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Lot #837
Elvis Presley

THE KING AND HIS COURT: ELVIS and his original SUN RECORDS bandmates sign a photo

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THE KING AND HIS COURT: ELVIS and his original SUN RECORDS bandmates sign a photo

Early glossy 8 x 10 publicity photo of Elvis, signed on the front in blue ink, “Love you, Elvis Presley.” The reverse is also signed in black ballpoint “Elvis Presley” and, in blue ink, “Best of luck, Scotty Moore,” “& Jimmy Day,” “Don Fontana,” and “Bill Blake.” It was on Monday, July 5, 1954, that Presley, Moore, and Black broke into bluesman Arthur Cruddup’s “That’s All Right” in a freewheeling style that brought together country and blues. They took a similar approach to bluegrass legend Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” With these spontaneous breakthroughs, both sides of Presley’s legendary first single—and the first new strains of rock and roll—were recorded. Presley assembled a backing band comprised of Jimmy Day, guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and drummer D. J. Fontana that remained his supporting unit for much of the year. When Presley relocated to Hollywood, he invited the band to join him, but Day declined in order to pursue a career with the Grand Ole Opry. Moore, Black, and Fontana served as Presley’s band on stage and on record until March 1958. After that, Moore and Black became less close to Elvis both personally and professionally. Some biographers have speculated that Colonel Tom Parker viewed anyone who had a close personal and artistic relationship with Elvis as a threat to his own power over the singer, and that the manager tried to drive a wedge between Elvis and the other musicians, even trying to force Moore and Black out of the picture. Frustrated with their limited, salaried incomes as Presley became a superstar and earned more and more, Moore and Black gave Presley letters of resignation in September 1957. Moore and Fontana would rejoin Presley for the televised 1968 comeback special (bassist Black had died in 1965). In very good condition, with scattered creases and surface marks (several to Presley’s image), irregular ink adhesion to signature on image side, and scattered soiling to reverse. COA Roger Epperson/REAL and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #334 - Ended June 18, 2008