"Holy Moly! This is wickedly awesome," Gary Sohmers (left) of "Antiques Roadshow" said Thursday about Joe Callaway's never-published photos of Elvis Presley from a 1956 appearance on "Dance Party" with Wink Martindale. Sohmers said the negatives alone are worth $30,000.
With his trademark Hawaiian shirt and his long silver hair pulled back into a ponytail, antiques appraiser Gary Sohmers expects to see lots of treasures, a little junk, some fakes and hopefully a few "Holy Grails" this weekend.
Starting today and ending Sunday at the Agricenter International, Sohmers takes center stage at the Best of Home Expressions, formerly known as the Home Expo.
For the first 250 visitors each day, Sohmers will give free appraisals on items including toys, collectibles and pop culture. In addition to running his antiques business in Framingham, Mass., Sohmers appears as an appraiser for the PBS television show "Antiques Roadshow." Visitors can bring no more than two items.
As a part of a sneak peek, Sohmers, 57, hit a wow factor Thursday afternoon.
Events director Joe Callaway is with the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, sponsor of the event. Callaway pulled out a stack never-published 8-by-10, black-and-white photos of Elvis when he appeared on Wink Martindale's local television show, "Dance Party" in 1956. In addition to the photos, Callaway has the negatives and contact sheets.
"Holy Moly! This is wickedly awesome," Sohmers said as he sifted through the photos. Sohmers valued the negatives alone at $30,000.
Sohmers pointed out something troublesome -- the negatives were not in archival plastic sleeves. "Aye-aye-iii," he exclaimed.
Afterwards, Callaway said he had to remember, "Breathe in. Breathe out." He has no immediate plans for his treasure other than to put them back safely in storage. Still, he said, "I'm reaffirmed. Elvis is still king."