A single brick from the grandstand where Elvis Presley performed at the 1956 Mississippi-Alabama Fair & Dairy Show in Tupelo sold for $22400 (over R330000) at a Julien’s Auctions sale of assets from the estate of the King of Blues, BB King.
The clay brick – described as a “piece of Tupelo” in an inscription on it – was presented to King in 2002 by a mystery donor.
This most basic building component from the grandstand – which was demolished in 2000 – was part of the stage for Tupelo’s most memorable concert.
Presley was at the height of his fame in 1956 when he returned to his home town to perform before a crowd of thousands of screaming fans at the regional fair.
The fair had played an important part in Presley’s life. In 1945, at the age of 10, he was encouraged by his school teacher to participate in a talent contest there.
Dressed in cowboy clothes and standing on a chair to reach the microphone, he sang Ol’ Shep – and won fifth place. His prize money was $5 and free tickets to all the fair rides.
It was the first time the King of Rock had sung in public.