the Record Store Day festivities.
With White putting this piece of music history into a publically available space, it makes the recent shenanigans by Wu-Tang Clan seem all the more childish, as music is meant to be heard, not stored away for centuries in an attempt to be artsy. Perhaps Jack White will find a way to acquire “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” and give the public even more music they no doubt deserve.