Tag Archives: Elvis autographs

Organizing My Elvis Pictures – Part 2

Elvis Signing Something

I’m on the internet all the time looking for stuff to inspire an ElvisBlog post. Like a news item or a historical story, but often I will type something Elvis-related in the Google search box, and just check out the images that pop up. Surprisingly, I find some of the best pictures after scrolling down four or five pages where the images start to waver off your original search term. Like the picture above with Elvis writing something, or more likely, autographing a page for a fan.

I have a nice file of Elvis autographs compiled from dozens of auction results, but this photo didn’t seem right to file there. So, to save time when I discovered it, I just put it in my humongous master folder called Photos for Blog Articles.

Photos For Blog Articles File

Here you can see the first fourteen files in my blog photo folder. There are a total of 145 files with hundreds of sub-files. But there are also hundreds of individual pictures just in the folder, but not filed.

So, I will do this post about organizing some interesting ones into the proper files. Like the photo at the top. Believe it or not, that file is Elvis in the Army. The site where I found it said it was taken in Bad Nauheim, Germany.


Elvis in Thonburi, Thailand

The website information on this one said it was a giant Elvis billboard in Thonburi, Thailand. I had no idea where to file it. It just didn’t fit anywhere. So, I’m going to put it in Images, which is kind of a catch-all for interesting pictures of Elvis himself or his first name. Like this:

On Sun Record

Or this.

Elvis plus Guitar


Here’s one that’s pretty strange.

Born on January 8

It is kind of distressing to know that Kim Jong Un shares the same birthday as Elvis. I had no idea where to file this, but I’m now putting it in Elvis and Other Stars. David Bowie already has a sub-file in there.

Speaking of Kim Jong Un, did you know his father was a big Elvis fan?

Kim Jong Il in Elvis Jumpsuit

That’s Kim Jong Il in an Elvis jumpsuit. He’s filed in Elvis Impersonator Losers, a file with way too many crummy looking Elvis wannabies. Then I got curious about whether Kim Jong Un inherited the same genetic preference for Elvis.

Kim Jong Un as Elvis Presley

The best I could find was this Photoshopped image. I made two copies and filed one in Altered Elvis and the other in that loser file with his dad.


Elvis Presley's Memphis

Do you remember when EPE opened an Elvis-themed restaurant in the old building where the Lansky Bros. clothing store used to be? The restaurant folded after a few years, but Graceland still owned the name Elvis Presley’s Memphis and used it again when they opened the new entertainment complex this year. I have decided to file this picture under Lansky Bros.


Linda Thompson and Bruce Jenner

I don’t know why I didn’t immediately file this one in the Linda Thompson sub-file of the Elvis Girlfriends folder, but it’s in there now. How do you like the good-looking fellow Linda paired up with after Elvis? I think his name is Bruce, but I could be confused.


Elvis Bacon

This one is now in Products. It’s not a good fit, but where else can I file a piece of bacon that looks like Elvis? Somewhere in my master folder there’s a potato chip that looks like Elvis. And a cloud, too, I think. Maybe I can find them and start a folder called Stuff That Looks Like Elvis.


British Passport - Elvis Autograph on Page 32

This could have been put in the Autographs folder, but I didn’t initially do that because I thought I could use the interesting story about it in a blog post. Well, here it is. This is page 32 of the British Passport of Pauline Mary Harvey. Apparently, she met Elvis in 1963 and needed something for him to autograph. I believe the little picture of Elvis was pasted in later.

British Passport - Pauline Mary Harvey - 1963


I am sure you all have seen the photo of Elvis making a face while getting a shot. It’s filed in the Caption Contest folder.

Elvis Getting A Shot

This blood pressure picture will go in there, too, although it will be harder to come up with a funny caption.

Elvis Having Blood Pressure Taken


Woodstock From back of Stage

This doesn’t really belong in any Elvis folder because it is a shot of the crowd at Woodstock taken from the back of the stage. I saved it because I thought it was such a cool photo, but it will stay in limbo because I just don’t know where to file it.


Sketch of Elvis made by Jimi Hendrix in 1957 - 14 years old

Speaking of Woodstock, one of the best performers there, Jimi Hendrix, made this drawing of Elvis in 1957 when Hendrix was fourteen years old. Look hard and you can make out all the Elvis song titles he added. This picture is now filed in Elvis and Other Stars.

It hasn’t been widely reported that Elvis was an influence for Hendrix. What do you think?


24 Hour Church of Elvis

How about the 24 Hour Church of Elvis in Portland, Oregon? It just doesn’t fit in any folder category, so I put it in Odds and Ends, which is not much of an improvement over not filed at all.


Album of Elvis Novelty Songs

Here is a two CD set containing 25 Elvis novelty and tribute songs. You can buy it on Amazon right now for $12.99. I put it in Elvis Records even though it’s not one of his own.


Barbara Hearn Dancing With Elvis

I must have discovered this picture early in my days of collecting Elvis photos and wasn’t sure who the girl was that Elvis danced with. Now, I immediately recognize her as Barbara Hearn, because there are several other photos of her wearing this dress. So the photo has now been filed in the Barbara Hearn sub-file of the Elvis Girlfriends folder. Look what else I have in that file – One of the shortest but expressive love letters to Elvis you will ever see.

Barbara Hearn Dancing With Elvis

Elvis not only made the girls swoon, he made them sigh.


The last time I did a post about organizing my Elvis photos was back in June 2014.  Click here to check it out.



© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth – Part 8

Sincerely Elvis Presley

It’s been nine months since the last ElvisBlog post in this series, but there have been three auctions this year with a number of Elvis signed items, so let’s see what the latest items are.



Julien’s Auction – May 2016:

Elvis autographs show up at Julien’s infrequently, but there were five in this auction and the three signed on things other than photographs all had interesting aspects.


Color Photo Inscribed to Harry Levitch:


Elvis signed an untold number of publicity photographs for his fans, but occasionally he also did it for associates in music, film, and business. Harry Levitch was a Memphis jeweler who made, sold and repaired jewelry for Elvis, including Priscilla’s wedding ring. The inscription says, “To Mr. and Mrs. Levitch, my sincere for all the thoughtful jewelry over the years. Your friend, Elvis Presley.” The high bid on this 7” x 9” item was $1,600, including the 25% buyer’s premium.


1955 Bank Deposit Slip:

Elvis Presley Signed Deposit Slip

The interesting thing about this signature is that it is actually the carbon copy of a two-part deposit slip for the National Bank of Commerce in Memphis. A look at the fine print at the bottom shows “Duplicate Deposit Ticket / New Account,” so this $240 probably was the first money to go into it. I wonder how much the total deposits over the years came to. The winning bidder was happy to spend $1,920 for the carbon-copy Elvis signature.


Signed International Hotel Postcard:

Front of Elvis Presley Signed Postcard

Elvis Presley Signed Postcard

In addition to Elvis’ signature, do we we get a sample of other Elvis writing in the address to Mary Miller?  The auction website makes no memtion of it. Strangely, the inscription is “To Dennis.” The postcard went for $1,600.


Inscribed Children’s Book:

Elvis Inscribed Childrens' Book

Cover of Elvis Inscribed Children's Book

As you can see, this is signed E.P. which might ordinarily deter autograph collectors. However, the message above it must be one of the longest inscriptions Elvis ever wrote, “To Robin, a sweet little girl. Thanks for your lovely cards. They are wonderful. My sincere thanks and all the best. Your friend, E.P.” Bidders obviously saw value in this item, and it went for $1,600.


Signed Black and White Image:


I expected this to bring less than the previous items because the auction website said it appeared to be a page taken from a book, not a quality publicity photo. Bidders didn’t seem to care, and it went for $1,600.


