Jack White Talks Elvis Presley and Vinyl in “Billboard” Cover Story

Miller Mobley for BillboardEarlier this year, the first record ever made by Elvis Presley sold at an auction for $300,000. As it turns out, the mystery buyer was none other than Jack White.

In this week's Billboard cover story, editor Joe Levy tells the story of how he traveled to Memphis, Tennessee expecting to interview White, but was met by a man in a black suit, who handed him a sealed briefcase. Levy then received a text telling him to bring that briefcase to the Third Man Records headquarters in Nashville. When Levy arrived, White opened the case and revealed its contents.

"This is the first recording ever made by Elvis Presley," White announced. "On Record Store Day, Third Man Records will issue this on vinyl."

White is known as a vinyl aficionado.  His latest solo album, Lazaretto, was the highest selling vinyl record of 2014.

"It's the movie theater compared to the iPhone," White says of vinyl records. "You're reverential to it. With vinyl, you're on your knees. You're at the mercy of the needle. You watch the record spin and it's like you're sitting around a campfire. It's hypnotic."

White doesn't listen exclusively to vinyl, however. He'll break out the digital while driving, since he "like[s] to listen to music in the car really loud." White's also a fan of CDs, and laments the fact that neither his car nor his laptop have a CD drive.

"I miss actually having the thing," White says. "But when you respect music, it doesn't matter how we're getting it. We still know what the real deal is. But you start wondering about people who don't."

Billboard's Jack White cover issue will hit newsstands Monday.

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