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 Autograph Summer Festival Ttwii 1970 International HotelElvis Presley, 1957, Topps Hit Stars Card No. 59, With Wrapper.Original 1956 Elvis Presley Concert Show Ticket Cotton Bowl, Dallas - October 11Original Elvis Presley Photographs Army Draft 1958"elvis For Everyone" Lpm-3450 Monaural Still Sealed 1965 AlbumLot (24) Bradford Editions Elvis Presley Ornaments Collection Statue Figure 2002Disney Lilo & Stitch Elvis Stitch Funko Pop! Vinyl Figure Hot Topic ExclusiveRare Elvis Original Ticket Stub Murfreesboro Mtsu Tenn 4/29/75 Photos Lot #206Elvis Presley Owned Sheraton Security Badge Loa Vester PresleyElvis " Harum Scarum" Lpm-3468 Monaural Still Sealed 1965 AlbumElvis Presley Gold Card The King Of Rock & Roll Gracelands Signed Autograph IconVery Rare 1956 Elvis Presley 3-ring Zippered Love Me Tender Binder PrimeFollow That Dream * No Reserve Full 8 Lobby Card Set Movie Posters Elvis PresleyElvis Presley The King Rock N Roll Authentic Certified Hair Lock W Photo DisplayTiki Farm Tiki Mug Thor Design Da King Blue Hawaii 5-0 Hawaiian Idols Elvis NewElvis Presley The King Authentic Certified Hair Lock W Towel Piece Photo DisplayElvis "for Lp Fans Only" Lpm-1990 Rare 1st Pressing 1959 Super Rare Label2 Ticket Stubs Elvis In Concert Arizona Coliseum And Expo Ctr. April 22, 19731957 Marilyn Monroe James Dean Natalie Wood Elvis Presley Anita Ekberg Audrey HeElvis Graceland Stamp Silver 999 Proof Coin First Day Coa Lot Numbered Elvis "now" Mega Rare A&b Tan Label 1976 Few Found See This One!Rare Elvis Import 45 Ep From Germany Rockin' Presley!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Elvis Presley Souvenir Photo Album From 1956--originalVintage,original 1960s Tie Clasp Owned And Worn By Elvis PresleyElvis Presley White Scarf From Chicago Concert 1976Framed Vintage Original 1956 Elvis Presley "love Me Tender" Signed James DruryDept 56 Snow Village 'elvis Presley's Graceland' Le Set #56.55041 Rare In BoxLot Of 16 X Vintage Trading Card Packs Star Wars Space 1999 Dune Robocop Elvis"elvis Christmas Album" 1st Press 1957 Gatefold Lp Loc-1035 Great Photos InsideLot (6) Elvis Presley Mickey Mouse Magical Disney Statue Ceramic Collection Rare 70's Vtg Elvis Las Vegas Casino International Hotel Brochure/pamphlet GuideElvis 1975 Opening Night Las Vegas Folio And Menu Combo Souvenir Rare!!!!!!!!!! Elvis Presley Original 1956 Epe Scarf Elvis Presley In Eagle Jumpsuit Doll~timeless Treasures~collector Edition Nib~Ltd Toy Stamp & 1955 Bubbles Inc Elvis Presley Lot Of 22 Trading Cards Aj79Elvis Presley Graceland 1984 Eugene Doll Lot Of 2 With Guitar & Mic In Box Giant Pez Elvis Presley Junk Drawer Estate Lot Coins Picture Frame,elvis Cards,medals,nra Book&stickerElvis Presley 50th Anniversary Collector Coin Set Mint!! Estate Find Lot Disney Stitch As Elvis Pin"this Is Elvis" Johnny Harra Personal Shirt Worn In MovieElvis Presley Original 1950's Fan Club Letter With Photo Near MintCharro * No Reserve Cinemasterpieces Elvis Presley Western Movie Poster 1969Lions Club Pins, Elvis PinsLife With Archie #8 Very Nice Elvis Cover Betty & Veronica Teen 1961 VgElvis Presley1959 Private Candid Army Photo Germany Printed From NegativeDisney Pin Trading Stitch As Elvis Playing Guitar Right Hand Disney Auctions LeHuge Junk Drawer Lot- Vintage, Elvis Sun Lp,matchbooks, Military, Gold MarkedElvis Presley - "a Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-55 Recordings" Ftd Box NewElvis 1956 Concert Ticket Columbus, Oh May 26, 1956 Evening ShowLarge Hawthorne Village 2002 Elvis Presley Graceland Mansion Display The KingElvis Presley Original "singer Presents Elvis" Nbc Special Promo 2-sided Card Unseen Photos Of Elvis & Ginger That I Took On 2/21/77 In Charlotte Nc BackstageElvis Presley - 1980s Vintage Sun Records T-shirt Lot -size L & Xl - Rare!Elvis Presley Private Party Personal Real PhotoElvis Presley Glass Marbles Collection Lot 5/8 Size"elvis Christmas Album" Lpm-1951 1st Pressing 1958 Army Back Cover The OriginalElvis-- '68 Special Doll, Made By Hasbro 1993Elvis Guitar Rockin Through The Years Limited Large Music Box Bradford Estate Original Elvis Kodak Snapshot Photo - Nov. 1968 Hollywood - Jim Curtin Vintage!

