Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, is one of the most significant cultural icons of his time. He was active in the music scene from 1953 up until his passing in 1977. His good looks, charm, and talent were not the only factors to his success. Thanks to mass marketing, the breakdown of racism and the rise of media in different forms helped him climb to the top. Which makes you wonder, how much would an Elvis autograph cost today?
In 2012 a librarian from a high school in Tupelo, Mississippi, discovered a library card in the back of the book “English Fairy Tales” that was signed by Elvis Presley in 1948 when he was just 13 years old. The card sold at auction for $12,000.
Elvis Presley’s Early Years
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi. He grew up dirt-poor and lived in a two-room shotgun house that his father, Vernon Presley, built. What most people did not know was that Presley was actually a twin. His identical twin brother, Jesse Garon Presley, was stillborn and delivered 35 minutes before him. Because of this, he was incredibly close to his parents and had a special bond with his mother.
In September 1941, Presley started first grade at the East Tupelo Consolidated. He was described as an average student. But after a rendition of Red Foley’s Old Shep during morning prayers, Presley’s teacher encouraged him to join a singing contest. It was held in the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, and is considered his very first public performance. Unfortunately, the 10-year-old Presley, who was dressed as a cowboy, only placed 5th.
Presley moved to a new school in 1946 and was considered a loner. He began bringing his guitar to school daily and would sing during lunchtime. He was often teased as the trashy kid who played hillbilly music. At the time, he and his family lived in a predominantly black neighborhood. By November 1948, the family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. (Source: Britannica)
Finding the Earliest Known Elvis Signature Unexpectedly
The oldest known Elvis Presley signature was found on a library card. The librarian discovered this at the Milam Junior Highschool, the institution Presley was at while they were still at Tupelo. By the time she realized what she was looking at, she searched through all the books borrowed by the late rockstar to find his signature. The search unearthed another card with Presley’s signature. The librarian sought permission from the school, took home the two cards, and placed them in her scrapbook. (Source: Elvis Presley News)
The said library card is one of the 72 items featured in Graceland’s auction. It was expected to be one of the hottest items at the auction of the late King of Rock and Roll.
It takes us back to a time where we can identify with Elvis. We were all kids, and we all signed our library cards.Angie Marchese, Graceland Director of Archives.
(Source: First Post)