Elvis Presley – Rare 1961 Handbill/Small Poster for Pearl Harbor Benefit

An oversize handbill for Elvis Presley’s 1961 benefit concert for the Pearl Harbor Memorial benefit concert; one of the greatest printed Presley pieces ever. And one of the rarest.  The artwork featuring Elvis in his gold lamé suit, and the marquee-style design is in our opinion as good as it gets.

This was a very important concert as Elvis performed live only twice between 1958, when he was inducted into the Army, and 1969, when he returned to the stage in Las Vegas. This handbill is for the second of those shows, at the Bloch Arena in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii March 25, 1961 (the other concert was another charity benefit in Memphis on Feb. 25 of that year.) According to the back of the handbill, which reprints a local Hawaii paper’s account of how the concert came to be, Col. Parker read a Los Angeles Newspaper’s plea for help in raising the $200,000 needed to complete a memorial to those who lost their lives in the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

There was no poster made for either this or the Memphis benefit, making this the sole printed advertising piece from this historic concert. As the handbill specifies, Minnie Pearl is Elvis’ special guest, and his band includes The Jordanaires, D.J. Fontana and Scotty Moore. Printed on thin glossy stock with black, white and a special gold ink.  In excellent condition, 9″ x 12″ (a professional paper conservator has flattened four horizontal creases which are now barely visible, archivally repaired a small edge tear and touched up a few tiny spots;  all extremely high quality work and barely noticeable.)

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