Auction at Graceland — October, 2016:

As I have stated before, the Auctions at Graceland seem to be the ones with the best return for sellers. They also have access to a number of contractual documents, applications, and other items that add significantly to the value of the signature. I prefer to feature mostly items that Elvis signed for the fans, but here’s a list of some of the big ticket signed documents:

1956 Application for the Screen Actors Guild — $6,250
1964 Rolls Royce Phantom V credit application — $4,000
1970 Federal Firearm Transaction Record — $6,250


Envelope signed at the Big D Jamboree, 1955:

Elvis Presley Signed Envelope

Back when I started following the auctions of Elvis collectibles, his autograph on whatever a fan had available (scraps of paper, blank check deposit slips, etc.) would bring in $6-800. That was during the early days of the recession. Now, seven or eight years later, the economy is healthier and it cost more to buy Elvis autographs. This 3-3/8 by 5-3/4 inch signed envelope in crappy shape brought in $1,375.


Signed and Inscribed Elvis’ Golden Records Vol. 1:

Elvis Presley Signed Album

A young fan got Elvis to sign this album cover while he was an Army recruit at Ft. Chaffee in 1958. As I have said before, it behooves the seller of Elvis autographs to present them in proper framed display in order to fetch top dollar. At 18 by 27 inches, this signed album will look great on any collector’s wall. It went for $2,500.



Signed “Mr. Rhythm” Magazine in Framed Display:


OK, my theory isn’t foolproof, as proved by this item. Here we have a signed photograph from the back cover of a “Mr. Rhythm” souvenir picture program from 1956. It is beautifully displayed in a 33” by 39” black frame, along with the program cover, three photographs, and a descriptive plaque. In spite of all this, it had only four bids and went for $1,500. A real bargain for somebody.


Signed Early Promotional Photo from 1955:


And this item diminishes another of my theories. I have often wondered why people pay so much for an Elvis photo autographed on the BACK. How do you display it? Like this?


While this item has no appeal to me, it did to somebody, as it went for $2,500.


Signed Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin, 1963:


Here’s a question for you. You know about Elvis performing at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, and later at the International/Hilton Hotel, and getting married at the Aladdin Hotel, but what is his connection to the Thunderbird Hotel. Give up? He stayed there while filming Viva Las Vegas. In a story like countless others, a fan had a chance encounter with Elvis and grabbed the first thing she could to get his autograph, which was this cocktail napkin. It is in less than ideal shape, but still went for $2,500.


Signed Flamingo Hotel Envelope:

Elvis Presley Signed Flamingo Hotel Envelope

Here’s another one. What was Elvis’ connection to the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas? You are all probably familiar with the 1969 picture of Elvis in a hard-hat signing papers at the construction site of the International Hotel. It was actually a ceremonial contract for his upcoming concert engagement when the hotel was completed. Elvis stayed in town for four days at the Flamingo and signed this hotel envelope. It sold for $2,125. So much for proper presentation in a framed display. At the Auction at Graceland, bidders just didn’t seem to care.


Elvis Presley Signed Promotional Poster:


Well, if a 3” by 6” signed envelope is worth $2,125, then certainly an autographed 21” by 28” color poster is worth $2,750.


This prize was originally obtained in 1973 by a girl with the good fortune to have a flight attendant sister who knew Elvis personally. When Elvis performed in their hometown at the Pittsburgh Civic Center Arena in July 1974, the girls spent a lot of time with Elvis and his buddies. Along with a treasure of wonderful memories, she also got this signed poster.


Heritage Auctions – November 2016

There were just a handful of Elvis collectibles in the latest Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction, but what can you expect when the Auction at Graceland featured 145 the month before?


Signed June Kelly Print from Roustabout:


This painting was used during the promotion of Elvis’ film Roustabout.


Penciled on the back side in the artist’s hand is “Artist proof #1 / for Elvis / June Kelly. I guess that helped push the bidding up to $1,687


Elvis Presley Signature with Photo:


This is a nice example of proper displaying. The scrap of paper with Elvis’ autograph measures just 2.75″ x 4″, but the framed display is 12” by 19”. It went for $1,500


Elvis Presley Signed Black and White Photograph:


At first glance, it might appear Elvis signed this black and white photograph twice. However, the white “Best Wishes/ Elvis Presley” at the bottom right is a facsimile printing.


The real signing was “To Jo/ I Love You Very Much/ Elvis Presley” at the top right in red ink. She was Jo Heims, the female screenwriter on his 1967 MGM film, Double Trouble. The top bid on this was $1,625.



© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? — Part 7


Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge - Envelope Back

Elvis autographs keep showing up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. I wonder how many times he signed his name on something over the course of his life. It must be many thousands, but bidders keep paying big bucks for his autographs. As before in this series, the value generally depends on what Elvis signed (plus the condition, of course). Here’s what sold at a Gotta Have It auction in November 2015 and a Heritage auction in February 2016.


Unreleased Photo (Shreveport, 1954-55):

Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

This black and white snapshot was takenof Elvis backstage at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana during an early performance at the Louisiana Hayride. The auction website doesn’t say that this photo was shot on a Polaroid camera, but how else would the original owner be able to snap it and also get Elvis to sign it on the back? The size is tiny, just 2.25” X 3.25”, which sounds like the early Polaroid pictures..

Autographed Back of Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

Elvis signed it in pencil. According to the auction website, the autograph was obtained by a young lady that Presley dated when he was in Shreveport. How do you like the way she glued cutout phrases to the photo: “My Babe”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, and “Elvis Presley”.

The winning bid of $2,375 has to be significantly due to the autograph being on a very rare, early picture. For less money, I would prefer a bigger picture with the autograph on front so it would display well.


Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session:

Elvis Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session

Elvis hand wrote this list of songs he wanted to use for an RCA recording session in Stax Studios in Memphis from July 20-25, 1973. It is written in black ballpoint pen on white paper.

Elvis' Album Raised on Rock

Four of the songs were released as A-sides or B-sides of singles. That left only six songs for the planned new album Raised on Rock, so three more were recorded in September in the living room of Elvis’ Palm Springs home.

Living Room of Elvis' Palm Springs House

While this song list is not technically an autograph, it contains a lot of printing by Elvis. It was certainly a popular item, generating ten bids and selling for $5,900.


Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge:

Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge

This also does not contain Elvis’ signature, but it has a printed message he wrote to Charlie Hodge plus Elvis’ initials in black ballpoint pen.

This is the front of a Hilton Hawaiian Village envelope presumably from November of 1972 when Elvis performed a show there. For some reason, Elvis also initialed the inside of the envelope flap as shown at the beginning of this article.

This item had just one bidder, but he was willing to part with $1,000 to get it.


Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956:

Elvis Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956

This appears to be a fan club-type insert, depicting a headshot of a serious Elvis with his name printed below on the lower left side. The inscription in green fountain pen ink on the left side reads “To Gina from Elvis Presley.” The photo is 8″ x 10″, and with the autograph on the front, it begs to be presented in a proper frame.

Even without a fancy presentation, it had six bids and went for $1,750.


Inscribed and Signed “The Prophet”:

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet

The auction website says this is Elvis’ personally owned copy of “The Prophet,” that he gave to Col. Parker’ assistant Tom Diskin. It is well known that this book was quite important to Elvis, so it is reasonable to question whether this is the original copy given to Elvis by columnist May Mann, or if it might be another copy he just bought for gift giving.

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet - Cover

Elvis inscribed the book to Tom Diskin when they were on the Paramount lot during the filming of a movie. The minimum bid was $2,500, but no one was willing to part with that much. Maybe prospective buyers shared the same doubts I had.


Signed Photos Taken at Tyler, Texas Concert in 1955:

Elvis Signed Photo (1955

The next two autographed photos were both taken at a Tyler, Texas concert on January 25, 1955. However, the results are different for them, and I can’t see the logic of it. Both photos were taken from the same close-up position and have similar Elvis autographs on the back.

