This gold record was the property of a senior employee who worked at Decca Record Company, New Malden, UK, from 1946 to the company’s demise in the 1980s, at which time he was responsible for distributing Decca’s remaining assets. He started as the works chemist, with principal responsibilities for quality control and electroplating. He also helped engineer Decca’s technique for creating gold records.
This gold disc was a full-scale trial created in 1956 to ensure that the gold electroplating process for the final disc met their standards for quality. It is therefore almost certainly the only copy, apart from the final presentation disc which was given to the band.
In addition to the gold record, and included in the sale, is a trial copy electroplated in copper. This copper record was either a final test of the mould, or was used to make the mould, before the pressing of the gold disc. Since this copy is less precious, it has been tested recently and plays Rock Around the Clock, just as expected, offering additional proof of provenance.
Please contact us if you are interested in further details of the provenance.
The significance of this gold record is difficult to over-emphasise. This is the first record to sell over 1,000,000 copies. Many in the music world feel that this song heralded the true rock & roll era. It is specifically mentioned as a definitive influence by such artists as Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis. This early version of Rock Around the Clock was recorded on April 12th, 1955 in the new Recording Studio A at the Pythian Temple in New York City. Rock Around the Clock has now been recorded by more than 200 artists worldwide and the record is cited frequently as being one of the 20th century’s true musical quantum leaps forward. While the song wasn’t immediately a hit, it quickly became one after the release as the title track for the film Blackboard Jungle. The song was rerecorded in 1976 by Bill Haley & His Comets and was subsequently used in the opening credits of the American hit TV series, Happy Days Again, introducing a new young audience to it 20 years after it initially achieved gold status. The record went on to sell an estimated 25 million copies worldwide. This gold record represents the very seed of this half-century-long epic history.
For more information on the band, the song and gold records, please see our page on background.
The gold record, unlike the presentation version given to Bill Haley & His Comets, is simply protected by its slipcase. The record has been preserved this way since it was created. It has never been cleaned, and we intend to leave it as is for the next owner. The label is in good condition with only minor edgewear. The record itself is in very good to excellent condition. Please review the photographs included on this website. A more complete assessment of condition will be available at the time of sale or auction.