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post Oct 25 2015, 04:09 PM
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Rare Elvis record discovered in the Black Country set to go under hammer
21:00, 24 OCT 2015 UPDATED 13:35, 25 OCT 2015
A-side is a recording of The King singing Suspicion – three years before it was released as single

And the acetate, made for Tennessee radio station WHBQ, is set to spark a bidding war when it goes under the hammer in Dudley on November 4.

Fans are well and truly shook up by the discovery.

Aston’s Auctioneers estimate the 78rpm record will fetch around £12,000, but admit the slice of vinyl history could go for much, much more.

It is highly collectible for two reasons:

* The A-side is a recording of Elvis singing Suspicion – at least three years before The King released it as a single. It represents the first public airing of a song that has become an Elvis anthem.

* The B-side is evidence of a long-lost civil rights milestone. It is a promotional jingle for Ray Charles’ August 20, 1961, concert at Ellis Auditorium – the very first mixed race gig in Memphis.

Film poster specialist Steve Kennedy, who is involved in the auction, says: “It is a piece of history, a total one-off.

“On the B-side you have the social history, the first time the ‘coloureds only’ signs were taken off the auditorium washrooms.

“Elvis loved the song Suspicion, but the record company was reluctant to release it as a single because they wanted it for Terry Stafford.”

Stafford’s version hit the Billboard Top Ten in 1964, and Elvis’ version followed soon afterwards, the two jockeying for position in the charts.

There’s a fascinating story attached to the record.

It belonged to Julie Wall, a North Kesteven Council employee who rifled more than half a million in loose change from car park cash boxes – and spent the lot on Elvis memorabilia.

She was jailed for three years in 2005 and the bizarre case spawned a TV film, Caught In A Trap, starring Connie Fisher as the Lincolnshire Elvis fanatic.

Julie’s hoard was confiscated by police and auctioned in 2007 to repay North Kesteven Council.

Many of those items, purchased by a Black Country private collector, will be sold at next month’s Presley posters and records auction.

The acetate is the star attraction by far.

Steve, from Droitwich, Worcestershire, adds: “It is a fascinating insight into what radio stations did, and how they did them.

“It is incredible. I have never seen a WHBQ acetate and I don’t know if any other exists.

“Arguably, one of the most fanatical and controversial Elvis Presley collections of all time is going under the hammer. Elvis is in the building.”

The sale will also feature rare RCA Living stereo sampler records, promotional records and sought-after posters for such films as Love Me Tender, Blue Hawaii, California Holiday, Girl Happy and Follow That Dream.
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