Autographs from 11 lost music legends

At first glance the fascination with autographs from famous people seems silly. After all, what is it other than a bit of ink left behind on a piece of paper, a magazine, a t-shirt or… well, maybe even a body part.

But it’s so much more than just the raw materials. It’s a physical reminder of a treasured memory — meeting someone you admire, your paths crossing tangentially as you go your separate ways after a brief exchange of pleasantries. When the memory begins to fade, a quick glimpse at that scribble will remind you of the nervous anticipation you felt while standing by, hoping you could get that permanent reminder of a probably all-too-brief encounter.

With that in mind, here are the autographs of eleven lost music legends, many gone far too soon. How many of these singer’s signatures do you have — or wish you had — in your collection? – AJW

1) Buddy Holly’s autograph

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959)


2) Best always from Nat King Cole

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965)


3) Love Janis Joplin

Janis Lyn Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970)


4) Autograph from Jimi Hendrix

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970)


5) Jim Morrison’s autograph

James Douglas “Jim” Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971)


6) Louis Armstrong’s signature

Louis Armstrong aka Satchmo (August 4, 1901 – July 6, 1971)


7) Autograph from Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977)

The aliens are coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)


8) Hi from Karen Carpenter

Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983)


9) Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Jane Fitzgerald, aka “First Lady of Song”/”Queen of Jazz” (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996)


10) “Best to you” from Johnny Cash

John R “Johnny” Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003)


11) Dave Brubeck’s autograph

David Warren “Dave” Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)


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