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Lot 38: 1955 Elvis Presley Signed Black-and-White Sun Records Promo Glossy Photo
29 October 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
Early in Elvis' budding career, his manager, Bob Neal, hired well-known Memphis photographer William Speer to take some publicity shots of Elvis that could be used by Sun Records to promote the fledgling star. A novice Elvis came to Speer's studio for the photo shoot and Speer stopped after just a number of photos since Elvis had not brought a change of clothes with him. Speer's wife suggested that Elvis simply remove his shirt for a few more. The shy young man agreed and Speer was able to shoot 11 different images in total, which are today some of the most well-known images of the king. The offered image is not only one of those 11 different images taken at the shoot that day, but one of the most widely used by Sun Records to publicize its new talent. This example has a bold blue "Thanks Elvis Presley" signature in the lower center on the reverse. The photo measures 10 by 8 inches (25.4 x 20.32 cm) and is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The photo and signature are in excellent condition overall. The photo contains a tiny pinhole near the upper right corner and a slight crease near the upper left corner, with small areas of discoloration on the reverse and very minor surface abrasions from age.