Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Elvis - Vintage 1955

Yes, you are not seeing things…this is indeed an LP version of the very rare CD release of the same title. “ Vintage 1955 ” was released originally in 1990 on the Oak 1003 NR 18245 label. Supposedly only 100 copies of the CD were originally released, which I find hard to believe taking into consideration the “expense to profit ratio ” of such a small pressing. I think 1000 copies is a more reasonable number, though if 100 copies is indeed the truth, the CD version certainly has been re-released in a form identical to the original. 

The LP version contains the same material as the CD, all of which is well known by now. 

Side 1: Interview with Biff Collie / Baby Let’s Play House / Blue Moon of Kentucky / I’ve Got a Woman / There’s Good Rockin’ Tonight / That’s All Right Little Mama.  All except the first title are touted as being from Eagle’s Hall Houston TX March 19, 1955.  These tracks have been released many times, but in reality the historical significance of these recordings, no matter how rough in quality they are, are essential to the legacy of the Boppin’ Hillbilly Cat. 

Side 2: Interview with Scotty Moore – Tells the Beginning of Elvis.  Again, this insightful and interesting interview has seen many a release. 

Since my LP copy is sealed, I am not able to play it but I am sure the sound quality is just as good as the CD version. The only difference being that vinyl has a warmth that CD does not replicate. 

The cover photo is indeed one of my favorite early photos. The story surrounding the motorcycle cap is told in more detail the fantastic book “ Elvis in Texas ” by Stanley Oberst…if you don’t have this book, you need to get it!!  The stories of Early Elvis are fantastic!!  This photo was taken at the Midway Café in Dallas, TX circa October 1956. Elvis was driving through town when Elvis spotted and Army/Navy store. Elvis purchased the motorcycle cap and several pairs of pants that needed to be altered to fit.  During the alteration Elvis, Eddie Fadal and Gene Smith stopped next door at the Midway Café for some chow. An Oak Cliff reporter ( a friend of the Café’s owner ) showed up and Elvis allowed photos to be taken. Having done close comparison with the photos’ in Oberst’s book and this LP cover photo, the background and table settings are identical. The only mystery is that there is a “ star in oval ” design on the front of the hat, which must have been digitally removed as it appears on this LP cover.  Regardless it’s a great story and a great photo!! 

CD technology was introduced as a mass format in 1983 here in the US. Though it took a few years to catch on, as CD players became more reliable, the CD format took over. Vinyl continues to be available in limited quantities for audiophile collectors.  But LP production declined severely during the late 80’s and was deleted as a mass-produced sound replication format here in the US by the early 1990’s. Even the bootleggers adapted, releasing the first Elvis boot CD “ The Hollywood Sessions ” Flashback E-CD 1001 DA in 1988, and by 1991 the LP format was no longer the format of choice. The big advantage of digital sound replication is that sound sources that previously could not realistically have been mastered and released on LP could now be mastered and released on a digital format that gives much higher fidelity and clarity. Hence the incredible number of audience recorded Elvis shows that have made it to CD, most of which would have been too muddy for reasonable release on LP. 

Back to the subject at hand. This LP is very rare, and though I have no idea how many were pressed; I would venture to say less than 500 is a reasonable “ guesstimate ”. Even the casual Elvis LP collector would find this a nice addition to his/her collection. It truly exhibits the “ Vintage ” Elvis we all know and appreciate.

Ernie Boyes Jr.