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

Ed Sullivan, host of The Ed Sullivan Show, known to many as Toast of the Town, had vowed never to have Elvis on the show, but changed his tune just two weeks after Elvis appeared on The Steve Allen Show—Allen had twice as many viewers as Sullivan that night. Sullivan paid handsomely for his hesitation and signed a contract for Elvis to appear on the show three times for a total of $50,000.

Ed Sullivan invited Elvis for his first appearance on September 9, 1956. Elvis’ segment of the show was broadcast from CBS Studios in Hollywood, where he was based while shooting a film, and Charles Laughton, filling in for Ed Sullivan who was recovering from a car accident, broadcast from New York. During the show, Laughton introduced Elvis, who responded by saying, “This is probably the greatest honor I’ve ever had.” Elvis launched into “Don’t Be Cruel” while the cameras filmed him only from the waist up. It wasn’t until the second segment that evening that Elvis was filmed at full length, and his famous gyrations made it to an audience of 60 million viewers that evening. Elvis made his second appearance on the show in New York on October 28, 1956 during which he sang “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Hound Dog.” Elvis’ third and last appearance was on January 6, 1957.

In the offered letter to Colonel Tom Parker in Madison, TN from Harry Kalcheim on William Morris Agency letterhead dated December 3, 1956, Harry discusses the adjustment to timing for the start of the filming of Loving You in order to accommodate Elvis’ appearance on the Sullivan show. The letter states:

Dear Tom: Our Coast office just advised that they have arranged with Hal Wallis for Elvis to report on Thursday, January 10th, for pre-production to the studio and to start on salary, as per contract, one week later on January 17th. This will enable Elvis to do the Sullivan show on January 6th and take a train to the Coast the following day. They have also arranged for a limousine to take Elvis to and from the studio. Please advise as to hotel reservations. Between the Beverly Wilshire and the Knickerbocker, they suggested the Knickerbocker as it is closer to the Paramount studio. They are also asking whether you have any other suggestions as to how they can help.

This letter offers a glimpse into the early interactions between Elvis, the Colonel and the Paramount studios. Elvis’ appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll forever. The letter, signed by Harry Kalcheim and measuring 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm), emanates from the 1999 Graceland Archives Auction (lot A221) and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the 1999 Graceland Archives auction and a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The letter is in excellent condition overall with horizontal fold lines, two punch holes on the left side, a staple hole in the center left side and a very minor red mark across the center top of the paragraph.
Letter to Colonel Parker Regarding Elvis Presley’s Third <em>Ed Sullivan Show</em> Appearance on William Morris Letterhead (A221)
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $250.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $468.75
Estimate: $500 - $1,000
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Saturday, January 6, 2018.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items