Country Music’s Most Valuable Autographs

Posted in: Country by William J Felchner on June 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

Country music autographs can be very valuable. Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Sr., Jim Reeves, Jimmie Rodgers, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Cowboy Copas often top the list.

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Country music collectors love their autographs. Here are seven legendary country music performers whose autographed material can bring top dollar in today’s marketplace.

1. Patsy Cline (1932-1963)

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, on September 8, 1932, Patsy Cline scored her first charted single, the haunting “Walkin’ After Midnight,” in 1957. Her subsequent hits included such standards as “I Fall to Pieces” (1961), “Crazy” (1961) and “She’s Got You” (1962).

On March 5, 1963, while returning home from a benefit concert in Kansas City, Kansas, the 30-year-old Patsy Cline, along with fellow country music performers Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and pilot/manager Randy Hughes, lost her life in a tragic plane crash near Camden, Tennessee.

Auction results:

  • Autographed 8×10 promotional photo, lengthy inscription: $1,626.73
  • Signed 1957 LP album Walkin’ After Midnight: $3,612.15
  • Handwritten 1957 six-page letter from Cline to her fan club president Treva Miller: $2,868
  • Signed 1962 performance contract for American Bandstand: $1,000

2. Hank Williams Sr. (1923-1953)

Hiram King “Hank” Williams was born in Mount Olive, Alabama, on September 17, 1923. A prolific songwriter, the fabled “Hillbilly Shakespeare” recorded eleven number one hits in his abbreviated career, including such gems as “Lovesick Blues” (1949), “Why Don’t You Love Me?” (1950) and “Cold, Cold Heart” (1951).

The 29-year-old Williams – suffering from drug addiction and alcoholism – died in the backseat of a Cadillac on January 1, 1953. His son, Hank Williams Jr., later followed him into country music stardom.

Auction results:

  • Autographed 8×10 MGM Records publicity still: $2,076 
  • Signed 1948 Hank Williams songbook: $2,031.50
  • Signed 1949 Acuff-Rose royalty contract: $2,629
  • Signed 1951 “Me and My Broken Heart” royalty contract: $1,912

3. Jim Reeves (1923-1964)

James Travis Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas, on August 20, 1923. Known for his smooth, velvety voice, “Gentleman Jim” recorded a number of country music hits, including “Mexican Joe” (1953), “Four Walls” (1956), “He’ll Have to Go” (1959) and “I Guess I’m Crazy” (1963).

On July 31, 1964, 40-year-old Jim Reeves, along with manager and pianist Dean Manuel, died in a single-engine plane crash while en route from Arkansas to Nashville, Tennessee. Reeves, a licensed pilot, had been at the controls when his Beechcraft Debonair encountered a violent storm.

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