Recent News: Elvis Presley Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Woman on Huntington's west side dealing with constant harassment for ...
WOWK, May 29th

HUNTINGTON, WV - Denise Ryle invited our news crew into her humble apartment decorated in Elvis memorabilia, sat down on her couch, and pulled out a large, polished stick. "I have to carry this with me wherever I go now," says Ms. Ryle. "The next...Read more

Las Vegas: Jennifer Lopez to play 20 dates at Planet Hollywood, May 29th

"Graceland Presents Elvis: The Exhibition — The Show — The Experience" combines an Elvis memorabilia museum ($22), a show ($59-$80) and a store. For information about shows, buffets, coupons and deals, go to more

Elvis' TCB tour bus sells for $268000
WTVA, May 16th

Elvis purchased the bus in the 1970s for his supporting band, "The TCB Band." A $25,000 check Elvis wrote as a down-payment was also auctioned with the bus. The tour bus was only one part of a larger Elvis memorabilia auction in New York this weekend, ...Read more

Elvis visits Billings fan
KTVQ Billings News, May 11th

"She has Elvis memorabilia everywhere in her room and a big Elvis picture as you walk in," said granddaughter Morgan Julian. With an infectious laugh that never seems to fade, the jovial Bonnie couldn't contain her excitement when Elvis walked in the...Read more

Famous Elvis 'TCB' tour bus to be on 'Today Show'
WTVA, May 10th

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- A very special and very large piece of Elvis memorabilia will be featured on NBC's "The Today Show." Tupelo resident Larry Michael will show off his 1976 MCI Crusader Bus to the Today Show crew Monday morning. It's most ...Read more

Elvis Presley's pill bottles being auctioned
The Sun (subscription), May 8th

THE last pill bottles prescribed to Elvis Presley the day before he died are being auctioned for £10,000. The King took tablets for pain relief and a drug to make his skin look tanned. The bottles are among a job lot of memorabilia going on sale in the US...Read more

McLeod collection of Elvis memorabilia sells at 2nd auction
WAPT Jackson, May 3rd

HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. —An auctioneer's gavel has banged "sold" for hundreds of Elvis Presley photos, records, figurines, cutouts, clocks and other kitsch collected by the late Paul McLeod. Related. Emerald Home Furnishings plans... Soldier mother ...Read more

Elvis memorabilia returns to auction
Nanaimo Daily News, April 30th

A huge, quirky collection of Elvis Presley memorabilia is about to be auctioned off piece-by-piece. More than 450 Elvis-related items from the collection of the late Paul MacLeod, operator of the Elvis Too home and museum in Holly Springs, Miss., will...Read more