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.
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Recent News: Elvis Presley Memorabilia
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Elvis's spirit was alive and shaking at the world's biggest celebration of ...Hannibal.net, August 1st
At this fest, Elvis memorabilia can be found at every turn. Many charity events take place during the Festival, where fans can donate to causes such as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Goodwill. Page 2 of 2 - Corny Rempel performs in the...Read more
Death at the Elvis museumThe Guardian, July 28th
He did not have the vintage Elvis memorabilia necessary to be taken seriously by other collectors, whose circuit of conventions he shunned. The real draw of Graceland Too was not the Elvis-themed rugs, mugs, calendars, curtains, videos, limousines, and ...Read more
The Supply Side: Legends Bedding headed to select Walmart storesThe City Wire, July 28th
He's been a collector of Elvis memorabilia for years and it took him all of five minutes to get the home bedding license from Elvis Presley Enterprises in 2012. He told them then he would do his best to get the home bedding products inside Wal-Mart...Read more
Couple's Indian Shores condo takes you back to '50sBay News 9, July 23rd
They have so much Elvis memorabilia hanging, they're running out of wall space. The Parrs' favorite piece is what they describe as an original dinette set. They drove to Ft. Myers for the candy apple red table. Bonnie Parr says she actually finds a lot...Read more
Like a One-Eyed CatOxford American, July 16th
In the next room, much of Paul's Elvis memorabilia was hidden beneath stacks of waist-high poster boards that leaned against every sturdy surface, each with seemingly random magazine cutouts and photos pasted to them. Paul grabbed Mesha's arm, and ...Read more
McLeod collection of Elvis memorabilia sells at 2nd auctionWAPT Jackson, May 3rd
McLeod collection of Elvis memorabilia sells at 2nd auction. Graceland Too sold in more than 400 lots. Published 8:37 AM CDT May 04, 2015. NEXT STORY. Would-be thief opens fire on Clinton homeowner. Text Size: ASmall Text; AMedium Text; ALarge ...Read more
Two Words – 'Keep It' – At Core Of Elvis Memorabilia CaseInsurance News Net, March 19th
Two Words – 'Keep It' – At Core Of Elvis Memorabilia Case. By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet. By Cyril Tuohy InsuranceNewsNet. Legal analysts have made much of the fact that the challenge to health care reform in the King v. Burwell case now before the ...Read more
Graceland Too auctions estate, Elvis memorabiliaWMC Action News 5, January 25th
Before then, MacLeod opened his home to the public for nearly 25 years, displaying his Elvis memorabilia. Graceland Too, in partnership with Spur K Auctions, will auction Graceland Too's real estate, cars, Elvis memorabilia, and MacLeod's original artwork...Read more