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    

Vintage 40s Massive Mid Century Old Classic Fat Elvis Antique Turner MicrophoneElvis Presley Owned & Worn Personal Item From Tommy SandsVery Rare 1956 Original Photo Elvis Presley - From The 1st Album Photo Shot !1958 Elvis Presley "king Creole" Lp W/bonus Photo (lpm-1884)Elvis Presley-1973 Rare Original Concert Ticket Stub (oklahoma City-myriad)Embossed Sunoco Arrow Sign Petroleum Gas Racing Fuel Garage Oil Texaco Mobil CanElvis Presley Original Autograph Elvis Presley 1956 Original 78 Rpm Blue Suede Shoes B/w Tutti Frutti Rca 6636Elvis Presley's Bass Singer J.d. Sumner Personally Owned Shirt W/ Museum CoaWdcc Disney Lilo & Stitch Figurine "elvis Was A Model Citizen" In Box W/coaSpectacular 1960's Original Photo Transparency Elvis Presley PortraitSteinbach Handmade "elvis Presley" 17" Musical NutcrackerElvis Presley Girl Happy Lp Original 1965 Bonus Poster Sharp Beauty!!Rare 1956 Original Photo Elvis Presley Gets 1st Paycheck From 20th Century FoxEmbossed Sunoco Arrow Sign Petroleum Gas Racing Fuel Garage Oil Texaco Mobil Can1959 Kane Disc Stars -- Elvis Presley -- Psa 8 -- Nm Mint *** Rare ***Loving You Elvis Presley Original Lobby CardOriginal Carpet From Elvis Presley's First Owned House Audubon Dr. Memphis CoaElvis Chicago Stadium Concert 1977 Ticket Stub & 2 PhotosOriginal Elvis Presley Concert Scarf Excellent ConditionElvis Presley Rare 45 New Zealand See The Usa The Elvis Way Mint 1967 UnplayedVintage 1956 Elvis Presley Handkerchief - Rare & Original Epe MerchandiseOriginal Autographed Photo By Kang Rhee Elvis's Karate Instructor & Kenpo PatchElvis Presley "tcb Christmas" Sleigh From Bradford Exchange 200780's U.s.a. 4 Novelty Folding Knives Elvis, Mickey Mouse, Kennedy, Lone RangerElvis Presley Pinball Machine By Stern €1956 Topps Bubbles Elvis Presley Soft And Mellow #5 Sgc 92/8.5 Nm-mt+ (pwcc)Original Elvis On Tour One Sheet Movie Poster1970 Original Photo Elvis Presley Rock N' Rolls Monarch W/ Sideburns Beauty !Essential Elvis Press Pass Singing (black Background) Sketch Card 7/10.Essential Elvis Press Pass Blue Scarf Sketch Card 6/20.Chalkware 16" Elvis Presley Statue Rare Vintage Rhinestone Decorated Esco?Elvis Presley Ticket Stub From 1973 U.s. Concert Tour - Nashville Tennesee*****elvis Madison Square Garden Ticket Stub June 11 1972***** Elvis Presley Cookie Jar.Thomas Kincade Elvis Presley 75th. Birthday Anniversary Clock Free Shipping!Elvis Pinball Machine By SternA Group Of Elvis Monogram Pull Handles Used In Museum Display Elvis Last Tour Book Gold Box 1977 Boxcar Estate Concert Photo Program Nice!!Very Rare Boxed Book By Vester Presley - Uncle Of Elvis - Out Of Print OopSealed *hobby Box Elvis Milestones 2010 Press Pass2007 Press Pass Elvis Presley Worn Karate Uniform Trading Card.Dance To The Oldies Starring Elvis Presley , Dean Martin, Richard Chamberlin Elvis Ticket Stubs (6 Of Them) From 2 Concerts From 1974 1973 Rare Original Elvis 4 Record Box Set With Poster & Swatch Of Elvis' ClothesElvis Presley - Vintage 1959 "ajan SVery Rare Elvis Pill Box By Boxcar 1977 Sold By The ColonelElvis Presley 35th Anniversary "love Me Tender" Framed Gold Record1965 Elvis Rca Records "harum Scarum" Lp W/bonus Photo & Promo AdElvis Presley Test Print+negative 4x5" For Sale For First & Last Time 1967Mary Tyler Moore Autographed Card! 2012 Press Pass Elvis Essentail Collection!Rare Elvis Book Candid Photos Dee Vernon Presley Photo Album Signed 1 St Ed New-acme Studio Elvis "on Stage" Limited Edition #408/1935roller Ball1960 Dutch Gum Movie Stars Serie L Elvis Presley #80 Psa 3 Vg (pwcc)6" Lighter Fighter Elvis Presley Assisted Open Pocket Knife New Lk1689-ep ZixRare Elvis Presley "peace In The Valley" Ep 1957 Still Sealed !!!Original 1964 Lobby Card Viva Las Vegas Elvis Presley Ann Margret Mgm 14" X 11"Ticket Stub - Elvis In Concert, May 25, 1977 - Rochester War MemorialMccormick Sgt. Elvis Presley Musical Whiskey Decanter - Full Size Anheuser-busch 1999 Elvis Jukebox Stein

