Category Archives: AUCTIONS / MEMORABILIA

Speculating on Elvis’ Rings Can Be Risky

 

Elvis Presley Unsold Blach Sapphire Ring at Julien's

The collector who purchased this ring for $7,500 in August 2017 thought he could sell it for a sizeable profit just eight months later in May 2018. He was wrong.

We’ll take a look at several Elvis rings in this post — ones that exemplify the risks of short-term speculating on them. First, here is the description of the above ring on the website for the August 12, 2017, Graceland Auction.

 

Diamond and Black Star Sapphire Ring:

The shimmering rays of the star effect in the star sapphire is called asterism, from the Latin word astrum, or “star.” Black star sapphires owe their stars to the included crystals of the shiny, dark mineral hematite. The unusual design of this 14-karat yellow gold, diamond and black star sapphire ring has a “Star Trek” flair.

Star sapphires were a favorite of Elvis’ and he was as known for wearing them as often as he gifted them to friends and family. This ring has an oval black star sapphire being held by two rays of diamonds atop a textured gold high-set band. The interior of the band is marked “14k”. The black sapphire measures 7.5 by 5.9 mm; the ring weighs 8 grams and contains 6 small diamonds.

This ring, size 6 1/4, emanates from Charlie Hodge and was purchased by the consignor in the early 1980s along with 11 additional rings. Elvis gave Charlie all 12 rings simultaneously in the same box in which Elvis had kept them. There are several photos of Elvis from the filming of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is that show him wearing a small ring on his pinky finger that strongly resembles the offered ring.

Elvis Presley - Close-up of Black Sapphire Ring

 

The ring had a minimum bid of $5,000, and the winning bid was $6,000. However, the winning bidder actually had to pay $7,500 because the standard 25% buyer’s premium was added.

Graceland Auction's Final Prices Include Buyers Premium

 

The last thing on the Graceland Auction website was this:

The ring, gifted by Elvis to Charlie Hodge, is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

 

So, if I had owned this ring and needed to sell it, I too would have placed it on Graceland Auctions. They always do such a nice job with their detailed and interesting descriptions, plus a nice assortment of high-quality photos.

Elvis Presley's Black Sapphire Ring Pictures

 

And I would also have made the investment required to get the Letter of Authenticity (with pictures) from Graceland Authenticated. While that would have cost me 10% of the fair market value of the ring, I believe that will be more than covered by the increase in value it produces.

Graceland Authenticated Letter of Authenticity

 

To summarize, I’ve been following auctions of Elvis items for years, and I truly believe the Graceland Auctions gets the best results for people wanting to sell their Elvis memorabilia.

I also believe that folks who buy top-tier items through the Graceland Auctions have acquired something that will appreciate over the years. Here is a quote from Glenn Johnson who owns about 1,000 Elvis items at an estimated value of $4.5 million.

“A lot of people say the value of Elvis items will go down once his older fans are gone. I look at other historical figures and cultural icons from 100+ years ago. Their original fans are gone obviously, but yet their collectibles are fetching outrageous prices (ie Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, any early presidents). I say Elvis is here to stay.”

Glenn is certainly not the only Elvis collector who expects their collection to become more valuable as time goes by. However, would they think of trying to “flip” a new purchase in just eight months? I doubt it.

However, somebody did just that, as we saw above.

 

Julien's Auctions

Same ring. But, just the one photo that’s shown at the top of this post. Just a five-line item description.

That’s not going to juice up bidders much. And I’m not sure what kind of bidder base is attracted to an auction with more Britney Spears and Kiss stuff than Elvis.

But the best predictor of a bust when trying to flip an Elvis ring is simply the math of the whole thing. Bear with me please. Say the guy that bought the black star sapphire ring at Graceland for $7,500 wanted to make $1,000 profit. The hammer price (when the auctioneer slams the gavel down and says “Sold.”) would have to be $8,500 or more. Let’s go with that.

When that winning bidder pays up, he would have to cover that 25% buyer’s premium, bringing it up to $10, 625. But, wait, there’s more. Julien’s has another charge – 3% for on-line bids. That brings it up to $10,880. Nearly $11,000 for a ring that sold for $7,500 just eight months earlier. No, thanks.

 

Here are three more Elvis rings that sold on Graceland Auctions and did manage to sell on Julien’s – but at a loss.

 

Tiger’s Eye Ring:

Elvis Presley - Gold and Tiger’s Eye Ring

(From the Graceland Auction website):  Elvis loved jewelry and often his spirituality affected the gems he chose. Tiger’s eye was one stone that Elvis favored, perhaps because it is believed to bring harmony, balance and protection as well as enhance good luck. This simple and classic 10-karat yellow gold men’s ring, weighing 9 grams, has a single central oval-shaped tiger’s eye stone measuring 17 by 12 mm. The ring, size 10, was gifted by Elvis to Pat West, wife of Red and secretary to Elvis. The ring comes with a letter from Jimmy Velvet and Bobby (Red) West on Elvis Presley Museum certificate stock and states in part, “This large cat’s eye ring was worn by Elvis Presley. It was given to Pat West by Elvis while Pat was his secretary.” As further provenance, additional documents include a copy of a letter, dated December 15, 1983 on Elvis Presley Museum letterhead. This charming ring with impeccable provenance documentation is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Tiger's Eye Ring - Upright

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $10,000 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $8,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $2,000 loss.

 

Diamond and Garnet “Swami” Ring;

(From Graceland Auction website): This noble ring, in the form of a maharaja with diamond eyes and a large garnet centered on the front of his turban, is fit for a King—so what better person to own such a bauble than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, especially since the term “maharaja” means great ruler or king. The ring is marked 14k yellow gold and has stylized shoulders that accentuate the bearded and bejeweled turbaned head. The diamond eyes each weight 0.01 carat and measure 1.2 mm and the ring measures size 9 1/4. The ring, with a total weight of 27.3 grams, is offered with a detailed letter from the consignor that states in part:

“One of the items I picked up from Tom Hulett at this time was Elvis’ Turban Ring or Swami Ring. He told me at one point after wearing it amongst some other rings, Elvis took it off his hand and told Tom to try it on. Tom mentioned something about it being a kind of unusual ring while he put it on one of his fingers, and Elvis told him to just keep it. Much later on I found out that this might be one of the rings Elvis is wearing in the photos where he is wearing a turban, the long red coat with black accents, and the Ram Head necklace.”

The ring is also accompanied by a letter from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Swami Ring - Profile

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $12,500 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $10,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $2,500 loss.

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Gold and Gray Star Sapphire Ring:

Elvis Presley - Gold and Gray Star Sapphire Ring

(From Graceland Auction website):  Elvis was fond of jewelry featuring the star sapphire, which emanates rays from the center as light is shone on the stone. Elvis would often wear star sapphire rings and would as frequently gift them to family and friends. Perhaps his fascination stemmed from the special significance of sapphires in numerology, of which Elvis was an enthusiast. The offered gray star sapphire is set in a 14-karat gold “birds nest” setting, adding to its allure. The men’s ring, measuring size 10 1/2, is marked 14k and comes with a letter from Sam Thompson which states in part,

“During this time, in December of 1976, and while talking with Elvis upstairs at Graceland, Elvis called me into his dressing area of his bedroom and asked what size ring I wore. I told him I didn’t know and he told me to hold out my hand and he handed me a ring he removed from his own hand for me to try on. It fit on my pinky finger and he smiled and said it was his gift to me. The ring is nugget style, 14K yellow gold, with a gray star sapphire, and about a size 10 1/2. It has been in my possession since that day in 1976.”

This stunning gift from Elvis to Sam is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

Elvis Presley's Gray Sapphire Ring Profile

The ring sold at Graceland Auction for $8,750 including the 25% buyer’s fee. It sold at Julien’s for a hammer price of $8,000. This attempt to flip an Elvis ring resulted in a $750 loss.

 

So, we have a total loss on the three Elvis rings of $5,250!!   Ouch.

 

Julien’s Auction in May 2018 did have a few spectacular results, including this ring.

Fifty-Diamond Star Ring:

Elvis' $100,000 Diamond Star Ring

A hundred grand for an Elvis ring!! In spite of the fact that the picture used obviously is not the best one to show off this stunning ring. The item detail does a better job.

“A diamond star-shaped ring given by Elvis Presley to a concert-goer Donna Lewis on July 24, 1975, during a performance at the Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

“The ring is designed in 14K white gold, topped with 50 full-cut round diamonds totaling approximately 6.00 cts. and graded H-I color and VS-SI clarity, size 7 1/2. 25.4 grams.

“Accompanying the ring is a photograph of Lewis and Presley at the moment he gave her the ring; an image of Presley wearing the ring; an affidavit from Lewis; and two images of Presley with a thank-you card given to him at a concert on March 18, 1976, in Johnson City, Tennessee.”

 

I wonder what kind of price this fabulous ring would have brought at a Graceland Auctions with lots of great pictures, extensive description, and an all-Elvis bidder base.

 

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

 

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 23

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure Box

 

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Jailhouse Rock MiniFigure:

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Jailhouse Rock MINIFIGURE

An email from ShopElvis.com came in earlier this week offering yet another Elvis figurine. The price of $9.95 sounded pretty reasonable until I read that it is just 1-1/2 inches tall.

MiniFigure Box and Figure

This is the picture that’s on the ShopElvis.com order page, so it looks like the box is way bigger than it needs to be. The ad says the Minifigure is sold in stores, so you can’t blame them for using packaging that makes shoppers assume it’s much larger. Better for that impulse buying, of course. If the Jailhouse Rock Minifigure was packed in a box just big enough to hold it, I doubt many people would buy.

Another interesting thing on the order page was the statement: “Two facial expressions.” How do they do that?

Jailhouse Rock Minifigure 9.95

Here’s the little guy blown up to see better. Compare its face to the one on the box above. They are definitely different. If anybody buys one of these Minifigures, please go on Comments and let me know how the two facial expressions are accomplished.

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If I’m Going to be Attacked, I Would Rather It be by Females:

I really like this fun quote from Elvis. Surprisingly, I could not find it in ELVIS -Word for Word by Jerry Osborne, the excellent book of Elvis quotes. But Elvis did say it to Las Vegas reporter Nancy Anderson. The story is so typically Elvis, as you will read below.

Newspaper Article about Elvis Being Attacked on Stage

Makes you kind of wish Vernon had let Elvis go – and he decked another of the jerks.

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What Do You Read ElvisBlog On?:

I use a service called Google Analytics that provides all types of information about ElvisBlog – like stats that show only 64% of the readers are in the U.S. But here is one that really surprised me.

Devices Used to Read ElvisBlog

I had no idea that almost half of you read ElvisBlog on your phone.

