Jack White Secretly Bought Elvis’ First Recording, Plans Record Store Day Release

Sanctity is a slippery thing, an arbitrary designation of physicality, event or concept – but some things are worth preserved adulation, and it’s up to those with influence, power or at least some money to secure their legacy. Such was the case with the first recording by Elvis Presley – a 1953 acetate disc featuring “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” – which sold at auction in January for $300,000 to “an undisclosed buyer”. The secret winner? None other than Rock n’ Roll’s vinyl-rejuvenating Willy Wonka himself, Jack White.

The Third Man Records honcho has revealed that he placed the winning bid for the 10-inch recording, and that he plans to reissue the single on vinyl for this coming Record Store Day, April 18th. Watch your back, Santa Claus.

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Billboard shares the story on a mysterious man with a black briefcase, who chaperoned the “My Happiness” single on its way from Memphis to the Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville. There, White regaled employees with the story of the record’s history and his plans to reissue it on Record Store Day. 

The record was cut by an 18-year-old Presley on July 18th, 1953 at Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service for $4. Only one copy was made, and given to Elvis’ friend Ed Leek. 62 years later, Leek’s daughter auctioned off the recording, which White secretly purchased.

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White has even more plans for Record Store Day, with previously announced plans to reissue the White Stripes’ Get Behind Me Satan as a commercially available vinyl for the first time. The 10th anniversary reissue will feature a new lenticular gatefold jacket and two 180-gram LPs, one red and one white.