By DAMIEN GAYLE
PUBLISHED: 13 May 2014
The very first contract signed by Elvis Presley is to go under the hammer this week at auction.
The agreement between Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, signed at Sun Records' studio in Memphis, Tennessee, came just before the singer rocketed to international superstardom. It was also the beginning of a relationship between the two men that was to last until Presley's death.
The sale of the document is being handled by Julien's Auctions of Los Angeles, California, but the auction itself will be held at the Hard Rock Café in New York City on Saturday, May 17.
It's estimated to reach anything up to $25,000.
Presley's career began in 1954 when he joined Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Word started to spread throughout the industry of a talented young singer and in February 1955, Col Parker, who had already had some success in talent management since the late-1930s, made his approach.
Presley initially agreed to let 'the Colonel', as he was known, organise some of his future bookings and promotions and gradually he became known as his 'special advisor.'
In November 1955, Col Parker successfully persuaded RCA Victor to buy Presley's contract out from Sun Records for $40,000 - an almost unheard of sum in those days.
Fatefully, it also guaranteed the Colonel a 25 per cent commission on the young star's gross income.
The document has survived the last 59 years in pristine condition - just slightly yellowing - and features signatures by Elvis and his parents Vernon and Gladys Presley.
Darren Julien, chief executive of Julien's Auctions, said:
"This is one of the most significant contracts, the one that Elvis signed with Col. Tom Parker. This was the start of his life and it was a very important decision in his career, and it was a very historical moment for his parents, who were there when he signed the contract. It's in very good condition and it's estimated to fetch up to $15,000 but I think it could get $25,000 because it's so significant."
source: The Daily Mail UK and Julien's Auctions