Elvis Presley – Guitar Man!

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Performance guitars

The following is a list of guitars that Presley owned or used for his performances and recordings

1940s Kay (Tupelo Hardware) January 1946 – August 1954 Presley’s first guitar, purchased at Tupelo Hardware Co. for $7.75 on his eleventh birthday, January 8, 1946, used throughout his high school years and on his first Sun recording sessions
1936 Martin 000-18 August 1954 – November 1954 Purchased at O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis for $79.50
1942 Martin D-18 80221 November 1954 – June 1955 Purchased at O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis, trading in his Martin 000-18
1955 Martin D-28 April 1955 – October 1956 Purchased at O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis, first used on April 16, 1955 in Dallas, fitted with a custom made tooled leather cover with his name, appeared on the cover of Presley’s first album
1956 Gibson J-200 A-22937 October 1956 – November 1970 Purchased through O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis in October 1956, first used on October 11, 1956 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, used with a tooled leather cover on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1957made by Charles Underwood
1950s Isana Jazz 1958 – 1960 Purchased by Lamar Fike in Bad Nauheim, Germany, a handmade German S hole jazz guitar used by Presley while serving in the U.S. Army
1960 Gibson J-200 A-32944 March 1960 – June 1968 Purchased through O.K. Houck Piano Co. in Memphis for his March 20, 1960 Nashville recording sessions while his original Gibson J-200 (A-22937) was being refinished and repaired, shipped to Scotty Moore c/o Chet Atkins, used for the Elvis 1968 Comeback Special
1968 Hagström Viking II June 1968 Borrowed from session player Al Casey for several segments of the Elvis 1968 Comeback Special
1963 Gibson Super 400 62713 June 1968 Borrowed from Scotty Moore for the live segments of the Elvis 1968 Comeback Special, purchased from Gibson in October 1963 for $237
1964 Gretsch Country Gentleman 80736 February 1970 – March 1970 Developed as a signature model by Gretsch for Chet Atkins, similar to the 1957 Gretsch 6128 Duo Jet used by George Harrison for early Beatles performances and recordings
1969 Gibson Dove Ebony 539461 November 1971 – September 1973,
July 1975 Given to audience member Mike Harris during a concert on July 24, 1975 in Asheville, North Carolina, saying, “This is yours. Hold on to that. Hopefully, it’ll be valuable one day.”
1968 Gibson J-200 Ebony 618195 March 1974 – July 1975 First used on March 1, 1974 in Tulsa, applied a Kenpo Karate decal to the body in September, thrown into the audience on July 15, 1975 at the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, Massachusetts after breaking a string
1970s Gibson Dove Custom A004051 August 1975 – April 1976 First used on August 18, 1975 at the Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, used exclusively on subsequent tours through April 27, 1976
1974 Guild F-50 96648 May 1976 – September 1976 First used on May 27, 1976 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Illinois
1976 Martin D-35 377704 October 1976 – February 1977 Damaged during a performance on February 14, 1977 at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida when Presley’s guitar strap broke, given to an audience member, and later sold at auction for $20,000
1975 Martin D-28 369735 February 1977 – June 1977 Used during Presley’s last 56 concerts, including the final show at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977

Performance guitars
The following is a list of “prop” guitars that Presley used on screen during musical numbers in his 31 theatrical films. These guitars were purchased by the studios, and in some cases, were identical to Presley’s own performance guitars. The Gibson J-200 used in Loving You, King Creole, and G.I. Blues, for example, was identical to the Gibson J-200 he purchased in October 1956 (serial number A-22937)
1956 Love Me Tender Fox Fox prop guitar
1957 Loving You Paramount Gibson J-45
Gibson J-200
1957 Jailhouse Rock MGM Stella H929
Maton HG100
1958 King Creole Paramount Gibson J-45
Gibson J-200
1960 G.I. Blues Paramount Gibson J-45
Gibson J-200
Harmony H950
1960 Flaming Star Fox Fox prop guitar
1961 Wild in the Country Fox Parlor style steel string
1961 Blue Hawaii Paramount Gibson J-45
Soprano ukulele
1962 Follow That Dream UA Old Kraftsman
1962 Kid Galahad UA Old Kraftsman
1962 Girls! Girls! Girls! Paramount Martin 0-17
Harmony H165
1963 It Happened at the World’s Fair MGM Gibson LG-1
1963 Fun in Acapulco Paramount Harmony H950
Harmony H165
Classical guitar
1964 Viva Las Vegas MGM Gibson LG-1
Fender Stratocaster
1964 Kissin’ Cousins MGM No guitar used
1964 Roustabout Paramount Harmony H950
1965 Girl Happy MGM Gibson LG-1
Fender Telecaster
Fender Precision Bass
1965 Tickle Me Allied Artists Gibson J-200
Classical guitar
1965 Harum Scarum MGM No guitar used
1966 Frankie and Johnny UA Harmony H929TG
Stella Tenor
1966 Paradise, Hawaiian Style Paramount Harmony H950
1966 Spinout MGM Burns Double Six
Fender Precision Bass
Hoyer 12-String
Gibson LG-1
Gibson EBS-1250
1967 Easy Come, Easy Go Paramount Fender Precision Bass
Gibson SG
1967 Double Trouble MGM 1960s Ampeg Baby Bass
1967 Clambake UA Classical guitar
Fender Electric XII
Fender Wildwood VI
1968 Stay Away, Joe MGM No guitar used
1968 Speedway MGM Fender Coronado II
1968 Live a Little, Love a Little MGM Gibson LG-1
1969 Charro! National General No guitar used
1969 The Trouble with Girls MGM Kay dreadnought
1969 Change of Habit UA Classical guitar
Old Kraftsman
Harmony H162 style acoustic

Elvis’ first guitar

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