46006: Elvis Presley Signed Big D Jamboree Program (195
Elvis Presley Signed Big D Jamboree Program (1955). The Sportatorium near downtown Dallas was a barn-like structure that dated back to the mid-1930s, used primarily in its early years for professional wrestling matches. But by 1955 it had also become Dallas' version of The Grand Ole Opry or The Louisiana Hayride, hosting a Country & Western event called The Big D Jamboree. Originally named The Lone Star Barn Dance in 1947, it was renamed in 1948 and became a regional institution hosting regular local performers and occasionally nationally known stars.
By 1955, as the program offered here indicates, it was attracting the likes of Country superstar Webb Pierce, while remaining a venue featuring lesser-known celebrities and up-and-coming acts such as one Elvis Presley, who was booked for a September 3, 1955 program that also featured more than a dozen other acts from 8:00 to midnight, in a rotating, repeating format. The young Elvis, not yet 21, took the stage during three slots. His fifth, final, and biggest Sun single was about to be released - "I Forgot To Remember To Forget"/ "Mystery Train", both sides of which became hits on Billboard's Country chart, reaching #1 and #11 respectively, so the rising star had at least 10 recorded songs in his arsenal. At the time it was a highlight of Elvis' young career - as it turned out, it was a historic event for the venerable Big D Jamboree, which would become a nationally broadcast radio program the following year.
We've never seen this program before and suspect there aren't many copies surviving, much less one that's been autographed by many of the performers that night, most notably Elvis and his bandmates Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D. J. Fontana.
The 9" x 12" program is in about Good condition, but it's incredible to find one from the King's pre-RCA period in any condition! Elvis' autograph, added to the right side of his photo, still looks great and very presentable. Bill Black has also signed on the front, while Scotty and D. J. chose the back of the program. An amazing find! COA from Rich Consola.