Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, MS, USA. Also born on that day in that place was another boy named Presley. He was Jesse Garon Presley. Jesse was Elvis' identical twin brother. Jesse was stillborn. Elvis was the surviving twin. His parents were poor but hard working young Southerners. Gladys Love was his mom and Vernon was his father. Vernon did have problems which landed him in jail for several months, but he and Gladys tried to provide as well as possible for their only son.
On October 3, 1945, Elvis sang in public while standing on a chair to rech the microphone. Elvis was ten years old then. He came in Fifth Place in that singing contest at a Mississippi-Alabama Fair. On January 8th of 1946, Elvis received a guitar for his 11th birthday. Ten years later he would be America's biggest singing star.
Where is that first guitar today? How much is it worth? Where is the chair he stood on to reach the microphone? Where is the cowboy outfit he wore? Any Elvis collector would be glad to have those items in a collection.
Elvis began singing while playing his guitar while he was in grade school. He appeared on a local radio show (WELO Radio, Tupelo) with the host, Mississippi Slim, before he was a teen ager. Elvis was too shy to go on the air the first time he was invited but the second invitation helped him to combat the stage fright and sing on the show. Elvis and Mississippi Slim were not taken very seriously at that time. They did not have the sophistication of a Bing Crosby or Tony Martin. Elvis would find out soon enough that swiveling hips trumped sophistication habds down.
Anything connected with WELO or Tupelo from that era might be considered an Elvis collectable. Old photos or station equipment would be highly prized collection items.
Surprisingly the black vinyl copy of "The Blue Album" is worth more than the transparent blue vinyl version. Knowing a bit about Elvis' biography will help you, the collector, get a better idea of the value of Elvis items. Elvis started his recording career with Sun Records. The real 45 rpm vinyl records from 1954 and 1955 are considered very rare and collectable. His early RCA label records on vinyl are also valuable to collectors. The main rule with Elvis items is that memorabilia from when he was alive is more valuable than those things that were manufactured after his death. An Elvis style jumpsuit made for impersonators would not have the value of a scarf that still has his sweat stain from a show.
Real Sun label vinyl is higher prized than RCA records. Many Elvis picture sleeves have great value. Promotional records can be more rare than retail items.
Some Elvis items have tremendous value. You should not sell anything of Elvis interest until you check a book of recommended prices for collectors. Many of the guide books have overly optomistic prices but just be sure to have a general idea before buying or selling.
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Some of the old record sleeves are very valuable to collectors. This one is well worn, but it would have value to someone who had the record but no sleeve. I have had this record and sleeve since it first came out in the 1950s.
Elvis remained true to the music he enjoyed as a kid throughout his life. He was required to sing some not so good songs for his movies, but when the song choice was left up to Elvis he knew what he wanted to sing. His Gospel albums still sell long after his death. He had some of the best recordings of Rock and Roll of any artist in history. He sang beautiful ballads and old Country songs with great feeling. His Christmas songs are heard every year from Thanksgiving through the New Year. His TV specials always showed him to be the kind but wild stage performer who felt and sang his music from a loving whisper to a primal scream.
This site was written by Tom Willett. Tom belongs to AFTRA, SAG, The Musician's Union and at one time was a member of the no longer existing Screen Extras Guild. Tom has more than 50 years of show business experience. Tom has been an actor, movie extra, deejay, stand up comic, musician, producer, director, writer and currently a YouTuber. Tom is an Elvis fan and an Elvis collector.
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