Early Elvis record a hit at auction

Elvis Presley. Photo / File
Elvis Presley. Photo / File

The original recording of Elvis Presley's first radio hit has sold for €65,000 ($NZ100,854) at a Dublin auction.

Rock and roll museums around the world, including the Graceland estate where the King lived, were expected to bid for the acetate that kick-started his career almost six decades ago. It went to an internet bidder, the auctioneer said.

Lot 62, a 1954 recording of That's All Right (Mama), was the highlight of the pop and rock memorabilia sale.

Ian Whyte, of Whyte & Sons Auctioneers, said: "I am delighted, the sale went extremely well. There was huge interest. It is the first ever pop and rock sale in Ireland and I hope it won't be the last.''

The 78rpm was recorded on July 5, 1954, by a young and unknown Presley, who had walked into the offices of Sun Records and the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee, owned by Sam Phillips.

It is the only known surviving promotional copy of his first commercial recording and is considered to be one of the most important foundation stones of rock and roll.

He sang a fast version of That's All Right (Mama) by Arthur Crudup which Philips recorded on an acetate record and sent to a local radio station disc jockey, who agreed to play it.

Whyte said it was the first time Presley had hit the airwaves and the station was inundated with phone calls and reportedly had to play it over 14 times during the course of the show.

The original track was played in the RDS sales room as the auction was broadcast live on the internet for international bids for the unique recording.

Other highlights in the sale included a watch gifted by Elvis to his manager, one of his famous Taking Care of Business pendants and autographs from The Beatles on an Aer Lingus menu as they flew from their only appearance in Dublin.

- AAP

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