Somewhere in this world, there must be people who have never heard of Elvis Presley (1935-1977)… I don’t know where, it’s a job for Discovery Channel! Everywhere I know of Elvis is not only one of the defining entertainers of our time, but an iconic figure in modern western culture. You can even take your pick: young Elvis in rockabilly mode, mainstream Elvis in the movies, mature Elvis in Memphis, Fat Elvis in Las Vegas… he’s all of those and more.

But here we go back to the beginning, to even before the beginning, to a youth in Memphis dividing his leisure time between rare blues record collecting and visiting local uber-cool clothiers Lansky’s Of Beale Street, THE major supplier of fashion for the black market, to top up his flashy wardrobe…so which was this kid, record geek or peacock? He was both bigtime, and both these sides to his personality were to inform his music and his eventual worldwide breakthrough. So here we have everything, from early demos, to regional hits, to his eventual national breakthrough; from the Louisiana Hayride to world acclaim.

It’s all here for the first time in one place, private recordings to Sun Records to the world. Hear the tentative steps of a legend. As a bonus we even have some tryouts that never made it to masters and some sensational live recordings, including his planned Sun followup singles that were never recorded as he stepped on up to world superstardom, with chat by Elvis himself…and screams from his ever growing fanbase.

Boudewijn de Kadt
Summer 2008

About The Recordings

In the compiling of the Sun Master recording in London in the 50s, it was understood that several of the actual acetates used in the day served as a pre-recording demo, essentially showing a song to a singing artist. We have provided the actual recordings of both master and acetate demos not to often heard these days for your full experience in listening and discovering Mr. E.P.’s beginning.

Chance Shevienowski