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Elvis Presley photograph inscribed to Ed Sullivan sold for $19,445 at auction
"To Mr. Ed Sullivan, My sincere thanks to a great guy, Thanks, Elvis Presley.”

BOSTON, MASS.- An Elvis Presley photograph inscribed to Ed Sullivan sold for $19,445, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The incredible color semi-glossy photo of Elvis as he was pictured on the September 1956 front cover of TV Guide, signed and inscribed on the original 'TV Guide Cover Portrait' mat in black ballpoint, "To Mr. Ed Sullivan, My sincere thanks to a great guy, Thanks, Elvis Presley.”

After successful appearances on The Milton Berle Show and the Dorsey Brothers' Stage Show, Elvis was poised to make his premiere on the nation’s most popular variety program: The Ed Sullivan Show. The popular TV host knew that he had to feature Presley, then filming his first motion picture and riding high on his recently released debut LP.

After a series of tough negotiations with Col. Tom Parker, Ed Sullivan had his man, signing him to a series of three performances in the summer of 1956 to the tune of $50,000—an unprecedented amount at the time—with Elvis’ first appearance taking place on September 9, 1956. The show was a huge success with 60 million people, or 82.6 percent of the entire television audience. Elvis returned to the show again on October 28, 1956, and on January 6, 1957.

“It’s an amazing piece of music history that unites two kings of pop culture,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Rumor has it that CBS and Ed Sullivan received angry calls from those who were offended by Elvis' first two performances, so the decision was made to only show Elvis from the waist up for that third appearance. Elvis from the waist down was deemed too wild, too obscene, and too much for American audiences to handle.

At the conclusion of that final show, Ed Sullivan wished Elvis well and told the audience that Elvis was a "real decent, fine boy... We want to say that we've never had a pleasanter experience with a big name than we've had with you." This endorsement even further validated Elvis to a wide audience as he humbly accepted the compliments.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction from RR Auction began on June 25 and concluded on July 14.

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