THE KING LIVES ON

Man says he has largest Elvis col­lec­tion in U.S.

The Covington News - - Front page - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­news.com

Lo­cal man re­mem­bers Elvis with his larger than life mem­o­ra­bilia,

The King may have been dead for more than three decades, but Elvis lives on for su­per col­lec­tor Tim Hunter, who has the largest col­lec­tion of mem­o­ra­bilia in the U.S., and pos­si­bly, the world.

For the last 25 years, Hunter has col­lected the mem­o­ra­bilia. He has records, lamps, paint­ings, posters, au­to­graphs and rare col­lectibles, such as a sweat-strained hand­ker­chief and a mon­key, worn on stage in Las Ve­gas by Elvis him­self, along with sev­eral al­bums of rare pho­to­graphs given to him by friends and peo­ple from all over the world.

“When I was 17 or 18, we were on the way to the ceme­tery to bury my grand­fa­ther,” said Hunter. “On the way, it came over the ra­dio that Elvis had just died. When we got to the ceme­tery and got out of the limou­sine, ev­ery­one was cry­ing. But they weren’t cry­ing about my grandfa- ther — they were cry­ing about Elvis.”

From that first mem­ory of Elvis, Hunter went on to be­come a fan of his gospel mu­sic.

“I grew up in the church and so did Elvis,” he said. “I started col­lect­ing his gospel al­bums and then his other al­bums. Peo­ple just started giv­ing me things and it just be­came amaz­ing.”

Hunter has 9,000 pieces of Elvis mem­o­ra­bilia, not count­ing all his framed records, 487 of which he has hang­ing in his an­tique store, Lin­ger­ing Mem­o­ries, in Cony­ers. He has be­tween 600-700 more al­bums that have not yet been framed.

Along with the items sent to him from all over the world, Hunter also has about 100 peo­ple a week who come into his shop just to see the Elvis col­lec­tion. Though some items are not for sale, many are, and Hunter is happy to show off his pride and joy.

It’s a col­lec­tion fit for a king, and one Elvis would have been proud of.

Tim Hunter has col­lected Elvis Pres­ley mem­o­ra­bilia for the last 25 years.

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