Elvis' Autograph on Back of Photo (1955 -- Back

The pictures were taken at a travelling Louisiana Hayride show. They are both small, just 3”X 3”. This first one has two vertical creases at the left and right sides, some wear at the creases and edges, and a pinhole in the upper-left corner, with two more at the upper-right corner.

In spite of the small size and less than stellar condition, it still sold for $1,625.

Here is the other one.

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955 -- Front

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955

The photo is in better shape and the autograph doesn’t run off the edge like the first one. The minimum bid of $1,250 plus 25% auction house premium equals $1,562, which is $62 less than the first one went for. However, it received no bids. I don’t get it.


Previous Posts in this Series:

Part 6

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1



© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? — Part 6

September 10, 1971 Elvis Presley Signed Performance Contract for John Wilkinson - Close Up

This series on Elvis autographs has been great for driving search engine traffic to ElvisBlog. There sure are a lot of folks out there who ended up with grandma’s prized Elvis autograph, and are curious what it is worth. I not qualified to give an estimate to them. Instead I direct them to my friend Jerry Osborne, famous Elvis collector, author and historian at www.jerryosborne.com. His service is very reasonably priced, but if someone wants to get a rough idea of their autograph’s value, they can scan the 54 autographs featured in this series so far. And now, thanks to the recent Auction at Graceland, here are 12 more.


1955 Elvis Signed Promo Photo:

1955 Elvis Presley Signed Promo Photo

If you read the first ElvisBlog article on the new Elvis Stamp a few weeks ago, you will recognize this as one of the ten photographs taken by William Speer in 1955. This shot wasn’t the one chosen to be on the stamp, but it obviously was used for promotional purposes.

1955 Elvis Presley Signed Promo Photo - Back

Elvis autographed the back of the photo in pencil for Carl Denton, an aspiring singer on the bill with Elvis at a September 14, 1955 show.

It went for $2,000 ($1,600 plus 25% auction fee), which I think is pretty high for something in this poor condition. Plus, it can’t be displayed in a proper frame. Either you show the picture or the signature. If I collected Elvis autographs, the only signed photos I would buy would be signed on the front.


Signed and Inscribed Note to Sara “Little Bit” Cossman:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed Note to Sara Little Bit Cossman

This signed page from an autograph book is in much better shape. Elvis wrote the message and autograph in 1962 or 1963 while visiting an RCA office. Sara “Little Bit” Cossman sat at the reception desk when he arrived. He picked up her autograph book without being asked and signed it. Of course, “Little Bit” was an affectionate name Elvis used over the years for various girlfriends.

This item sold for $2,500 (including the 25% FEE).


Snapshot – Signed While Elvis was Stationed in Germany:

1959 Elvis Presley Signed Snapshot

This photo was taken in 1959 outside of Elvis’ house during his time in the Army. The auction website says the woman appeared in many other photographs with Elvis at this time.

Fourteen bids were made on this signed photo and it went for $2,750. This is a good example of the extra value the autograph on the front brings. But I wonder how many bidders read the fine print that this photo is tiny (2-3/4” by 2”)


Signed and Inscribed International Hotel Room Service Menu:

Elvis Signed and Inscribed International Hotel Room Service Menu

The picture above shows the back of the International Hotel room service menu from 1969 or 1970. The front cover is missing, so I wonder if Elvis had signed both, and then they were separated later to multiply the value.

The message says, “To Susie and Bill, Thank you for the beautiful bible, Elvis Presley,” but no explanation of the occasion is mentioned on the auction website. Final price: $3,000.


Signed Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin:

Elvis Signed Thunderbird Hotel Cocktail Napkin

Elvis autographed cocktail napkins show up in the auctions fairly often. The story is always the same: Somebody has a chance encounter with Elvis and wants to get his autograph, so they grab the first thing they can find. Elvis signed this napkin in the lounge of the Thunderbird Hotel in July 1963 while he was in Las Vegas filming Viva Las Vegas.

The top bid was $3,125, which seems high to me. Why would a signed napkin bring more than a signed photo? It may have to do with the charged atmosphere at the Auction at Graceland. If I had an Elvis autograph to sell, this is where I would offer it.


Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon:

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon

This is a great picture taken at a very important event in Elvis’ life, and it is well worth the $3,625 it went for.

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon - Close-Up

The close-up shows Elvis’ message starts “To Andy.” Note what the word “To” looks like.

Elvis Signed Photograph From Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Luncheon - Back

This is the back of the photo. According to the auction website, Elvis flipped it over and started to sign it. But Andy had the forethought to stop Elvis cold and have him sign the front. Good thinking, Andy. I wonder why more people didn’t figure that out.


Early 1956 Signed “Mr. Rhythm” Souvenir Program:

1956 Elvis Presley Signed Mr. Rhythm Souvenir Picture Album - Front

In February 1956, Elvis hadn’t yet been branded “The King of Rock and Roll.” In fact, this tour program calls him “Country Music’s Mr. Rhythm.” If the photo of Elvis looks familiar, that’s because it was the one used for the new Elvis stamp 59 years later.

Early 1956 Elvis Presley Signed Mr. Rhythm Souvenir Program - Signature

Elvis signed the back of the program which features the same William Speer photograph that started this article. The program brings some intrinsic value to the final high bid of $4,250.


Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Thank You Note:

Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Thank You Note by Elvis

We all know how Elvis used to toss scarves to lucky fans at his concerts. Did you know that Col. Parker, always on the lookout for ways to make a buck, had them available at the lobby souvenir stands? They had a facsimile signature printed on them, like the one above.

Souvenir Concert Scarf and Handwritten Elvis Thank You Note

So, the real value of this lot is the hand-written note Elvis wrote when he gave the scarf to Leilani Parker, wife of Elvis’ bodyguard and karate instructor Ed Parker. Note that Elvis signed it “E.P. and Linda,” which of course is Linda Thompson. The scarf and note combo had 22 bids and sold for $4,750.


1971 Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints:

1971 Elvis Presley Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints

I am surprised only three bids were made on this Forth Dan Black Belt card, but it still topped out at $5,000. Certainly, Elvis’ fingerprints in red ink on the back make this a unique collectible.

1971 Elvis Presley Signed Martial Arts Card with Fingerprints - Back

The auction website relates an interesting Karate story by Elvis’ friend and security guard Lee Ricketts.

“On the evening of February 18, 1973, at Elvis’ midnight show, four men from Los Angeles rushed onto the stage to attack Elvis. They jumped onto the stage one at a time to attract the bodyguards and the last one was to take on Elvis ‘to show him up as a phony at Karate’ and as he approached Elvis, he (Elvis) with one Karate kick sent the man off the stage and into the audience. After the four men were subdued and turned over to the uniformed security guards the show was canceled and a very excited Elvis was escorted back to the suite.”

During the time that Lee Ricketts helped with security for Elvis’ shows, he received his 1st degree black belt in Kenpo Karate from Master Kang Rhee, who did not have a certificate with him at that time to present to Ricketts.  So Elvis gave him his Fourth Don Black Belt Karate Certificate.


Houston Astrodome Livestock Show and Rodeo Collection Including Elvis Presley Signed Check:

Elvis Check to Astroworld Hotel

It seems reasonable that even a blank check from Elvis’ account would have considerable collectible value, so it’s no surprise nineteen bids went after this signed check. Bidding topped at $5,500. Elvis stayed at the Astroworld Hotel while performing at the 38th Annual “America’s Wildest Rodeo” in February 1970.

1970 Houston Astrodome Livestock Show and Rodeo Collection Including Elvis Presley Signed Check

It was offered in this terrific framed display, which also included an Astroworld Hotel full-color brochure and an original two-page press release, and a photo from the event. Also included is Colonel Tom Parker’s personalized name badge from the show, which probably added zero value to the lot.


