MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Elvis Presley archivists have found three rare photos dating back more than 50 years that show the young singer greeting fans at the gates of Graceland.
Negatives of the photos were discovered as archivists pored through a vast collection of documents from the office of Vernon Presley, Elvis' father. The office is a stop on the daily tour of Graceland, Elvis' Memphis estate.
Angie Marchese, director of archives at Elvis Presley Enterprises, said the negatives were tucked in a small envelope with no writing on it. Archivists scanned the negatives, and research revealed the photos were taken in 1957.
The three photos of the 22-year old performer have never been published, Marchese said, but a fourth picture from the same series has appeared on a limited basis in publications focusing on Elvis.
The black-and-white pictures give a glimpse of a young Elvis' connection with his fans, just as his hit "All Shook Up" was enjoying a run at No. 1 on the charts.
The photos show Elvis with his black pompadour, a jacket and long pants. Fans are standing at the closed gates and perched along the wall and brick columns that surround Graceland. Some fans are sticking pieces of paper through the gates for Elvis to sign, and one photo shows Elvis apparently signing something.
Marchese said other photos and home movies in the archives show an older Elvis interacting with fans at Graceland, but the newly discovered pictures show the singer making time for his adoring public early in his career.
"It's really quite amazing that they weren't in our database already and we had never seen them before," Marchese said.
Marchese said the photos were taken shortly after Elvis bought the mansion and the gates were installed as a security measure.
The pictures will be displayed at a Graceland exhibit beginning Thursday, through the end of Elvis Week on Aug. 16.