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Rare Elvis Photos Now at Cleveland Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

January 12, 2012 (Updated)

The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland now has a display of Elvis photos from Chris Kennedy's new book 1950s Radio in Color: The Lost Photographs of DeeJay Tommy Edwards.  The exhibit features more than 30 images of 1950s music, film and television stars, including Elvis Presley and is expected to run through the summer.

Tommy Edwards was one of the most successful and innovative deejays in Cleveland history and hosted local TV shows like "Farm Bureau Jamboree," which showcased country and rockabilly artists. One of those artists, Elvis Presley, soon caught the attention of Edwards who would play Elvis' music and became a major advocate of getting his music played in Cleveland and further north.

In a recent interview posted on, Chris Kennedy discusses his newest book and the relationship between Tommy and Elvis which is detailed inside. When asked about how Tommy found out about Elvis he answers, "Tommy had his ear to the ground and knew that the record was making some waves in the South. So in late 1954 he began spinning it, and the northern audience reacted. Consequently in February 1955, he booked Elvis on his Hillbilly Jamboree show at the Circle Theater in Cleveland. It was Elvis's first appearance north of the Mason Dixon line. Again, audience reaction was good, especially among the teenagers."

Read more of this interview, and Chris Kennedy's newest book about Deejay Tommy Edwards on today.  If you live in the Cleveland area or if you are planning to visit, you can visit the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame to see the new exhibit.