Books

Decades After Local Man Found, Um, "Lost" Elvis Song, The "Tale of Greed and Betrayal"

On eBay at this very moment, you can buy for anywhere from $3.99 to $85 a single sold in the late 1970s by then-Mockingbird Lane-based International Classic Productions and advertised as Elvis Presley's "first professional recording?!" The single was accompanied by a missive from then-University of Texas at Dallas prof John Godfrey, who said, sure, it's "probable" that's Elvis. But RCA and the Presley estate most decidedly disagreed -- so too pretty much anyone who's ever heard the song. You be the judge.

Anyway. All these years later the man behind its release is self-publishing a book about the "discovery" of the single, Without the King's Consent -- "a tale of greed and betrayal and shattered dreams." His name is Andy Jackson, a former Grand Prairie used-car salesman who's long maintained he found out about the lost track from the daughter of the man who played bass on the track in Phoenix in '54. According to this morning's release, "Music producer Andy Jackson was intrigued when a woman looking to make a deal on his used car lot in 1977 in a Dallas suburb mentioned her father's long-ago recording session with Elvis."

But, like I said, no one really thinks that's Elvis; one fan club maintains that "Michael Conley later admitted making the fake recording, although his manager, Hal Freeman, stated that Conley lied." But another fan site says regardless, it's a good read -- "a well written and absorbing account of the legal battles around the song's authenticity." Which reminds me: We've really got to get an Unfair Park Book Club going.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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