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The most expensive instrument in the world

Elvis Presley 1968 - NBC TV Comeback Special

In 1968, a cherry red guitar helped save Elvis’s career. Now it can be the most valuable musical instrument in the world. Forty-six years after his untimely death, Presley remains a musical phenomenon.

In the last year alone, his biopic has been a huge critical and commercial success; his songs have been streamed over a billion times on Spotify and Forbes reported that he earned $110 million adding up all his sources of income. Following this brilliant balance, the guitar he played in his best performance, described as his good luck charm, has just been officially valued at $5 million.

In 1968, Elvis Presley’s career came to a standstill. It hadn’t had a top 10 hit in three years and was churning out a string of old movies that, while profitable, didn’t make much headlines.

It was then that from NBC, Steve Binder was hired to direct a television show that would change everything. Airing on December 3, Singer Presents Elvis, better known as the Comeback of ’68 Special, saw Presley roar into the public consciousness as the true king of rock ‘n’ roll. Looking and sounding great, the show focused on the music and the sheer emotion of Presley’s performance.

Beyond the high, face-framing collars, it’s Elvis’ musicianship that makes the comeback show so good and special. And just as recognizable as the leather jumpsuit is his Cherry Red Hagstrom Viking II electric guitar, the King’s instrument of choice for this epic performance.

The show drew a 42% audience share, ending 1968 as NBC’s highest-rated show of the year. The soundtrack entered the top 10 and was soon certified platinum.

A rejuvenated Presley recorded the critically acclaimed album, From Elvis in Memphis – the album artwork shows him strumming that Cherry Red guitar – and he scored big hits on In the Ghetto and Suspicious Minds. A legendary residency in Las Vegas would follow. No wonder Elvis felt this guitar was his good luck charm.


Information provided by Elvis Shop Argentina


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