Elvis autographs keep showing up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. I wonder how many times he signed his name on something over the course of his life. It must be many thousands, but bidders keep paying big bucks for his autographs. As before in this series, the value generally depends on what Elvis signed (plus the condition, of course). Here’s what sold at a Gotta Have It auction in November 2015 and a Heritage auction in February 2016.
Unreleased Photo (Shreveport, 1954-55):
This black and white snapshot was takenof Elvis backstage at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana during an early performance at the Louisiana Hayride. The auction website doesn’t say that this photo was shot on a Polaroid camera, but how else would the original owner be able to snap it and also get Elvis to sign it on the back? The size is tiny, just 2.25” X 3.25”, which sounds like the early Polaroid pictures..
Elvis signed it in pencil. According to the auction website, the autograph was obtained by a young lady that Presley dated when he was in Shreveport. How do you like the way she glued cutout phrases to the photo: “My Babe”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, and “Elvis Presley”.
The winning bid of $2,375 has to be significantly due to the autograph being on a very rare, early picture. For less money, I would prefer a bigger picture with the autograph on front so it would display well.
Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session:
Elvis hand wrote this list of songs he wanted to use for an RCA recording session in Stax Studios in Memphis from July 20-25, 1973. It is written in black ballpoint pen on white paper.
Four of the songs were released as A-sides or B-sides of singles. That left only six songs for the planned new album Raised on Rock, so three more were recorded in September in the living room of Elvis’ Palm Springs home.
While this song list is not technically an autograph, it contains a lot of printing by Elvis. It was certainly a popular item, generating ten bids and selling for $5,900.
Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge:
This also does not contain Elvis’ signature, but it has a printed message he wrote to Charlie Hodge plus Elvis’ initials in black ballpoint pen.
This is the front of a Hilton Hawaiian Village envelope presumably from November of 1972 when Elvis performed a show there. For some reason, Elvis also initialed the inside of the envelope flap as shown at the beginning of this article.
This item had just one bidder, but he was willing to part with $1,000 to get it.
Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956:
This appears to be a fan club-type insert, depicting a headshot of a serious Elvis with his name printed below on the lower left side. The inscription in green fountain pen ink on the left side reads “To Gina from Elvis Presley.” The photo is 8″ x 10″, and with the autograph on the front, it begs to be presented in a proper frame.
Even without a fancy presentation, it had six bids and went for $1,750.
Inscribed and Signed “The Prophet”:
The auction website says this is Elvis’ personally owned copy of “The Prophet,” that he gave to Col. Parker’ assistant Tom Diskin. It is well known that this book was quite important to Elvis, so it is reasonable to question whether this is the original copy given to Elvis by columnist May Mann, or if it might be another copy he just bought for gift giving.
Elvis inscribed the book to Tom Diskin when they were on the Paramount lot during the filming of a movie. The minimum bid was $2,500, but no one was willing to part with that much. Maybe prospective buyers shared the same doubts I had.
Signed Photos Taken at Tyler, Texas Concert in 1955:
The next two autographed photos were both taken at a Tyler, Texas concert on January 25, 1955. However, the results are different for them, and I can’t see the logic of it. Both photos were taken from the same close-up position and have similar Elvis autographs on the back.
The pictures were taken at a travelling Louisiana Hayride show. They are both small, just 3”X 3”. This first one has two vertical creases at the left and right sides, some wear at the creases and edges, and a pinhole in the upper-left corner, with two more at the upper-right corner.
In spite of the small size and less than stellar condition, it still sold for $1,625.
Here is the other one.
The photo is in better shape and the autograph doesn’t run off the edge like the first one. The minimum bid of $1,250 plus 25% auction house premium equals $1,562, which is $62 less than the first one went for. However, it received no bids. I don’t get it.
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