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

Elvis kicked off 1973 with his famous televised satellite broadcast Aloha From Hawaii. While the special aired live around the world, it did not air in the U.S. until April 4, 1973 on NBC with over fifty percent of television viewers tuning in to watch. After Hawaii, Elvis performed in Vegas before going on tour in April on the West Coast for 12 shows over 9 days. Elvis followed this tour with an engagement in Lake Tahoe and then back on the road in June and July for 17 shows over 14 day beginning on June 20 in Mobile, Alabama and finishing on July 3, 1973 in Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout this summer tour, Elvis worked his way up to a crescendo when on July 2nd, he appeared in front of an audience of more than 15,000 in Oklahoma City in his American Eagle jumpsuit and on July 3rd in the Egyptian pharoh jumpsuit in Atlanta for what is known among fans as his best show of the tour. The newpaper review printed the day after the Oklahoma show raved, "The perennial idol of the ageless bobby soxers can still work his magic. Mr. Presley decked out in a tight-fitting white suit with a glittering eagle in red and blue on the back is still a hip-swinger even if the wiggles are a bit subdued from his free-swinging days of the 1950s. It was all the 50 police and Elvis personal bodyguards could do to hold the women back as they attempted to get close to the stage and touch Elvis," while touting his skills, "The Presley voice is still excellent. He uses it much better than he did in his younger days. The 38 year-old singer wowed the audience with some new songs and completely captivated them with a medley of his old hits." Elvis returned to Vegas in August and September for his summer festival for which he recevied mixed reviews despite new antics and fun on stage. Offered is a grouping of documents related to the June and July tour and the Vegas Summer Festival engagement, emanating from the collection of sound engineer Bill Porter, that includes:

  • May 15, 1973 “Letter of Agreement” to Bill Porter signed by “Elvis Presley” that states, “This ‘Letter of Agreement’ sets forth the terms and conditions of the Elvis Presley Show for your services on the forthcoming activities: 1. ELVIS PRESLEY SHOW TOUR / Starting Wednesday June 20th through and including Monday July 2nd, 1973 a period of thirteen days. We will make payment of one hundred seventy five dollars per day (this has been crossed out in blue ink with notations $200.00 per per day) and will provide transportation and hotel room. The total payment for the thirteen days will be two thousans two hundred and seventy five dollars ($2,2750.00) (Again blue ink notations indicate this amount was adjusted to $2,600.00). / 2. ELVIS PRESLEY SHOW - LAS BEGAS HILTON HOTEL LAS VEGAS, NEVADA / This engagement will commence on Sunday August 5th through and including Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day), 1973 - a period of four weeks and two days. We will make payment at the rate of twelve hundred dollars per week. ($1200.00 per week) / Your signature below is your acknowledgment of and agreement to the terms and conditions set forth in this ‘Letter of Agreement’.”;
  • June 1, 1973 letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on RCA letterhead that encloses the contracts mentioning that the amount will be pro-rated for the added July 3rd date and provides further details on itinerary to follow and time and date of departure from Los Angeles;
  • Typed thank you letter dated July 3, 1973 from Elvis and the Colonel that stated, "You can all be proud of the part you have played in entertaining the many thousands of people who came to see our shows on this JUNE 1973 TOUR. We especially appreciated your great spirit on and off hte stage and your enthusiasm for m king [sic] every show the best show. Judging by all of hte reviews and reactions of the aucdiences in every city you helped make these shows great entertainment events. We thank you sincerely and the enclosed is a gesture of our appreciation.";
  • Typed "Sound System for Tour Cities" listing contact information for 8 cities and specific sound notes for each venue with a handwritten note at the bottom in blue ink to Bill from Tom Kirkely(?) and a further note indicating that a call had been made to Roy Clair on 6-1-73;
  • Typed itinerary for the June 1973 tour that includes day of the week, date, city, state, venue, show times and times doors open;
  • The four-page (4) detailed “Schedule for Show Members” that includes specific times for luggage call, departures, arrivals, hotels, building and show times for the June 1973 tour; 
  • A second, slightly different typed itinerary for the June 1973 tour that includes day of the week, date, city, state, venue, and show times with a typed note at the bottom regarding flight departure schedules;
  • The hotel list for the tour containing the addresses and phone numbers for hotels in none different cities; 
  • A typed note stating when the Las Vegas passangers will be picked up at the Hughes Executive Terminal on June 19th and the tentatice plans to depart right after the July 3rd show from Atlanta; and 
  • A typed note stating, "Tickets for the Elvis Presley Show on tour in June will be going on sale within a few weeks in each of the cities listed on your itinerary. You will want to advise your friends in sufficint time of these shows so they will be able to obtain good seat s [sic]. The Elvis Presley Show itself has no involvement in show tickets or box office activities. We are unable to assist anyone in obtaining tickets for these shows."

After high demand for the shows in Atlanta, an additonal was added on July 3rd making the total concert count 17 for this tour. All documents from the June tour and the Las Vegas Summer Festival measure 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm) with two smaller and the grouping of thirteen (13) documents are 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 occassional wrinkle belie their age. Near Mint condition overall, with some lesser.
Elvis Presley Signed Contract for Concert Sound Engineer Bill Porter -  June/July 1973 Tour and August/September Las Vegas Hilton Shows with Tour Documents and Related Correspondence (13 pieces)*
Bidding
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,750.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 16
Auction closed on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.
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