Elvis Presley 80th birthday: First record sells at Graceland auction for $300,000

Ballad 'My Happiness' was among a host of items sold in celebration yesterday

Jess Denham
Friday 09 January 2015 11:05
Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait
Elvis Presley poses for a studio portrait

Elvis Presley has been wished a very happy 80th birthday after his first ever record sold for $300,000 (£194,413) at auction.

The late rock‘n’roll singer’s acetate recording of “My Happiness” went under the hammer at his former Memphis home Graceland yesterday, with the bidding opening at $50,000. The lucky buyer remains anonymous.

Presley laid down the ballad in 1953 aged just 18 at Memphis studio Sun Records. He paid just $4 for the privilege, then had to visit his friend’s house to listen to it as he did not own a record player.

He left the record at Ed Leek’s house and it later passed into his niece’s possession, who contacted Graceland to offer it for auction.

Other Presley items sold on Wednesday include his first driver’s license, the jacket he wore in film Viva Las Vegas, gold necklaces, a watch and a signed copy of “That’s All Right”.

Last week, a pair of Presley’s personal jets also went on sale, complete with gilded wash basins, and are expected to fetch up to $15 million.

To celebrate Presley’s life, hundreds of fans gathered in Memphis to slice an eight-tier birthday cake. A new website, ElvisTheMusic.com was launched, and Legacy Recordings will release The Complete ‘60s Album Collection Vol. 1 on iTunes.

London joined in with the celebrations last month with Elvis At The O2: The Exhibition Of His Life. It will remain open for nine months and visitors can enjoy 300 artefacts from the Graceland archives, many of which have never been shown outside of his home.

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