Since his death in 1977, Elvis Presley has routinely been listed by “Forbes” magazine as one of the world's top-earning dead celebrities. Usually he holds the number-one position (Michael Jackson beat him out in 2010), and every year in the past decade, Elvis has at least been in the top-10. But even before the King left the building, Elvis Presley was a memorabilia machine, thanks to his career as a singer, movie star, and bona-fide cultural icon.

Elvis fans and collectors can track his life through his memorabilia. Some make pilgrimages to his birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, to pick up souvenir patches and T-shirts. But the real action in early Elvis material is in the 45s and 78s cut at Sun Records in 1954.

The first Presley single for Sun was "That’s All Right." With Sam Phillips at the mixing board, Scotty Moore on lead guitar, Bill Black on upright bass, and Presley on vocals and rhythm guitar, the trio recorded the track live in the studio, with no overdubs or even drums. The single’s B-side was a Bill Monroe bluegrass tune from the 1940s called "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

Two more Sun singles followed that year, with another pair in 1955, for a total of five Sun singles containing 10 songs. RCA re-released them all when it paid Sam Phillips $35,000 for Presley’s contract. Dozens more RCA singles were released throughout the 1950s, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don’t Be Cruel," and "Hound Dog" from 1956, and "All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock" from 1957—all of these charted at number-one.

RCA kept Presley busy recording albums, too. "Elvis Presley" in 1956 came first. It included covers of "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins and "I Got a Woman" by Ray Charles, as well as a Rogers and Hart tune from the 1930s called "Blue Moon." The album reached number-one on the charts, as did the next two Presley albums for RCA (Elvis’ “Christmas Album” from 1957 remains the best-selling Christmas record ever recorded).

Another popular category of Presley records are the soundtracks for movies the singer made from 1956 (“Love Me Tender”) to 1969 (“Change of Habit”). “Jailhouse Rock” from 1957 can be found as an EP, with five tracks, including the Leiber and Stoller penned title. Parts of “G.I. Blues” were filmed when Presley was still an enlisted man stationed in West Germany, and the film and soundtrack (vintage vinyl collectors can acquire all 10 versions) were both huge hits when they were released in the summer of 1960.

The biggest music-movie crossover hit for Presley was “Viva Las Vegas,” which was released in 1964 as an EP of four songs, none of which, astoundingly, was the title track. Presl...

“Viva Las Vegas” is also one of Elvis’ most collected movie posters, while the Hatch Show Print music poster for an Elvis concert in Jacksonville, Florida, on August 10 and 11, 1956, is a classic of that genre.

Even though Elvis is associated with Memphis—he called Graceland home from 1957 until his death—Hawaii also claims the King. He filmed “Blue Hawaii” there in 1961, “Paradise Hawaiian Style” in 1966, and honeymooned on the islands with Priscilla in 1967.

Even the Hawaiian shirt he wore for the cover shot of “Blue Hawaii” has become a collectible—the design was called Tiare Tapa and it was manufactured by Shaheen. Other items that became fashionable because of Elvis include the Hamilton Ventura wristwatches he favored in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as the numerous Omega and Rolex wristwatches he wore thereafter.

Las Vegas was another home-away-from-home, especially in the early 1970s. Today, Elvis Presley belt buckles, poker chips, playing cards, board games, and figurines commemorate those years. So do Elvis charm bracelets and enamel pins. But perhaps no item of Elvis memorabilia captures the star’s appeal better than the 29-cent U.S. postage stamp issued in 1993 as a part of the U.S. Postal Service’s American Music Series.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Remember Eddie Cochran

Remember Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran died in 1960 at the age of 21, but his legacy lives on at Remember Eddie Cochran. The site pays tribu… [read review or visit site]

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Fillmore and Avalon Collection

Wish you'd visited San Francisco in the late 1960s? Get a quick hit with this comprehensive collection of psychedel… [read review or visit site]

