After the performance, which turned out to be a very successful one, many of Caruso's friends, including Mr. Calvin Child of Victor Talking Machine company, asked him to record the aria, and he made a recording sometime in 1917. (The EDVR data says that this recording session was taken place on February 23rd, 1916, but this date is still in dispute) After Caruso made the recording, and presented eight copies to those who were involved in the performance, he ordered the master destroyed since he "didn't want to spoil the bass business".
For years, the record was one of the rarest recording Caruso made. In 1949, however, a surviving copy of Caruso's Coat Song was acquired from Dr. Mario Marafioti, former physician at the Met, by Wally Butterworth, conductor of the "Voices that Live" radio program. Butterworth took the record to RCA, who issued a dubbing that was sold exclusively by Butterworth.
Included here with the video is one version of how Caruso happened to sing this aria, as told by Frances Alda.