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In the first photo we can see Ann Fulchino, the publicist for RCA’s Pop Records Division, greeting Elvis, on March 17, 1956, with a William Morris agent who attended the meeting that took place at Studio 50 from CBS in New York, where Elvis would be performing on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show that day. William Morris’s agent watches as Elvis takes the hand of Anne Fulchino, the RCA Victor publicist who hired Wertheimer to photograph their young star.

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Alfred Wertheimer first photographed Elvis on that historic day, March 17. 

Alfred was a freelance photographer and had been doing some work for RCA’s Pop Record Division. He had photographed musical artists such as Lena Horne, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, and others.

RCA’s Pop Records Division publicist, Ann Fulchino, was the one who called Alfred to photograph his new talent, Elvis Presley, at RCA’s initiative.

That day Alfred asked Ann his iconic question, after a long silence, when Ann called him to photograph Elvis. 

Alfred asked him: “…Elvis, who?“…He didn’t even know his name…

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Alfred Wertheimer, from that moment on, was the one who made the most important photographic document on the greatest pop star of all time.

On March 10, 1956, Wertheimer was working in his photo developing room when he received a call from Fulchino. “Are you available next week?” Wertheimer remembers his question. “I would like you to photograph Elvis Presley. We hired him in November and I still don’t have any pictures of him in my files.

A week later, Wertheimer met Fulchino at the CBS studios in New York, where Elvis was to appear on the Dorsey brothers’ television show.

Ann took the 26-year-old photographer backstage at CBS, where she introduced him to Elvis and let Elvis know that Wertheimer would be the photographer to take some photos of him.

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Elvis basically grunted,” recalls Wertheimer, “and didn’t even look up. I thought to myself, will he be okay with me? I’m the fly on the wall. You don’t have to be sociable…” 

On that frigid day of March 17th, after taking some photos for RCA, Alfred asked Elvis if he would mind if he “carried” him at all times… The rest is history…

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The first photographs Alfred Wertheimer took of Elvis were in a dressing room at CBS’s Studio 50, that same day, where Elvis was talking to a jewelry salesman and buying a ring. Here are some of those early photos taken that 1956 St. Patrick’s Day in New York City.

Pictures: Alfred Wertheimer.

Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo

Rosa Garcia Mora



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