The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 12, 2017
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/12/2017

Beginning as a radio program on April 3, 1948, The Louisiana Hayride was broadcast from the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana. The show was emceed by Horace Logan and Frank Page and was broadcast mainly in the South, nationally on CBS Radio and internationally on Armed Forces Radio. Elvis performed at the competition to the Hayride, the Grand Ole Opry, on October 2, 1954 and after a cool reception, Sam Phillips booked Elvis on The Louisiana Hayride. Elvis first performed live on The Louisiana Hayride on October 16, 1954. It was the success of his appearance on The Louisiana Hayride that launched his overwhelmingly successful career. On November 6th, shortly after his debut on The Louisiana Hayride, Elvis returned to Shreveport and the Hayride with The Blue Moon Boys, Bill Black and Scotty Moore, and his parents Gladys and Vernon to sign a contract to appear on the show every Saturday evening for the next year. Elvis, only 19 at time, was accompanied by his parents, who executed as witnesses for the signing of this important agreement. 

Offered is this incredibly early Louisiana Hayride 4-page contract signed by Elvis Presley, Vernon Presley and Gladys Presley, William Black, Winfield Scott Moore and H.L. Logan on November 6, 1954. Of important note on this original typed agreement on page 1 is the listing of artists as “Elvis Presley, William Black and Winfred Scott” (an incorrect spelling of Winfield Scott Moore); on page 2 in paragraph 5 that the “Artist is given the right to miss one Saturday’s performances during each 3 month period of this contract”; and that paragraph 8, which references renewal for a second year, has been completely struck with an X and initialed by “EP” and others. 

This significantly historic document that launched the career of the king of rock ‘n’ roll comes with a certificate from Joey Ken, owner of The Louisiana Hayride and Frank Page, announcer of The Louisiana Hayride. The certificate states: 

This certificate accompanies the original first performance contract between Elvis Presley (and band) and International Broadcasting (owner of radio station KWKH) d.b.a. “The Louisiana Hayride” dated November 6, 1954, signed by Elvis, Bill Black and Scotty Moore (Winfield Scott Moore, erroneously listed as “Winfred Scott”) and witnessed by Vernon and Gladys Presley. Representing International Broadcasting was Hayride emcee Horace Logan. It was a one year contract for 52 Saturday night performances at “Union Scale” ($30/show for Elvis and $15 each for Scotty & Bill). Elvis was offered the contract after his successful first appearance on the Hayride (and historical first radio broadcast) three weeks previous on October 16. Representing the first 18 months of his professional career, the Louisiana Hayride show gave Elvis his first big break at a time when he was being told to “stick to truck driving”. This certificate is signed by Joey Kent, owner of the Louisiana Hayride and Frank Page, legendary announcer for the Louisiana Hayride who on a cool autumn evening in October 1954 introduced the world to a young man from up Tennessee way...and the rest is history.

The significance of Elvis’ involvement with The Louisiana Hayride cannot be understated; Elvis’ weekly Hayride shows were instrumental in the development of his early stage presence, and were where Colonel Parker first saw Elvis perform. In addition, it was during these shows that producer, emcee and contract signer H.L. Logan coined the phrase “Elvis has left the building.” This piece of treasured Elvis history measures 14 by 8 1/2 inches (35.5 x 21.6 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The contract is in excellent condition with three horizontal fold lines, two hole punch holes at top edge, staple holes and creases in upper left corner.
November 6, 1954, <em>Louisiana Hayride</em> Contract Signed by Elvis Presley, Gladys Presley and Vernon Presley as well as Scotty Moore and Bill Black
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $20,000.00
Estimate: $30,000 - $50,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Saturday, August 12, 2017.
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