Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes could sell for £120,000 at auction

Well it’s one for the money … a lot of money actually.

The blue suede shoes worn by Elvis Presley during the early part of his career are expected to fetch £120,000 at auction on Friday.

The singer, known as the king of rock’n’roll, wore the footwear on and off stage during the 1950s, including during his appearance on the Steve Allen television show in the US, where he sang Hound Dog.

Presley gave the size 10.5 shoes to a friend after he was called up to join the US army. The singer had acquired them after performing Blue Suede Shoes by Carl Perkins on his eponymous debut album.

The shoes are tipped to fetch between £100,000 and £120,000 when they go under the hammer at auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire.

The shoes have been verified by Jimmy Velvet, a close friend and leading authority on Presley. Photograph: Henry Aldridge & Son/PA

The auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said: “They are as iconic as they can be. Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog, these are things that you think of immediately when you talk about Elvis Presley, they almost transcend popular culture. They are just an exceptional piece of showbusiness, music and popular culture memorabilia.”

He said the shoes had an unbroken provenance line – chronology of ownership – from Presley to the present day.

Aldridge said: “When Elvis was joined up for the American army he had a get together at Graceland. Elvis called some of these people upstairs and was giving away some of the clothes he didn’t think he’d need or want when he came back from the army.

“The gentleman concerned was Alan Fortas, he was Elvis’s branch manager and a friend of his.”

The shoes have previously been displayed in various museums.

Aldridge said the shoes had been verified by Jimmy Velvet, a close friend of Presley and a leading authority on the singer.

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The song Blue Suede Shoes was written and first recorded by Perkins in 1955 with its now ubiquitous refrain of “don’t you step on my blue suede shoes”.

Presley recorded the song in 1956 and it appears as the opening track of his debut album Elvis Presley.

In his autobiography Cash: The Autobiography, the singer-songwriter Johnny Cash claims to have planted the seed for the song while touring with Perkins. Cash claims he told Perkins of an airman he met when serving in the military, who had referred to his military-issued shoes as “blue suede shoes” and insisted that no one step on or scuff them.

Last year, the auction house sold a mink coat previously owned by Presley for £128,000 to a US collector.

The Guardian