Destroying Myths: related to Elvis Presley

Interesting signage

All artists are the subject of many fake claims. Nevertheless, no one is surrounded by as many false information as Elvis Presley. It is quite an irony that the most you sell, the most your results are exaggerated. With the King, we meet people who do everything to maintain the myth, willingly lying to the general public.

The most famous example of that is Ernst Jorgensen who’s the responsible of Presley‘s catalog at Sony. To be fair, promoting the brand Elvis is his job. There is a lot of articles available making wild claims about his sales, articles well known by all his fans. Made by Nick Keene, Tony Galvin, Ernst Jorgensen himself, on multiple occasions, they all follow the same storyline to conclude the same thing: with 1 billion records sales Presley is the highest selling artist of all-time.

The structure of these articles is fairly clever. They present themselves as doubters, mention the “Mr Elvis” Jorgensen to be given more credit, then use accurate but unrepresentative data to imply fanciful conclusions and sustain the billion myth. Taken one by one, claims can hardly be contradicted since most are true. It all looks very credible so we are left believing their wild conclusions.

Today I’m going to deconstruct these data to see how, even if most of the raw data is valid, these statements are strictly false. That will enable you to adopt the appropriate critical mind when reading this kind of news to not be misled. Going through them we will also learn pretty much everything about Presley‘s RIAA certifications thanks to a whole bunch of detailed clarifications. Last but not least, we will prove that the catalog of Presley is now entirely up to date in terms of US awards.

4 6 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Daryl Restly

A couple of thoughts… On the second page of the 1969 RCA press release announcing that Elvis was returning to live performing at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, it mentioned that the “Blue Hawaii” soundtrack was approaching the 3 million copies mark and the “G.I. Blues” soundtrack was approaching the 2 million copies mark. However, currently, the RIAA has “Blue Hawaii” certified at 3X Platinum while “G.I. Blues” is still only certified by the RIAA at 1X Platinum. To be clear, the press release specifically mentions the RIAA. “In addition to his 47 single gold records, Elvis has had… Read more »

Vernon Smith

You’ll notice the phrase that 3/4 of Elvis album sales are UNACCOUNTED FOR by the R.I.A.A..

Vernon Smith

Heres where there’s actual info on Presley’s record sales information.


Can’t wait to see his full breakdown. I’ve always believed the one billion claims were rubbish for everyone, particularly Elvis. You are always so hard pressed to find figures outside of the RIAA and British Charts Company. I imagine he’ll still factor into the Top 5 somewhere? He’s such a massive icon, but for someone who never toured outside the states, I have to wonder how his figures compare to the Fab Four or MJ in Europe, Asia and South America.

Vernon Smith

You should go here and stop trying to act as if you’re destroying anything because you’re not.


imagine being this ignorant.

Vernon Smith

The actual accounting of Presley’s record sales is here, not on this site by this bozo.


What you don’t think that an Elvis site is slightly biased in its findings. Even Ernst when asked said he had absolutely no idea of The Beatles sales as he did not work for EMI. Unless the people that have posted this article have had full access to RCA papers and accounts since 1956, no one has a clue about the accuracies. The billion plus has been touted for years with no substantial proof. And just like the 1.5 billion viewers who apparently watched the Aloha show, that turned out to be a big myth. There was a press release… Read more »

Vernon Smith Jr

His record company is the source. If you know basic tax law his record company would have to account for the reporting on the income collected from those sales. I,e. They publicly admitted they have earned the money. Now, my source is the authority, by definition, on his sales. The RIAA is not responsible for distribution of royalties or paying the tax bill to the govt. from income earned. So basically, the public admittance by his record company was such that they openly told the govt and all those people who get royalties from songwriting “we paid you money owed… Read more »


You suggesting others have a “confirmation bias fallacy” is highly amusing, considering it is exactly what you appear to use, to back yourself up!


Dude dont believe in u. But he kept on coming back here. lol

Donald Miller

Hey TP, between downloads and streaming the single is king again.

Timothy Pernell

Elvis was only a huge seller in the U.S. and UK and it was mainly as a singles artist. But at his time, albums didn’t really sell a lot. Singles were the king.


interesting. can’t wait for the main article to come out. i am getting ready for a huge surprise there, a la Elton John maybe.

Tom Riise

I contemplated sharing this article on a couple of Elvis groups at Facebook,
but i’m afraid that i will get to much heat 😉

Ps: Keep up the good work.


can’t wait to read the next article


pretty grim outlook for his sales……….lol

Stephon Jackson

I can’t wait for his full breakdown popular analyzes.


Hello MJD, Drake’s Scorpion was released this week ofcourse and lots of people were very shocked or underwhelmed by his first week numbers. Views did 1.04m first week in US, so ofcourse many people were expecting 1m+ for this since it had 2 #1’s preceding the album release. However I always thought 750-900k or such was more realistic, and he wouldn’t have a chance at passing Views since streams haven’t grown enough to makeup for goliath pure sales first weeks (out of Views 1.04m, 852K was from pure sales). All of this ofcourse reminded me of the 25 vs. Divide… Read more »