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

1956 was a pivotal year for Elvis and the start of his quick ascent to superstardom. This was the period that he began staring in Hollywood films, his music was topping charts and he made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show which immediately delivered him to national fame. By the fall of that year, RCA had released “Heartbreak Hotel” just 17 days after it was recorded, Elvis appeared on CBS’ Stage Show several times, the Colonel officially took over as Elvis’ sole manager, Elvis appeared on The Milton Berle Show shot on the U.S.S. Hancock in San Diego, had his first appearance in Las Vegas in the Venus Room, was featured in Life Magazine, appeared on The Steve Allen Show, and began production for his first Hollywood film, The Reno Brothers (later retitled Love Me Tender). All the while, amazingly, Elvis continued his live performances across the nation and kept recording new songs for release. 

On Saturday, September 1, 1956 Elvis reported to Radio Recorders, a studio on Santa Monica Boulevard, to begin a three-day recording session for RCA. Elvis recorded material for his second album, entitled Elvis, and for a new single. The songs created over the three-day session include “Ready Teddy,” “Old Shep,” “Paralyzed,” “Love Me” and “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again.” The recording work went well, as Elvis was comfortable in both the setting and with Thorne Nogar, the engineer. Either Elvis himself or Gordon Stoker played piano on the tracks, since a piano player was not hired for the sessions.

Offered is a one-page, double-sided, standard American Federation of Musicians contract for the RCA recording sessions on September 1-3, 1956 that produced the material for Elvis’ second album. The front page of the agreement contains typed fields for the date, the number of musicians covered by the contract (4), the musicians’ leadership under “Elvis Presley,” place of engagement at “Radio Recorders / 7000 Santa Monica Blvd.,” and hours, which are listed very specifically as “9-1-56, 1:00-4:00, 5:00-8:00PM / 9-2-56, 1:00-4,00, 4:30-7:30, 8:00-11:00PM / 9-3-56, 2:00-5:00, 5:30-8:30PM,” to be paid at “Union Scale” and “within 14 days.” The bottom of the agreement has the typed name of Employer as “R.C.A Victor Division /1560 No. Vine Street / Hollywood, California” and has been signed by an RCA employee and accepted and signed by Elvis Presley as “Orchestra Leader” with a bold, black ink signature. The reverse of the agreement lists Elvis with wages of “577.50” followed by “Winfield S. Moore guitar / William P. Black bass / D.J. Fontana drums” with each of their union scale wages listed as “288.75.” A very faint handwritten pencil notation reading “File” appears diagonally across the back mid portion of the contract.

This important early document securing time in Radio Records for Elvis to create tracks for his second album, measuring 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm), captures an important moment in time during a decisive year in Elvis’ career and in the heyday of a studio that was used by all of the major labels during the period. The significance of this exceptional document’s survival and availability to collectors cannot be understated. The contract is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The contract presents with expected wear from filing, but no major defects. Excellent to Mint condition.
1956 Elvis Presley’s Signed RCA Recording Contract at Radio Recorders
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $12,500.00
Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Sunday, August 12, 2018.
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