Jack White will reissue the acetate of Elvis Presley’s first ever record after revealing he was the mystery buyer behind the $300,000 (£197,000) sale of the record at an auction in January.
When the 1953 vinyl record – which features the ballads ‘My Happiness’ and ‘That’s When Your Heartaches Begin’ – was first auctioned, it was expected to fetch about a $100,000 (£65,000). It was later announced that an unknown internet bidder, now known to be White, had bought the record with a $300,000 bid.
White will release the record on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 18. The former White Stripes man announced the news in a peculiar fashion during an interview with Billboard.
The interviewer detailed how he went to Memphis, Tennessee, to meet White, but instead got “a mysterious man with a black suitcase and instructions to hurry to meet White three hours across the state in Nashville.” When he arrived at Nashville and passed the suitcase on to White, the singer announced to his employees at Third Man Records: “This is the first recording ever made by Elvis Presley. On Record Store Day, Third Man Records will issue this on vinyl.”
Presley recorded ‘My Happiness’ in 1953 when he was just 18 at Sun Records, the Memphis studio operated by Sam Phillips. It is said that after the recording, which cost Presley $4, the singer left the studio and went to the home of friend Ed Leek to listen to it as his family didn’t have a record player.
Presley ended up leaving the record behind, and it remained in Leek and later his niece’s possession until she contacted Graceland – Presley’s former home – and it was offered for auction.
Record Store Day was conceived nine years ago in the US and was brought to the UK a year later. Exclusive vinyl is made available on the day and many stores put on live shows to mark the occasion. Last month, Dave Grohl was crowned the official ambassador of Record Store Day 2015.