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Elvis: The RCA Bonus Photos (1958-69)

 

By Bob Pakes
 
 

top2Many Elvis Presley records in the 50’s and 60’s were released with a special bonus.
In most cases this was a photo, but the fans were also treated to a pocket calendar, a wall calendar, a fan card, a picture folio, and a poster.
Sometimes the bonus was handed out by the record shop owner, but most of the times the bonus was included within the sealed album. Of course, these bonuses were also another apportunity to advertise the Presley product, and we will often find an RCA catalog on the back. These items are now very collectable and some are quite rare.
 
Interesting for vinyl collectors is the fact that RCA attached a special sticker announcing the bonus gift on the front of the LP. Since these albums were always sealed in, the stickers are almost as rare as the bonus item itself because the average buyer would throw the plastic seal (including the sticker) away after unwrapping the album.
 
In this article we will take a close look at these bonus items, in chronological order. Every effort has been made to present all items and their corresponding album, if possible in sealed condition because of the sticker, and also including the album-backcover (in case the photo was visible from the outside) and give as much information as possible.

 
 
 
 
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1958-03 Elvis' Golden Records

March 1958
Elvis’ Golden Records

LPM-1707

1958-03 Elvis' Golden Records coupon“FABULOUS OFFER!”
Not actually a ‘free’ bonus, since an additional $ 0,25 had to be paid to cover postage and packing, but when the coupon that was enclosed with this album was sent to RCA, you would receive an 8 by 10 inch Elvis Presley Photo Booklet.
 
Note the words “once-in-a-lifetime offer”. The Presley merchandise-train was in high gear.
 
I have not been able to identify which of the folio’s from around that time ‘belonged’ to this offer.
If anybody would like to share his knowledge on this, that would be very much appreciated!

 
 
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1958-09 King Creole LPM 01

September 1958
King Creole

LPM-1884

1958-09 King Creole photo (8x10)This photo was given away for free with the purchase of the album.
You may however come across ‘sealed’ copies that include the photo, but in that case the album was sealed in by the shop owner.
 
It measures 8 x 10 inch, and the back of the photo is white.
 
1958-09 King Creole back

 
 
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1959-04 A Touch Of Gold EP front

April 1959
A Touch Of Gold, Volume 1

EPA-5088

1959-04 A Touch Of Gold EP back 1959-04 A Touch Of Gold cardThis EP came with a fan card (about 2 x 3 inch).
 
As soon as you signed the card, you committed yourself to spend your money on Presley products.
Apparently the Colonel made unannounced housecalls to check if the “loyal” fans kept their part of the deal.

 
 
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1962-11 Girls! Girls! Girls! LSP

November 1962
Girls! Girls! Girls!

LPM/LSP-2621

1962-11 Girls! Girls! Girls! calender front  (11x11)Included with the album was a 1963 wall calendar.
It measures 11 x 11 inch.
 
The back of the calendar came in three variations:
1. A list of Elvis EP’s and LP’s.
2. A list of Elvis 45’s and EP’s.
1962-11 Girls! Girls! Girls! LPM pocket calendar3. A picture of the Colonel with a snowman.
 
 
This album was also released with a 1963 pocket calendar as a bonus (see the sealed LPM to the right).

 
 
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1963-04 It Happened At The World's Fair LPM

April 1963
It Happened At The World’s Fair

LPM/LSP-2697

1963-04 It Happened At The World's Fair photo variation 1 front (8x10) 1963-04 It Happened At The World's Fair photo variation 1 back (8x10)The bonus photo included with the album measures 8 x 10 inch.
 
Two different versions of the front exist: one with a white border, and one without this white border.
 
The back advertises 9 other Presley albums.

 
 
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1963-08 Elvis' Golden Records, Volume 3 LSP

August 1963
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3

LPM/LSP-2765

1963-08 Elvis' Golden Records, Volume 3 picture folio front (8x10) 1963-08 Elvis' Golden Records, Volume 3 picture folio back (8x10)A very nice 16-page picture folio (measuring 8 x 10 inch) came with the purchase of this album. This folio was handed out by the recordstore owner.
 
Except for the front (which is from Wild In The Country) all other pictures in the folio are from the Girls! Girls! Girls! and It Happened At The World’s Fair photo-shoots.
 
Sometimes this album is being offered on auction sites as “Sealed and including the folio”, but since it was not sealed by RCA it must have been sealed by the shop-owner in 1963.

