On this day in music history: November 21, 1955 – Elvis Presley officially signs with RCA Records. With his star on the rise after scoring hits with Memphis, TN based Sun Records, RCA comes forth with an offer to buy Presley out of his contract with Sun. RCA Records A&R man Steve Sholes sends Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker a letter (the original document is stored in Graceland’s archives) on October 27, 1955 expressing his desire to sign Presley. Parker rejects Sholes initial offer, and the pair negotiate back and forth over the next few weeks before a deal is finally reached on November 15, 1955. RCA buys Elvis’ contract from Sun for $35,000 (which includes a $10,000 signing bonus for Presley), with the singer signing his contract with the label on November 21, 1955. It marks the beginning of a historic alliance between the rock & roll icon and the record label that lasts until Presley’s death in August of 1977.
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