In 1957 Bill Black acquired a 1956 Fender Precision Bass, serial #13182. Graceland was purchased in March of 1957 and though the family moved there in May, Elvis did not spend his first night there until the end of June. Houck said he delivered it to Elvis personally for Bill sometime after Elvis first moved in to Graceland.Initially introduced in 1951 by Fender Musical Instruments it was, as Peter Guralnick wrote, "achieving almost instant adoption in all fields but bluegrass, because it was compact, amplified and for the precise fretting it allowed".

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The 1956 Fender Precision Bass traditionally has a 34" scale length and featured a two tone sunburst (or blond) finish on a solid Ash or Alder body, 20 fret Maple neck with a 7.25" radius, 1 single coil pickup, Nickel/Chrome plated hardware with a Volume and Tone control.

The P Bass that Bill, and Elvis, are pictured using in the April/May sessions has the earlier style finger rest and appears to have an ash body.

Archives at Graceland has an invoice for a Precision Bass and amplifier from O. Houck's dated in August, which in all likelihood is for the one actually delivered by Sid, and is the alder bodied bass with the two screw plastic rest.

When Fender migrated to serial numbers on the neck plates in 1954 all of their guitars were supplied from the same box, in a sense, in no particular order (some basses though had numbers on the bridge as late a '56).

As such other techniques like checking handwritten stamps and dates on necks, bodies, and pickups, along with potentiometer codes and features at times provide closer estimations.

Unlike automobile manufacturers, certain features and styles don't begin and end with each model year and Fender often retooled as necessary which resulted in certain features overlapping models often classified as certain model years.

Parts like potentiometers were sometimes bought in lots and supplies were used as needed.

On the basses the finger/thumb rests switched from a one screw mounted wooden rest to a two screw mounted plastic.

Though Bill's featured the latter, they were actually thought to have changed in early 1957. The serial number for Bill's P Bass puts it in the range said to be built in 1956.

Unfortunately dating older Fender instruments by serial number is at best an approximation.

Fender was less interested at the time in tracking serialization than they were at producing a quality product.