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The first songbook

During the 1940s and 1950s, Songbook Folio sales were a regular part of a country musician's income. His publishers would print a selection of his popular hits in a booklet format which would be sold before shows and during the interval. Country superstar Roy Acuff, ever-enterprising, also had a nice little thing going with a mail-order system once he'd advertised his songbook over the airwaves.

In mid-1955, Hill & Range music publishers, encouraged by would-be manager Colonel Tom Parker, were slowly edging their way towards the rising Elvis Presley, and they secured rights to produce Presley's own songbook as he made his way towards the big-time.

Unfortunately, because Parker was not yet offically part of the Presley management team, he was not made aware of the songbook deal by Hill & Range. When Parker eventually discovered the truth in July 1955 he was furious, seeing this as a betrayl of trust, and he quietly plotted an ingenious double-stinged plan of revenge on Hill & Range.

The songbook was eventually published towards the end of 1955, by which time almost all Parker's machiavellian plans were coming into fruition.

[Picture sourced from, copyright unknown.]

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