The records in my collection that I value the most are the ones signed by musicians I've met who played with Elvis. Listening to them talking about their time with Elvis in the studio, and then getting an autograph on a record they played on makes for a great memory.
Choosing the record in question is half the fun. When I went to see Glen D. Hardin when he played in the Swedish town of Uddevalla at an Elvis Christmas concert in 2006, I brought with me the single "The Wonder Of You." "Arranged by Glen D. Hardin," it says on the orange label, so I couldn't think of a better place than that for his autograph.
A year earlier the American Sound Studio Band also performed in Uddevalla, together with the Sweet Inspirations. The choice of record was a simple one. All the band members signed my copy of the From Elvis In Memphis LP after the show. It was a very special moment.
But I guess the autograph I value the most is D.J. Fontana's. I said hello to him when he visited Sweden in 2006 and performed, among other places, in my home town. We met at his hotel before the show and he told me about some of his moments with Elvis. And afterwards, he signed my Elvis Presley LP. (Looking at it, I use to fantasize about meeting Scotty Moore and getting him to sign the LP as well, there's a perfect spot for his autograph just to the right of where D.J. Fontana wrote his name.)
Now, if all goes according to plan I will soon have another Elvis record signed by one of his old band members. As I've written in earlier postings, I will attend The Original Elvis Tribute 2012 opening show at Vara Konserthus (Vara Concert Hall) on April 7. The production features five of Elvis' original musicians. One of them is Duke Bardwell, who played bass on a song which has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it on the Elvis Today album, the frantic rocker "T-R-O-U-B-L-E." So yesterday I bid on, and won, a copy of the single on eBay, including some jukebox title strips, which I thought was pretty cool.
So, the perfect record for Duke Bardwell to sign, even more so as it's his only surviving record master with Elvis (Producer Felton Jarvis erased all of the other bass parts Duke Bardwell recorded at the Elvis Today sessions). But which records should I bring for Bobby Wood, Mary and Ginger Holladay, and Jerome "Stump" Monroe to sign? Suggestions, anyone?