The Auction at Graceland•January 6, 2018
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/6/2018

Bob Neal, Elvis’ manager early in his career, sent his fledgling star to Memphis photographer William Speer to have some publicity shots taken that could be used to promote the singing career of this new musician at Sun Records. Speer took 11 different images that day, which is more than he anticipated when the newbie talent came to his studio with only the clothes he was wearing. It was Speer’s wife who suggested that in lieu of changing outfits, Elvis simply remove his shirt for additional photographs. These images have become the gold standard for Elvis promotional photos. The offered lot was one of those 11 shots taken that day and likely the first and most widely used to promote the budding career of this young artist. This early example, depicting Elvis with folded hands wearing a wristwatch, is signed on the reverse “Elvis Presley” in bold, blue ink. And as if that autograph is not enough on this iconic image, the absolute additional trifecta is also included with signatures of Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D.J. Fontana. Fontana joined the Blue Moon Boys as drummer in August 1955 during the Louisiana Hayride. This incredible gem captures a pivotal moment in music history and comes with fan club ephemera from Miss Willie Slagle that includes her fan club card, an original mailing envelope postmarked September 1955 and a two-sided, handwritten letter “from Elvis” (secretarially written and signed). The letter states, “Hi Willie! You may receive an autographed picture of me and a membership card - plus all other news, etc. by sending $1.00 to Elvis Presley Fan Club c/o National Pres. Bobby Dawson, National Headquarters, 160 Union, Memphis Tenn. I have no serious interests of heart at the present time. Yes - I do have a pink and black Cadillac in which I travel. I also have a yellow Cadillac convertible which I drive when I’m taking time off.” Obviously, Willie responded positively and received her membership card, signed by Bobby Dawson, and the promised autographed photo and then some! Willie's request could not have been timed more perfectly right after D.J. joined Elvis and the group. The photo measures approximately 10 by 8 inches (25.4 x 20.32 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The photo presents with many defects, including cracking to the finish, creasing, fold marks and small areas of paper loss at the borders. Very Good to Excellent condition.
1955 Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana Signed Early Promotional Photo
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,625.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
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