Lot 27: Set of Three Sun Record Co. Checks Written to Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black for November 15, 1954 Recording Session for "I'm Left, You're Right, My Baby's Gone"
29 October 2016
Memphis, TN, USALive Auction
From a New York State Collection
This grouping of checks is an unprecedented offering representing the actual payments for an Elvis Presley recording session at The Memphis Recording Service with Sam Phillips. The three Sun Record Co., Inc. checks are each signed by Phillips and, respectively, Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black. They are for the recording session on November 15, 1954 for the song "I'm Left, You're Right, My Baby's Gone." The memos on the Moore and Black checks (nos. 834 and 835, respectively) read "Presley Session: 11/15/54," while Elvis' check (no. 833) simply reads "Session: 11/15/54." The distinction between the memos may be related to the fact that Elvis was paid as the session leader, while Scotty and Bill, as players, were paid half as much. The checks are dated the day after the session, November 16, 1954 and are also endorsed on the reverse below each musician's name by "O.V. Foster," the secretary of the Memphis local musicians' union.
Seven takes were recorded at the session, and are commonly referred to as the "slow" version of the song. Eventually, the boys would record the more upbeat version that was released with "Baby Let's Play House" as Sun 217 and titled "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone." However, there is some confusion about whether the record version was recorded during the March 5, 1955 session, as is commonly held, or if it was indeed recorded during the November 15, 1954, session. The debate has smoldered among fans for some time, and hopefully the offering of these checks will only fan the flames!
Elvis Presley signed checks of any vintage are highly sought-after by collectors, and checks from the earliest period of his career only more so. And an Elvis-signed Sun Record Co. check that is also signed by Sam Phillips would be the pinnacle. So considering the presented group of Sun Record checks are signed by not only Elvis and Sam, but also Scotty Moore and Bill Black, and that they are for a recording session, it is fair to say that this may be the most significant Elvis Presley check offering ever. A truly historic auction opportunity. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.
Condition Report: The checks show normal signs of wear including bank stampings and cancellation punch holes. They have been very well preserved. Excellent to Mint condition.