Signed 1970 Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Men of America Award Booklet:

Elvis Signed Jaycee's Program

These autographed items are listed in order of ascending price. For the most part, the reason for the higher prices will be the item that Elvis signed. That is certainly the case here.

Being chosen as one of the Jaycees Ten Most Outstanding Young Men for 1970 was one of Elvis’ proudest moments. The awards ceremony took place on January 16, 1971, in Memphis. Future President George H. W. Bush was the featured speaker.

Jaycees Program with Elvis' Autotograph

This is the program for the event. Elvis’ picture and bio got two pages. The other nine recipients got one page each. The lot also included two ticket stubs. Although there were only three bids, the new owner spent $7,500 to get this collectible.  It is interesting to note that another signed copy of this program sold at auction for $4,687 in December 2013.  And another one sold in September 2012 for $2,375.  This confirms my impression that the Auction at Graceland is the place to get maximum return if you sell your Elvis collectibles.


Signed 1955 Tax Return and Signed August 1956 All Star Shows Tour Settlement Statement:

Elvis Presley Signed 1955 Tax Return

This collection of early signed documents includes Elvis Presley’s 1040 tax return from 1955 for which Elvis’ total income was $25,214.15. The first page is signed in blue ink by Elvis Presley and dated “Aug 10/56.” Elvis has listed his address as 1034 Audubon Drive, his occupation as “Musical Entertainer” and his total exemptions as 4.

Elvis Presley Signed 1955 Tax Return - Close-up

Elvis’ quick rise to stardom is evidenced by the payment statement from the August 1956 tour, which is also included in this lot. The typed statement from the All Star Shows lists a sum total of $20,750 paid to Elvis for performances from August 3-12, 1956.

Signed August 1956 All Star Shows Tour Settlement Statement

I’m not sure why these documents were offered as a “twofer,” but together they brought in a top bid of $8,125. My question is how Elvis’ signed tax return ever got out of the IRS files.


© 2015 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 5

Elvis Autograph Sample

It’s been a year-and-a-half since we last looked at Elvis autographs. For some reason, not too many came on the market during that time, at least not at the five auctions I’ve followed – three Heritage rock memorabilia auctions and two Auctions at Graceland. What was for sale tended to be more expensive, partially because of the items Elvis put his autograph on. Here’s a look at them in ascending price order.


Autographed Fan Photograph (1965):

Elvis Autographed Photograph

In 1965, Elvis signed the back of this 5” x 4” b&w photo taken by a fan club president at Elvis’ Bel Air, California home. For some reason, the back with the autograph was not shown on the auction website. The signed photo went for $650 including the 25% auction house service charge. One reason for the low price has been noted here before. Photos, postcards, etc. signed on the front make a much better display in a proper frame, with matting, and non-glare glass, and they bring a higher price. With this one, you would just see the autograph on a blank piece of paper.


Signed Promotional Photograph:

Elvis Wild in the Country Group

The group of items above were part of a promotional package for Elvis’ 1961 movie Wild in the Country, when it had its national premier at the Malco Theater in Memphis. The b&w photo at the bottom left is 7.5” x 9.5” and is signed on the back. Elvis must have turned it sideways when he signed it.

Elvis Wild In the Country Photo Autographed -- Blow-up

This one went for $1,375, but certainly part of that value is from the accompanying eight-page premier program and the bumper sticker. How do you like that message? “Official Teenage Press Agent – Ask Me”

Example of How Presentation Affects Value:

Elvis Signature and Color Photo

See that little piece of white paper under the color photo of Elvis? It measures just 2.5″ x 2.5”, and may well be the smallest thing Elvis ever autographed. So, how do you turn this tiny item into something that brings $1,500 at auction? Easy, put it in a nice matted frame with a good Elvis photograph.

Elvis Signature Blow-up

Over the years, I have seen so many scraps of paper with Elvis’ autograph up for auction that had no attempt at proper presentation. Why don’t these sellers spend some money and make displays of their autographs. They’d come out hundreds of dollars ahead, like this seller did.


Autographed German Postcard:

Elvis Signed Postcard

There is certainly some intrinsic value to German Elvis postcards from 1959. Although Elvis’ autograph is on the backside, this went for $1,500. The auction website said another not-autographed German postcard was part of the lot, so that probably added to the total value.

Elvis Signed Postcard - back

The German text on the back is promotion for Pulverdampf Und Heibe Lieder (Love Me Tender). One thing I don’t understand is that the postcard front is rectangular and the back is square. How can that be? The auction website offers no explanation.


Signed 1956 Promotional Photo:

Elvis Signed Photograph

Well, this one is big (8” x 10”) and it goes back to the early days of Elvis’ career. Is that enough to make it bring $1,625 at auction? It was for one bidder. The auction description states that all four corners display Scotch Tape residue. We can assume the young fan thought it was more important to display Elvis’ face than his autograph. I wonder what the new owner will decide.


Autographed Envelope, 1955

Elvis Signed Envelope

You need to know the history behind this autograph to appreciate why it sold for $1.625.

The front of this envelope is postmarked “Mar 20 1955 / Greenville Tex.,” and addressed to “Carol Eldred.” The original letter to Carol is still enclosed inside. It is from Bobby Belew of the teenage singing act, The Belew Twins — two young brothers who performed around the South in the early 1950s, and who crossed Elvis’ path a few times at various gigs. Carol obtained this autograph in May of 1955 when she went to see her friends The Belew Twins perform at “The Big D Jamboree” at the Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas. Elvis was also on the bill that night.

Carol remembers not caring much for Elvis, but when she saw him backstage while she was waiting for Bobby Belew, Elvis asked her if she wanted his autograph. She didn’t, but she also didn’t want to be rude, so she fished this letter out of her purse and the future King signed the back of the envelope for her.

You know it had to be real early in Elvis’ career if he had to ask a girl if she wanted his autograph. That soon changed drastically.


Early Elvis Autograph:

Early Elvis Autograph

This has to be the crappiest-looking Elvis autograph ever offered, but removing the piece of white notepaper to crop and display it would lose another cute story about how the fan obtained her cherished treasure.

The handwriting says, “Elvis Presley’s autograph. One Sat, Helen, Miriam Whipple & I were driving by his house & he was out on his motorcycle & we ran up and got his autograph. I touched him & his motorcycle too!!”

Don’t you love it? – I touched his motorcycle, too!! Also note that she misspelled Elvis on her first attempt.

The auctions website warns, “The note shows evidence of being well loved and admired by an adoring fan. The note has stains and folds and signs of tape and residue. Slightly torn and creased.” In spite of that (or maybe because of it), this autograph went for $2,000.


Signed “Suspicious Minds” Picture Sleeve:

Elvis Autograph on Suspicious Minds Picture Sleeve

This went for more than I expected, topping out at $2,250. The 45 RPM picture sleeve is in excellent condition, which certainly helped, but the auction site doesn’t mention whether the actual record is in there.

Elvis Suspicious Minds Autograph - Blown Up

I can see top value in an Elvis autographed picture sleeve for one of his 1956 hits, but “Suspicious Minds” was released in 1969. The auction site noted that the song was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as #91 on its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Elvis-Signed Note to a Fan:

Elvis-Signed Note to a Fan

The supporting documents say Elvis signed this piece of lined notebook paper backstage at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium on October 26, 1957. I have no idea why nine people wanted it so much that they ran the top bid up $3,250.

However, it was sold at the second Auction at Graceland in January 2015. The idea of an Elvis-only auction held in Memphis on his birthday was brilliant, as almost every item sold for more (sometimes much more) than comparable items had at general Rock & Roll memorabilia auctions previously.


