April 11th., 1956 is a very special date. On that day, the first Argentinean Elvis Presley record was distributed among selected record stores and radio stations: 1A-0817/HOTEL DE CORAZONES DETROZADOS (Heartbreak Hotel) b/w ERA YO (I Was The One) 78RPM single.
The beautiful Purple & White label record with a “ESPECIAL PARA RADIODIFUSION” (Radio Stations Special) blue seal on label was housed in an awesome dark purple, yellow and white promotional sleeve. Sleeve reads “ROGAMOS ESCUCHAR” (Please, listen), “ANTICIPO – NOVEDAD” (Preview – New Release) and “ENVIE SU PEDIDO RAPIDAMENTE” (Ask For It Now). Only THREE sleeves with this special promotional release have surfaced so far!
When this record was released, Argentina record market was mainly dominated by Argentinean Folk and Tango records. Carlos di Sarli, Juan D’Arienzo and Aníbal Troilo were among those top sellers.
So, when RCA decided to promote Elvis’ first record, they pressed a record stores ad featuring D’Arienzo, di Sarli and Elvis Presley at bottom!!! Little did they know Heartbreak Hotel would become one of the all-time top sellers in RCA Victor Argentina history.
Before we move onwards, let’s see RCA’s original label-copy and promo label:
Like practically everywhere, Elvis’ success was more than welcomed by young audiences but adult journalists thought different! “Jazzlandia” (Jazzland), Argentina’s leading music magazine was the first to feature a big Elvis article. Its title: “LA NUEVA ‘LOCURA MUSICAL DE E.E.U.U. – ELVIS PRESLEY/EL MUCHACHO DEL ‘ROCK’” (America’s Newest Music Craze – Elvis Presley/The Boy Of ‘Rock’).
Earlier on, they printed Heartbreak Hotel’s lyrics as “LLEGO ELVIS PRESLEY CON SU...” (‘Elvis Presley Is Here With His...):
In late 1957, Purple & White label was deleted and replaced with the Black label, dog on top. Needless to say, Heartbreak Hotel was re-released.
By 1958, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was re-re-released as part of my all-time favorite Elvis Presley Extended-Play album: AVE-66/ELVIS PRESLEY. Released May 23rd., 1958, the EP includes NO ME DIGAS NO (Don’t); HOTEL DE CORAZONES DESTROZADOS (Heartbreak Hotel); PERRO FEROZ (Hound Dog) and FIESTA (Party).
Different to any other worldwide release, this EP has a gorgeous 1956 Elvis’ profile over a reddish background. This EP was issued on Purple label and has never been re-released. Strictly for high-rollers!
Last but not least, I’d like to invite all of you who have asked about our ELVIS, SOUTH-AMERICAN STYLE discography book to visit our www.elvis.com.ar site ELVIS, SOUTH-AMERICAN STYLE new revised section.
Carlos R. Ares