 
 
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1964-02 Kissin' Cousins LPM

February 1964
Kissin’ Cousins

LPM/LSP-2894

1964-02 Kissin' Cousins photo (8x10)The bonus photo (measuring 8 x 10 inch) that is associated with this title was not sealed in with the album but given out by the record shop owner.
It is the only bonus photo from the 60’s that was not in color.
 
The back of the photo is white.

 
 
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1965-03 Girl Happy LSP

March 1965
Girl Happy

LPM/LSP-3338

1965-03 Girl Happy poster (16x20)This poster (measuring 16 x 20 inch) was given to buyers of certain Elvis albums (around the time Girl Happy was released and therefore connected to this title in particular) at record stores.
 
The artist responsible for this painting, June Kelly, also painted the bonus photo that came with the Frankie And Johnny album in 1966.
 
This painting was also used in Harum Scarum:
 
Harum Scarum Girl Happy painting

 
 
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1965-11 Harum Scarum LSP 1965-11 Harum Scarum sticker

November 1965
Harum Scarum

LPM/LSP-3468

1965-11 Harum Scarum photo (12x12)To my knowledge this is the first record that carried a sticker announcing the bonus.
 
The bonus photo, included with the album, measures 12 x 12 inch.
 
The back is white.
 
1965-11 Harum Scarum back

 
 
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1966-03 Frankie And Johnny LSP 1966-03 Frankie And Johnny sticker

March 1966
Frankie And Johnny

LPM/LSP-3553

1966-03 Frankie And Johnny photo (12x12)The bonus photo, included with the album, measures 12 x 12 inch.
 
The back is white.
Apparently also copies exist that have an ad for the movie on the back, but I cannot confirm this as I’ve never seen this variation myself.
 
1966-03 Frankie And Johnny backAnd here we have again the same artist, June Kelly, who painted the poster that was given away for free with the Girl Happy album in 1965.

 
 
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1966-10 Spinout LSP 1966-10 Spinout sticker

October 1966
Spinout

LPM/LSP-3702

1966-10 Spinout photo (11x11)The bonus photo, included with the album, measures 12 x 12 inch.
 
The back is white.
 
 
 
1966-10 Spinout back

 
 
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1967-06 Double Trouble LPM 1967-06 Double Trouble announcement

June 1967
Double Trouble

LPM/LSP-3787

1967-06 Double Trouble photo (7x9)The announcement of the bonus photo on the album-front is not a sticker this time, but rather incorparated into the design of the sleeve. Later pressings did not have the bonus photo, and where the announcement used to be we now would find the words TROUBLE DOUBLE.
 
The bonus photo, included with the album, measures 7 x 9 inch.
 
1967-06 Double Trouble backThe back shows the Elvis RCA LP + Stereo 8 catalog.
 

 
 
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1967-10 Clambake LSP 1967-10 Clambake sticker

October 1967
Clambake

LPM/LSP-3893

1967-10 Clambake photo (12x12)The bonus photo, that was included with the album, measures 11 x 11 inch.
 
The back is white.

 
 
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1968-01 Elvis' Gold Records, Volume 4 LPM

January 1968
Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4

LPM/LSP-3921

1968-01 Elvis' Gold Records, Volume 4 photo (8x10)There was no sticker attached to the frontcover announcing any bonus photo since this photo wasn’t actually sealed in with the album, it was given away for free when this LP was purchased.
The photo measures 8 x 10 inch.
 
The back is an RCA Elvis catalog.

 
 
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1968-06 Speedway LSP 1968-06 Speedway sticker

June 1968
Speedway

LPM/LSP-3989

1968-06 Speedway photo (8x10)The sticker that was used on the frontseal of the album to announce the bonus photo, is exactly the same as the sticker on the Spinout album (except for the color).
 
The bonus photo was included with the album and measures 8 x 10 inch.
 
The back is an RCA Elvis catalog.
1968-06 Speedway back

 
 
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1968-11 Singer Presents Elvis

November 1968
Singer Presents Elvis Singing Flaming Star And Others

PRS-279

1968-11 Singer Presents Elvis photo front (8x10) upgrade (Cayetano) 1968-11 Singer Presents Elvis photo back (8x10) upgrade (Cayetano)There was no sticker attached to the frontcover announcing a bonus photo since this photo wasn’t sealed in with the album, it rather came with it.
 
The photo measures 8 x 10 inch.
 
The back is an RCA Elvis LP + Stereo 8 catalog.
Two different versions exist: the first advertised Elvis’ upcoming NBC Special, the second (printed after the TV Special had aired on December 3, 1968) does not have this announcement.

 
 
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1969-06 From Elvis In Memphis LSP 1969-06 From Elvis In Memphis sticker

June 1969
From Elvis In Memphis

LSP-4155

1969-06 From Elvis In Memphis photo (8x10) 1969-06 From Elvis In Memphis photo back (8x10)This bonus photo (with a reversed image of Elvis) measures 8 x 10 inch and was included with the album.
 
The back is an RCA Elvis LP catalog

 
 
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1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set)

July 1969
International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969
(Box Set)

LPM-4088 + LSP-4155

1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) photo (8x10) 1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) RCA promo booklet This Box Set contained a whole bunch of goodies:
* From Elvis In Memphis LP
* NBC TV Special LP
* color photo (8 x 10 inch) that was also included with the From Elvis In Memphis album
* 1969 pocket calendar
* RCA promo booklet
* two black & white photos
* Elvis RCA catalog
 
1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) pocket-calender
1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) photo 2 1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) RCA catalog
 
1969-07 International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) photo 1

 
 
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1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis LSP 1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis sticker

October 1969
From Memphis To Vegas / From Vegas To Memphis
(2 LP Set)

LSP-6020

1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis photo 4 1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis photo 3Two bonus photos were included with this double album. But four different photos exist.
 
All photos measure 8 x 10 inch in size.

1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis photo 1 1969-10 From Memphis To Vegas -  From Vegas To Memphis photo 2

 
 
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THANKS:
To Dennis Berry, Cayetano and Bob Furmanek for scanning and sharing.
To Archie Lee and Rod Kinkade for sharing additional information.

 
 
 
 
 

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. r&b #

    Superb article. I’m glad you stopped at 1969! The few ones from the 70’s just didnt seem as classic. The bonus stickers were awesome as well.

    April 17, 2014
  2. Josep #

    Excellent, Bob.

    Great research and presentation, as always. Thank you very much.

    April 17, 2014
  3. Colt Rivers #

    Fantastic Bob as always, I enjoyed this very much, thank you.

    April 17, 2014
  4. colonel snow #

    It’s a pity that there were not always bonus items on European releases.

    April 17, 2014
  5. Alexander #

    Great read, thanks!

    April 26, 2014
  6. Bob, two small black & white wallet bonus pix are missing…One from the first album, featuring the same photo with the text “New RCA Victor recording artist”, and one , head & shoulders Army portrait, wearing a small cap…Possibly from around the time of the King Creole EPs…I know this for sure, had them both…long ago. I’m sure you’ll find them, Mr Sherlock Holmes!

    May 29, 2014
  7. r&b #

    I have the small one with the Army cap, but not sure how to post photos here.

    July 1, 2014
  8. Dave Rivers #

    The folio that you are looking for from the coupon being sent with .25 cents from the album ELVIS GOLDEN RECORDS (1958) was actually available in 2 different versions but the one your looking for had a advertisement on the back for the above GOLDEN RECORDS Album, the other one had a advertisement for the movie Jailhouse Rock. Both Folios were identical inside with about sixteen black and white photos of Elvis from the JAILHOUSE ROCK, both Folios are the same except for the back advertisements.
    Hope this was helpful.

    February 24, 2015
  9. Peter Winsinger #

    International Hotel, Las Vegas Nevada Presents Elvis, August 1969 (Box Set) – I do need the original photos. Can somebody please help?
    Peter

    May 16, 2015
  10. Karen Erbey #

    I have the original painting of Elvis as a teenager. Painted by June Kelly. Anyone interested?

    November 23, 2015
  11. Theresa Evans #

    Elvis Gold Records Vol 4, who manufactured/copied the photo?
    In other words, did the record store pay for the copying?

    June 19, 2016
  12. Juan Luis #

    I love this! Thank you.

    June 27, 2016
  13. Neicy Velloso #

    TANK MY FRIEND!!!

    August 12, 2016
  14. Alan Willis #

    Have came across several Elvis albums still sealed. Photos on both sides.
    Trying to find the value. Thanks.

    November 17, 2016

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