Acetate of Elvis Presley’s First Recording Sells for $300,000 at 80th Birthday Auction
At an auction held on Jan. 8 at Graceland, on what would have been the 80th birthday of Elvis Presley, an acetate featuring the recording 'My Happiness' has sold at auction for $300,000; the Presley-sung ballad was the first-known recording by the King of Rock and Roll. Bidding began at $50,000 for the one of a kind disc, and an unnamed internet buyer placed the winning bid.
The recording itself dates back to 1953 at the famed Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. As legend has it, an 18-year-old Presley entered the studio to record a song, but studio owner Sam Phillips was not in that day, so Presley was aided by his assistant, Marion Keisker. Presley recorded two songs, just vocal and guitar: 'My Happiness' and 'That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.' It was Keisker who told Phillips about Presley's voice, which would lead to, well, nearly everything in popular music since.
Presley took the acetate and left. Since he did not have a record player at the time, he took it to a friend's house to give it a spin. After listening, he left, leaving the record behind. That friend, Ed Leek, held onto the record until his death, at which time, his niece Lorisa Hilburn inherited it. She was the one who contacted Graceland to put it up for auction, according to the Tennessean.
Take a trip with us to 1953 and "spin" 'My Happiness' below: