Elvis' first promo record up 8.5% pa at Whyte's auction

The only surviving copy of Elvis' first promotional record, That's All Right, has sold as the lead lot in Ireland's first ever rock and pop memorabilia auction, held by Whyte's on March 24.

Elvis First original record
'Damn. Get that on the radio and they'll run us out of town.'

The demo acetate brought $84,405. It is the only known promo copy of Elvis' first commercial record, as well as the unique example played publicly by radio DJ Dewey Philips in 1954.

The record was last sold at auction at Bonhams in 1998, where it made £18,000 ($27,000) - that's an 8.5% pa return on the owner's initial investment.

The song was first released on July 5, 1954, after the previously unknown Elvis Presley had been asked to return to his local studio to record a track.

The resulting song - an upbeat version of Arthur Crudup's That's All Right (Mama) - was an instant hit at the studio, with bassist Bill Black reportedly stating, "Damn. Get that on the radio and they'll run us out of town."

Black was proved correct, and the studio manager passed the record to Dewey Philipps to air on his popular show, Red, Hot & Blue. After playing it once, he was then forced to rewind the track 14 times, as more than 40 telephone calls flooded the station.

That's All Right was released on July 19, with the B-Side featuring Blue Moon of Kentucky. It sold around 20,000 copies and topped the local chart, and is now considered one of the foundations of rock and roll.

The promo acetate at auction is stamped with Elvis' surname spelt "Pressley", as well as the names of his band members, Scotty and Bill. It also features a Memphis Recording Service label.

Following his meteoric rise to fame, Elvis was inducted into the US army in March 1958. Paul Fraser Collectibles has two fantastic signed photographs of Elvis from his time in the forces as well as authentic strands of his hair from that haircut.

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