 

Owning Elvis DNA:

There is no picture to show here, just a Comment that was posted by a reader named Buck.

“I have two band aids taken off his fingers during a concert in the 70’s.”

It’s reasonable to assume if Elvis wore the Band-Aids there would be some of his blood in them. If Buck ever wants to sell them, he should have a winner, because he can advertise he’s got two samples of Elvis’ DNA.

 

More Elvis DNA;

Michelle Kimpel #1

Another reader named Michele wrote in to tell me about her unexpected find of three Elvis items. Here is her message:

“I have a garage sale find that you might find interesting. I would like to send you photos. I don’t know if it’s real or not, but I went to a garage sale and they were selling a sealed container of early 70s vintage mailman uniforms. My husband is a mailman, so I thought it be fun for $20 to get it.

“When I got home I found a bag in one of the sleeves of the jacket. I open the bag and it contained a wisdom tooth, hair sample, and a container of liquid. Everything on it was typed with the name Elvis, Arron, Presley. There is a date on the bottle that says 3/21/60. If you’re interested I’ll gladly email you the photos so you can get a look.”

Of course, I was very interested, and Michele kindly sent me the photos.

Michelle Kimpel #3

The label on the vial  says “Sample for Testing.” How intriguing is that?

 

Michelle Kimpel #4

Elvis’ hair has always brought high bids at auctions. According to Wikipedia, a single strand of Elvis’ hair sold for $1,700 at a Henry Aldridge & Son auction in 2009. A jar full of Elvis hair sold for $115,000 at an on-line auction by MastroNet in 2002.

Michelle Kimpel #2

One of his crowns sold for $8,150 at Omega Auctions in March 2012. I can’t imagine what a real Elvis tooth would go for.

Of course, REAL is the important question about Michele’s find. She emailed me, “I have contacted Graceland, and they put me in touch with their DNA archives office to start a process of finding out if they are real. I will keep in touch with you if you’d like to let you know how it turns out.”

If it turns out to be real, Michele has a goldmine. And who knew Graceland had a DNA archives office.

 

Speaking of Big Bucks for Elvis Collectibles:

Elvis' Belt Sold at Julien's Auction, May 2018

A week ago I got an email from a reader named John who sent me a link to Julien’s Music Icons Auction back in May.

Here’s what the auction website had to say about the above belt:

“A heavily embellished white leather belt worn by Elvis Presley during a performance in November 1972 in Hawaii and gifted to actor and friend Jack Lord. The belt is adorned with faux turquoise, lapis lazuli, and coral, all set in gold-toned metal pieces. The buckle has a dragon-like resemblance, and three dangling brass chains are affixed to the bottom. Presley wore the belt with at least two different ensembles, including his well-known heavily jeweled “Thunderbird.”

Close up of Elvis' Jumpsuit belt

I wonder how much this belt weighs. So, we would assume this outstanding concert belt would go for a high bid, but look at this:

Winning Bid on Elvis Belt.

WOW!!!

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Let’s Deconstruct One More Photoshopped Elvis Picture:

Elvis and Marilyn - Do Not disturb

Pairing up Elvis and Marilyn Monroe seems to be a favorite thing for Photoshop jockeys. I have almost 50 Elvis/Marilyn pictures in my files. I like the pairing of the world’s two biggest pop culture icons because the photos are fun. I felt there was no intent to trick people into believing they are real. Then I saw this one.

Young Elvis Photoshopped with a young Norma Jean

Somebody felt it was a smart idea to pair up eleven-year-old Elvis with a young Norma Jeane Mortenson, who later became known as Marilyn Monroe. Why? What’s the point? Anyway, here is the original photo of Elvis with twelve-year-old Mary Magdalene Morgan.

Elvis and Magdalene Morgan - 1946

It was taken in 1946 shortly before Elvis’ family moved from Tupelo to Memphis. You will note that the original shot was flipped from left to right.

1942 Norma Jeane Mortenson Before She Became Marilyn Monroe

And here’s young Norma Jeane. She got flipped side-to-side, too, and other modifications were made with her arms.

I think it’s pretty crummy that people are now messing with kid pictures of Elvis. As another rankled reader, Leon’a, said in a Comment, “I don’t know how to stop it either. Maybe EPE should get involved. It should be illegal.”

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What’s it Worth?

In this post, I have mentioned things five ElvisBlog readers have put in Comments. I like getting most comments, but here’s one that hit me the wrong way.

I have a large poster signed by Elvis. It reads “Best Wishes Linda Sincerely Elvis”. What is it worth?

I also have 8-track tapes of Elvis records. Are they worth anything? If so, how much?

I have a 45 record titled “Guitar Man”. What is it worth?

Here’s my reply:

Linda: I’m happy to give my time to reply to comments posted by readers of ElvisBlog. Some of these nice folks say something like “I love your blog.’ Could I ask a favor, please? Then there are others who find ElvisBlog while doing a Google search for Elvis photos, autographs, records or some other Elvis collectible they recently acquired. They always jump right to it and end with, “What is it worth? Sometimes they ask that about three different items, and never even bother to say “Thank you.” I used to answer these folks, but I’m not anymore.

However, I do have an Elvis book out titled, “BIG E and the SANTA MAN.” If you would like to purchase an autographed copy for $10 delivered, I would be happy to send it to you… and help you out with your questions.

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

I probably should have just ignored this rude and thoughtless person, but I’ve seen stuff like this so many times. I can always tell they aren’t regular readers. You guys are polite.

 

Elvis’ 1955 Income Taxes:

Elvis' 1955 tax return

This may be too small for you to read, but Elvis’ gross income in 1955 was $25,414, and he paid $7,383 in taxes. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to an income of $237,244 today. Not bad for a twenty-year-old, but it was chump change compared to what he made in 1956 when he hit the big time with records recorded at RCA, appeared on TV, and made movies.

 

My thanks to all you readers who posted things that I could use in this article.  Keep them coming.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Elvis Goodies rom the Fuzzy Room – Part 4

You readers really came through the last time I did this. In two days, everything was sold. Thanks for helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

 

Please Note: The prices are for delivery to USA destinations only. Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive and way too much hassle. Sorry.

 

Elvis Refrigerator Magnet Set:

 

Editor’s Note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis Magnet Set

 

Elvis treasures are nice to own, but they mostly just sit around and look pretty. This one has a bonus because you can play with it. I’ve had a lot of fun messing around this magnet set for a couple of decades.

 

Elvis in Blue Hawaii Swim Trunks

It starts with a 7 inch tall Elvis wearing the swim trunks from Blue Hawaii. Then, you get to be his wardrobe manager. And look at all the fine stuff you get to put on him.

 

Elvis in '68 Special Black Leather Suit

The “68 Special black leather is one of my favorites. The jacket is so baaad and the pants are the best ones in the set.

 

Elvis in Flame Jumpsuit

The Flame Jumpsuit from 1976 always looks good. I’m just glad to see something other than the Aloha American Eagle suit getting featured. It’s on so many different Elvis products.

 

Elvis in Hawaii Shirt and Lei

It’s hard to beat the Hawaiian shirt and lei. The sunglasses could go on any of the outfits, of course, but this is the only place I use them.

 

Elvis in Karate Gi Top

Here’s an Elvis image you’ve never seen before – wearing the Karate Gi without the pants. You lady readers are welcome to download a copy of this photo.

 

Elvis- Jailhouse Rock Jacket and Karate Gi Pants

I like to mix up the combinations of shirt and pants. Elvis looks just fine wearing the Karate Gi pants with the Jailhouse Rock jacket.

 

Elvis - Gold Coat and Bluejeans

I thought it would be interesting to pair up the gold coat with the Jailhouse Rock blue jeans. Elvis is such a fashion icon, he can successfully make elegant and simple work together

 

My least favorites are the Army Uniform. Elvis just looks too dull in them. I put them in a box that might as well be marked Rejects, because I don’t use them. Someone else may feel differently.

 

Discarded Elvis Army Uniform

 

They are joined in reject box by the pants of the Gold Lame Suit. I like the coat, but the pants are too baggy, so they too ended up in there, too. You know, it’s feels weird to use the word reject in connection with anything Elvis.

 

One time when my brother visited, we did a lot of drinking and were feeling no pain. I gave him the complete show of all the different Elvises I could create with my magnet set. I also told him about the Army uniform and the gold pants being in the reject box because I didn’t care about them.

That was all my brother needed to hear. Later, when I went to use the bathroom, he hurried back to the refrigerator. Using our kitchen scissors he cut off about a third of the gold pants, and then placed them on Elvis. Then he added the wide jumpsuit belt that comes in the set. He completed the ensemble with the tall Army boots.

 

Jethro Elvis

 

I came into the kitchen, and actually did one of those head fakes as I walked by the refrigerator. I cussed out my brother and then we broke into laughter. Good brother bonding time. Sorry, Elvis.

He came up with a name that’s bad, but I after all these years I still remember it – Jethro Elvis.

 

Elvis Magnet Shoes

I must admit I don’t use the shoes very often. Maybe the blue suede shoes with the blue jeans just for variety. They won’t work with anything else, except the black the black leather pants. One of the black leather shoes is missing, and the other is in the reject box.

 

Teddy Bear, Guitar, Hound Dog

The teddy bear, guitar, and hound dog just hang around near Elvis in his prized spot on the refrigerator.

 

Elvis Magnet Hair

What do you think this is? It’s supposed to be Elvis’ hair, jumpsuit era, I would guess. It is the stupidest thing you ever saw. The Elvis face is this set has great hair.

 

Head of Elvis Magnet

I can’t believe anyone would want to ruin it like this.

Elvis wearing Magnet Hair

Guess where I keep the ugly hair?

 

Elvis Magnet

I’ve had this Elvis name magnet positioned above him most of the time, but sometimes I like a new look and it goes underneath.

 

I apologize to anyone offended by the Jethro Elvis picture or the idea that anything Elvis could end up in a reject box.

 

So, would you like an Elvis goodie that you can interact with… as frequently as you please? This magnet set is it. Whoever buys it will be rewarded with a lot of fun. Is there room on your refrigerator for something really cool?

 

The price on this set is $20 delivered. If you want it, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net. (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment by PayPal, but checks work, too

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

I will send a PayPal invoice to whoever responds first. You approve it, and I send the package. Shipment with check payment will take a little longer.

 

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Graceland Auction – August 12, 2018

Auction at Graceland Image

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

This will mark the eleventh Graceland Auction to be featured on ElvisBlog. I love following these things, and it’s fun to talk about the items that interest me. The auction websites always provide descriptions of the lots, and I’ve noticed they have gotten longer. This time, some are very long and they include wonderful historical footnotes to Elvis’ life and career that you possibly don’t already know. The descriptions are also well-written and read like little essays.