Hey babe, check out this database of over 2,900 Bob Dylan ticket stubs and concert posters, assembled with the help… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Elvis Presley Signed 1952 Employment Contract.... His First Employment Agreement2015 Goodwin Champions Elvis Presley Cut Signatures Card 1/1 True One AutographFunko Pop! Disney Elvis Stitch Hot Topic Exclusive Vibyl Figure Very CoolDisney Funko Pop! Vinyl Hot Topic Exclusive Elvis StitchElvis Presley 45 Rpm 2 X 7" Ep Vinyl Orig Gatefold Pic Slv Rockabilly Epb-1254Dept. 56 Elvis Presley's Graceland Special Edition Gift Set/retiredSet Of 4 Hot Wheels Legends Barris Ala Kart Elvis Cadillac Hirohata Mercury Original Elvis Presley Col Tom Parker Photographs Army Draft 1958Elvis Presley Overnight Case 1956 Vintage RareElvis Presley-1976 Rare Original Unused Concert Ticket (pine Bluff, Arkansas)Pin Trading Disney Pins Lot Of 10 As Pictured Set Lilo Stitch Elvis Ride Icon Unfired Zippo Lot W/elvis,james Dean,gettysburg,zippocar,+extras In Case2001 Topps American Pie Elvis Presley Worn Leather Jacket SwatchElvis Presley Signed White Concert Scarf 26" X 26"Elvis Presley Coin Collection 2009 Mystic Stamp Binder Booklet 22 Coins In All!!Unseen Elvis Candid Photo Rare 1974 Arrival Graceland Snapshot No Copy!! #190 Elvis Presley "now" Rare 1972 Las Vegas Hilton Concert Plastic BagElvis - Authentic 1970 "rca Summer Festival" Hat Band #2 - Ultra-rare!!Elvis Rare 1970 Vegas Poster (all Star Shows). Heavy Paper. Vg++ 22x28Wowwee Alive Elvis Presley Life-size Animatronic Talking/singing Head ReplicaElvis Presley Photos 1eElvis Presley Original Ticket Stub Sept. 27, 1974 College Park, Maryland (u.s.)Elvis Presley Never Before Seen Concert Photos !!! Please ReadDisney Lilo & Stitch Elvis Stitch Funko Pop! Vinyl Figure Hot Topic ExclusiveLot Of Elvis Photographs"elvis" Cards, 1978 Boxcar By Donruss, Full Box Of 36 Unopened Packs, Very Nice Vintage 8x10 Elvis Photo From Gettysburg Museum Of History DisplayVintage Original Elvis Costello "my Aim Is True" 1977 Promo PosterDouble Trouble 1967 41x81 Vintage Elvis 3sh Movie Poster *original*Elvis - Authentic 1970 "rca Summer Festival" Hat Band! Ultra-rare!!2001 Retired Still New In Box Cow Parade Rock-n-roll Elvis Figurine #9137Zippo Lighter New With Tags 2012 Elvis Presley His MotorcyclesElvis Presley Movie Jailhouse Rock 8x10 Original 1957 Glossy PhotoElvis Presley Love Me Tender 8x10 Original 1956 Glossy PhotoUnder The Dome Season 1 ~ John Elvis Auto/autograph Card ~ Ben DrakeDanbury Mint Graceland Mansion Home Of Elvis Presley Very Rare!!Elvis Presley Lot Of 3 1972 Summer Festival Concert Menus Las Vegas HiltonVintage 1978 Donruss Elvis Unopened Wax Box 36 Packs The King1978 Donruss Elvis Presley Wax Box 36 Sealed PacksVintage "girls Girls Girls" Movie Poster - ElvisLot Of 3- Bradford Exchange Elvis Presley Collectors Plates-excellent Condiiton!Original 1950's Elvis Presley 8x10 Publicity PhotoLot Of 5 Disney Stitch Trading Pins From Lilo & Stitch ~ Elvis A& Surf's Up 2004Elvis Costello This Years Model Oversize 42 X 44 Rare Promo Poster1962 Elvis Presley Follow That Dream Vintage Original 1 Sheet Movie PosterElvis Presley Musical Mccormack Decanter At The Gates Of Graceland W/box EmptyElvis Presley Photos 1gOriginal Autograph Of Kang Rhee Elvis Presley's Karate InstructorElvis Presley Collectables - Graceland CellarsElvis Presley Glass Logo Marbles Collection Lot 5/8 SizeColonial Usa Elvis Presley 2-blade Stockman Folding KnifeElvis Presley Movie Loving You 8x10 Original 1957 Glossy PhotoElvis Presley Movie Jailhouse Rock 8x10 Original 1957 Glossy PhotoElvis Presley Gold Card The King Of Rock & Roll Gracelands Signed Autograph IconOriginal 1960's Elvis Presley Personal Payroll Check Stub!! Memphis, Tenn. (wow)1950s Elvis Pop Vinyl Never Been Open, New In Box, Ultra Rare And Retired!3 Original Elvis Owned Artifacts Framed With Museum Documentation - ReadPoster Insert 14 X 36 Elvis Presley Paradise Hawaiian Style-original, Vintage1971 Elvis Tour Photo Album Stamped Elvis & The Colonel/give Elvis For ChristmasLot Of Seventeen (17) 1957 "hit Stars" Cards Elvis, And Many Famous Celebrities

