When it comes to pianos, Elvis Presley isn't the king - but he's close. A white grand piano once used by Elvis to jam with "The Killer," Jerry Lee Lewis, sold this week to the tune of $685,000. That's more than the 1999 auction price of $662,500 for Marilyn Monroe's baby grand piano but less than the $2.1 million paid in 2000 by British pop star George Michael for the piano on which Beatle John Lennon composed the song "Imagine."
Memphis guitarist and music producer Robert A. Johnson and partner Larry Moss sold the Knabe grand piano Monday to a Tampa, Fla., music producer who hopes to put the piano on a casino-sponsored promotional tour, then turn it into an exhibit in a proposed Don Kirshner rock museum in Disney World. The piano was originally used from the early 1930s to 1957 in Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, where it was played by such artists as W. C. Handy, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Cab Calloway.