Elvis record sales skyrocket following his death (1977)

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Fans flock to stores to buy Elvis records, dramatic sales increase

by Jeff Collins

Record stores in the Los Angeles area reported a dramatic increase in sales of Elvis Presley records Tuesday night. Salespersons at Tower Record stores in Hollywood and Westwood said they had sold 55 to 65 more Elvis records than usual.

elvis-presley-moody-blueThe largest demand was for the singer’s greatest hit records and movie soundtracks, although requests for Moody Blue, his most recent record were also up.

One customer at Tower Records, Hollywood, bought the entire catalog of Presley records — 31 different releases.

The Licorice Pizza in Hollywood also reported sales up. The store keeps a minimal number of his records in stock and was unable to satisfy many customer demands.

Nick DeBenedetto, a salesman, said Presley records haven’t been selling well recently, but added that the store sent out a rush order earlier in the evening.

Jamie McGovern, a clerk at Tower, Hollywood, said that his store would increase its stock threefold at the earliest opportunity.

“People haven’t had time to realize what has happened, and probably even more requests for his records will be made in the next couple of days,” McGovern said.

elvis-blue-hawaiiTerry Schmitgal, Tower, Westwood’s night manager, speculated that the run on Presley records is occurring because people think the old releases will go out of print and become rare.

Schmitgal said however, that it is highly unlikely that this will happen.

“No Elvis albums have ever been in cut-outs,” he said. He explained that a record is in “cut-outs” when sales lag far behind production and must be sold at drastically cut prices.

“I don’t expect that the Elvis albums will be rare in the near future, not for at least two or three years,” Schmitgal said.

Among the most popularly requested Presley albums are Blue Hawaii and Speedway, both movie soundtracks.

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