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    Elvis Presley January 1956 RCA Promotional Handbill for Very First Television Appearance. An original large advertising flyer/small poster for new singer Elvis Presley's very first television appearance, in January and February of 1956 on the Jackie Gleason Stage Show. This was immediately following the release of "Heartbreak Hotel" on January 27, and pre-dates his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show by half a year.

    The very repertoire of what Elvis sang on these four consecutive Saturday evenings really demonstrates where he was at musically this exact minute:

    January 28 - "Shake, Rattle & Roll"/"Flip, Flop & Fly" (essentially a Big Joe Turner medley) and "I Got a Woman."
    February 4 - "Tutti Frutti" and "Baby Let's Play House."
    February 11 - two songs with enormous impact on Elvis's early career: "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes."
    February 18 - Interestingly, a repeat performance of Little Richard's "Tutti Fruitti" and then "I Was the One," the B-side of "Heartbreak Hotel."

    Measures 10" x 14" and grades to fair condition. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    More Information: This piece was printed in January 1956, Elvis had just signed to RCA Records in November, and the future king was "the most talked-about new personality in the last 10 years of recorded music," as it says across the top. Then "ELVIS PRESLEY" in huge capital letters under the soon-to-be-famous photo of Elvis on stage in Tampa, Florida the previous July. "See Him! Hear Him! on the Jackie Gleason Stage Show. January 28 [and] February 4, 11, 18."

    There's no question this flyer was meant to draw eyeballs to the TV set on those dates, promoting the heck out of RCA's new wunderkind and get the ball rolling behind the many records they were already starting to press. Best guess is that it was sent out to all press, radio and retail outlets, hoping the latter would post them in their stores for the whole world to see.

    These were indeed Elvis's very first television appearances, with RCA exercising its mighty clout. Although produced by Jackie Gleason, Stage Show was hosted on-air by big-band legends Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. The performances took place at CBS Studios between 53rd & 54th Streets in Manhattan. The winter weather was rough that first night and Elvis was unknown in the Big Apple, so attendance was sparse.

    So this wickedly charismatic piece, even in tough condition, could be considered Elvis's big-bang handbill advertisement from RCA Records. It's pretty spectacular any way you look at it. And it's as rare as rare can be; the very first time Heritage has ever had one for sale.

    Condition details: Piece has upwards of 20 little pinholes throughout; was quarter-folded, leaving visible creases; water stains over his guitar, the "P" and "EY" in "Presley," and along the right margin; tape residue at top; tape tear-away at bottom; some edge paper loss on both the left and right edges, along with a couple of small tears. Verso has "Donnan" written in pencil, toning to the corners, more obvious water staining, and cello tape repair applied to the creases in four places for stability.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2020
    4th-5th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 37
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 754

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