Rare Elvis record discovered in the Black Country set to go under hammer


An incredibly rare Elvis Presley recording that even fans didn’t know existed has surfaced in the Black Country.

And the acetate, made for Tennessee radio station WHBQ, is set to spark a bidding war when it goes under the hammer in Dudley on November 4.

Fans are well and truly shook up by the discovery.

Aston’s Auctioneers estimate the 78rpm record will fetch around £12,000, but admit the slice of vinyl history could go for much, much more.

It is highly collectible for two reasons:

* The A-side is a recording of Elvis singing Suspicion – at least three years before The King released it as a single. It represents the first public airing of a song that has become an Elvis anthem.

* The B-side is evidence of a long-lost civil rights milestone. It is a promotional jingle for Ray Charles’ August 20, 1961, concert at Ellis Auditorium – the very first mixed race gig in Memphis.

Film poster specialist Steve Kennedy, who is involved in the auction, says: “It is a piece of history, a total one-off.

“On the B-side you have the social history, the first time the ‘coloureds only’ signs were taken off the auditorium washrooms.

“Elvis loved the song Suspicion, but the record company was reluctant to release it as a single because they wanted it for Terry Stafford.”

Stafford’s version hit the Billboard Top Ten in 1964, and Elvis’ version followed soon afterwards, the two jockeying for position in the charts.

There’s a fascinating story attached to the record.