Elvis' First Las Vegas Contract Going Up For Auction This Month

Later this week Elvis' first Las Vegas contract is going up for auction.  The 1956 contract was for 2 weeks at the New Frontier Hotel and Casino, from the end of April through the beginning of May. According to the contract, Elvis was paid $7,500 per week for the gig, minus commissions to his agents. Accommodations at the hotel were also included within the contract, providing Elvis with a one-bedroom suite and standard guest room while he was performing. 

Auction house Henry Aldridge & Son is handling the auction, which also includes an Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity.

Elvis wasn't an instant hit in Las Vegas during his first run. Bill Willard, a columnist at the Las Vegas Sun at the time, wrote:

For the teenagers, the long, tall Memphis lad is a whiz; for the average Vegas spender or showgoer, a bore.

Also, according to a statement from the auction house:

This was still the early part of 1956 and Presley was on the verge of greatness, up until now Elvis had performed in front of screaming teenagers but things would be different in Las Vegas.

Compared to the usual teenage hysteria, however, Elvis had a lukewarm acceptance from the middle-aged audience.

However, it was during his time in Las Vegas in 1956 that Elvis connected with Las Vegas performer Freddie Bell, who encouraged him to record a cover of the song "Hound Dog". Elvis recorded the song, which is now the most famous version of the song and remains one of the best-selling singles of all time. Elvis found greater success in Las Vegas later in his career.

The 1956 contract's pre-sale estimate is between $33,476 to $40,171. Bids are being accepted until June 16th.


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