Elvis Presley wrote 'I love ya mama' on Bible after mother's death
Elvis Presley wrote a message to his mother inside a Bible shortly after she died, a new exhibition shows.
He signed his name on the last page of the holy book, next to the message “I love ya mama” and the date Gladys was “layed to rest” in a cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.
The king of rock’n’roll also wrote a list of his family members’ birthdays, together with the fact that he owed an uncle some money, inside the front of his copy.
However the collector who owns the unique edition of the King James Version believes that Elvis never actually read it.
David Smith, a Baptist minister who is displaying the Bible at the annual International Christian Resources Exhibition this week, said: “It was evidently important to Elvis, he had a Bible in every room in his house. He kept one at his bedside.
“There’s a number of these Bibles around and I happened to get this one in Las Vegas, Graceland was selling memorabilia in an auction. It was a considerable sum of money.
“I had seen some and chased some but never acquired one. He had six and that’s a lot for the average family. There’s maybe three left at Graceland and two others that I’ve seen for sale.
“He purchased this Bible and in the front is a list of all his family members and their birthdays, and he’s put his uncle’s hardware store and apparently he owed his uncle some money and he’s put a reminder to pay him.
“This is 1959 he buys this Bible. His mother’s died not long since and he’s written this sweet ‘I love ya mama’ in there and where she’s buried. It’s a sentimental Bible to him.”
But he added: “You can tell when a Bible’s been read and this Bible has never been read.”
One hand-written inscription in block capitals on the last page of the book shows that “mama” was buried on August 14th, 1958, in Forest Hill Cemetery on Highway 51.
Below it, in large blue handwriting, the rock’n’roll star has added: “I love ya mama – Elvis Presley 59.”
Mr Smith, who grew up in Florida but later moved to Lincolnshire, has been collecting Bibles since 1977, following in the footsteps of his late father.
His Museum of the Book, on public display at the CRE in Sandown Park until Friday and open by appointment in east London the rest of the year, also includes a Bible that Albert Pierrepoint, Britain’s official executioner until 1956, carried at every hanging he attended.
Mr Smith also owns a fragment of a 1455 Gutenberg Bible and a complete first edition of the King James Version, but said that his favourite is a copy of the central text of Christianity that belonged to the anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce.
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