Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Develop your own talents"

The international impersonator contest in Memphis hosted by Elvis Presley Enterprises is over. A guy named Shawn Klush won the title "Ultimate Elvis tribute artist". Apparently, to EPE "tribute artists" have a better ring to it than "impersonators".

I have never particularly liked impersonators. To me they are the fat guys in poorly made jumpsuits that after Elvis death helped cement the image of Elvis as a fat fool in too tight outfits.

It's interesting to read what Elvis himself (or his secretary or whatever) thought of impersonators. Do develop your own special talents, he writes in a letter to a happy winner of a contest somewhere.

I didn't think EPE liked impersonators either, but I guess it's money talking. EPE has even released a Elvis karaoke DVD set this summer.

But on the other hand, who am I to judge. Two years back, when I was in Memphis, I recorded "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" to a karaoke track at Sun records, and I admit that I didn't try to sound like the Beatles!


Anonymous said...

Shawn and the other finalists do look a little like Elvis, I have to admit. And they don't wear sunglasses. Maybe they sing like crap. I've always preferred when people do their own style of Elvis singing, instead of trying 100 percent to try to sound like our man, like Maarten Jansen for instance.

Anonymous said...

How much do the looks count, and how much the voice? I think the voice should be like 95 percent and the rest should be your skills at the sewing machine. You can't help if you were born too unlike Elvis!