RCA executive "Chick" Crumpacker was one of RCA's driving forces in getting Elvis first signed up with the label. Crumpacker was working in RCA's C&W section when he happened to see Elvis performing in Richmond, Virginia in May 1955and noted, "Elvis was shocking, he was wild, - the effect was galvanic! I was astounded by the reaction". Crumpacker also knew Col Parker through his connection with Hank Snow. He subsequently bought all of Elvis' SUN records to take back to his boss Steve Sholes. Crumpacker would also write the wonderful sleeve notes for Elvis' second RCA album "ELVIS" which tried to supply a proper musical explanation for this crazy thing others called Rock'n'Roll.
Chauncey "Chick" Crumpacker went on to be a three-time grammy-nominated producer and executive for RCA Victor. He died on Tuesday aged 91. Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Crumpacker's career in music began in 1953 in RCA Victor's A&R department shortly after moving to New York City. As well as Elvis he also tried to bring Johnny Cash to RCA but was ultimately unsuccessful after the label failed to support the move.
Crumpacker stayed with RCA for 57 years, eventually moving into producing, working with a wide range of artists including Chet Atkins, Harry Nilsson, Eartha Kitt and Harry Belafonte. He was nominated for three Grammy awards including best historical reissue 'The Best of Fats Waller'.
After 50 years of working at RCA, Crumpacker received a plaque from the company reading, "78s, 45s, LPs, 8 Tracks, Cassettes, Compact Disks and DVDs. You've been a part of the greatest sound developments of the 20th century. Producer, Promoter, Author, A&R Executive, Composer and Archivist. Your Talent knows no bounds. Knowing you is a pleasure. Working with you is a dream come true. Thanks for making history."