Lot 22: Rare Complete Set of Five Elvis Presley's Sun 78 RPM Records
29 October 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
This incredible complete collection of Elvis' Sun Records 78s includes his first five singles: 1954 Sun 209 "That's All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky"; 1954 Sun 210 "Good Rockin' Tonight/I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine"; 1955 Sun 215 "Milkcow Blues Boogie/You're A Heartbreaker"; 1955 Sun 217 "Baby Let's Play House/I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone"; and 1955 Sun 223 "Mystery Train/I Forgot to Remember to Forget."
While a complete set of Elvis' Sun 45s are highly collectible, a full set of the Sun 78s are even more rare and desirable. Rumors have been told throughout the years that the scarcity of the 78s was due to the fact that Sam Phillip's brother Tom, who ran the back warehouse where stacks of the 78s were stored, allowed an overseas collector into the space and that collector was so overtaken at the sheer quantity that he fell into the stacks, causing a vast amount of irreplaceable damage. Another anecdote explaining the shortage of 78s was that Tom Phillips would give away enormous quantities to county fairs who would use them as targets in the carnival games, hanging them from strings so customers could toss balls at them in an attempt to break them to smithereens.
We may never know the true story, but the fact remains that the Elvis Sun 78s are highly sought after for their rarity and superior sound quality compared to the 45s. The 78 RPM records measure 10 inches (25.4 cm) in diameter. The set is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: A very presentable mid-grade complete set, with signs of moderate use, including a few scratches and scuffs. Labels are clean and intact. Very Good to Excellent condition, if not a little better overall.