Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Elvis Presley - The Sun Years

“ Elvis Presley the Sun Years ” is actually a release by the Sun record company circa 1977.  The cover photo is a collage of Sun era photos, newspaper headlines, and 45 labels. This release seems to be a blatant attempt to cash in on the publicity of Elvis’ death in August 1977. 

Side 1: The side opens with the announcement of Elvis’ death.  The story is narrated by Gilbert Blasengame Jr. The idea is to tell the story of the beginnings of Elvis, Scotty, and Bill through narration and excerpts of interviews and Sun recordings. The details of the story are somewhat inaccurate, and some dates have since been corrected. The interview material has been released from much better sources. The Sun Record excerpts all seem to be sourced from RCA versions as most have the RCA-added echo. The flow of the narrative is not very well thought out, and considering that the story was pretty well known, the narrative doesn’t give any necessary new information or insight. 

Side 2: This side is made mostly of portions of the 1956 Jay Thompson Wichita Falls, KS interview; the Charlie Walker San Antonio, TX interview and excerpts from the “ Stage Show ” and “ Ed Sullivan Show ” appearances. The side closes with the audio of a news report from Aug 16, 1977 shortly after Elvis’ death. 

There are several US versions of this LP. The original has a cover that is brown ink printed on yellow stock, which gives the aura of the original Sun records.  The LP has a modernized Sun label. A second variation is white cover stock printed with brown ink, though with the same modernized Sun LP label. A third variation is cream-colored stock with brown ink but the label resembles the original 1950’s Sun label.  There are possibly several overseas versions of European decent; a yellow stock cover with reddish-brown ink and a white-stock version with black ink. 

Regardless of variations, the demand for this record is very low. RCA apparently forced Sun Records to cease and desist production because Sun didn’t have the rights or permission to use excerpts of the Sun tracks, which RCA owns. 

In my opinion “ The Sun Years ” are the most fascinating era of Elvis’ career. But this LP is honestly not all that interesting.  Save you hard-earned money for some of the good vinyl releases that are out there.

Ernie Boyes Jr.