Thanks to permission from Graceland Auction Consignment Director Jeff Marren and Managing Director Laura Pickett, I’ll reproduce several descriptions here in their entirety.

 

1956 Advertising Poster for RCA Singles “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”:

Elvis Presley - 1956 Advertising Poster for RCA Singles “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”

“In November of 1955, RCA bought Elvis’ contract from Sun Records. Elvis was a budding star with an original beat, and wow, how this gamble would pay off for RCA. Elvis’ first studio album was released by RCA in March of 1956 and was the first rock and roll album to make the top of the Billboard charts, remaining at number 1 for 10 weeks.

“On July 2, 1956, the RCA recording sessions for “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog” and “Any Way You Want Me” saw Elvis completely take over the studio for the first time, demanding more than two dozen takes of each of the first two songs as he effectively produced them on the spot. Recognizing the potential, RCA quickly released “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog” as a single on July 13, 1956, soon after which both songs vied for position in the top spots on the Billboard charts and combined spent more than 55 weeks in the top 100. This release became the most successful double-sided hit in the Billboard top 100 charts and was a multi-million-dollar-selling single for RCA. “

 

There are actually two versions of this 16” X 11” promotional poster, one with “Hound Dog” on top, and the other with ‘Don’t be Cruel.” Both songs were so strong that RCA had to find a way to give top billing to both. After all, the poster does say, “the song he exploded on TV,” and they both did that.

For what it’s worth, I still love “Hound Dog” a lot and “Don’t Be Cruel” almost as much. But after hearing “Jailhouse Rock” about a thousand times, I don’t much care for it anymore.

The minimum bid for the promotional poster was $400, but it went for $5,625, way more than I guessed 38 bids really ran up the price.

 

Dining Room Chairs from the Graceland:

Elvis Presley - Dining Room Chairs from Graceland

“Elvis dated Linda Thompson for just over four years between 1972 and 1976, and it was in 1974 that the pair undertook some renovations at Graceland, the home they shared at the time. During this redecorating, the Jungle Room saw the green carpet and furry furniture installed, the pair of custom-made blue peacock stained glass windows by Laukhuff Stained Glass were positioned to flank the doorway entrance to the music room, and the dining room was updated with new furnishings in shades of red. The offered two high-back cushioned dining chairs, one of which is an armchair, were those acquired for this dining room redesign.

“The red upholstered chairs with diamond patterned stitching and silver stud accents sit atop wooden legs and center brace. The high-style chairs were used at Graceland from this period in 1974 through Elvis’ death in 1977. The chairs, each measuring 60 inches in height, 23 inches in width and 22 inches in length, emanate from the 1999 Graceland Archives Auction (lot C146) and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the 1999 Graceland Archives auction and a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

Catelog - The Archives of Graceland Auction 1999

At the 1999 auction, these chairs were estimated to go for $10-12,000, but nobody felt they were worth that much. So, the chairs were back for sale in 2018 with a minimum bid of just $2,500, and they sold for $8,125.

 

Signed Page from Mr. RHYTHM Magazine:

Elvis Presley - Signed Page from Mr. Rhthym Magazine

“The early Mr. Rhythm souvenir picture album from 1956 contained eight interior pages that include images of Elvis, the Louvin Brothers, Benny Martin, June Carter, Justin Tubb, and Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, a lineup of performers that toured with Elvis in February of 1956. On the interior page opposite the one featuring Elvis singing was an image of Elvis signing autographs for female fans. Offered is that single page signed by Elvis, with a big bold blue signature that appears vertically across his white checked jacket in the black-and-white photo.

“The caption under the horizontal image reads ’Backstage while waiting his turn on the show Elvis signs autographs for fans who have outmaneuvered the stage door guard. And after his spot on the show fans will overrun the stage to see and talk with Elvis in person.’ The page has been skillfully removed from the souvenir album for display purposes and was obviously treasured by the Elvis admirer who likely hung the signed picture, as evidenced by the small corner pinholes.

“After Elvis’ contract was purchased by RCA in November 1955 and Elvis’ first single release under RCA hit number 1 on the charts, the marketing machine went into full swing, and one of the early promotions to be printed in December 1955 was this Mr. Rhythm concert program. The souvenir program was intended to be sold at Elvis’ appearances while on tour in 1956. This iconic example of an early-career Elvis signature appears on the single page that measures 8 by 10 inches.”

 

I thought the minimum bid of $750 was low, and that was confirmed when the signed magazine page went for $3,375. A possible reason for part of this strength is the photo on the reverse side. I love this one.

Elvis Presley and Fans - From Mr. Rhthym Magazine

Have you ever seen this picture? It’s new to me, and it is classic.

 

Another item at the auction is an autographed back cover of a Mr. Rhythm magazine. It appears that it was not the same one that the signed page above came from.

Elvis Presley - Signed Back Cover from Mr. Rhthym Magazine

The back cover picture is a studio portrait image of Elvis by William Speer. It was taken at the same 1955 shoot that produced the image on the 2015 Elvis stamp.

2015 Elvis Stamp

 

Although the autographed back cover of Mr. Rhythm had the same $750 minimum as the autographed page interior page, it went for less at $2,500.

 

Elvis Presley Signed 1964 Viva Las Vegas Soundtrack 45 Record Sleeve in Framed Display with Two Lobby Cards:

Elvis Presley Signed 1964 Viva Las Vegas Soundtrack 45 Record Sleeve in Framed Display with Two Lobby Cards

Viva Las Vegas is considered by many to be one of Elvis’ best films, highlighted by legendary songs and the natural chemistry between the two stars, Elvis and Ann-Margret. Elvis plays Lucky Jackson, who heads to Las Vegas to win the Grand Prix. In the process of raising the money he needs to repair his race car, he crosses paths with Rusty Martin, the swimming instructor played by Ann-Margret. The movie was a box office hit and one of the top-grossing films of 1964. Perhaps the success was due to the allure of the stars, the fun, fast-paced plot, the promotion and marketing of the film, or a combination of all three.

“Offered is a handsome display that captures the dazzling excitement of the film, with the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack 45 white interior record sleeve signed in black ink on the upper right “Thanks Elvis Presley” taking center focus. The white interior signed sleeve sits adjacent to the full color picture sleeve, and the pair are framed on two corners with a flourish of playing cards.

“The 45 sleeves are flanked above and below by two lobby cards from the film: the top features Ann-Margret with the title ‘Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret make with a wicked watusi to C’mon Everybody and the bottom lobby card shows Elvis wearing a cowboy hat with the caption ‘A Las Vegas nightclub shakes and quakes when ‘go-go’ Elvis Presley lets loose with a number.’ Each section is matted in peach, adding a colorful flair to the display. The film itself was anything but short on color and this bold display perfectly reflects that vibrant vibe. This wonderfully framed artifact from the Elvis movie that always ranks near the top of fans’ lists measures 37 by 20 inches and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

I have grumbled for years that many people offering things autographed by Elvis could have generated more money if they had properly displayed them. This is a prime example proving my point. The owner started a simple signed inner sleeve from the 45 EP ELVIS – Viva Las Vegas.

Elvis Presley Signed Record Sleeve

Next, the color outer sleeve.

Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas EP

Then, to really make an impressive display, two lobby cards were added, playing cards were placed at six places, and everything was matted and framed.

The minimum bid was $2,500, and only three bids were placed, but the winning one was for $6,250. Now that’s the way to do it.

 

14K Gold Bulova Wristwatch with “EP” Engraved on the Reverse:

 

Elvis Presley Owned 14K Gold Bulova Wristwatch with “EP” Engraved on the Reverse

Bulova was founded in 1875 and reincorporated in 1923 as Bulova Watch Company before being sold to Citizen in 2007, an American manufacturer with a Swiss-made line that was formerly known as Bulova Accutron. Elvis owned several models of the Bulova Accutron and one of its earliest designs dating back to the early 1960s is the model 521 TV 214 being offered. Accutron was first sold in 1960 and was known for the technological advancement of the use of a 360 hertz tuning fork rather than a balance wheel as its timekeeping element. This tuning fork was powered by a transistor circuit and as such could be considered the first electronic watch. This mechanization was the forerunner of the modern quartz watch and could be identified by the humming rather than ticking sound that was emitted from the timepiece.

“The early 521 TV 214 MO model with 14-karat gold filled case was unique in that it was the only model in the 214 series range that contained a mineral glass crystal and a snap-on back. In addition, the back case contained the battery port as well as an easy time setting mechanism.

“The offered handsome example exhibits “ACCUTRON” just below the “12” on its face, with the reverse stamped BULOVA 14K. Also on the reverse is a large “EP” engraved in ornate letters.

Elvis Presley - EP engraved on Bulova Watch

“The watch, with gold-colored metal wristband, comes with a letter from Jimmy Velvet’s Elvis Presley Museum that reads, in part, “This Bulova Accutron 14K, gold watch, ser. #138402, was the personal property of Elvis Presley which he gave to his bodyguard and wardrobe manager, Marty Lacker, and was on display in the Elvis Presley Museum for several years.”

“Elvis appreciated technology and adored accessorizing, making this advanced timepiece the perfect addition to his personal collection, and while perhaps the earliest model, it was not the only Bulova Accutron he would own in his lifetime. The watch face measures 1 1/4 by 1 1/4 inches. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

The estimate on this watch was dead on – $8,000 – $10,000. The winning bid was $9,000 plus the 25% buyer’s fee equals $11,250. All bid prices in this report include the 25%.

 

1942 Beretta Model M1934 9mm Pistol – General Omar Bradley Owned, Gifted to Elvis Presley, Later Gifted to Girlfriend Barbara Leigh:

 

With apologies to the Graceland Auction folks, I have deleted some of the background info on Beretta pistols and Gen. Omar Bradley’s career. Blog rules tell us readers will lose interest if we post long blocks of text.

 

Elvis Presley - 1942 Beretta Model M1934 9mm Corto Caliber Pistol

Beretta has a history of firearms manufacture dating back to 1526, however it was 1915 when Beretta supplied the military needs of World War I that the company made its first pistol. The model M1934 was its most popular pistol in the World War II era and became the standard issue to the Italian armed forces. The model 1934 is a semi-automatic pistol with relatively few parts and a simple slot at the top for ejection, making it easy to maintain.

“The offered gun contains several engravings and embellishments. The ornate “PB” Beretta logo is on both grips, and the serial number “935204” is on both the frame and the action of the weapon.

