The Auction at Graceland•January 8, 2020
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/8/2020

Holiday memories are always cherished, and what holiday is complete without the sweet sounds of Elvis singing his Christmas ballads and tunes? Elvis recorded his first of two Christmas albums in 1957, and it was released by RCA Victor in October of that year, in plenty of time to spread good cheer that Christmas season. An instant popular success, the album spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard charts, was the first Elvis title to be awarded Diamond status by the Recording Industry Association of America, and holds the record as the top-selling Christmas album of all time in the US. The first song on this classic album “Santa Claus is Back in Town” was written by the duo Jerry Leiber (lyricist) and Mike Stoller (composer) who composed several of Elvis’ hit songs including “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Loving You” and more.

Offered are the handwritten lyrics to “Santa Claus is Back in Town” on Beverly Wilshire stationery. The dynamic writing duo would work anywhere they were—in a diner, hotel or studio—and would utilize any piece of paper they could lay their hands on to pen their thoughts at the time. Jerry did most of the writing and it has been confirmed by Mike Stoller that these lyrics are in Jerry’s hand. Excluding some struck through words, the handwritten notes read: “It’s Christmas baby and the snow is fallin on the ground / you better be a real good girl / stockings / cause Santa Claus is back in town / I’ve got no sleigh with reindeer / I’ve got no big toy sac / But I’m gonna drive up to your / house in a big red Cadillac / cause it’s Christmas / Every time you kiss me / It’s plain enough to see / I get all lit up like a Christmas tree / hang up your stockings / and turn off the light / cause Santa Claus is coming down / your chimney tonight.” One can almost see the ideas for the lyrics coming to life through the pen strokes, changes and scribbles in this incredible document.

The lyrics come with a letter of provenance from Trude Forsher’s son James that reads, in part, “Trude was Elvis and Colonel’s gatekeeper and all communication would go thru her. This includes submissions from writers, including Lieber and Stoller. The document was found taped to the inside of the 1957 Elvis Presley Christmas album. It was the original lyrics to the song, including edits. Trude would have shown this to Elvis and the Colonel, most likely typing it up first and keeping this original. It was ‘lost in the collection’ for nearly 60 years, only resurfacing after a week long search for the document that had been photographed a decade before.” This amazing album sleeve, catalog number LOC 1035, with the original lyrics still taped inside retains its original record album as well. The letterhead on which these historic lyrics have been written measures 10 1/2 by 7 1/4 inches (26.67 x 18.41 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The letterhead with the lyrics is taped along the top into the inside cover of the record. Beyond the staining from this tape, the sheet is unsullied by time. Excellent condition.
Jerry Leiber’s Handwritten Lyrics for “Santa Claus is Back in Town” - The Opening Track on Elvis Presley’s 1957 LP <em>Elvis’ Christmas Album</em> - From the Trude Forsher Archive
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,375.00
Estimate: $5,000 - $7,000
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.
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