How "The Mystery of the Broken Elvis Records" was solved in 1957
On January 5, 1957, Billboard magazine reported on a mysterious case of damaged Elvis records. Larry Kanaga, then vice-president and general manager of RCA's Record Division, heard the true story at a convention of record distributors in Indianapolis.
It seems that a supermarket manager called up the local RCA record jobber and complained that all the Elvis Presley 78's he had on display were broken. The jobber couldn't understand it, but he replaced the broken records in the supermarket. Several days later, however, the manager called back again with the same complaint. All the replacement records were broken.
The jobber replaced the Presley records again, but this time he made the delivery himself, inspecting each disk as it put it on the supermarket rack. Then, positioning himself in a spot where he could observe the rack unnoticed, the RCA rep sat down and waited.
He didn't have to wait long. Soon he spotted a little old lady with a cane walking down an aisle toward the record rack. She walked up to the Presley display, and, after taking a look around, raised her cane and gave the records a couple of whacks.
The mystery was solved, but Billboard made no mention of what, if any, action was taken against the old lady for her act of vandalism. Perhaps an appropriate punishment in this case would have been being forced to sit and listen to Elvis's records for several hours.