The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

Love Me Tender was Elvis’ first role in a movie, and it was named by 20th Century Fox after Elvis’ popular song release of the same title. Elvis’ song “Love Me Tender” was released by RCA Victor in September 1956 after being recorded in the 20th Century Fox studios that August. The film’s release (in November 1956) under the same name was intended to capitalize on the success of the song. Originally the role in the film was meant to be strictly an acting role for Elvis, but with the popularity of his new single, four songs were added to the movie at the Colonel’s behest. Unlike future film soundtracks for which an LP was typically released, the four songs from Love Me Tender were released to coincide with the film in November 1956 in an extended play 45 RPM format. The EP reached number nine on the pop charts with sales well over half a million. The title song was written by Ken Darby and published by Elvis Presley Music, which credited Elvis and Darby’s wife Vera Matson as Ken Darby’s pseudonym. The popularity of Elvis’ rendition of the song began when Elvis performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956 after which RCA received more than a million advance orders for the single. The song was Gold before it was released and hit number one on the Billboard charts in November where it remained for five weeks. This perfect timing for the film’s release made the song, film and singer rapidly rise in popularity and recognition.

Offered is a signed “Love Me Tender” EP with a strong blue ink “Elvis Presley” signature near his image on the front. The signed record comes with a black-and-white original photo of Elvis walking off of a field with a group of boys, likely after playing football. The back of the image contains the handwritten notation “‘Elvis Presley’ Taken at Memphis Tenn. December 27, 1956.” On this day in 1956 Elvis is known to have played football at the Dave Wells Community Center in Memphis with friends. The record and photo also come with a letter from “EP Archives” of Las Vegas, Nevada that states, “This Extended Play for Love Me Tender was signed by Elvis Presley on December 27th, 1956 in Memphis, Tn. Elvis would play football at a park next to the recipient’s aunt’s home on the corner. When Elvis and his crew would meet there, the aunt would call her niece so that Brenda and her friends could watch Elvis and attend the games. On one occasion Brenda brought a camera and photographed Elvis while playing the game and horsing around with his guys. She snapped several rolls of black and white film on that day.” This early signature on the EP for Elvis’ first big film role and the early photograph capturing Elvis on that warm December day in 1956 is an incredible pairing from the period when Elvis’ fame was just beginning to rise. The record and original autographed sleeve measure 7 by 7 inches (17.78 x 17.78 cm), the photograph measures 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches (8.89 x 8.89 cm) and the pair is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The EP is in excellent, used condition with some minor wear to the label and the edges and surface of the sleeve. The signature is strong. The photo is in excellent condition with minor creases over the surface that do not impact the clarity of the image.
1956 Elvis Presley Signed “Love Me Tender” EP – Likely Signed While Playing Football in a Memphis Park
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,750.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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