Used by Elvis for study. rehearsals, recording sessions and on stage during performances, from Elvis' master book
From the private collection of Mr Ed Bonja
Elvis' Master book is now preserved in the archives of Graceland
ELVIS PRESLEY OWNED AND USED 1969-1977 LYRIC SONG SHEETS, USED BY ELVIS FOR STUDY, REHEARSALS, RECORDING SESSIONS AND ON STAGE DURING PERFORMANCES, FROM ELVIS' MASTER BOOK.
From the private collection of Mr Ed Bonja.
Elvis' Master book is now preserved in the archives of Graceland.
Mr. Ed Bonja's words, "That lyric book (referring to Elvis' master book) and these lyric sheets were used by Elvis for study, rehearsals, recording sessions and on stage during performances".
Each lyric sheet stands up in its own right as a individual lyric sheet and comes with a letter of authenticity hand signed by Ed Bonja.
Up close you can see the wear, light creasing/wrinkling on these sheets.
The letter of authenticity reads as follows...................
As Elvis Presley prepared to return to live performances in 1969, it was necessary to create a set of lyric sheets containing the words to the songs in his expansive repertoire. By 1970, this set of lyrics had become a set of lyric books-six in all. Over the next seven years, these books were changed, added to and updated. Each book also contained a complete index of songs. Elvis' lyric book was the Master; all of the other books had to be kept in sync with it.
That lyric book and these lyric sheets were used by Elvis for rehearsals, recording sessions and on stage during performances. The Master books are preserved in the archives of Graceland.
As Tour Manager, assistant to Colonel Parker and Photographer for the Elvis Presley Show from 1970 to 1977, one of my duties was to keep the books updated and in alphabetical order, immediately following each use of the lyric books, i would begin repairing and updating.
Starting with Elvis' book, i would gather all the lyric sheets that had been used-typically bunched together at the front of the binder-and file them back in the proper alphabetical order. Often, the pages had been ripped out of the binder, tearing open the holes that had been punched into the sheets. I would take the ripped or wrinkled pages to the copy machine at our offices at MGM and make another copy of each sheet. I found it quicker than using those glue-on-hole-repair rings.
For some reason, i began keeping the torn and/or damaged sheets. At the time, i really wasn't sure why. Now these lyric sheets have become a rare treasure and piece of history.
(Hand signed in ink) Ed Bonja.
You will also receive a Elvis Presley Museum letter with Corporate Seal.
You will also receive a copy of the original Elvis Presley Museum certificate of authenticity hand signed by Jimmy Velvet who was Elvis' friend of twenty two years and the Founder and original President and CEO of the world famous Elvis Presley Museum all those years ago.
All of Elvis' personally owned and used lyric song sheets, music sheets and master lists that we own were part of the Elvis-A-Rama Museum collection.
We have approximately 144 of Elvis' personally owned and used lyric sheets, music sheets and song lists, different lyric sheet songs personally owned and used by Elvis on stage during performances, rehearsals, recording sessions and study between 1969-1977 from Elvis' master book which is now preserved in the archives of Graceland.
Approximately 144 of Elvis' personally owned and used lyric sheets, music sheets and song lists we have stored in archival acid free sheets in four large A3 folders.
Below is a list of some of those that are available to purchase
Wonder Of You
I Got A Women
You've Lost That Loving Feeling
You Dont Have To Say You Love Me
Love Me Tender
I Got A Thing About You Baby
Shes Not You
Down In The Ally
If You Love Me
Raised on Rock
Twelth Of Never
How Great Thou Art
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Talk About The Good Times
Mess of Blues
She Wears My Ring
Let Me Be There
If You Talk In Your Sleep
For Old Times Sake
Such A Night
Young And Beautiful
Portrait Of My Love
Good Time Charlies Got The Blues
Killing Me Softly
Take Good Care Of Her
Your Loves Been A Long Time Coming
Feel So Bad
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1945, Ed moved with his large family to Los Angeles, California in 1952. Ed graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 1970, majoring in Industrial Arts and French. A year of post graduate studies culminated in a California Standard Teaching Credential.
Ed first met Thomas A Parker (not Colonel yet) in Chicago in the late 1940's through his uncle, Tom Diskin, who was managing his sisters' singing trio known as the Little Dickens Sisters. Tom Parker and Tom Diskin met and became friends while their acts were performing on the same shows as they toured around the country. They often visited the Bonja home in Chicago and Los Angeles for Sunday afternoon Supper. The entire Bonja family grew up knowing Tom Parker and his wife, Marie, as Uncle (later Uncle Colonel) and Aunt Marie. Of course, the Bonjas were the first kids on the block to know about Elvis Presley and the Colonel made sure that they had all his records, photos and souvenirs. It was in June of 1964, while working as a secretary for the Colonel during the shooting of the movie, "Girl Happy", that Ed first met Elvis at a surprise birthday party Elvis gave for the Colonel at MGM Studios.
When Elvis and the Colonel made the decision to start doing live concert tours again in 1970, the Colonel asked Ed, his brother, Ron, Ed's cousin, Mike Williamson and a friend of the Colonel from Palm Springs, Rick Logan, to come along on those first two tours and "help out" in any way needed to assure the tours ran smoothly - from loading and unloading equipment from trucks and planes, to selling Elvis souvenirs at the concerts. The years following those two tours in 1970, would see two more of Ed's brothers, Mike & Jeffrey Bonja, many more cousins and several close friends added to the original list of helpers. The Colonel knew that Ed had just begun studying photography, and he suggested that Ed bring his camera on that first tour in September of 1970 and feel free to take all the pictures he wanted. Ed did bring his camera on that tour, and that was the start of his taking several thousand photographs of Elvis Presley over the next several years. Ed would take off from school for a couple weeks for a tour then return to his studies.
After completing his college post-graduate work in 1971, Ed went to work on a full-time basis as an assistant to the Colonel and as the Elvis Presley Show Tour Managaer and Photographer until April of 1977. During the 1970's, Ed's photographs were used for all the souvenir books, posters, buttons and publicity shots that were seen and sold at Elvis concerts and Las Vegas/Lake Tahoe Engagements. Ed's first record album cover was "Elvis as Recoreded Live at Madison Square Garden", released in June of 1972. His photos appear on the covers of dozens of Elvis' LP albums, single sleeves and CD's. In the booklet with the 1970's box set (The Essential 70's Masters) RCA/BMG used twenty-six of Ed's photographs; and four of the five cover shots used for the individual CD's for that set were also Ed's work. Both the original covers and the remakes of the "Moody Blue" and "Raised On Rock" CD's by RCA/BMG feature several of Ed's photographs. Recently, Ed's photos have been featured in the FTD releases "I'll Remeber You", "Standing Room Only" and "Good Times".
Ed lived in Berlin from October 2007 through September 2008. He moved to Soest and began woirking as a consultant for Praytome Publishing Company in October 2008, where he divides his time between his home in California and Soest. For the past few years, he has been putting on photo exhibitions of his many beautiful pictures of Elvis throughout Europe.
© Ed Bonja
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