Elvis al­ways on his mind

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A great-grandad has re­vealed a col­lec­tion of Elvis mem­o­ra­bilia so com­plete it even in­cludes an “au­then­tic” strand of The King’s hair.

In his younger years, Al­bert Mack, says he bore a strik­ing like­ness to his hero - the man they called The King of Rock and Roll.

Now aged 76, Al­bert has been putting to­gether his col­lec­tion of Elvis records, stat­ues, books, pic­tures and mem­o­ra­bilia for more than 60 years.

“I’m not a hoarder, I’m a col­lec­tor,” said Al­bert, “Elvis wasn’t a one­hit-won­der, he was a one off - to me, he’s al­ways been the great­est.

“I started col­lect­ing in 1956. I have no idea how big my col­lec­tion is. How can you count that lot? You must be talk­ing about 4,000 or 5,000 pieces.”

Al­bert’s ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion in­cludes just about any­thing an Elvis fan could ever dream of.

One framed record even has a plaque that boasts: “This gold record con­tains an au­then­tic strand of Elvis Pres­ley’s hair.” But Al­bert isn’t con­vinced. “How could you ever know?” he said.

Among Al­bert’s most prized pos­ses­sions is a su­per-rare 1954 boot­leg of Elvis’ first ever demo record­ing - “That’s all right”.

“The la­bel says Hill­billy Cat,” said Al­bert. “That’s what Elvis was called at first, be­cause of where he came from they called him a Hill­billy.

“That’s prob­a­bly the rarest, old­est and most valu­able thing I have.

“It cost me £5 in 1957 - nearly half a week’s wages.”

Be­cause the record­ing was pressed il­le­gally in 1954, the 45RPM record is still sub­ject to par­tic­u­lar rules of re­sale.

“Be­cause it’s a boot­leg, I can only sell it to a col­lec­tor, not to a dealer,” said Al­bert.

Orig­i­nally from South­wark, Lon­don, Al­bert worked as a lift en­gi­neer in the cap­i­tal for 25 years but moved to Guis­bor­ough with his wife Edith 15 years ago.

Sadly, after al­most 40 years of mar­riage, Edith passed away in Novem­ber last year.

Al­bert is now re­tired but still takes the time to vol­un­teer at the Sal­va­tion Army shop in Guis­bor­ough.

A photo of Al­bert and Edith at Elvis’ fa­mous Grace­land estate in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee, hangs on the living room wall of their Guis­bor­ough bun­ga­low.

Al­bert said: “We were mar­ried nearly 40 years; she was 81 when she died.

A photo on the wall de­picts a 21-year-old Al­bert and there is a def­i­nite re­sem­blance to The King him­self.

“They al­ways used to say, ‘you don’t half look like some­one I know,’” said Al­bert.

Al­bert Mack pic­tured with just part of his Elvis col­lec­tion

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