The Auction at Graceland•January 8, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/8/2019

From the Bill Porter Collection

After an uber-successful return to the stage in Las Vegas in 1969, Elvis began what would be dubbed his “Summer Festival” engagement in Vegas on August 10, 1970. The Colonel launched a massive promotional campaign for these performances and so popular were the shows that the Elvis Summer Festivals continued through 1975. It was during this first annual summer event that MGM made a documentary film, titled Elvis: That’s The Way It Is, that chronicled Elvis’ on-stage performances during his summer festival at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. The movie was Elvis’ first non-acting role since the beginning of his film career in 1956, and revealed the musician’s renewed focus on his live performances. The MGM crew, directed by Denis Sanders, filmed Elvis’ performances on August 10, 11, 12 and 13, 1970. On the final day of this wildly successful engagement, an additional 3:00 a.m. show was added, and Elvis was presented with a wide gold belt, similar to that of a boxing championship, with the title: “World’s Championship/Attendance Record/Las Vegas Nevada/International Hotel” for his third record-setting engagement at the hotel. A fitting tribute for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the city known for its championship bouts. Offered is a grouping of important Las Vegas Summer Festival related documents, emanating from the collection of sound engineer Bill Porter, that includes:

  • May 8, 1970 Letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin and signed by “Elvis Presley” that states, “This is to confirm our agreement that you will render your services as sound engineer for the Elvis Presley Show at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada for the period of August 8th through and including September 7th, 1970, for the agreed upon compensation of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per week. Payment to be made as follows: Monday, August 17, 1970 (Including pro rata payment for August 8th, 9th, and 10th) / Monday, August 24, 1970 / Monday, August 31, 1970 / Monday, Sept. 7, 1970 / You further affirm that you are a member in good standing of the union organization covering this activity and authorized to work in this capacity. Your signature below is your acknowledgment and agreement of the terms set forth in this letter.” The agreement has been signed in blue ink by both “Bill Porter” and “Elvis Presley” on behalf of the Elvis Presley Show; 
  • May 8, 1970 Cover Letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead that encloses “the contracts for the engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas with the Elvis Presley show for the period starting Saturday, Aug. 8th through and including Monday, Sept. 7, 1970” requesting signatures on each copy and return for completing signature. The letter has a handwritten note along the bottom indicating “contracts forwarded 5/11/70”;
  • August 10, 1970 show time 10:15 p.m. song lineup including: “That’s All Right Mama,” “Mystery Train - Tiger Man,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Love Me Tender,” “The Next Step Is Love,” “Words,” “I Can’t Help Believing,” “Somethin,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Lost That Loving Feeling,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” “Polk Salad Annie,” with an indication for Introductions then “I’ve Lost You,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Patch It Up,” and ending with “Can’t Help Falling In Love”; 
  • June 10, 1970 Cover Letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead that encloses a signed copy of the agreement covering services August 8th through September 7th for his records;
  • July 16, 1970 letter to Bill from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead reminding him “to be sure and have the echo unit in good shape and ready to go when we hit town. We don’t have our complete schedule yet but you will be advised in plenty of time.”; and
  • MGM airmail envelope with partial typed return of “Col Parker’s Office 1875” and typed address to Mr. Tom Diskin c/o Col. Parker’s Off. MGM Studios in Culver City, Calif.

This significant signed agreement together with the set list for the opening performance and the additional documentation provides a historic account of the business aspects tended to for the Elvis Presley Shows in Vegas. All documents measure 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm) with one larger paper measuring 14 by 8 1/2 inches (35.56 x 21.59 cm). The collection of six (6) documents is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated. 

The documents present with few, if any, significant defects and have been meticulously well-preserved. Only original mailing folds and the occasional wrinkle belie their age. Near Mint condition overall, with some lesser.
Elvis Presley Signed Contract for Concert Sound Engineer Bill Porter - August/September 1970 Tour the Las Vegas International Hotel with August 10 Set List and Related Correspondence (6 Pieces)*
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $4,000.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 11
Auction closed on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
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