August 26, 2021 Rock & Roll, Entertainment, Sports and Americana
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/26/2021

On April 9, 1953, at 8 p.m. in Humes Auditorium, the Humes High Band presented its Annual Minstrel show in which Elvis Presley was the 16th act, listed as “Guitarist” with his surname misspelled as “Prestly.” The program’s cover, with its unfortunate, anachronistic image of blackface, is true to the definition of a minstrel show; however, from the description of acts listed in the program, such as twirlers, acrobats, xylophone trio, and more, this was likely more of a variety program to showcase the talent of the students of the school. This is one of Elvis’ very first stage performances (he performed in, and was listed in the program for, a Humes talent show a little less than two weeks earlier, on March 27) and the very beginning of what would become a staple of his famous career.

The 8-page paper program booklet contains over 30 ads from local sponsors such as Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Jackson Coffee Shop, Greener’s Department Store, Melody Music Shop, Mays Barber & Beauty Shop, Southern Maid Doughnut Shop, Yellow Cab Co., and many more on several of the program’s pages. A very rare and early example of Elvis’ pre-fame days. Only three months later, Elvis would walk into Sam Phillips’ Memphis recording studio to create the acetate of “My Happiness.” That recording would lead to the launch of one of the greatest entertainment careers of all time. This program, in remarkable condition considering its age and original disposable intent, emanates from the collection of Humes High School Band Director (listed in the program) Roy Coats. This special example measures approximately 9 1/4 by 6 inches. The program presents with only most minor distresses in the way of toning spots along the bottom edge. Excellent to Mint condition.

1953 “Annual Minstrel” Talent Show Program at Humes High School with Elvis Presley – One of the Earliest Known Examples of an Elvis Program
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400
Final prices include buyers premium: $518
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Thursday, August 26, 2021.
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