“This prime example was a gift to Elvis from General Omar Bradley, a friend and neighbor in Beverly Hills, likely on December 9, 1970. Elvis had the utmost respect and admiration for the general and had just days earlier on December 4 presented the general with a Christmas gift of a 24-karat gold engraved Colt M1911 pistol, which he likely purchased the day before during a gun-buying binge at Kerr’s Sporting Goods.

“General Omar Nelson Bradley was our nation’s final Five-Star General. The list of other Five-Star Generals includes Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower and no less than George Washington himself. General Bradley was also the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“During World War II, he oversaw the first American airborne division followed by his first front-line command in Operation Torch serving under General Patton in North Africa. Bradley then commanded corps in the Allied invasion of Sicily.

“The pistol’s date of manufacture very well could indicate that the gun was acquired by General Bradley during the Operation Husky maneuver, when Sicily was secured by WWII Allied forces in 1943, an operation in which he was intimately involved. Further supporting this theory is that it makes a certain amount of sense that the General would have wanted to return Elvis’ gesture of gifting him such a significant presentation weapon by gifting Elvis a pistol with its own degree of significance. A pistol he acquired during one of the most important operations in WWII would qualify.

“This pistol represents not only a moment in history that changed the fate of the world, but it also embodies the affection of two famous men in very different fields who maintained a friendship based on mutual respect and admiration.”

 

Barbara Leigh and Elvis Presley

Barbara Leigh was Elvis’ girlfriend for a short while in 1970. Surprisingly, Elvis gave the pistol to her.  I can’t figure out why he would do that.  How do you like the shirt he’s wearing in this picture?

 

The highly esteemed Beretta had a pricey minimum of $25,000 and topped out at $51,250.

 

Signed 1970 International Hotel Summer Festival Souvenir Concert Menu:

Elvis Presley - Signed 1970 International Hotel Summer Festival Souvenir Concert Menu

“Elvis redefined what it meant to play Las Vegas once he hit the stage at the International Hotel on July 31, 1969. After nearly a decade of focusing on movies, he came back with a vengeance, and between 1969 and 1976 performed more than 600 sold-out shows.

“The International Hotel recognized the selling power of the super star and placed his image on every conceivable item, including the dinner menus, which have become one of the most popular artifacts from the era among collectors. The menus varied in size and style throughout the period. Offered is a signed and inscribed menu from the 1970 International Hotel, August 10 – September 8 shows, with Elvis gazing towards the heavens as he is showering his audience with melodic tunes.

“This fine example is signed and inscribed, “To Sadie and Henry with Love and Respect Elvis Presley” on the menu’s cover. There is a large selection of adult beverages on the interior left page beneath a pink “Summer Festival” banner. The back sports a full-color advertisement for Elvis’ box set Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits, Vol. I. One of the most sought-after menus, this exemplar is even more desirable with the touching, strong and bold inscription on the front. The menu measures 11 by 8 1/2 inches and is accompanied by a letter from Rich Consola as well as a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

The minimum bid was $1,500, which seems reasonable, but 20 bids later, the price topped out at $5,000

 

Hillcrest Home Walnut Desk and Chair:

Elvis Presley - Hillcrest Home Walnut Desk and Chair

“The house at 1174 Hillcrest Drive in the luxurious Trousdale Estates was purchased by Elvis in 1967 for $400,000. The French Regency style home, designed by architect Rex Lotery, was originally built in 1958. The 5,367-square-foot home had four bedrooms and five bathrooms, and featured entry gates, stone and brick decor and a swimming pool, all with panoramic views of both the city and the ocean.

“It was a paradise that Elvis, Priscilla and Lisa Marie enjoyed during their time in California until the home was sold in 1973. On September 14, 1980 an auction was conducted by Don B. Smith Auction Company of the personal property previously owned by Elvis and Priscilla Presley from their former home at 1174 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills.

“Throughout his career, Elvis focused on what he did best, entertaining fans, while the Colonel and Vernon were in charge of managing both his professional and personal business. However, Elvis still maintained his own personal offices at his various residences so that he too could “take care of business.” Offered is the large executive walnut desk and green chair that Elvis used in his Beverly Hills home, which was offered in this 1980 auction by the then-owner of the Hillcrest property. The desk and chair come with a plethora of documentation, including a copy of the cover of the auction catalog, a copy of the page listing for the desk that includes an image (one of the few items pictured in the catalog), and two letters from Jimmy Velvet. The letters are similar—one states in part:

“This walnut desk and green executive chair was owned and used by Elvis Presley at his home at 1174 Hillcrest Drive – Trousdale Estates – Beverly Hills, California.”

Elvis Presley Hillcrest Home - Auction Catelog

 

“When Elvis sold the house he left all of the furnishings. The woman who purchased the house sold the furnishings at auction in Hollywood at the Paladium [sic] on Sunset Boulevard. The Elvis Presley Museum purchased the desk & chair at the auction conducted by Don B. Smith Auction Co. of Memphis, Tennessee. It has been in the Elvis Museum for the past 15 years.

Elvis Presley - List of Auction Items From Hillcrest Home

 

“This large desk, fit for a king, measures 29 (H) by 82 (L) by 38 (W) inches, the green fabric and vinyl chair measures 49 (H) by 28 (L) by 26 (W) inches, and the pair are accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

How about Elvis selling the place, moving out, and leaving all that stuff behind?

The estimate on this desk and chair was dead on at $5,000 – $7,000. It sold for $6,875.

 

Turquoise and Silver Statement Necklace Gifted to J.D. Sumner:

Elvis Presley - Turquoise and Silver Statement Necklace Gifted to J.D. Sumner

“Turquoise is an ancient gem that is thought to guarantee health, good fortune and protection from evil, and has been used frequently by Native American tribes for various adornments. The word “turquoise” comes from the French word “turquois,” meaning “Turkish,” likely because the stone first arrived in Europe from Turkey. In the west, Native Americans often used the stones for trade, in ceremony and to embellish jewelry.

“As Native American turquoise jewelry rose in popularity in the 1970s, Elvis often used the stones to enhance his jumpsuits, belts and jewelry. Elvis enjoyed wearing flamboyant accessories containing the stone and the offered necklace is an ideal example of his elaborate style. The necklace has 12 silver figures, each with 6 turquoise stones adorning both sides of the double-stranded chain from which a large center circular pendant with three additional figures hangs.

“The statement necklace was owned and worn by Elvis before gifting it to J.D. Sumner, with whom Elvis enjoyed a close relationship. J.D. Sumner was the leader of The Stamps Quartet, the backup singing group for Elvis in the 1970s. As a result of their special bond, J.D. Sumner was the recipient of Elvis’ generosity on many occasions, and this beautiful turquoise and sterling silver necklace is a fine example.

“The necklace comes with a letter signed by J.D. Sumner that states, “Sold to Chris Tassone for the sum of $5,000.00 US from J.D. Sumner a collection of Native jewelry that once belonged to Elvis Presley and given to me J.D. Sumner as a gift from Elvis Presley in early 1970’s. Three pieces are #1. Hand made Native silver and turquoise necklace. #2 Hand made Native silver and turquoise bracelet. #3 Hand made Native silver and turquoise leather belt.” Also included is a letter from Mr. Tassone describing his acquisition of these items from J.D. Sumner in 1987, in Florida during a recording session.

Elvis Wearing Necklace

“The necklace and letters come with a modern print of a photo showing Elvis wearing what appears to be this necklace and wearing it well. A small “TCB” has been scratched on the reverse of the central pendant. The intricate and ornate chain measures 31 inches in length and the necklace’s pendant measures 4 by 4 inches. The necklace is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

This outstanding necklace went for $13,750, and the inclusion of a photo showing Elvis wearing it no doubt added to its value.

 

Stage-Used Black Binder That Held Song Lyric Sheets:

Elvis Presley - Stage-Used Black Binder That Held Song Lyric Sheets

 

“There were several constants one could expect to see at Elvis shows during his tours in the 1970s. Souvenir scarves were a popular staple, as were the backstage cloth passes that the entourage and tour members would wear at the various venues during the tours as a means of security access. The third was the offered black binder/folio that was used during each of Elvis’ concerts to hold song lyric sheets and could often be spotted on stage with the King.

Elvis in Front of Sond Lyrics Binder

“Charlie Hodge functioned as Elvis’ stage manager and was not only the one who replaced the scarves that Elvis took from around his neck to give to eager fans, but also responsible for maintaining the folio with the lyric sheets that Elvis might wish to refer to during a performance. The binder often appeared on stage throughout the shows. Sometimes Elvis would simply use the lyric sheets as props during the performance since reading them was difficult under the stage spotlights.

“As keeper of the binder, Charlie would affix his own backstage passes to the outside of the vinyl folio and these stickers can be spotted in several of the four modern prints of photos that come with the lot showing Elvis on stage with this very binder. Several of the backstage pass stickers on the binder can be clearly seen in their precise positions.

“A true stage-used treasure, this binder is also accompanied by an affidavit from Elvis’ bodyguard Dick Grob which recounts in detail how the song lyrics were kept inside and how Elvis used the binder on stage at nearly every concert for years. He further tells how after Elvis’ passing he was charged by Vernon Presley with cleaning out the Lisa Marie. The binder was found with several other items, all of which were given to Dick Grob by Vernon Presley. The binder measures 14 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

How about Vernon giving Dick Grob a treasure trove of Elvis belongings. They’ve been showing up at Elvis auctions for decades. The price of this binder has now reached $6,875. I think the photo of it with Elvis beefed up the value.

 

RIAA Double Platinum Record Award for 1973 LP Aloha From Hawaii – Awarded in 1988:

RIAA Double Platinum Record Award for Elvis Presley’s 1973 LP Aloha From Hawaii - Awarded in 1988

“Colonel Parker called it the “first entertainment special to be broadcast live around the world.” Elvis’ “Aloha from Hawaii” concert was broadcast via satellite on January 14, 1973 from the Honolulu International Center, and it’s believed that over 1 billion fans viewed the concert worldwide. Fans from around the globe watched as the singing phenomenon took the stage and said “Aloha” to the world.

“The famed concert aired via satellite in over 40 countries in Europe and Asia (airing at a later date in the U.S.) and was the most expensive entertainment special of its time, costing approximately $2.5 million to produce. Shortly after this special aired, RCA released a double album of this celebrated concert that contained 30 songs and was an immediate, massive hit, as Elvis sang every song with the passion and energy only the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll could produce.

“The album, released in February 1973, reached number one on the Billboard charts and was only the second two-disc set of Elvis’ career. The album was certified Gold on February 13, 1973, Platinum and 2x Platinum on May 20, 1988, 3x Platinum on July 15, 1999 and 5x Platinum on August 1, 2002 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

“Offered is a multi-Platinum award issued in 1988 that features two platinum-colored records above two platinum-colored cassette tapes flanking a center plaque that reads, “Presented to ELVIS PRESLEY to commemorate the sale of more than 2,000,000 copies of the RCA RECORDS album and cassette ‘ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE.’” The award bears a hologram RIAA logo and the display is set against a black background. The album dominated the charts and sold half a million copies in only four weeks. The framed award measures 19 by 21 inches and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.”

