First million selling record

What was the first record (individual song or complete album) to sell a million copies?

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1958-

The Gold® record award is introduced. The Gold® album is awarded for $1 million in sales based on the manufacturer's wholesale price. The Gold® single signifies one million copies sold.

 

Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star" (RCA Records) is the first Gold® single officially certified by the RIAA® on March 14.

 

1976 -

The Platinum® award is introduced. The Platinum® album is awarded for 1 million copies sold, with $2 million in sales at the manufacturer's wholesale price. The Platinum® single is awarded for two million copies sold.

 

The Eagles' Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the first Platinum® album certified by the RIAA®.

Johnny Taylor's Disco Lady is the first Platinum® single.

 


1984

The RIAA® introduces the Multi-Platinum™ category in December. The popularity of cassettes and the introduction of compact discs led to the implementation of this award for sales of two million copies or more.

Certified at 20 million, Michael Jackson's Thriller is one of the first Multi-Platinum™ awards presented.

 

GET REAL!  The first million selling record was by enrico caruso with his 1907 recording of Vesti la giuppi from Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" 

Million-selling records go back to the early 1900s, but it's impossible to know which one was first, because sales weren't tracked like they are now.  Caruso's "Vesti La Giubba" [Victor] is listed 1st in _Million Selling Records from the 1900s to the 1980s_ by Joseph Murrells (Arco 1984), but he includes 3 versions from 1903-1907, saying only that the 1907 version made up the bulk of sales.  Another book said that the 1907 version sold "hundred of thousands" of copies.  I see it listed on the internet as the first, but never citing where that information comes from.

The next four songs in Murrell's _Million Selling Records_ are:

2)  "The Preacher and the Bear" by Arthur Collins (1905) [victor]

3) "Laughing Song" by Burt Shepard (1910) [Gramophone Co. - UK] - "It was particularly popular in the Oriental countries such as India, and is estimated to have sold over a million in that part of the world alone."

4) "Ragging the Baby to Sleep" by Al Jolson (1912) [Victor]

5) "The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" by Al Jolson (1913) [Victor] - "sales were reported of 1,846,000.

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