Elvis Presley's blue suede shoes sell at auction

Elvis Presley’s blue suede shoes have sold for more than $150,000. The iconic item from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s wardrobe were bought by an American collector based in California as part of an auction Friday by Henry Aldridge & Son.

“The price for me, reflects the importance of such an iconic object,” auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told CBS News. “When you think of Elvis, you probably think of upturned collars, Las Vegas and blue suede shoes.”

Elvis’ blue suede shoes

Photo courtesy of Henry Aldridge & Son.

The shoes made appearances both on and offstage during Elvis’ storied career, including during a performance of “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” on “The Steve Allen Show” in 1956.

Alan Fortas, Elvis’ close friend and ranch foreman, had been the gatekeeper of the shoes ever since the singer gave them to him shortly before he shipped off for the army, according to the auction’s listing. After an all-night party at Graceland, Elvis reportedly called a few friends upstairs to give away some items from his wardrobe.

“That night Elvis gave me these blue suede shoes size 10 1/2. I’ve owned these all these years,” Fortas said.

The shoes were authenticated by Jimmy Tennant, better known as Jimmy Velvet, a rock and roll vocalist and close companion of Presley’s for 22 years. After his friend’s death in 1977 at the age of 42, Velvet ran the Elvis Presley Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and is the “world’s leading Elvis authority,” according to the listing.

The shoes have previously been displayed by various museums, including at the Elvis-A-Rama museum in Las Vegas, where they escaped a 2004 robbery.

Though “Blue Suede Shoes” was originally written by Tennessee singer-songwriter Carl Perkins, Elvis performed and popularized the song, including its famous lines, “But don’t you step on my blue suede shoes / Well you can do anything but / Lay off of my blue suede shoes.”

The song appears on track one, side one of “Elvis Presley,” the singer’s debut studio album.

Nearly 50 years after his death, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll still looms large as one of the greatest artists of all time. The sale of the shoes “reflects the iconic nature and the enduring fascination in Elvis,” said Aldridge.

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