 

I’ve seen a few record awards with two discs before, but never combined with two cassette tapes. This plaque greatly exceeded the minimum bid and went for $5,500.

 

Weren’t those item descriptions by Graceland Auctions great? They had to do tons of research to be able to come up with the same thing for all 206 items in the auction. I can’t wait to do a post with more items from this auction. There were enough rings to do a report on just them.

 

Photos and text used by permission, copyright 2018 GracelandAuctions.com

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room – Part 3

Fred Flintstone Elvis T-shirt - Back

You readers are the best. I’m so pleased by your support helping me find new homes for the Elvis stuff I’ve collected for decades and displayed in my Fuzzy Room.

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

You’ve snapped up every item I offered for sale. So, now it’s time to look at some new Elvis goodies.

Please Note: The prices quoted are for delivery to USA destinations only. Postal rates to other countries are just prohibitive. Sorry.

 

Fred Flintstone / Elvis T-shirt:

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

Fred Flintstone - Elvis T-shirt

I’ll bet you’ve never seen this outstanding two-sided T-shirt before. I did an extensive internet search and could find just one. It was for sale at $25 plus postage. Mine is gently worn, so I will cut that price in half and sell it for $15 delivered. Size XL. Wear this on your trip to Graceland and you’ll catch the attention of lots of other fans.

 

1,000 Piece Elvis Puzzle:

Editor’s Note:  This item has now been sold.

 

Elvis Puzzle

If you like puzzles as much as you like Elvis, this is for you. There are a lot of used versions of this available on line, but what I am offering is unopened. The picture above is the cover of the box. Here is a bigger picture of the puzzle, which measures 18 x 28 when completed.

Elvis Legends Puzzle

Prices for the unopened puzzles online range from $25 to $37 plus freight. Here’s a deal – $17 delivered.

 

Set of Five M&M Elvis Figurines:

Editor’s Note: This item has now been sold.

 

M&M Elvis

The M&M people did a good job with the iconic Elvis outfits on these 3” tall resin figurines. There are white and blue jumpsuits, gold lamé suit, ’68 Special black leather, and Aloha from Hawaii flowered shirt. All but the one in the blue jumpsuit were originally part of a set. I added one more because I liked these little guys so much. They do tip over fairly easily, so I added a spot of glue on their soles to keep them steady on the woodgrain panel you see. I have popped them off for shipping, but it’s so simple to put them back.

I looked all over the internet and found one, two, and three piece offerings, but not the original four-piece set I bought. Strange. The consensus price for one was $10 plus postage, so let’s see if a price of $20 for all five delivered works for somebody. I probably should go on line and see what the M&M collectors would bid, but these guys should go to an Elvis fan. They are so cool.

 

Elvis 29¢ Stamp Beach Towel:

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

Elvis Stamp Beach Towel

This big beauty measures 31” x 56”. It has had very little use and still looks great. I found another one online for $15 including postage, so I’ll offer this one at $12 delivered.

 

Elvis 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition:

Editor’s Note:  Three copies of this have been sold, but I have two more.

30th Anniversary Issue

This 64 page high-quality publication was a big seller at Elvis Week 2007. I was at the tables for four days selling it and other items associated with Elvis The Magazine. I am also listed as a Contributing Editor in it, although it contains none of my work.

What it does contain is a treasure of information, recollections, and full-page photos.

Elvis…30 Year Timeline: This is a year-by-year account of everything concerning Elvis that occurred from 1978 to 2007. I’ve never seen this done before, and it is most interesting.

Conversations and Memories: I love this section, especially the folks whose comments about Elvis haven’t shown up a lot in other media. Here’s the list:

Bernard Lansky
DJ Fontana
Frank Paige (announcer at the Louisiana Hayride)
Janelle McComb
Joe Esposito
Sam Phillips
Johnny Black ( Bill Black’s brother)
Joe Moscheo (Imperials Quartet)
Millie Kirkham
Don Siegel (director, Flaming Star)
Marian Cocke
Don Robertson (songwriter)
Ben Weisman (songwriter)
Harold Lloyd (jeweler)
Anita Wood
Jimmy velvet
Scotty Moore
Johnny Cash
June Juanico
Eddie Fadal
Neal Mathews (Jordanaires)
Gordon Stoker (Jordanaires)
Ray Walker (Jordanaires)
Ira Jones (Elvis’ Army Sargent)
Red West
Charlie Hodge

Collecting the King – Thirty Decade of Elvis Conventions: This article by expert Robert Alaniz has a few surprises.

Elvis Presley Fan Clubs: A listing of 37 domestic and international.

Origins of Elvis Week: Good article, but I wish it was longer.

26 full-page photographs, some you haven’t seen elsewhere:

 

This collector’s item originally sold for $19.95. It can be yours for $10 delivered.

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Elvis Rubix Cube:

Editor’s Note: This item has now been sold.

 

Actually, this cube is considerably simpler than the original Rubix. You won’t have any trouble getting it opened and maneuvered into twelve Elvis photos:

Blue Suede Shoes
Teddy Bear
Jailhouse Rock
Hound Dog
Don’t be Cruel
Thank you, thank you very much
G.I. Blues (above)
Shake Rattle and Roll (above)
Burnin’ Love
Lonely Street
Blue Hawaii
Heartbreak Hotel.

Elvis Rubix Cube

It’s 3” in each direction, a fun little fidget. I found it online at $7.50 plus another $7.50 postage. I think somebody is padding the postage a bit here. How about $9 delivered?

Jailhouse Rock

Blue Hawaii

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Elvis Pins, Magnets, and Key Chain:

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis Pins, Magnets, and Key Chain

Here’s a nice set of little Elvis collectibles. There are three refrigerator magnets – Elvis with a guitar, Elvis and Nixon, and a really nifty mini-45 gold record that says Love Me Tender. The Elvis stamp makes its second appearance here on a keychain. And there are two pins, one with a photo and the other with a drawing. How about the whole package for $12 delivered?

 

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

If you want an item, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net. (Do not notify me of your interest on Comments.) As usual, first come, first served. I would prefer payment using PayPal, but checks will work, too. When I get your email, I will initiate billing on PayPal. You approve it, and I send the item right out to you. With a check, it’ll take a little longer.

Thanks for your support.

Phil Arnold

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Wardrobe – Part 7

Elvis' Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket - Back

Sadly, only one of the last four Graceland Auctions offered more than a minimal selection of Elvis’ wardrobe. Here are the two items offered on Jan 6, 2018 during the Elvis Birthday Week celebration.

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1970s Leather Jacket:

Elvis' Leather Jacket He Gave to Bodyguard Dave Hebler

 

The auction website says, “Leather jackets have always been synonymous with the kind of cool of which Elvis Presley certainly had no shortage.”

This light brown leather coat with three-button front closure and two side pockets was one of several that Elvis owned in various colors. A manufacturer’s tag at the back collar states, “Genuine Leather / by Grais / Made in U.S.A.” Rubin Grais was an immigrant shoe maker from Russia who came to the U.S. and adapted his skills to create one of the iconic leather manufacturers of the ’40s and ’50s.

Grais Label

Elvis gave this coat to his bodyguard, Dave Hebler, who worked for him from 1972 to 1976. A Letter of Authenticity from Hebler states,

“One day Elvis invited me upstairs to his bedroom at Graceland and offered me all of his jumpsuits. He complained that they no longer fit him and that he wanted them out of his closet. I told him I had no use for his jumpsuits nor did I have the ability to store them at my apartment. I then moved a majority of the jumpsuits to the shed at the back of Graceland. I did receive several jackets including this brown leather jacket. Elvis had several of these.”

Perhaps because there was no accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the coat, the auction had an estimate of $3 – 4,000, which seemed pretty cheap to me. Somebody picked up a good deal at $2,875 including the auction surcharge.

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Signed Shirt from Elvis’ Personal Wardrobe:

Signed Shirt from Elvis' Personal Wardrobe Provided as the Grand Prize in a 1973 Boy Scout Raffle

 

Besides being a typically cool Elvis shirt, this one has an interesting history. The green shirt has gold buttons down the front and gold stars across the chest and on the collar and cuffs.

Elvis was well-known for his generosity and philanthropy, which became a long-standing tradition. A good example is Elvis donating this shirt to Memphis Boy Scout Troop #225 to raise money for their Jamboree Trip Fund. Tickets were printed for the raffle and each sold for a donation of 50 cents.

Announcement on Elvis' Donated Shirt

 

Harold A. Smith purchased this ticket in 1973 and was the lucky winner. Harold’s wife Shirley, who was a part-time nurse at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, took the shirt to work when Elvis was there as a patient and was able to get his autograph on the lower left front side.

Elvis' Signed Shirt

 

Smith had the shirt framed, and it hung in his KOA campground office as a big attraction until he sold the campground in 1984.

Although there is no picture of Elvis wearing the shirt, it is stamped “Elvis” in the collar, and the lot includes the winning ticket and a Memphis Press-Semiter newspaper article about Elvis’ donation to the Boy Scout troop. However, it is the autograph that made it a highly prized Elvis double collectible. The minimum starting price was $8,000, and the winning bid was $11,250.

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Now, I would like to take a look at Elvis’ clothing items from the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction held earlier this month.

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Paisley Shirt:

Elvis Presley's Paisley Shirt 1

 

Elvis purchased a lot of clothing from IC Costume Co. including this orange and blue paisley long sleeved, button down shirt. Elvis gave the shirt to his Aunt Delta in the 1970’s. There is no accompanying photo of Elvis wearing the shirt, but it does come with a letter of provenance from Aunt Delta. The estimate was $4 – 6,000, and it went for $3,993.

 

Green Suede Pullover Top:

Elvis' Pullover Top

 

Elvis’ personally owned and worn custom green suede pullover top with the Anton, Beverly Hills label and his initials “EP” sewn on as labels. Elvis gifted this shirt and many other articles of clothing to his close friend Charlie Hodge. Like the preceding shirt, the estimate was $4 – 6,000, and it went for $3,993.

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Black Faux Fur Pants:

Elvis' Black Faux Fur Pants

 

These unusual pants also came from the IC Costume Company. Elvis seemingly gave away his clothing to everybody, this time to his uncle Vester Presley (Vernon’s brother) one day when he was cleaning out his closets. For some reason, the minimum bid was only $2,000, but six bids pushed the winning number up to $4,290. Too bad they didn’t come up with a photo of Elvis wearing faux fur pants.

