Jack White Secretly Bought Elvis Presley’s First Recording, Is Planning Its Release
On what would have been his 80th birthday (Jan. 8), Elvis Presley's first-ever recording was auctioned off for a staggering $300,000 -- and the mystery buyer has been revealed as none other than rocker Jack White.
The music was recorded by an 18-year-old Presley on July 18, 1953, at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service, for a grand total of $4. It was a one-copy-only pressing, a 10-inch acetate disc featuring two 1930s ballads, "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin."
Eventually, Presley's friend Ed Leek received the recording, and more than 60 years later, Leek's daughter, who inherited the disc, put it up for auction at Graceland during Presley's 80th birthday celebration. People were buzzing after the high price tag was announced; the record was expected to go for $100,000, but White (whose identity was concealed until now) bid triple the expected pricetag.
So, how exactly did White reveal his secret identity? In a mysterious way, of course. According to Billboard, editor-at-large Joe Levy was waiting for an interview with White in Memphis, Tenn. Instead of being greeted by the rocker, a man handed Levy a black suitcase and was told to drive to Nashville, three hours away, to meet White at his own Third Man Records. When Levy arrived with the mysterious black case, White told his employees, "This is the first recording ever made by Elvis Presley. On Record Store Day, Third Man Records will issue this on vinyl.”
That's right: This incredibly rare recording will be available to the public, thanks to White. Fans don't have to wait long for this special piece of vinyl, either; Record Store Day 2015 is April 18.
The recording is just one of many of Presley's items that have recently been auctioned off. His favorite car -- a custom-made 1972 Cadillac Deville station wagon -- was also up for bid, as well as an autographed copy of "That's All Right," a custom watch featuring a Star of David design, the singer's first driver’s license and the jacket he wore in the Viva Las Vegas film. Plus, Presley's two private jets, which were lavishly refurbished by the legend, were up for grabs in a separate auction.