Signed Letter to MGM (July 24, 1964):

Elvis Signed Letter to MGM

This letter looks like it was typed by MGM Studios and included in the mailing package for the reels of Viva Las Vegas film sent to Elvis. Elvis returned it signed, and it and confirmed, “I agree that said print will be used by me only for my personal library purposes,” plus some other legalese. I don’t find it a particularly compelling collectible, but somebody did and paid $3,750 for it.


Elvis and Priscilla Autographed Print:

Elvis Signed Color Portrait

Back in 1967, a devoted fan, Marilyn Tittle from Ohio came to Memphis determined to see (and maybe meet) Elvis. She hung out at the gates of Graceland, ultimately impressing the guard with her perseverance. First, he gave her this 16” x 20” color portrait of Elvis. Then he told her Elvis and Priscilla were honeymooning at the Circle G Ranch, and he facilitated her getting on the grounds.

Elvis Signed Color Portrait - Close up

It worked, and Ms. Tittle got both Elvis and Priscilla to sign the portrait. A month later, she returned to Memphis with the portrait and got Vernon to sign it. I don’t know if there are any other collectibles signed by Elvis, Priscilla, and Vernon, but this one sold for $3,875 a few weeks ago.


Signed Checks to Red West and Jerry Schilling:

Elvis Signed Check Written to Red West, 1975

Elvis Signed Check Written to Jerry Schilling

These two checks were offered at the first Auction at Graceland on August 16, 2014. They were both issued to members of Elvis’ Memphis Mafia. The interesting thing is that the check to Red West went for $5,125, while the one to Jerry schilling brought in $6,250.

Why the difference? My opinion is that many fans feel the same way I do about these two men. Schilling was a true buddy until the end and waited thirty years before he wrote a book about Elvis, a very positive book. Red West wrote that hatchet job in 1977 that hurt Elvis deeply. I would be happy to display an Elvis collectible with Jerry Schilling’s name on it. Red West, not so much.



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The Second Auction at Graceland — Part 2

Last week, I promised we would look at the items that failed to receive the minimum bid established by the auction — overly optimistic minimums in most cases:

Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring:

Elvis' Gold Nugget-Style Diamond Ring

Dozens of Elvis’ rings have been covered in the four ElvisBlog special reports on Elvis’ Fabulous Rings (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), but only ten have sold for over $15,000. The minimum bid on this ring was $12,000, which means the buyer would have to shell out $15,000 when the 25% auction premium is added in. It’s a fine ring, with 14-karat gold weighing approximately 16 grams and four diamonds measuring approximately 0.5 carats. The problem is that no photo of Elvis wearing the ring was offered. Letters of authenticity from two previous owners of the ring just didn’t cut it.


Crown Cake Topper:

Crown Cake Topper Gifted to Elvis

It was easy to see this wasn’t going to reach the estimate of $1,200-1,500, let alone the minimum of $500. It is just a 4 inch-wide decoration to put on top of a cake. A fan handed it to Elvis at a concert and had someone take a photo with the cake topper in front of Elvis. This is one time a photo didn’t seem to help create demand. Elvis has to do more than touch something for a few seconds to make it serious memorabilia.


Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis:

Teddy Bear Gifted by Elvis

I laughed out loud when I saw what they wanted for this. As you know, lots of fans sent Teddy Bears to Elvis, even while he was stationed in Germany during his Army days. Elvis had a table full of them when an Army buddy and his expectant wife visited him. He wanted to give them a gift for their baby and asked the wife to choose a teddy bear from the table. This is the one she choose. There was not enough of an Elvis connection to make anybody cough up the minimum bid of $4,000, and the expected range of $7-9,000 was just ridiculous.


Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis:

Application for Credit for a 1964 Rolls Royce Signed by Elvis

The auction website description tried to present this as a great glimpse at the day-to-day business dealings in the lives of Elvis and Vernon Presley. But the truth is that most of the value comes from Elvis’ signature at the bottom of the left document. But Elvis autographs sell frequently at much less than the estimate of $3,500-$5,000. And they are on more interesting items, as can be seen in the earlier ElvisBlog series So What Is an Elvis Autograph Worth? (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)


Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces:

Elvis' Gold and Diamond TCB and TLC Necklaces

I’m actually surprised this set didn’t sell. Sure, the minimum bid was high at $25.000, which meant the buyer would have to part with $31,250, but the tone of the auction indicated the buyers were willing to spend big bucks on the top items. Plus, a single TLC necklace with no diamonds went for $12,500 at this auction. Both pendants have twelve imbedded diamonds totaling 0.25 carats. The lightning bolts are 14k gold weighing 13 grams, and the chains are 14k gold approximately thirty inches long. I expect we’ll see these at auction again, probably with a bit lower minimum bid.


U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer, 1961:

Elvis - U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Fund Original Flyer

While this 9-1/4 x 12-3/8 inch promotional flyer did not bring the minimum bid of $2,000, it did have the most fact-filled description on the auction website:

“Perhaps what endears Elvis Presley to his fans so much is the fact that it seemed like there was no end to his willingness to give. In December of 1960 an editorial ran in an L.A. paper about the stalled efforts to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. This article was spotted by the Colonel and Elvis answered the call to duty. On January 11th, 1961, a press conference was held and it was announced that Elvis would perform a benefit concert on the condition that every penny from the concert must go to the fund. Elvis had just turned 26 and the fact that the average age of the 1,102 American seamen that died aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack was about that same age was not lost on him. It was stated during the press conference that not only was everyone expected to pay for entry to the event but that Elvis wanted to be the one to buy the first ticket. Ticket prices ranged from $3.00 to $10.00 for reserved section seats and $100.00 for the 100 reserved “ringside” seats. The goal was set at raising $50,000 towards the effort. The concert date was set for March 25th, 1961 and 4,000 screaming fans, 15 songs and $54,000 later, Elvis left the building. As a result of the concert and the huge amount of media attention it garnered, public and private donations flooded in from all over the country and on May 30th, 1962 (Memorial Day) the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial was dedicated.”


“Louisiana Hayride” Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955:

Louisiana Hayride Contract Signed by Elvis, Gladys and Vernon, 1955

The auction description of this contract correctly stated that “The significance of this contract cannot be overstated… Elvis’ weekly “Hayride” shows were instrumental in the development of his early stage presence, and were where Colonel Parker first saw Elvis perform. Producer and contract signer H.L. “Hoss” Logan coined the phrase ‘Elvis has left the building’ during this time period as well.”

But bidders must have considered the value of Elvis’ signature on the last of four pages of legalese to be less that the minimum bid of $15,000.


One other element of this second Auction at Graceland that was kind of interesting:


Graceland.com had a link so we fans could watch a live stream of the event. In addition the screen had a column on the right for viewers to chat.

At first, it was all one big happy family:

Samantha – Hello fellow fans, hope everyone one has had a lovely Elvis day
Jill – I wish I had the money for this stuff
Kitten – If I had anything from Elvis, I would sleep with it every night and then I would be buried with it when I die.
Gayleen — “He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.” A quote from Hamlet that certainly applies to Elvis.

Then, as often happens in chat rooms, there was occasional sniping back and forth:

Sue – He died from a heart attack because he was so out of shape. He had an enlarged heart and liver.. He was an accident waiting to happen
Kathy – Debbie Downer, don’t ruin this for us fans
Soul Reactivator – Why is Elvis birthday being celebrated after he died from Drugs ?
Daniel – Soul reactivator, don’t be so ignorant
Jamie – Go away Troll Trash

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Loading

About half-way through, the live stream started having problems. Those who were still getting it okay were nice to the rest of us and gave us a running play-by-play of the results (the chat room kept going just fine):

Ellen – 8,500 for the scarf and ticket stub. omg!

Then the auction live stream seemed to go into permanent buffering mode for everybody.

Auction at Graceland Live Feed - Buffering

Nanlyn – Does anyone know how I can stop it from buffering so much. get tired of refreshing
Sherrie – Mine is still frozen. won’t even let me log out
Wayne – Yep, I’m crashed here too…at least I’ve got an excuse. I’m in Australia!!


At that point, I gave up and went to bed.


Next week we will look at the auction’s big surprises and a few other items that caught my fancy.


© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 4

If the volume of comments is a measure of success for blog posts, then the ElvisBlog series on Elvis autographs has been a winner. There seems to be a lot of folks out there holding on to an Elvis autograph and wondering what it’s worth. If that includes you, there’s good news. Eight of the nine Elvis autographs offered by Heritage Auctions at its just completed Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction, exceeded the pre-auction estimate. Several of them brought two or three times the expected prices. Let’s take a look – in sequence cheapest up to most expensive.

Autograph on White Paper (Circa 1960) — $1.062.50:

Elvis' Autograph on White Paper from Fan Book

Usually, the least expensive Elvis autographs are written on a scrap of paper, or the back of a check deposit slip – whatever a fan had available when the opportunity came up. The value can be enhanced by framing it or adding extras. Here is an example. The small white sheet of paper above is a 5” x 4.5” page from an autograph album (shown directly below it). Elvis signed it boldly in blue ballpoint pen.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph in Fan Book

The seller added two unsigned black-and-white photographs, and the package brought in $1,062.50 (including 25% buyer’s premium to the auction house). But the photos and book are really of no value, so this turned out to be a rather expensive Elvis autograph on a plain piece of paper.


Signed Magazine Page (Circa 1957) — $1562.50:

Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page, Circa 1957

This autograph seems to have been written on a page from a magazine or program. Elvis signed it “Thanks Honey, Elvis Presley” in blue ink. The Honey receiving the thanks was Joyce Gentry, the president of the Elvis Presley Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club in Missouri, as noted in the upper left corner.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on Magazine Page

The 10″ x 8″ image has been glued to a piece of black construction paper. The pre-auction estimate was $1,500, which seemed a little high to me, but the winning bid topped that.


Signed “Surrender”/ “Lonely Man” Compact 33 Single (1961) — $1500:

Compact 33 with Elvis' Autograph

Elvis’ five Compact 33 singles from 1961 are some of his most highly sought after records. “Surrender”/”Lonely Man” was the first, and the most copies of it were released. Still, a ‘mint’ copy of it sold for $700 at auction three years ago.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Compact 33 Single

The one pictured here is in ‘VG-EX6’ condition, and the sleeve is ‘VG7’ (not quite mint, but really, really good). Add Elvis’ autograph to the sleeve, and the package is worth $1,500 (25% above the pre-auction estimate). To me this is an excellent Elvis collectible and well worth the money.


Signed Graceland Christmas Card (1959) — $1625.50:

Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

I have studied this thing numerous times, and I can’t figure it out. The auction website says it is 8.5” x 5.5” but is that the dimensions of everything shown, or each half because there are clearly two images. And why is the top half of the lower one up-side-down?

 Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Christmas Card

Regardless, Elvis signed it and sent it to Janet Gentry, that Rock-N-Roll Kats Fan Club president.

Envelope for Christmas Card with Elvis' Autograph

Together, the weird autographed Christmas card and the envelope addressed in Elvis’ handwriting brought in $1,625.50, an excellent value in my opinion.


Signed Elvis LP – RCA 1382 (1956) — $1625.50:

 Elvis Autographs on Album

 Elvis was the title of his second RCA album released in 1956. Of course it can have considerable value to collectors, but the auction website makes no mention of this copy’s condition, which makes a huge difference. Plus the sleeve is missing.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on LP

However, it is signed “yours Elvis Presley” in white ink, and has been matted and framed to 14.5″ x 14.5’ so this is a very cool collectible. The sell price came in just above the estimate, the most accurate on any of the nine items.


Signed Humes High School Commencement Program (1956) — $1687.50:

Elvis Autographed Humes High School Commencement Program, 1956

This commencement program is not from Elvis’ graduation in 1954. He left Humes High as nobody special, but two years later he had become a huge rock and roll sensation. Elvis went back to his alma mater as the Class of ’56 was graduating and caused quite a stir. As a result, we have this signed commencement 5.5″ x 8.5″ program matted and framed to 9″ x 20″.

Blow Up of Elvis' Autograph on Commencement Program

The black-and-white picture of Elvis has no connection with the program, but it adds a nice touch to the presentation. Somebody liked it a lot, as the high bid came in 50% over the estimate at $1,687.50. I wonder if that bidder didn’t read the fine print and thought it was Elvis’ graduation program.


 Signed Black and White Photograph and a Related Telegram (Circa 1965) — $3,500:

Elvis Autograph on Black and White Photograph

This item had a pre-auction estimate of $1,600, and I thought that was a little high. To my surprise, it sold for $3,500. Sure, you’ve got a nice publicity photo with Elvis’ inscription, “To Dore, Many thanks for everything from Elvis Presley.” Dore” was Dore Freeman, a longtime publicity agent at MGM Studios. All in all, not enough to justify $3,500.

Blow UP of Elvis Autograph onBlack and White Photograph

The item accompanying the photo is a Western Union telegram to Dore Freeman wishing him a happy birthday. It might have added some value if Elvis had sent it, but it was sent by Colonel Parker.


Signed America’s Ten Outstanding Young Men Banquet Program (1971) — $4.687.50:

Elvis Autographed America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

Like the Compact 33 record and the Elvis album, this program has some collectible value by itself. In 1971, Elvis was selected by the United States Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in America. George H W Bush, Ambassador to the UN at that time, was the keynote speaker at the banquet which was held in Memphis.

Blow up of Elvis' Autograph on America's Ten Outstanding Young Men Program

This made it easy for several Elvis buddies to attend, and apparently Marty Lacker’s parents as well. The blowup of page 22, which contained Elvis’ bio and photo, shows he wrote, “To Mister and Mrs. Lacker, Love Elvis Presley.” The top bidder thought it was worth three times the estimate of $1,500. This time I think the bid is right and somebody goofed on the low-ball estimate.


Signed Playboy Bunny Cuff and Complete Bunny Ensemble (Circa 1973) — $6,250:

Elvis' Autograph on Playboy Bunnie Cuff

This is a photo of a white cotton Playboy bunny cuff, including the bunny logo cufflink that holds it together around the wrist. Elvis autographed it with a blue felt-tipped pen. This is a very cool Elvis collectible, especially because also included are the complete bunny outfit – ears, collar, bowtie, shoes, sky-blue suit, the other cuff and cufflink, and a black nametag reading ‘Deni’.

Playboy Bunny Outfit that Accompanies Elvis Autographed  Bunny Cuff

I wish they had included a back shot of the outfit showing the white cottontail. The estimate was $3,000, and the winning bid was more than double that. I guess I can see how it might be worth that much to some collectors, but if I had $6,250 to spend, I’d by some clothing worn by Elvis, not a Playboy bunny named Dani.

If you want to see every Elvis autograph that sold at auction in the past few years, click on the links below.

 Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


© 2013 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net


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

I Was Wondering What This Might Be Worth

This blog started out as another report on Elvis memorabilia items sold recently at auction.  I’m still going to do that someday, but first I need to make a confession.

As a result of the ElvisBlog series of posts about Elvis autographs and memorabilia, many readers have written in Comments about an item they own and ask what it might be worth.  I certainly couldn’t tell them, because I’m not an expert.  So, I created a standard reply directing them to Jerry Osborne, noted Elvis collector, author and historian.   Jerry knows so much about Elvis records and collectibles that he has published an incredibly complete reference, Presleyana.

Preslyana VII

Over the years, Jerry has revised it seven times, and Presleyana VII now totals 384 pages.

My standard reply included Jerry’s website, his e-mail address and his phone number.   Unfortunately, I somehow got the wrong e-mail address, and no doubt frustrated many people when their attempts to e-mail Jerry went nowhere.  I am sorry about that.  For future reference, if you are trying to determine the value of an Elvis collectible, here are the ways to contact Jerry Osborne:

Website  jerryosborne.com
Phone number 360-385-1200
E-mail address JPO@olympus.net

Jerry and Barbara

Notice the gold TCB pendant around Jerry’s neck

Osborne Appraisals

Please note that appraisals are based on a photo and an e-mail description of the item provided by the inquirer.  There is a $10 charge for this general appraisal service.


Here are a few of the inquiries that have come in to ElvisBlog Comments.  You might find them interesting.

Elizabeth –  August  22, 2012

I was lucky enough to meet Elvis in the 60′s while he was making ‘Flaming Star’ and have a signed photo of him with me and my brother. I would like to now sell this item.  I would appreciate your expert advice on this matter as you seem to know so much about Elvis memorabilia!

Carl – January 10, 2013

I have a signed autograph guitar of Elvis Presley.  It’s about two and a half foot long.  I was told he passed them out at some concerts. It was dated 1975. I was wondering if you could tell me what it’s worth.

Jeremy – December 14, 2012

I am writing you to inquire about an oil painting I came across at my parent’s house. My mother worked for a concert venue and when Elvis was in town she got his autograph. The oil painting is of Elvis and is maybe 30 inches tall by 24 inches wide. He made out the autograph to my mother Patricia, and I believe it says Best Wishes to Patricia or something of that nature.  Do you have any idea of how much something like this is worth?

Linda – December 1, 2012

Since mother passed away, I have stacks and stacks of books, cards, promotional materials from Colonel Parker’s office and just about anything else you can think of pertaining to Elvis. I, personally, have a signed makeup towel used by Elvis on the set of Blue Hawaii that I won as a contest prize on American Bandstand in the 60′s. Where would the best auction be to find the buyers for these things? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Debbie – September 17, 2012

I have several scarves that were worn by Elvis at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas in the 70′s. Only one of them has his name on it. Do you know the value of these?

Sandra – August 29, 2012

I have an autographed 8X10 picture signed by Elvis Presley to me in the mid-50s in Tampa FL…….How can I sell it for $$$$$$$$$

Steve – June 19, 2012

In 1977 when Elvis was in hospital, my wife then 12 years old sent him a get well card. A few months later she received a card back from Graceland.  It was a thank you card and on the inside reads Thanks for remembering me during my illness. Signed Elvis Presley.  Can someone e-mail me with what this might be worth.

Tom Smith | August 18, 2012

I have a movie photo of all the dancers from the movie Jailhouse Rock. Elvis is in the photo with all the dancers and one of the dancers was my late uncle.  Everyone who performed in that scene including Elvis signed it.  Just wondering of what kind of monetary value something like this would be.

These inquiries can be grouped into three categories.  There are items without autographs like the books and promo items from Col. Parker’s office.  There are autographed items like the guitar and oil painting that probably have some intrinsic collectible value even without the autograph.  And there are the letters and photos where all or most of the value is derived from Elvis’ autograph.

For items in the last two categories, Jerry Osborne will provide appraisals based on the assumption the Elvis autographs are authentic.  He does not provide an autograph authentication service.  However, he has suggested that I revise my standard reply to include the best person he knows of to do this.

Rich Consola

In 1957, Rich Consola saw Elvis perform in Buffalo, New York. Elvis was wearing his famous Gold Lamé jacket that day and, since then, Rich has been a lifelong fan and collector. Rich has thoroughly studied Elvis’ handwriting and signature for over 20 years. Today, Rich Consola is considered one of the foremost authorities on Elvis autographs and is known worldwide for his exceptional knowledge.

I have corresponded with Rich Consola, and he has no problem with me referring folks to him.  If you have an Elvis autograph that you hope is authentic, but you’re not sure, he charges $25 for a simple authentication.  If you have a Elvis autograph you are sure about, and you would like to sell it at auction, you will need a Letter Of Authenticity (LOA).  Rich Consola can do that for $75.  Considering the prices paid for authenticated Elvis autographs at auctions the past few years, this is a small investment for a big pay-off.  To view the three ElvisBlog articles on Elvis autographs sold at auction, click here, here, and here.

 Rich Consola Photo

Rich Consola’s e-mail address is:




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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 3

The two ElvisBlog posts that generate the most comments are Part 1 and Part 2 of the continuing series So, How much is an Elvis Autograph Worth?  If anyone in possession of a signed photo, record album, or anything else Googles “Elvis Autographs,” ElvisBlog comes up third on the list.  However, a quick check shows that two higher ones do not report prices recently paid for Elvis signature items.  If you want a reference to approximate the value of your Elvis autograph, this is the place to come.

Fortunately, Heritage Auctions presented their Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction in Dallas last December 14, and it contained nine Elvis autographs.  All prices below include the 25% buyers’ premium added on by the auction house.


Signed Color Print from 1965:   $625

Signed Color Print Plus Close-up

This oversized (20” x 16”) print of the original work by June Kelly depicts Elvis wearing a red jacket.  He signed it in blue ballpoint ink on the left center: “To Vicki / Love you allways / Elvis Presley.”  $625 seems like a low price for this piece.  It must be the water damage and other staining that turned people off.  When you blow up the image on the auction website, you can see blotches all over his jacket and one on his face.  There is also a streak coming down from his left eye where the water must have run.  What kind of fool lets a huge color autographed Elvis picture get rained on?  At least the inscription was not affected.


Signed International Hotel Keno Card, circa 1970:   $875

Signed Back of Keno Card and Front

According to Rich Consola who provided the third-party authentication for all the Elvis autographs in this auction, Elvis would go out into the casino from time to time during the Vegas days, with all his guys around him, and he was known to have signed autographs there.  Some lucky gambler named Joyce must have been at a Keno game when Elvis joined in, and she had the foresight to get the King’s signature on the back of a Keno card.  Too bad about the old Scotch Tape mark around the autograph.  That had to bring the price down some.


Signed Back of Check, Circa 1957:   $1,125

Signed Check 1957 Back

Signed Check 1957 front

This autograph did considerably better than the pre-auction estimate, and I’m not sure why.  It’s a good thing it came with a Certificate of Authenticity, because it looks a lot different than most Elvis autographs in this series.  He signed this personal check on the back in pencil “yours / Elvis Presley.” There is slight staining on the blow-up of the check, but the autograph is not affected.   The seller’s mother obtained this autograph in person when she saw Elvis at the Dallas Love Field Airport in 1956 or 1957.  The only thing she could find in her purse for him to sign was this torn-out check from the family checkbook.


Signed Loving You, Vol. II EP, 1957:   $1,187

Signed Loving You EP Front and Back

The next three items all originated from Buddy Ochoa, the first Elvis impersonator (according to the item description on the auction website).  For the full story on this, please check out the November 12, 2012 ElvisBlog article about Ochoa.  There is no mention of the condition of the album sleeve, but it does look pretty worn down at the corners.  Note that Elvis signed this extended play album once on the back, because we will compare it with the next two items.

Signed King Creole EP, circa 1958:   $1,625

 Elvis Presley Signed King Creole EP

Elvis signed the front of this EP album: “To Buddy, Elvis Presley”.   The album cover looks as worn at the corners as the previous one, and both have the same intrinsic value as unsigned albums.  So, why did it bring a price almost $500 higher?  Could it be that the signature is on the front?  It certainly will look better than the other when presented in a matted display.


