Tuesday, January 31, 2017


 As stated earlier, I worked in the Record Dept. at Sanger Harris.  Our department sold a lot of records and tapes.  So much so that we were one of the top record stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. 
 One afternoon, I was on my way to the store, and I heard on the radio that Elvis Presley had just died.  I was on the freeway, and I just floored it.  When I got to the store, there were hundreds of crying women trying to buy Elvis records.  I should note that when Elvis was alive, we couldn't give his records away.  No one wanted to buy them.  Even when he came out with his last album (Moody Blue), we were stuck with the copies.  In all, we had 60 Elvis albums that no one wanted.  Now, he had died, and everybody wanted Elvis.  We quickly sold out of all that we had and began taking special orders for his music.  It was quite a scene to see some many distraught women that we had to call security to help disperse them.
 Of course, it was not just our store that experienced this onslaught of Elvis fans.  Every store in the country had the same kind of riot.  In one afternoon, just about every record store in the US had sold out of Elvis.  I called my record distributor with our special orders, and he said he thought he knew where some records were in a warehouse in Oklahoma.  Since we made a lot of money for our distributor, he offered to take his truck up there and get what they had in the warehouse.  So, that night he drove up to Oklahoma and picked up what they had to bring them to us.  By the time we opened the next day, we had 200 Elvis records.  We were able to fill most of our special orders, and then we sold out again.
 RCA took three months to replenish the nation's stores with more records.  They had to reprint everything.  They put out special commemorative records to try and ease the demand.  They sold out quickly, too.  Then the Elvis frenzy was over.  All of the records that they printed up sat on our shelves, when they came in three months later.  I had never seen anything like it.  Other artists died later like John Lennon, Whitney Houston, Prince, David Bowie, and others.  And yes, there was a certain amount of frenzy for them, but I never saw anything like Elvis.  I hope I never do again.

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