Tag Archives: Elvis Impersonators

Gyrations Galore

Gyrations Galore

 


/editorial/2004-06-03/VIC_Elvis.SM.RT.jpg
shadow
Dressed to Kill: Elvis impersonator David Lee. The 4th Annual Elvis in Dixieland competition will take place at the BJCC on Saturday, June 19.

Ladies, it’s that time of year again, when plunging necklines on rhinestone-studded jumpsuits reveal hairy chests glistening with sweat as grown men imitate the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. On June 19, at 2 p.m., popular Elvis impersonator David Lee stages his Fourth Annual Elvis in Dixieland competition in Ballroom A at the BJCC. Past contestants in the impersonator showdown have presented every phase imaginable in the King’s celebrated career: the dashing 1950s Elvis with hips too hot for “The Ed Sullivan Show;” the Las Vegas Elvis (including a couple of guys who look as though they might have eaten too many fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches in preparation for their roles); and one inventive fellow who recreated Presley’s character in the film G.I. Blues.

This year’s festivities include special guest Edie Hand, Elvis’s cousin and a former actress on the soap opera “As the World Turns.” And if that’s not excitement enough, there will be children impersonating Elvis in two categories, one for contestants younger than five, and another for older kids. Imagine, a three-year-old sporting phony sideburns and singing “In the Ghetto.” Proceeds from the competition benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. For more information, call 205-266-3030 or visit www.elvisindixieland.com.

Elvis Summer Heats Up

Elvis Summer Heats Up

 

/editorial/2002-08-01/ELVISGRACELAND.gif

As the 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s August 16 death approaches, the late singer currently has a number one hit in Europe with “A Little Less Conversation.” The chart-topper fulfills Colonel Tom Parker’s prophecy that Presley would be worth more to the manager dead than alive. His 1977 passing also opened the door for a new form of entertainment — the Elvis impersonator.

No one is more shocked by his chosen profession than impersonator David Lee. “It’s beyond my belief,” Lee observes about life portraying the greatest American icon of all time. “I don’t think anybody sets out to make a career being an Elvis impersonator.” The singer is revered as one of the top Elvis performers in North America, currently holding the champion’s title after having won the Canadian Elvis Fest 2001. He also placed third in the number one Elvis contest in the world, Images of the King 2001, which is held each August in Memphis in observance of Presley’s 1977 death.

 

/editorial/2002-08-01/ELVISVEGAS.gif

Lee didn’t start out as an Elvis fan. “My best friend had Elvis playing all the time, and I thought, ‘Man, this guy’s a little strange.’” But he soon became a convert, and began impersonating Presley in 1995 after being told he sounded a lot like him. “Deep down, I’m just a big Elvis fan, but I took it to another level.” He presently owns nine Elvis jumpsuits, including the American Eagle costume (from Presley’s legendary 1973 “Aloha from Hawaii” concert), the Peacock outfit, and the white fringe suit. Lee focuses on the more obscure Presley tunes. “You go to the contests and you hear ‘Suspicious Minds’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’ 3,000 times. I try to look for songs that people don’t do.

“I try to give the people an accurate account of what it might be like to see Elvis,” Lee says. “Of course, there was only one Elvis . . . So if you can give ‘em just a touch of it, you’ve done your job.”

David Lee will perform at the BJCC Theatre August 9 with the Promised Land band. Showtime is 8 p.m. He will also be at the Birmingham International Raceway August 10 with the Muddy King Orchestra. For tickets or information, call 205-266-3030 or visit www.elvis4u.com.

The Men Who Should Be King

The Men Who Should Be King


/editorial/2001-06-07/ELVIS2.gif
Elvis admirers strike a pose at Graceland.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Elvis Presley must be tossing and turning in his Graceland tomb, wondering where he went wrong. Maybe he’ll rise from the dead one day to set the record straight, but until then, the endless parade of imitation Elvis resurrections will continue to thrive as the most alluring sideshow in American culture.

On Saturday, June 16, an army of Elvis clones will invade the BJCC Ballroom to compete in the inaugural Elvis in Dixieland Impersonator Contest. The winner will jet up Highway 78 to Memphis in August to compete for the title True King in the “Images of Elvis Contest,” the most bizarre event of the sacred vigil known as “Death Week.”

The impersonator contest is sponsored by B&K Enterprises, “a household name in the custom costume world.” Internationally acclaimed for authentic reproductions of Elvis costumes, Elvis jumpsuits, and Elvis accessories, B&K Enterprises employs patterns and techniques handed down from original Elvis-wear designers Bill Belew and Gene Doucette. Jumpsuits go for as high as $4,000, capes up to $2,400, and belts for $350. The company also manufactures Elvis-style eyeglasses by Dennis Roberts, the original designer who created 488 pairs of eyeglasses for the King from 1970 to 1977. Roberts also created Presley’s classic “TCB with lightening bolt” necklace.

The host of the contest will be David Lee, who bills himself as “Birmingham’s Favorite Elvis Entertainer.” Lee is also a member of the Professional Elvis Impersonators Association (PEIA), an international organization that promotes “the advancement of Elvis Presley’s music and Style [sic] throughout the world. PEIA’s code of Ethics includes the promise to “not physically, mentally, psychologically, (or) verbally abuse or slander other performers or members.”

First prize will be $1,000 cash; other prizes include a replica of Elvis’ “Aloha” belt and custom-made “puffy-sleeve” satin shirts from B&K Enterprises. Part of the proceeds from the impersonator contest will benefit Grace House Ministries..” Advance tickets are $4 for adults, and $2 for ages 6 through 12. At the door, it’s $5 for adults.