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

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Created by radio station KWKH in October of 1954, this original reel-to-reel tape captures the fateful evening of Elvis’ first appearance on The Louisiana Hayride show when emcee Frank Page introduced Elvis and The Blue Moon Boys. Frank talked to a lively crowd and when it came to introducing Elvis, Frank said, “Just a few weeks ago a young man from Memphis, Tennessee, recorded a song on the Sun label and, in just a matter of weeks, that record has sky-rocketed right up the charts. It’s really doing well all over the country. He is only nineteen years old. He has a new, distinctive style. Elvis Presley. Let’s give him a nice hand.” Frank went on to host a short live interview with the budding young musician before Elvis began his song “That’s Alright Mama” and the crowd went wild dancing and clapping. The reel-to-reel is accompanied by an original certificate signed by Joey Kent, owner and Frank Page, announcer of The Louisiana Hayride which states in part: 

This certificate accompanies the original, one-of-a-kind 1/4” tape recording of the Louisiana Hayride radio show from October 16, 1954, made by radio station KWKH, originators of the show. This recording contains songs by Hayride artists Jeanette Hicks, Hoot & Curley, Betty Amos and Dobber Johnson as well as the world premiere on radio of Elvis Presley. Elvis came to the Hayride just weeks after recording his first songs on Sun Records and subsequent rejection by the Grand Ole Opry. He came out on stage a few minutes after 9 p.m. that Saturday night as the Lucky Strike guest and proceeded to sing “That’s All Right, Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky." Elvis spent the first 18 months of his career honing his talent on the Hayride stage. This certificate is signed by Joey Kent, owner of the Louisiana Hayride and Frank Page, legendary announcer for the Louisiana Hayride who, on that cool autumn evening in October, 1954, introduced the world to a young man from up Tennessee way...and the rest is history.

The certificate further states the provenance as: 

This recording was created by radio station KWKH in Shreveport and was owned by its parent company International Broadcasting until the station moved from its historic location to new facilities in 1974. At that time, all historic tapes of the Louisiana Hayride were purchased by David Kent who operated the Louisiana Hayride from 1974 to 1987. Upon his death in 1992, the ownership of the Hayride and its historic tapes transferred to his son, Joey, and it remained in Joey’s private collection until offered for sale at auction with Bonhams of London in November, 1998.

The reel-to-reel comes with a handwritten note from “The desk of David Kent” which reads "This is the original tape of Elvis' first recroded radio appearance." and is initialled with a circle "K" for "Kent"; a cassette tape labeled as containing “Elvis, Floyd Cramer 4/30/55” and “Elvis - First L.H. 10/16/54”; and four (4) CDs, one professional, containing Elvis’ first Louisiana Hayride appearance. Truly a rare piece of history to have the very moment Elvis made his very first appearance on the Louisiana Hayride captured perfectly in this original reel-to-reel tape of that momentous evening. The reel-to-reel is contained in its original box which measures approximately 7 1/4 by 7 1/4 by 1/2 inches (18.42 x 18.42 x 1.27 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The note on David Kent paper is in excellent condition as is the reel-to-reel. The box containing the reel-to-reel has slightly discolored with age and shows typical signs of surface soiling from handling. “Elvis” is handwritten in blue ink on the upper left corner of the box.
A Quarter-Inch Reel-To-Reel Recording of <em>The Louisiana Hayride</em> on October 16, 1954 - Elvis Presley’s First Appearance on the Show
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $2,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,500.00
Estimate: $5,000 - $10,000
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
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