The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 12, 2018
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/12/2018

Clarification: The handwritten postcard is not in Elvis' hand. It is a promotional piece sent out by Bob Neal's office at the time.

While Elvis’ career was still in its infancy in July of 1954, Elvis signs his first contract with Sun Records and Sam Phillips convinces Bob Neal, WMPS disc jockey, to add Elvis to his “Hillbilly Hoedown” show. Only months later—after Elvis has performed at Overland Park Shell, Bon Air, Eagles Nest and Memphis State University as well as on the Louisiana Hayride—does the Memphis Press-Scimitar print an article on December 29, 1954 that states: 

Elvis Presley, the 19-year old Memphian whose first two records (“Blue Moon of Kentucky” with “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin’” with “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine”) won him quick acclaim, has signed a management contract with Bob Neal, WMPS folk music disc jockey, it was announced today. Presley who appears each Saturday night on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, said increasing demands for appearances made a manager necessary and he preferred a Memphian for the job.

Until that point Scotty had been acting as his manager to secure bookings for the group of which he was also a part. Offered is a Bob Neal-signed, single-page typed note on Bob Neal letterhead with the original envelope that is one of the first letters from Neal to radio stations about his recent talent acquisition, Elvis Presley. The letter, dated January 15, 1955, is addressed to “Slick” and touts his new talent as “the kid is terrific, and I think he’s going to be one of the greatest new stars -- in all fields.” This very early letter was spot on in that prediction and represents a time in Elvis’ fledgling career when everyone was beginning to take notice. The original envelope, postmarked the same day, is addressed simply to “Mr. Slick Norris, Highlands, Texas.” 

This incredibly historic, early and rare typed letter comes with two other pieces of period correspondence to Slick Norris: a typed top 10 listing for The Jim Wilson Hillbilly Jimboree on station WHOO in Orlando, Florida, dated “week ending October 8, 1954” (with original envelope) that lists Elvis’ “Blue Moon of Kentucky” at number 8; and a jovial color postcard with a cartoon image of a cow stepping on her udder on the front and a note from Elvis Presley written in green ink on the back that reads, “Dear Slick, ‘Your a Heartbreaker’ if you don’t help me with my ‘Milk Cow Blues Boogie.’ Sun Records / Thanks Elvis Presley.”

This stunning early promotional correspondence collection also comes with a letter from Chris Davidson that states in part: 

This signed Bob Neal stationary with WMPS Memphis, Tenn. printed is the earliest known letter from Bob Neal discussing Elvis’ career almost immediately after becoming the personal manager of Elvis Presley. Elvis cut his first record on July 8th, 1954. Scotty Moore signed Elvis to a management contract on July 12th. Sun Records owner, Sam Phillips persuaded Memphis DJ and show promoter, Bob Neal to hire Elvis as the Opener for the Memphis Overton Shell show starring Slim Whitman on July 30th. This was Elvis’ first paid professional appearance. Bob Neal entered into an exclusive management contract with Elvis on December 29th, 1954. This letter dated, January 15th, 1955 signifies the official launch of Elvis’ career on paper where Bob states to Texas DJ Slick Norris that he is now managing ELVIS PRESLEY.

The letter measures 11 by 8 1/2 (27.94 x 21.59 cm), the top 10 listing measures 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm) and the postcard measures 3 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches (8.89 x 13.97 cm).  This incredible collection of early promotional correspondence is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.



All documents present with expected wear from storage and original mailings. Excellent condition overall.
1955 Earliest Known Signed Letter from Bob Neal as Elvis’ Agent and Related Period Correspondence
Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $2,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $5,000.00
Estimate: $4,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, August 12, 2018.
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