Autographed Loving You EP and Photo Display:   $1,875

Autographed Loving You EP and Photo Display

This 20” by 30” display contains a lot of stuff, but most of it is of little value.  The photo is Buddy Ochoa and Elvis in 1958.  The shirt is similar to the one Elvis wore on the cover of the Blue Hawaii album.  That cover is partially visible behind other items and is unsigned.  The Loving You EP album cover is Vol. 1, and it is also unsigned.  So, that leaves the back cover of that EP, signed twice by Elvis.  It is unclear if the higher sell price of this item is due to the double Elvis signatures or to extra stuff and the nice display presentation.


Signed and Inscribed Spinout Promotional Photo, 1966:   $2,000

Elvis Presley Signed And Inscribed Spinout Promotional Photo 1966

This is a top-quality 12” by 12” color promotional photo showing Elvis wearing one of his outfits from the movie Spinout.  It is inscribed to Norman Taurog, the director of that movie and eight other films starring Elvis.  The winning bid was quite a bit higher than the pre-auction estimate.

Both Signatures on Spinout Promo Picture

It says, “To Mr. Norman Taurog.  My deep thanks for everything you have done for me.  With my deep respect.  Elvis Presley.”  It also says, “Thanks for everything.  Elvis Presley”  Look at those two signatures side by side.  They sure look different to me, but they both have been authenticated.  I need to do a little research to find out how that can be.


Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965:   $2,000

An Elvis Presley Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965

An original 10″ x 8″ print with a matte finish, depicting a classic headshot of Elvis from the early 60s, signed in green fountain pen ink in the lower right corner: “To Vicki / My Best allways / Elvis Presley.”

An Elvis Presley Signed Black and White Photograph, 1965 Recipient

This item was consigned directly to Heritage Auctions by the now adult Vicki Malkin, the former child actress who portrayed “Sari” the in 1965 M-G-M film, Harum Scarum, and who danced with Elvis as he sang ‘Hey Little Girl.’ Vicki remembers as a nine year-old having a big crush on Elvis and that he signed this photograph for her at the wrap party when the film was finished.


Signed Personal Check to Dick Grob, 1975:   $3,750

Elvis Presley Signed Personal Check to Dick Grob 1975

This check was the big winner at this Heritage auction, bringing in almost twice as much as the pre-auction estimate.  As you probably know, Dick Grob was the head of security for Elvis.  He must have done something special to get a $1,500 bonus after the July 1975 road tour (see note on left of check).  This is the first time I’ve seen an actual check drawn on his personal account, so they are probably very rare.  That probably added much to the value of this Elvis signature.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? – Pt. 2

When we took our first look at Elvis autographs two years ago, the auction prices ranged from $384 to $4,062.  There was also an autograph that went for $11,520, but it was on a shirt Elvis had worn, and four photographs of him in it were provided as verification.  Elvis’ clothing is in high demand, and almost none of it is autographed, so it’s not surprising that this item went for big bucks.

Today, we look at eleven Elvis autographs that changed hands at the Heritage Auctions’ Elvis Memorabilia Signature Auction held last month in Memphis during Elvis Week.  This time there were no low-end items such as signed napkins or loose torn-off bits of paper.  Also, most sellers were smart and offered their items in good-looking framed displays which always bring higher value.

It should be noted that each of these eleven autographs comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.   All values would have been less without it.


Two Back-to-Back Autographs:     $1,250

Sometime in the mid-50’s, a fan noticed Elvis in a small café eating cornbread and a bowl of chili.  The fan approached Elvis and asked for an autograph, but had no paper for it except his check book.  A check was sacrificed for the cause, and Elvis obliged by signing it on both sides – in pencil.

So how do you best display a two-sided autograph?  Add a nice color photograph and matting with cutouts on both sides to show the autographs.  It paid off for the owner, as the high bid was $1,250, including the auction premium.


Girls! Girls! Girls! LP:     $1,250

This is the first of two signed albums that sold at the auction, but the other carried a price more than double this one.  That difference is due to the inherent value of the albums as collectibles.  The Girls, Girl, Girls soundtrack album from 1962 is not considered anything special among Elvis record collectors, but with his autograph on it, the bidding topped at $1,312.  The jacket is signed in blue ballpoint ink in the lower right corner, “To Gary / Many Thanks for / all your help / E.P.”  Gary being Gary Pepper, an Elvis fan club president.


Publicity Photo:     $1,375

This is an 8” x 10” black-and-white photo given away at Elvis’ historic 1970 engagement at the Las Vegas International Hotel.  The signature in white is printed on the picture.  The valuable autograph is done in green marker on the guitar and says, “To Bobby, Love, Elvis Presley.”



Autograph and Photo:     $1,650

This is just a 4” x 3.5” piece of lined tablet paper that Elvis signed in 1956.  However, it brought a good price because it has been nicely presented in a matted frame, and is accompanied by a framed 1955-56 era black-and-white photo of the King.



Tour Photo Album:     $1,625

This is a 16-page high quality 8.5″ x 11″ photo album with a great color photo of the King on the front.  It was included in the 1970 RCA release Elvis: Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Volume 1.  Elvis has signed at left in blue ballpoint: “To Darlene, Elvis Presley.”


Outstanding Young Men Program Book:     $2,375

Elvis and nine other men under the age of 35 were selected by the United States Jaycees as the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America for 1970.  In January, 1971, a ceremony was held in Memphis to honor them.  Elvis was present and made an acceptance speech.

72-page programs were produced for the event, and they have considerable intrinsic value as Elvis collectibles.  This copy’s worth is enhanced because it was autographed by Elvis in blue ink on page 23 in the margin next to his bio.


Black and White Snapshot:     $2,375

This is an original 3.5” x 5” photograph showing Elvis during his Fort Hood, Texas days standing among other soldiers in what appears to be an Army base facility. The date stamp on the right border (from when the photograph was developed) reads “May 1958,”  Elvis signed “Elvis Presley” on the back in blue ballpoint ink.  If the owner had taken the trouble to put it in a matted display with cut-outs to show both sides, it probably would have gone for more than $2,375.


Loving You Stereo LP:      $2750

This signed album cover has more value than the first one we looked at above because it is something of a rarity and is in excellent shape.  The original Loving You album was released in 1957 in Mono.  For some reason, RCA decided to re-release it in 1962 in Stereo, and distribution was limited.  Combine that with Elvis’ autograph and you have a big winner.


Guitar Case:     $5,000

This autographed hardshell acoustic guitar case has an interesting story.  Elvis loved to ride horses, and, in February 1967, he purchased a 163-acre ranch just across the Mississippi state line, naming it “Circle G” after Graceland.  Later that year, an auction was held to sell off some excess equipment along with a few personal belongings of Elvis.  Two young ladies named Peggy Ferrell and Diana Hoover, roommates at the time, attended this auction.  Peggy bid $15 on the battered guitar case, said to be one of the first owned by Elvis.

Somehow, the girls were able to get Elvis to sign the case, “To Peggy and Diana from Elvis Presley” with a bold marker on the inside bottom felt.  Forty-five years later, that $15 purchase was worth $5,000 at another auction.  Nice going, Peggy.


Contract for Easy Come, Easy Go:     $5,625

Some folks must have wanted this item pretty bad and started a bidding war on the contract for Elvis’ 23rd feature film.  I don’t get it.  For that kind of money you can get a ring or clothing that Elvis actually wore.  He signed this three-page contract on September 27, 1966, and it stipulates his salary would be $400,000.  Col. Parker’s signature is also on it, too, but that doesn’t add much to its worth.


Application for Membership in the Screen Actors Guild:     $6,250

This 8.5” x 5.5” document was signed in black ink by Elvis on August 21, 1956.  This was just one day before filming started on his first movie Love Me Tender.  I love the line:  “I understand the obtaining of employment is my own responsibility and it is not the function of the Screen Actors Guild to aid in securing employment for its members.”  Elvis had no trouble ‘finding employment’ in the movie business for the next sixteen years – he acted in 31 features.


©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprise