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Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:47 am

In the mid-1970s the Pickwick label took over the Camden titles that RCA had previously released. They did two records of their own. One was Double Dynamite a two record set that kind of functioned as Camden greatest hits collection with songs from all the Camden album represented. The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover. As a bargain LP it seems it did quite well. I believe this is million selling release or perhaps the RIAA combined this LP's sales with the original. Either way it did more than a half million on re-release. I wonder why though the new label chose to release this then out of print soundtrack. Was there maybe a plan to re-release truncated versions of all the out of print soundtrack LPs? It just seems an odd choice and it's equally odd that it was never followed up. I remember the LP remained in print well into the 1980s. Perhaps those sales were the ones that put it over the top and the original kind of tanked. Anyone know the back story here?

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:53 am

I should imagine it was to honour the career defining music Elvis was making in the mid-60s, arguably Elvis' creative peak. Well, when compared to his 50s contemporaries anyway.. :wink:

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:33 am

likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Cheers, Piers

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:34 am

A strange release indeed. But, i fits the pattern of compilation/releases done by people who didn't have a clue of what they were doing. :(

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:37 am

It was pretty weird releasing it with that 1970's cover. There was no reason not to include the whole soundtrack. I didn't appreciate that at all.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:38 am

PiersEIN wrote:
likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Aw c'mon, Piers, you must be joking. >> http://www.elvisrecords.us/acl-7007-frankie-and-johnny/

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:40 am

Other weird things that is possible:
RCA made records for Pickwick for sale on the Camden label.
This is an Jim Reeves release. may have happened with Elvis since they both was on RCA Victor. :shock:
:smt006

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:42 am

svallen wrote:This is an Jim Reeves release.

What are you talking about?

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:08 am

PiersEIN wrote:
likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Cheers, Piers
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Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:24 am

On this Jim Reeves release from England:12 songs of christmas.
On back cover it is written:
Manufactured by RCA LTD and distributed by PICKWICK INTERNATIONAL Inc (GB)Ltd
That is weird,may have happened with Elvis Presley records also.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:44 am

In the 1950s the motto of the Colonel was that overexposure can hurt "just like a sunburn". In the 70s he did exactly that: he hurt the Elvis catalogue, image and market value quite a bit by flooding the market with product. Of course all made possible by the ridiculous sell out of the recording catalogue in 1973. Elvis was managed like a clown in a circus with souvenirs and wagon loads cheap souvenir trash. I personally came to appreciate the early Camden releases of 1969 to 1971, but from an artistic as well as marketing perspective it was suicide.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:12 pm

But, the fact remains: The Camden series outsold almost every main label release! Sad maybe, but true. So, who's to blame, the record company or the record buying public?
The Dutchman saw dollarsigns everywhere! The green ruled! It's all in the history, and nothing we can do about it. Ernst has tried and somehow managed to set the record straight, for Elvis the recording artist. The true fan who stood by, have been receiving the goods over the past 20 years. And they're still floating in! Keep 'em coming and try to forget about the past. :)

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:21 pm

bajo wrote:But, the fact remains: The Camden series outsold almost every main label release! Sad maybe, but true. So, who's to blame, the record company or the record buying public?
The Dutchman saw dollarsigns everywhere! The green ruled! It's all in the history, and nothing we can do about it. Ernst has tried and somehow managed to set the record straight, for Elvis the recording artist. The true fan who stood by, have been receiving the goods over the past 20 years. And they're still floating in! Keep 'em coming and try to forget about the past. :)


They mainly outsold the regular catalogue because they were budget releases. I think a 1972 studio/ live album would have brought Elvis more in terms of credibility and maybe even money wise as did Elvis sings Burning Love and Hits from his Movies volume 1. But, yes, of course, that is all history. Once the greed got to him, The Colonel did not mind a 'sunburn'.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:07 pm

You have to face it, the general audience was not too keen of the current recordings of the King. This time it wasn't the Colonel's fault....

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:52 pm

Blue River wrote:
PiersEIN wrote:
likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Aw c'mon, Piers, you must be joking. >> http://www.elvisrecords.us/acl-7007-frankie-and-johnny/

Seriously. No!
That is the funniest thing I have seen in ages.
I thought the "Burning Love & Hits' stuff was the camden/pickwick low points. But buying an album with that cover and getting Frankie & Johnny tracks!!!
That's inspirational marketing!
Maybe it never made the UK album stores.

- Made my day in a funny kinda way.
Always more to learn and laugh at!

Cheers, Piers

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:38 pm

The reason they sold well was one clear reason .THE PRICE ......
You could find these for $1.99 during issue 1975/76 .
Sometimes cheaper ..........I have seen Original stickers on these for a dollar .
They did sell well however & the + Million mark is probably a reality on these .
I still see them sealed & cant be given away these days .
Pickwick also released the Mahalo LP also & thats everywhere still today in Record Bins .

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:04 pm

bajo wrote:But, the fact remains: The Camden series outsold almost every main label release! Sad maybe, but true. So, who's to blame, the record company or the record buying public?
The Dutchman saw dollarsigns everywhere! The green ruled! It's all in the history, and nothing we can do about it. Ernst has tried and somehow managed to set the record straight, for Elvis the recording artist. The true fan who stood by, have been receiving the goods over the past 20 years. And they're still floating in! Keep 'em coming and try to forget about the past. :)


The saddest part of all this is.....that there are some Elvis super fans who never lived long enough to see the great releases Ernst came up with on the FTD label.
RCA should have done it right the first time!

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:05 pm

Alexander wrote: I personally came to appreciate the early Camden releases of 1969 to 1971, but from an artistic as well as marketing perspective it was suicide.

I totally agree with you about the 1969 - '71 releases, Alexander. They served a purpose.

The only ones that were artistic/marketing suicide, in my opinion -
*Elvis Sings Hits From His Movies Volume 1
*Burning Love And Hits From His Movies Volume 2
*Separate Ways
and the later Pickwick release *Frankie & Johnny

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:08 pm

PiersEIN wrote:
likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Cheers, Piers


One of the worst / laziest releases ever in my opinion. You'll find it in bargain bins all over the USA. Even the cover was complete nonsense.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:33 pm

Matthew wrote:I should imagine it was to honour the career defining music Elvis was making in the mid-60s, arguably Elvis' creative peak. Well, when compared to his 50s contemporaries anyway.. :wink:


I live for the day you actually something of merit on this board.

Everyone else thanks for the responses. I guess no theories as to why Pickwick chose to go with this. It seems a very random release and strangely marketed.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:43 pm

A very cheap, quick and easy release. If they sold 20 copies, they probably came close to making their money back.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:00 pm

A. C. van Kuijk wrote:You have to face it, the general audience was not too keen of the current recordings of the King. This time it wasn't the Colonel's fault....

Who's fault was the current state of Elvis' recording career in the mid 1970's? He still had an iron grip on the material submitted to Elvis for his consideration in recording. He masterminded the selling of the catalogue. Not the Colonels fault indeed!

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:36 pm

Blue River wrote:
Alexander wrote: I personally came to appreciate the early Camden releases of 1969 to 1971, but from an artistic as well as marketing perspective it was suicide.

I totally agree with you about the 1969 - '71 releases, Alexander. They served a purpose.

The only ones that were artistic/marketing suicide, in my opinion -
*Elvis Sings Hits From His Movies Volume 1
*Burning Love And Hits From His Movies Volume 2
*Separate Ways
and the later Pickwick release *Frankie & Johnny


Also the earlier ones in my book: too much product all at once. The sunburn did not mind The Colonel anymore.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:37 pm

PiersEIN wrote:
likethebike wrote: The other was an abbreviated version of Frankie and Johnny with three songs omitted and the Elvis Now photo as the cover.

REALLY!!?? - What weird marketing.
I've never seen this one.

Cheers, Piers


The original was no longer available.
It was indeed weird that three songs were omitted.
Luckily I had the original when it was released, like all of Elvis' LP's.
In those days it was excitement if you visited the recordshop on saturdays and discovered there was a new release, being it either an LP, EP or single.

Re: Frankie and Johnny on Pickwick

Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:39 pm

A. C. van Kuijk wrote:You have to face it, the general audience was not too keen of the current recordings of the King. This time it wasn't the Colonel's fault....


They were not presented in the best possible context because The Colonel decided it to be better to smash them on budget releases. Who is to blame is to blame... It is The Old Greedy Colonel this time.