My Way / America 

Modified: December 28, 2020

         Release: RCA PB-11165 My Way / America (45)
              Artist: Elvis Presley
Release Date: 10/3/1977

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Cover: (10/1977)1 picture sleeve front and back. America on sleeve. Full tabbed top on America side.

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Cover: (10/1977) picture sleeve front and back. America on sleeve. Tabbed top on My Way side.2

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Disc: (10/1977) Tan label. NOT FOR SALE. America on label.
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 11S / PB-11165-B 10S (hand etched) (unknown pressing)

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Disc: (10/1977) Black label. Dog near top. America on label.
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 11S / PB-11165-B 11S (hand etched) (unknown pressing)
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 12S / PB-11165-B 12S (Indianapolis pressing)
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 13S B4 / PB-11165-B 12S A3 (Indianapolis pressing)

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Disc: (10/26/1977) Black label. Dog near top. America on label. Dark black label, semi-glossy stock.3
Matrix numbers: ROddJ PB-11165 AY 10-26-77 / R100J PA-11165 BY 10-26-77 (unknown pressing)4
Matrix numbers: ROddJ PB-11165 AZ 10-26-77 / R100J PA-11165 BY 10-26-77 (unknown pressing)

The America the Beautiful title is considerably rarer than the America title. It has long been believed that the America the Beautiful title printed on the sleeve and single is in error, where the America title is correct. The thought was the America the Beautiful was quickly changed to America. However, recent evidence indicates otherwise. The America the Beautiful lyrics were written by Katharine Lee Bates and was first published as a poem in 1895 with the title America. In 1910, the title changed to America the Beautiful when Samuel A. Ward's music was combined with Bates poem.5 Further investigation reveals the official RECORDING INFORMATION worksheet6 for the song America the Beautiful. The vocalists Kathy Westmoreland, J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, and Sherrill Nielsen are listed. On the bottom of the sheet, the note ADD: VOCALISTS ABOVE ON FUTURE RUNS:. On that note alone, it can be derived that the earlier runs do not contain the vocalists and that the later runs do. This would then take the transition of America to America the Beautiful to America the Beautiful with vocalists credited on the label. To find a copy of America the Beautiful with vocalists credited is the most difficult to find of the variations. The flip side, My Way debuted on the Billboard Pop charts on November 12, 1977 and remained on the charts for 12 weeks, and peaked at number 22.7 The America the Beautiful must have been introduced no earlier than late November.

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Cover: (12/1977) picture sleeve front and back. America The Beautiful on sleeve.

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Disc: (12/1977) Black label. Dog near top. America the Beautiful on label without Vocal Accompaniment by Kathy Westmoreland, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Sherrill Nielsen. on left side of label.
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 12S A1 / PB-11165-B 12S A20 (machine stamped) (Indianapolis pressing)
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 13S / PB-11165-B 12S (unknown pressing)

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Disc: (12/1977) Black label. Dog near top. America the Beautiful on label with Vocal Accompaniment by Kathy Westmoreland, J.D. Sumner and The Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Sherrill Nielsen. on left side of label.
Matrix numbers: PB-11165-A 12S / PB-11165-B 12S (Indianapolis pressing)

  1. Date from Elvis Presley Taking Care Of Business. "BiogrDiscography." 4 February 2011.
  2. Images from the collection of Mahalo.
  3. Images and observations from the collection of Robert Lee.
  4. Matrix numbers from the collection of Robert Lee.
  5. "America the Beautiful" Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 1, June 2012.
  6. Flynn, Keith. "Matrix Numbers." Keith Flynn's Elvis Presley Pages. 1 June 2012.
  7. Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955-1986 (Menomonee Falls: Record Research Inc., 1987), p. 401.