Elvis Presley's actual Blue Suede Shoes have just sold for £120,000

1 July 2024, 08:32

Elvis Presley wearing his Blue Suede Shoes on the Steve Allen Show
Elvis Presley wearing his Blue Suede Shoes on the Steve Allen Show. Picture: Getty Images

By Mayer Nissim

Well, it's one for the money...

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'Blue Suede Shoes' is simply one of the most important songs in the history of popular music.

It was written and released by Carl Perkins in 1955 and became a rock 'n' roll standard, with covers by fellow pioneers Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and, of course, Elvis Presley.

Elvis opened his debut Elvis Presley album with his version, and while his single only peaked at number 20 (Perkins actually topped the chart with the original), it's his groundbreaking remake that has perhaps endured the most.

So it's no surprise that on more than one occasion, the young Elvis sported an example of the footwear namechecked in the song while he was promoting it.

One particular pair was worn on The Steve Allen Show, which saw Elvis in an otherwise formal getup.

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - Elvis Presley | The Steve Allen Show (1956)

"It's not too often that I get to wear the suit and tails," Elvis said to Allen on the show. "But I think that I have on something tonight that's not quite correct for evening wear."

"What's that Elvis?" Allen asked. "Blue Suede Shoes," The King replied to a chorus of laughs and applause.

These very shoes went up for auction with Henry Aldridge & Sons on June 28 and 29 and sold right at the top end of their estimate, going for a whopping £120,000.

Elvis Presley's very own Blue Suede Shoes
Elvis Presley's very own Blue Suede Shoes. Picture: Henry Aldridge & Son

The buyer came from California, an auction house rep told CNN.

"Elvis wore these iconic blue suede shoes during the 1950s on and off stage," said Elvis's longtime friend Jimmy Velvet.

"During his performance on The Steve Allen Show, July 1, 1956, Elvis mentions wearing the shoes before singing 'I Want You, I Need You, I Love You'."

He added: "In 1958, the night before Elvis left for the Army he gave these shoes to a close friend and entourage member, Alan Fortas. The heel of each shoe is stamped 'Nunn-Bush' and the inside of each shoe is stamped 10-1/2 stating the shoe size.

Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes (Official Lyric Video)

"There is a lot of history wrapped up in these well-worn blue suede shoes which are synonymous with the name Elvis Presley."

There was suitable proof that these were the real deal before they were sold.

The lot included an Elvis Presley Museum letter of authenticity to Daniel Johnson hand-signed by Jimmy Velvet, an Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity also hand-signed by Jimmy Velvet, and a letter from Elvis's friend Alan Fortas, the previous owner of the shows.

Elvis Presley's hit singles 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'
Elvis Presley's hit singles 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'. Picture: Alamy

"The night before Elvis' army induction here in Memphis, Elvis had an all-night party at Graceland," reads the letter.

"Afterwards we went to the Rainbow roller rink. When we all got home Elvis called some of us upstairs and was giving away some of his clothes he didn't think he would be wearing or wanted when he came back from the army.

"That night Elvis gave me these blue suede shoes size 10 1/2. I've owned these all these years."