Recent News: Elvis Presley Memorabilia

Source: Google News

County Fairs Lure Guests With Old and New Contests
KQED, July 5th

There are Norwegian wood carvings, Elvis memorabilia, jade-colored plates, historical family heirlooms, and several different rubber ducky collections. But my personal favorite is a display case filled with all things R2-D2 — trash cans, Christmas...Read more

Custom Krisel where Elvis honeymooned asks $6.9 million
The Desert Sun, July 2nd

But the house developed its reputation as "Elvis' Honeymoon Hideaway" only under its last owner, who hosted special events and filled the house with Elvis memorabilia, according to listing agent Gregory Bega of Sotheby's. "That (memorabilia) is not...Read more

Spink Cafe gets facelift
Akron Hometowner, July 2nd

We wanted to incorporate them some how,” said Otten. “Music is a huge part of our entire family's daily lives.” The new look goes well with Spink's classic Elvis memorabilia and has been loved by all the customers. The drastic change has sparked some...Read more

Home Stagers Offer 10 Tips for Getting Your House Market-Ready
The Village Green, June 28th

Just because you're super-proud of your Elvis memorabilia, that doesn't mean everyone wants to see it. Price suggests storing collections so they don't distract potential buyers who may have a hard time looking beyond your taste and envisioning...Read more

Partying with Elvis, June 27th

While some gathered in the shade to watch artists perform such well known songs as, "Are You Lonesome," others danced, took pictures or visited booths filled with Elvis memorabilia. "I've been coming to this Elvis festival for five years, and I've been...Read more

Guest House at Graceland closes on about 23 acres
Memphis Business Journal, June 22nd

The developers acquired the half-acre site of Boulevard Souvenirs, the independent Elvis memorabilia gift shop about 400 feet north of Graceland, at 3706 and 3716 Elvis Presley Boulevard. The two Boulevard Souvenirs buildings are appraised for $168,900 ...Read more

Elvis has not left the building
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 12th

For accessories, there are big and tiny guitars in every room, framed Elvis art, life-size statues of Elvis, tabletop sculptures of Elvis, and displays of Elvis memorabilia and souvenirs that the couple brought back from places where Jim has performed...Read more

New listing coming for Elvis' honeymoon house
The Desert Sun, June 12th

It features an octagonal master bedroom, private pool and dozens of pieces of Elvis memorabilia. Presley leased the house for $21,000 for about a year beginning in 1966, and he and his wife Priscilla honeymooned there after their 1967 Las Vegas wedding...Read more