 

Paisley Shirt:

 

The facts are the same on this red and blue paisley long sleeved shirt as the previous one – made by IC Costume Co, given to his Aunt Delta, and an estimate of $4 – 6,000. However, it sold for $3,300, which is $693 less. I can’t figure out why they weren’t valued the same.

 

 

From this point on, we will look at something I’ve never seen before at auctions of Elvis’ wardrobe – six NO BIDS.

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Pale Blue Balloon-Sleeved Shirt:

Elvis' Pale Blue Balloon-Sleeved Shirt

 

First we have another Elvis owned and worn IC Costume Co. shirt with pale blue balloon-sleeves and large pointed collar. Elvis gave the shirt to his close friend and valet Richard Davis. It seems like stuff Elvis gave to Davis has been showing up at auctions for a decade. I wonder when the supply will run out. The minimum bid was only $2,000, but nobody cared to pony up that much. Maybe the shirt was too plain.

 

Stay Away Joe Red Wine Denim Jacket:

Elvis' Red Wine Denim Jacket from Stay Away Joe

 

Elvis wore this red wine colored denim jacket in his film “Stay Away Joe.” It is one of several denim jackets made for Elvis to wear in the film. Elvis gave the jacket to Charlie Hodge who was an extra on the movie. Hodge apparently accumulated a ton of Elvis’ clothing over the years. Also offered were three photographs of Elvis wearing the jacket during filming, such as in the shotgun wedding scene.

Elvis in Stay Away Joe Shotgun Wedding Scene

 

I have always maintained that photos of Elvis wearing an article of clothing enhanced its value to collectors. That must have been the thinking when the minimum bid was set at $8,000 and the estimate at $9 – 12,000. Pretty strong, and it must have scared off potential bidders. Also, this is movie wardrobe, not clothing that Elvis purchased and wore in his personal life.

 

Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket:

Elvis' Suzy Cream Cheese Two-Tone Brown Suede Fringed Jacket

 

The back of this stunning two-toned brown suede fringed jacket is shown in the first photo of this post. Elvis gave it to his friend Shaun Nielsen, who first met Elvis when he was a back-up singer on his gospel album “How Great Thou Art.” Shaun sang with Elvis until his final show, and one day when they were recording in the Jungle Room at Graceland, Elvis took the members of his band and vocalists upstairs and told them each to pick out something that they liked. This jacket was just one of many items he gave to Nielson. The minimum bid of $7,000 seemed reasonable to me, but not to the bidders.

 

Suede Shearling Coat:

 

Elvis’ personally owned and worn tan suede coat that he purchased from one of his favorite stores, Goldsmith’s in Memphis. Goldsmiths would often open late at night for Elvis so that he could shop privately.

 

Suede Shearling Coat- Elvis Wearing 2

These are two of the three supplied photos of Elvis wearing the coat.

Suede Shearling Coat - Elvis Wearing

Elvis gave this coat to Richard Davis who took care of his wardrobe and eventually became Elvis’ wardrobe manager. With three supporting photos, I thought the minimum bid of $6,000 was reasonable. Shows how much I know. Nobody bid.

 

Blue Track Suit with Red and White Stripes:

Elvis' Blue Track Suit with Red and White Stripes - Both Views

 

Elvis owned and wore this blue track suit with red and white stripes. He wore it at Graceland and when traveling on his plane. Elvis gave the track suit to Aunt Delta.

It does come with a photo, but the auction website says “Comes with a photo of the same track suit, or one virtually the same (I added the italics).” That might have tampered the enthusiasm of the bidders, and surely the minimum bid of $5,000 did.

 

Burgundy Patent Leather Boots:

Elvis' Burgundy Patent Leather Boots

Burgundy patent leather boots that Elvis wore off-stage for his casual every day wear. They ended up with Charlie Hodge who make a surprising statement in his letter of provenance: “Elvis’ shoe size varied from size 10 to 12.5 depending on the make of the shoes or boots.”

Here’s an included photo which the website says shows Elvis wearing the same, or very similar boots. There’s not even much of the boots showing. The estimate was $5 – 7,000, but again no bids.

 

 

Gotta Have Rock and Roll

So, a total of six items of Elvis’ wardrobe drew no bids. I’ve mentioned several possible reasons for this unheard of occurrence. But I think the big problem was that this Gotta Have Rock & Roll auction featured memorabilia from dozens of singers and bands. It probably attracted many bidders with no interest in Elvis.

On the other hand, the Graceland Auctions are 100% Elvis items, and they are scheduled to be part of big events like Elvis Week. My suggestion to the owners of the no-bid items here is to try again at the Graceland Auction in January 2019. With slightly lower minimum bids on the Stay Away Joe jacket and the track suit, I think every one of six items will draw multiple bidders and sell.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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More Elvis Goodies from the Fuzzy Room

Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room

When I offered a few Elvis items for sale four weeks ago, I had no idea whether it would work or not. Actually, it worked out very well, with most items getting spoken for within hours after posting the sale.

For those of you who missed it, the Jungle Tree Fuzzy Room is where all my Elvis stuff is lovingly displayed (or at least stored). But I am facing a scaling-down to a smaller home, and there won’t be any space for all my Elvis mementos. So, I am offering them to you ElvisBlog readers for really good prices.

Please keep in mind that these prices are for shipment to U.S. destinations only.  Postage to other countries is so high that it makes the costs prohibitive.  I wish I could negotiate special rates like Amazon has done, but that’s a pipe dream.

 

Elvis Presley Doll – “The Sun Never Sets on a Legend”

 

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.

 

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend

This is a 12” Elvis doll with 15” tall packaging that looks like a showcase. It has decorative musical notes as a backdrop, as well as a unique design and shape – the plastic window front side is curved, which allows for more of the doll and interior contents be viewed while on display. Elvis is on a stand that resembles a stage platform on top of which he is performing.

This is one of a 1993 three-part Hasbro “Elvis Presley – The Sun Never Sets on a Legend” commemorative collection. There is great attention to detail – from Elvis’ red jacket, black pants, and white shoes, to the beautifully detailed guitar. Even the black plastic top and bottom insert sections of the box contain Elvis’ facsimile autograph.

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend - Back

Back of the packaging

I have never opened it up to see the numbered Certificate of Authenticity, so I guess I can say it is in mint condition. However, it was frustrating not to be able to see (or play) the bonus 45rpm record inside of Elvis singing “Jailhouse Rock.”

Elvis Presley - The Sun Never Sets on a Legend - eBay Offers

I checked out eBay to see what this was going for. The lowest I found was this one for $38 delivered. The two lower prices above were for used ones, and the cheapest also had $13 postage. So, I will make this a bargain by pricing it at $28 delivered.

If you want this “Jailhouse Rock” doll, please send me an email at philarnold@charter.net, and I will reserve it for you and add a note to this post that it is sold.

 

Deck of Elvis Playing Cards with 54 Alfred Wertheimer Photos:

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

 

Elvis - Al Wertheimer Playing Cards

There are some other Elvis playing cards out there, but this deck with a different Al Wertheimer photo on each card is the most desirable to me. I’ve opened the box up twice to look at the pictures, so the cards are in perfect shape.

Elvis Playing Cards Alfred Wertheimer - back

Back of deck box

I found a few of these Elvis card decks listed on eBay with delivered prices ranging from $8-11. I can do $7 delivered, but I’m afraid the postage that I cover will eat up a good chunk of that. I did a crummy job of estimating what the postage would be on that first round of goodies, and these cards are heavy.

 

Wackel-Elvis Hanging Figure:

Wackel Elvis - in box

You may ask (as I did) what is a Wankel-Elvis? Here is a pretty interesting story from Wikipedia:

Wackel-Elvis (German pronunciation: vakəlˈɛlvɪs, “Wobbly Elvis”) is a 6 inches tall, hanging dashboard figure designed to resemble Elvis Presley. A prototype of the figure was first introduced by the German automobile manufacturer Audi in a series of television commercials which were broadcast in several European countries. The commercials were produced in 2001 to promote Audi’s new continuously variable “multitronic” transmission. Due to a high demand by Elvis fans after publication of the commercials, 15,000 Wackel-Elvis figures were produced and sold at the Audi factory outlet store.

The Wackel-Elvis figure is suspended from an elastic band connected to a suction cup attached to the windshield or rear window of a vehicle. The waist and left shoulder of the figure are equipped with flexible metal spring joints. The design prompts the figure to swing its hips, pivot around its vertical axis and shake its left arm up and down while the vehicle is in motion, creating an effect that resembles Elvis Presley performing on stage.

 

Wackel-Elvis at Graceland

Some clever fan had a Wankel-Elvis hanging from their dashboard when they took this photo with the Graceland wall in the background.

The best price I found for this (still in the box) was $24.99 plus $5.02 postage. So I think it’s a pretty good deal at $17 postage included.

 

Gray-haired Wankel Elvis

Editor’s note: This item has been sold.  The white jumpsuit model is still available.

 

If you don’t care about the box because you would want to hang Elvis in your car, anyway, here’s a deal for you. This alternate design can be yours for $10. When you send me an email at philarnold@charter.net be clear about which Wankel-Elvis you want.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep Limited Edition DVD:

 

Editor’s note:  This item has been sold.

 

Bubba Ho-Tep Limited Edition

If you are a bit unclear on what Bubba Ho-Tep is all about, take a minute and read this article I posted on ElvisBlog in 2008. Or perhaps the original video cover will jog your memory.

Bubba Ho-Tep DVD Cover

Here is a synopsis of the story from Amazon.com:

Mud Creek, Texas, is about to get all shook up. When mysterious deaths plague the Shady Rest retirement home, it’s up to an aging, cantankerous “Elvis” (Bruce Campbell) and a decrepit and black “JFK” (Ossie Davis) to defeat a 3,000-year-old-Egyptian mummy with a penchant for sucking human souls! Can the King show the world that he can still take care of business?

Don Coscarelli directs and Bruce Campbell stars as the King of Camp in this intentionally over-the-top schlockfest. Bubba Ho-Tep is partially about Elvis Presley and partially about the title character, an Egyptian cowboy zombie, but mostly it is about camp. The movie is equal parts story and back story. We learn through narration and flashback how Elvis didn’t really die, ending up instead in a rest home in East Texas with JFK who says he was dyed black and had his brain removed, presumably for reasons of national security.

Campbell and Davis realize that something strange is going on when their rest-home compatriots start dropping off suspiciously. The whole movie leads up to a final showdown to the death with the Egyptian cowboy zombie who has been killing fellow residents because he thought no one would notice. The movie unfolds a bit slowly; it is, after all, a geriatrics-fight-Egyptian-cowboy-zombie movie. In the end, though, Campbell is flawless as the aged King; his accent, intonations, glasses, and trademark karate are at the same time sincere and over the top.

Ok, so this is nifty movie, and it has some interesting history according to Wikipedia:

Originally the film was “roadshowed” by the director across the country. Only 32 prints were made and he circulated them around various film festivals, and garnered critical success. By the time it was released on DVD, it had already achieved cult status due to positive reviews, lack of access, and similar on-the-road hard work by Campbell. While the film revolves around an ancient Egyptian mummy terrorizing a retirement home, Bubba Ho-Tep also deals with the deeper theme of aging and growing old in a culture that values only the young.

You might be wondering what’s with the jumpsuit looking thing wrapped around the DVD case.

Bubba Ho-Tep Jumpsuit Shirt

It’s a nicely done mini-jumpsuit shirt that is one of many special features offered in this “Limited Edition. The others include:

Audio Commentary by director Don Coscarelli and star Bruce Campbell
Audio commentary by “The King”
Joe R. Lansdale reads from Bubba Ho-Tep
Deleted scenes with commentary by Don Coscarelli and Bruce Campbell
The making of Bubba Ho-Tep
Fit For a King – Elvis Costume Featurette
Rock Like an Egyptian – The music of Bubba Ho-Tep
Music video
Photo Gallery
Original theatrical trailer

I also searched for this item on the internet to see what other folks are selling it for. The cheapest I found was $24.92 plus freight. I think you will be very happy if you snap up this Limited Edition Bubba Ho-Tep for $20 delivered.

 

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers:

Editor’s note:  This item has sold.  They must be really rare, because several folks have wanted to buy them.

 

Elvis Salt and Pepper Shakers

This is a very cool set. The color of both shakers is actually the same; there was light coming from a window on the left side that makes them look different.

They feature a very popular silhouette of 50s Elvis shaking his hips at the mic, and I think this is the best usage of it I have seen.

I looked all over the internet to find what other folks are asking for this set. I could not find even one posted for sale, so I guess it is pretty rare. It can be yours for $15, postage included.

 

Elvis “All Shook Up” Sugar Shaker:

Editor’s note:  This item Has been sold.

 

Elvis 50s Sugar Shaker

Here’s another 50s Elvis image put to good use. Doesn’t this remind you of the sugar shakers they had in the diners back when you were a teenager? This thing is pretty heavy, so the delivered price for it is $9.

 

 

Last time, some folks replied in Comments that they wished to purchase an item. It really works better if you just email me at philarnold@charter.net. I check email much more frequently than Comments, so I can mark an item as sold right after I hear from you.

In your email, indicate whether you wish to use your PayPal account or a personal check to pay. I don’t yet have a PayPal button that businesses use, just a personal account like you do.

Pay Now with PayPal Button.

Sample only

So, when I reply to your email and confirm your purchase, I will initiate a PayPal invoice.  You get an email notification that you confirm, and the money is transferred.

So, please go back and look over the items and see if there’s anything you would like to have.

I really appreciate your support,

Phil Arnold

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Fun Hats Suited Elvis Well

Young Elvis Wearing Cowboy Hat

Elvis seems to have had a fun time whenever he wore different hats. No matter what he wore, he always looked great. Except maybe this next one.

Elvis in Ugly Hat

 

Elvis wasn’t the only one who got to wear a German officer’s hat on this summer 1956 boat trip with June Juanico off the coast of Biloxi, Mississippi.

Elvis Wearing German Officer's Hat

 

Elvis Wearing Santa Hat on Stage

I wonder how many songs he sang after putting on this Santa’s hat.

 

Young Elvis in Funny Hat

I guess we are seeing the underside of the brim of this hat. Maybe a straw hat? I wish there were a side view of Elvis wearing it, but I’ve never seen one.

 

Elvis Wearing Gilligan Hat

There are pictures out there showing Elvis wearing different versions of this style. Reader Tracy called it a Gilligan hat, if you remember that TV series.

 

Elvis in Fun Hat

I cropped Col. Parker from this picture. Much cooler picture without him.

 

Elvis, Wearing Inside-out and Backwards Baseball Cap.

New reader Jo sent in this shot of an inside-out baseball cap on backwards. It was snapped on the set of Follow That Dream, which was filmed in 1961. She guesses that Elvis might have been the first person to ever do that. Wasn’t it a decade or two later that this style became popular during baseball rallies? Elvis always was ahead of his time.

This exceptional case doesn’t blow the theory that Elvis never wore baseball caps.

 

Elvis Wearing Cowboy Hat and Lei

This is an interesting combination. Elvis is wearing a Hawaiian lei and a cowboy hat. There are lots of photos of Elvis wearing cowboy hats, but many are movie clips or on-set shots. I wonder how many movies he made wearing cowboy hats. Would somebody like to figure that out and let us know?

 

Elvis Wearing Indian Headress

It’s not common, but Elvis also wore Indian headdresses in several photos.

 

Elvis got to wear some interesting head coverings in a few movies.

Elvis Wearing Hat from Frankie & Johnny

Elvis Wearing Turban in Harem Scarum

Can you name the movies these two came from?

 

Elvis in Strange Hat from Harem Scarum

This weird one comes from Harem Scarum. That’s a straw so Elvis could duck under the water and not be discovered by the bad guys. I’ve seen a lot of Photoshopped Elvis photos, but nobody has ever put this head on some other body. Seems like a natural.

 

Elvis Souvenir Hats

These are Elvis souvenir hats that Col. Parker thought up early in Elvis’ career to sell at concerts. They would cost about $12 in today’s money.

Elvis Wearing Souvenir Hat

Look close. Elvis is wearing one of those caps. The cops behind him seem to approve.

Elvis Posing in Souvenir Hat

Elvis posing again. He did have fun with hats.

 

After the article on Elvis Baseball Hats for sale posted two weeks ago, reader Karen sent in these photos of a great Elvis hat she bought at a Festival in Michigan in 2012.

Kelly Sent in a Cool Elvis baseball hat.

 

Karen's Hat Close-up

I agree.  This is a great hat.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks

Elvis' costume tiger eye cufflinks - Left at Vernon's Home

If you entered an Elvis trivia contest and the question was, “Who was Elvis’ Doctor?” what would you answer? Probably “Dr. Nick,” or perhaps his full name “Dr. George Nichopoulus.

Dr Nick and Elvis

You would be right, because from 1970 until 1977, he pretty much worked full time as Elvis’ personal doctor in Memphis. He often was part of the travelling party when Elvis went on tour. Elvis gave him a yellow Cadillac and lots of other stuff and loaned him money to invest in business ventures.

 

However, when Elvis was in Las Vegas, he relied on a different doctor – Dr. Elias Ghanem

Dr. Elias Ghanem and Elvis

His story is almost as interesting as Dr. Nick’s. Here are a few paragraphs from a March 1976 article in People Magazine:

“Elias Ghanem’s life is the fascinating stuff movies are made of…. Ghanem is a Palestinian immigrant who became a doctor and worked at Los Angeles County Hospital until he realized he had more important things to do. He set out for a place where people were desperate for medical help, Las Vegas.

“There he met a princely entertainer with a frog in his throat, removed same – and thus began to acquire a reputation as physician to the stars. Before long he had a Stutz Bearcat, a fleet of jets, flashy jewelry and a mirrored canopy over his bed. He went around saying things like ‘Fast cars and beautiful women are my hobbies’. ‘He owned real estate and restaurants. He was divorced.

“… The Vegas headliner Dr. Ghanem treated to get his start in showbiz medicine actually was Elvis Presley. But it would not be difficult to cast an entire movie from Ghanem’s roster of patients. In not quite five years in Las Vegas, Ghanem, 37, has treated Tom Jones, Liberace, Ann-Margret, Johnny Cash, Raquel Welch, Bill Cosby, Glen Campbell and Roy Clark, among others. ‘They always get sore throats’, Ghanem says. ‘We call it Vegas throat’.

“Swabbing talented throats may not win Nobel prizes, but the victims tend to be very grateful. Presley alone has lavished upon Ghanem the $32,000 Stutz, a Mercedes, two watches, a $60,000 diamond ring and a gold medallion inscribed ‘TCB’. (‘Elvis’ people say this stands for ‘Take care of business’, ‘Ghanem chortles’. I say it stands for ‘Take care of broads’.”

 

Dr. Elias Ghanem - Older

 

I had never heard of Elias Ghanem until he was mentioned as the former owner of an Elvis ring in the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland.

Jan 2018 Auction at Graceland14k Lavender Jade Diamond Ring Upright (1)

This 14-karat gold nugget-style ring has a center oval lavender jade stone surrounded by 22 diamonds each measuring 0.25 carat. It sold for $10,000. Here is what the auction website had to say about the man Elvis gave the ring to:

“Elvis restarted his concert career performing routinely at the Hilton in Vegas, and it was during this period in 1972 that he met Israeli-born Dr. Elias Ghanem, who initially treated him for throat maladies. The two became friends, with Elvis staying at Dr. Ghanem’s home in the Las Vegas County Club for days at a time. As he did for many close friends, Elvis gave Dr. Ghanem a plethora of gifts over the years.”

The website also offered this letter from Dr. Ghanem’s wife:

List of Jewelry Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

Wow, what a list. Elvis was both extremely generous to his doctor buddy and very careless about leaving jewelry in Dr. Ghanem’s guest room. The list includes thirteen rings, one bracelet, four pendants (including one TCB), one watch, sixteen pairs of cuff links, and a bunch of other stuff. Because just one ring was included in the Auction at Graceland, I wondered what had happened to everything else. Sold elsewhere? Maybe saved to be sold in the future?

Then, thanks to ElvisBlog reader Alberto Z, I checked out the May 2017 Music Icons Auction at Julien’s. And there I found most of those sixteen Elvis cuff links. Mrs. Ghanem also offered another list covering just the cufflinks. And none were Elvis gifts to her husband. Elvis left them behind in their Las Vegas home. Who travels around with sixteen pairs of cufflinks? I guess Elvis did, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise.

List of Cufflinks Elvis left at De. Elias Ghanem's House - Cropped

 

So, let’s take a look at some of these Elvis cuff links.

A pair of cufflinks by Hickok:

A pair of Elvis Presley cufflinks by Hickok

These cufflinks feature a silver tone metal plaque with a black oxidized “E” and gold tone mesh wraparounds. The cufflinks sold for $5,760

 

Gold Nugget Style Cufflinks:

GOLD NUGGET STYLE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are designed in a gold nugget style with black tablet-cut stones. The they sold for $1,280

 .

Tiger Eye Cufflinks:

ELVIS PRESLEY TIGER EYE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs feature a simulated tiger eye tablet-cut stone. They sold for $1,920

 

Black Stone Cufflinks with Wraparound Accent:

BLACK STONE CUFFLINKS WITH WRAPAROUND ACCENT •

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with black faceted stones and simulated diamonds. They sold for $2,240

 

Square CuffLinks with Blue Stones:

quare Cuff links with Blue Stones

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with swivel backs are topped with faceted blue stones. They sold for $3,125

 

YELLOW-Green Stone CuffLinks:

Elvis' YELLOW-GREEN STONE CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks with large wraparounds are topped with yellow-green faceted stones. They sold for $2,240

 

Faux Gem Cuff Links:

Elvis' FAUX GEM CUFFLINKS

These gold tone mesh cufflinks are topped with faceted aurora borealis stones. They sold for $1,920.

 

Shark Fin style Cufflinks:

Elvis' SHARK FIN STYLE CUFFLINKS

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded orange iridescent glass. They sold for $1,024.

 

Globe Cufflinks:

Elvis' Globe Cufflinks

A pair of gold-toned metal with molded domed clear glass with rainbow effect. These cufflinks sold for $576.

 

Green Stone Cufflinks:

Elvis' Green Stone Cufflinks 2

A pair of gold-toned metal cufflinks with molded domed green glass. They sold for $640.

 

ElvisBlog has looked at Elvis’ Fabulous Rings eight times. This is the first post on Elvis’ Fabulous Cufflinks, but something tells me we’ll be doing them again.

 

 

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Special Elvis Collectibles at the Last Auction at Graceland

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster

It’s been five weeks since the last Auction at Graceland, so I want to do a post on three items that interest me because of the stories behind them. We’ll save the rings, clothing, and other goodies until a later time.

 

Dixie Locke and Elvis 1955

You have probably seen this photo before, and you might know the girl with Elvis is Dixie Locke. Five items from her personal collection showed up for sale at the January 6 Auction at Graceland. The auction website does a great job describing the relationship between Elvis and Dixie:

It was January 1954 and Elvis’ family was relatively new to Memphis. Elvis attended the First Assembly of God church to hear the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, who were members of the congregation and of whom Elvis was a fan. It didn’t take long for Elvis to be noticed by a group of girls, among them the lovely Dixie Locke. Unbeknownst to Elvis, they admired him from afar and hatched a plan to discuss their weekend plans within his earshot in hopes he would come to the Rainbow Rollerdome. And in fact, he did not disappoint. When he showed up at the skating rink, Dixie immediately spotted him and skated over to introduce herself. He knew just who she was and the two talked all evening, with Elvis driving her home at the end of the night.

A courtship followed and the two began dating. Elvis was about four years Dixie’s senior so it required some interrogating questions from both sets of parents before they all blessed the relationship. In the summer of 1954, Dixie and Elvis parted company for the first time when Dixie’s family left Memphis for a Florida vacation. While they were away, Elvis began early recordings in Sun Studio, and Dixie returned to him to hear his surprise as he was making radio airtime. The two dated for about two years, with Elvis taking Dixie to her high school prom in 1955 [as pictured above].

Elvis Kissing Dixie Locke - May 6, 1955

Elvis and Dixie smooching on prom night

Dixie and Elvis were like any normal young couple dating in the 1950s: their outings consisted of going to the movies, taking drives, going to the local canteen and visiting each other at their respective homes just to play games or sit on the front porch and chat. It was later that fall that the two drifted their separate ways. Dixie has been quoted describing the departure as, “It was kind of a natural thing. His career was going in one direction, and I didn’t feel that I could be a part of it.”

Okay, now check out this photograph. Please ignore the diagonal text of Graceland Auctions obscuring it. That was put there for reasons that will soon be apparent.

1954 Snapshot of Elvis Presley with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Again, from the auction website:

The charming black-and-white snapshot, emanating directly from Dixie’s personal collection, depicts her large family gathering on the lawn for the going-away party for her sister, who was moving to California to be married.

Elvis is pictured in the front row with argyle socks and slicked back hair. The other people consist of Dixie and her parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncles and lots of cousins. The photo is also notated in pencil with the date “6/54” which would have been just before Dixie left on that Florida vacation and Elvis’ career began heating up. The snapshot measures 3 3/8 by 3 3/16 inches.

1954 Close-up of Elvis Presley in Snapshot with Girlfriend Dixie Locke and Her Family

Blow up of Elvis in the Dixie Locke family photograph.

Here’s why I find this photograph so interesting. It had 60 bids at the auction, running the price up to $8,750. I don’t recall any other item at the Auctions at Graceland having that much spirited bidding. So, what caused this interest? I asked Jeff Marren, the Consignment Director at the auction about this photo plus another one from Dixie Locke, and this was his reply:

“Those two offerings, specifically, were extremely strong prices, obviously, but not total surprises from the standpoint that they turned out to be photos that had never been seen. When we brought them to auction, we were almost certain they had never seen the light of day, coming directly from the Dixie Locke Emmons collection. The market is very strong for unpublished photos of Elvis.”

Whoever the high bidder was, he now owns a photo of Elvis that other fans have never seen. It will not join the millions of Elvis pictures on the internet. Nobody will be downloading copies of it. And think of the timing. It was snapped just a few weeks before his first recording session at Sun Records and the start of his career. No wonder there were 60 bids on it.

 

Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law - From the Dixie Locke Collection

This is the other photo Mr. Marren referred to. According to Dixie’s accompanying letter, the image of Elvis on this photo postcard was taken at Blue Light Studio in Memphis.

Blue Light Studio

Look at the words along the top of the building. That is Lansky Bros. Men’s Shop. How natural would it be for Elvis to have a postcard photo made at a studio next to Lansky’s, a place he frequently visited.

Anyway, this Elvis photo had 51 bids and topped out at $9,375.

.

Elvis Presley Inscribed Snapshot - Given to His Little Sister-in-Law

Elvis inscribed the back side of the black-and-white photo postcard in pencil to “My (high) tempered little sister-in-law” for Dixie’s sister. Elvis and Dixie had talked seriously of marriage during their relationship, and at the time, the two were sure that marriage was in their future. Thus, the reference to his little sister-in-law.

The photo had at one time been trimmed, cutting off part of Elvis’ inscription. The auction website sums up things nicely: “This early and delightfully playful keepsake captures the youthful star and his adoration for his young love and her family. The photo measures 4 7/8 by 3 1/3 inches.”

Over the years, I have reported on many autographed Elvis photographs at auctions, but I don’t remember another bringing in over $9,000. Looks like it makes a big difference if a photo is one of a kind and has never been reproduced on the internet.

 

The Auction at Graceland website had a quite detailed and interesting background story about a 24” by 36” Elvis concert poster.

Scotty Moore invited Elvis to join his band, The Starlite Wranglers, in July of 1954, and Elvis played just two songs with the group in front of a live audience for the first time at the Bon Air in Memphis on July 17. Just three short weeks later on August 7, Scotty, Bill and Elvis break from The Starlite Wranglers for their first real performance together at the Eagle’s Nest in Memphis. The Eagle’s Nest was a nightclub that was located above the changing room of the restaurant and pool at the Clearpool complex located on Lamar Avenue.

Eagles Nest above Swimming Club

The Clearpool was an entertainment complex that catered to a country and western swing crowd. The house band was led by Memphis DJ “Sleepy-Eyed” John Lepley, and at one time or another, the house band members included Jim Stewart, Stax Records founder, and Jack Clement, producer at Sun. Elvis performed here 16 times in 1954 before the club fell victim to fire in the late 1960s. This venue was one of the first paying gigs for Elvis and his very first consistent venue at the birth of his career. It was at the Eagle’s Nest that Elvis initially gained notoriety among the teen crowd, who would rush in from the pool to hear Elvis sing and then return outside when the next act came on. This is also where Elvis’ own style began to flourish and he was recognized as something out of the ordinary.

1954 Elvis Presley One of the Earliest Known Concert Performance Posters - Eagle’s Nest

Offered is a hand-painted, cardboard poster that hung at the entrance to the Eagle’s Nest and touts “Memphis’ own Elvis Presley with Scotty & Bill.” The poster is signed and inscribed “I spent a week there one night / Scotty Moore / DJ Fontana” in white ink on the black background.

The poster lists three songs: “Heart Breaker,” “That’s All Right,” and “Good Rockin.” Elvis had released “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin” with Sun by September of 1954, while he had been using “Heart Breaker” in his set before recording it as “You’re a Heartbreaker” in December 1954. As Elvis’ performances on the Louisiana Hayride began in mid-October, taking his career into the direction of concert performances at other venues in various cities, his appearances at the Eagle’s Nest begin to wane. Elvis’ last two shows at the Eagle’s Nest were on November 17 and December 10, when, given the songs advertised, this poster was likely used. Since no specific date is listed, enabling the poster to be used more than once, this custom example may have even been used to advertise the appearances on both of those nights.

The auction website traces the ownership of the posters over the years, and one owner, Brian Beirne, a famed Los Angeles radio personality, purchased it in the late 80s or early 90s. He then got Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana to autograph it, approximately 35 years after they had performed there.

Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana autographs on Eagles Nest poster

Mr. Beirne says, “I consider this poster one of the true Holy Grails of concert posters.” The auction website said, “This amazingly rare survivor from the club where Elvis’ legend was launched perfectly captures the spirit of the scene from one of the most formative years in Elvis’ career. One of the earliest known Elvis concert posters.”

Bidders certainly must have been impressed, as it sold for $18,750. Wow

 

Here is one last auction item that has an interesting story. You can’t tell from this picture or the one at the beginning of this article that they are actually posters. Big ones – 22 inches by 28 inches. Hey, ladies. Wouldn’t you love to have one of these posters of Elvis hanging on a wall in your house?

1970 Elvis Presley Black-and-White Souvenir Poster 2

The auction website describes them:

“The Colonel would create generic posters of Elvis that could be altered with snips and venue information and used to promote stops on Elvis Presley’s 1970 tour. These generic posters are few and far between, especially in such an exemplary state of preservation as this one. In true Colonel style, the larger-than-life, bewitching image of Elvis graces the full size of the entire poster. This unusual and rare example with printed Elvis inscription …. is very difficult to come by.”

These full-face posters were given by Tom Diskin [Col. Parker’s assistant] to a fan(fans ?) after a Sept 1970 St. Louis, MO. concert appearance.

I think some folks got very good deals on these posters. The one with the brooding Elvis face went for $687, and the one with the microphone at his mouth went for $812.

 

It’s less than five months until the next Auction at Graceland. I can’t wait to see what new special things they will come up with.

© 2018 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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