If ever there was a single record that could lay claim to truly starting the Rock and Roll era, it must be Elvis Presley’s first single ‘That’s all right (Mama)’, recorded in Memphis in July 5, 1954.
Producer Sam Phillips of Sun Records gave an
acetate of the recording to his friend, the local radio station
disc jockey Dewey Phillips (no relation) only two days later. What
happened next helped create the Elvis legend. Such was the interest
that Dewey reportedly had to play the song a total of 14 times
during the show as the station phone rang off the hook.
Elvis was summoned to the studio for a live
interview the same night, and 12 days later the single was
released, with Blue Moon of Kentucky as the B
Whyte's of Dublin on March 24, that very acetate, complete with
the typewritten label famously misspelling Elvis's name as Pressley
and adding his guitar and bass players, the session musicians
Scotty and Bill, was offered with an estimate of
Having passed from the Dewey Phillips
collection via the Johnny Earle JEM Memorabilia holdings to the
present Irish vendor via a 1998 rock and pop sale at Bonhams, the
provenance was impeccable and it took €65,000 (£58,035).
Across the Irish Sea two days before on
March 22,Omega Auctionsof Stockport in Cheshire offered what are
thought to be the only set of backstage photographs from The
Beatles' celebrated 1965 Shea Stadium concert. They were taken
after the official photographer ran out of film.
The story goes that amateur photographer
Marc Weinstein - who reportedly followed the sale via
the-saleroom.com - managed to bluff his way backstage having forged
his own pass. He sold the resulting 61 black and white photographs
in 2006 and here saw them offered at an estimate of
They sold to a UK collector in the room for
£26,000 plus 18% buyer's premium.
Meanwhile the following lot comprised 63
colour Kodachrome 35mm slides of The Beatles taken during their
first full tour of America in August 1964 taken by Dr Robert C
"Bob" Beck (1925-2002).
Each slide was offered with its printed photograph and sold over
the phone against a £10,000-15,000 estimate for £23,000 hammer to a
South American collector from Washington DC, who is also the owner
of John Lennon's Let It Be Oscar. Bearing in mind
that, unusually, both lots were sold with copyright, these prices
could yet prove to be bargains.