Watch Jack White ‘Backing Up’ First Elvis Presley Recording

Having paid $300,000 for a 10-inch acetate of The King, the former White Stripe digitises the recording for Third Man's Record Store Day release.

Watch Jack White ‘Backing Up’ First Elvis Presley Recording

HAVING SHELLED OUT $300,000 for Elvis Presley's first ever 10-inch acetate recording, Jack White has done the sensible thing – made a copy. The original recording, made at Memphis Recording Service while The King was still an unknown, was bought by the former White Stripe at auction earlier this year. Presley recorded two songs, My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin, after walking into the studio off the street and paying $4 for the session. It led to a contract with Sun Records and the rest, as they say, is history.

“It's kind of like the Big Bang of rock'n'roll”

Music archivist Alan Stoker

White was recently revealed to be the “undisclosed buyer” who purchased the acetate record at auction in January and has now transferred the recording onto a digital format so that the the songs could be pressed onto 10-inch vinyl for a Third Man release for Record Store Day tomorrow (April 18).

White's label released a video of the record being copied by music archivist Alan Stoker at the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville, which you can watch below.

In the clip, Stoker remarks that the pristine acetate “is in great shape”, White then lifts up the label with tweezers to reveal the underside, printed with The Prisonaires’ Softly And Tenderly, a leftover Sun Records' label that was used for Presley’s recording. The tinny-sounding recording is then played.

“[It's] kind of like the Big Bang of rock'n'roll. Not this disc necessarily, but that performance, because that's where they first heard him. It's a document of that performance,” Stoker told Rolling Stone of the material he handled. “The guy is handing me a disc he paid $300,000 for, so that makes you kind of hold your breath a little. Once he handed it to me, it was pretty much routine. The disc was in pretty good shape; I don't think it had been played that much.”

The original 10-inch was put on auction by the family of Ed Leek, Presley’s classmate, who reportedly gave him the money for the recording, which Presley subsequently left at his home.

Watch the action below. Do you think Jack looks a bit nervous?

Interested in vinyl? Then you might like MOJO’s Led Zeppelin Limited Vinyl Edition.