Recent News: Elvis Presley Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Elvis Memorabilia Exhibit Coming to Cushing Library
Texas A&M University, September 16th

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives will kick off fall in style, as it opens its new exhibit, The King: Celebrating the Sara H. Lindsey Collection of Elvis Memorabilia. The exhibit will run Oct. 3, 2014 through Dec. 12, 2014, on the second floor of...Read more

Data breach losses not adding up at 14 Goodwill stores in Manatee, Sarasota
Bradenton Herald, September 15th

are located and include corporate offices, a national training facility and a Job Connection Center. In the boutique area, a display of model cars and Elvis memorabilia is for sale. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald TTOMPKINS@BRADENTON...Read more

Elvis contest set for Saturday
Jamestown Sun, September 11th

Jack and Betty Gorman will have their collection of Elvis memorabilia on display from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Eldridge Hall. Their collection includes items from ticket stubs from the 451 Elvis concerts that Jack Gorman attended, to stage outfits with...Read more

We Can't Help Falling In Love With Elvis Presley's 1967 Cadillac Coupe De Ville
GM Authority (blog), September 5th

Elvis memorabilia has a strong followings, and the Honeymoon Car could serve as the crown jewel for any wealthy Elvis fan's collection. Check out the listing here and tune into Barrett-Jackson's Las Vegas auction starting on September 25th to see the ...Read more

Fool's Gold sandwich had Elvis all shook up in 1973
Columbus Dispatch, September 2nd

The small diner is decorated with Elvis memorabilia, including the pan he used to serve Presley his first Fool's Gold. And Andurlakis still serves plenty of Fool's Gold. He doesn't know how the sandwich ended up in What If, but he is happy for the...Read more

Elvis Presley Jr. showcases new fair exhibit
The Southern, August 20th

An example of items you'll see inside the 53-foot, half-million dollar Elvis memorabilia trailer is a jacket that Elvis wore on the Ed Sullivan Show. “That jacket is like, 'Wow,' it's a phenomenal thing and it's in there,” Presley Jr. said. Presley Jr...Read more

World's #1 Elvis Fan Leaves the Building... Now What to Do with It?
WKNO FM, August 18th

In 1990, he opened his house to visitors to show off his enormous hoard of Elvis memorabilia. But it soon became clear that the real attraction was Paul MacLeod. Youtube videos show MacLeod guiding visitors through his house like a deranged carnival ...Read more

Elvis memorabilia on sale
Newstalk ZB, August 15th

A paper target riddled with bullets fired by Elvis Presley at his personal shooting range has sold for $US27,500 at the first auction of Elvis artefacts hosted by his estate. It was the surprise turn at the inaugural Auction at Graceland, a highlight...Read more