Tag Archives: Elvis Impersonator

Getting the Elvis Photos Organized

Elvis Wearing Eyeliner

filed in “Young Elvis Photos”

During 2008, the third year of ElvisBlog’s existence, photos became a major part of each new post. There are literally zillions of Elvis photos on the internet, and if you spend the time to search for them, it is easy to amass a nice collection.

The shot of young Elvis above is purported to show him wearing eye-liner. Unfortunately, it was discovered years after posting an ElvisBlog article titled “Eye-Liner Story,” but I went back and added it to the story.

At the time, I didn’t file it in a specific file, just the big general one. There are dozens of others in there that need to be filed, as well. So, I’m doing that right now – and writing a blog article about the more interesting ones as I go.

 

Elvis Wearing Eyeliner

filed in “Products”

This one will go into the “Products” file. I should probably create a new one called “Crappy Elvis Products”, because this hideous thing really qualifies. Please note some of the fine print: Handcrafted Elvis Head. Right. None of that inferior poured-into-a- mold stuff here. But the best line is Looks Just Like Real Hair. Hey, we can see the picture on your box. Curly little green leaves do not look like Elvis’ hair.

 

Elvis on Walk of Fame, Hollywood

filed in “Misc”

This is Elvis’ star on The Palm Springs – Walk of Stars. I think the reason I didn’t originally put it in a file, is that I didn’t know where to put it. Still don’t. So, it goes in the “Misc” file, but I hate that file. It’s like you’re surrendering in the challenge of getting organized.

 

Elvis and Memphis Mafia Members

filed in “Memphis Mafia”

I don’t know why this wasn’t filed under “Memphis Mafia” from the beginning, where it obviously belongs. Can you name the guys: Joe Esposito, Elvis, Red West, Vernon, and Jerry Schilling. Don’t know who the guy in the white coat is.

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Elvis Crop Drawing

filed in “Images”

This must have taken someone a lot of time to do. Elvis is way more interesting than crop-circles, and they did a great job of getting Elvis’ image right. I’m not sure that humongous mic in front of his mouth was needed. This will be one of the most unusual pictures in the “Images” file.

 

Bill Murray at Crossroads Festival

filed in “Elvis Impersonator Losers”

This is Bill Murray at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival in 2009, I think. He is getting filed in “Elvis Impersonator Losers” in a sub-file named “Celebrities”. That may be unfair because most of them look pretty good in a jumpsuit. Especially Britney Spears. I’m getting enough celebrities in the file to do an ElvisBlog post on them.

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Bill Murray at Crossroads Festival

filed in “Collingwood”

If you want to go to a great Elvis Festival, you need to check out Collingwood, Ontario. I’ve been to it twice and had a ball both times. This is their beloved street dance, but no dancing takes place. Instead, folks bring their own chairs and enjoy eight hours of tribute artists and a dynamite band doing Elvis songs. You can see old Elvis, fat Elvis, young Elvis, kid Elvis, female Elvis, and a lot of really good ones. This picture will go to my personal files under “Collingwood,” but “Really Fun Times” would work, too.

 

Elvis versus Godzilla

filed in “Misc”

This stupid Photoshop product tickles me a lot. How do you like this line?

At last! The King’s Final Most Captivating Role

Another pic to go in “Misc.” Seems appropriate.

 

Bill Randall Lost Elvis Footage

filed in “Lost Elvis Footage”

This is a 1993 article in Time magazine. I copied it so I could save the text of the article. It tells how the mythical Lost Elvis Footage from June 1955 finally showed up and was sold to Polygram Films for $2.2 million. Well, it is now twenty-one years later, and we still haven’t seen the footage released for us fans. I don’t think the film exists anymore. Still, I am starting a new file named “Lost Elvis Footage,” and adding this and several other pictures to it. It’s pretty certain there will be a future ElvisBlog article on the whole topic.

 

Elvis with Arms Crossed Over Guitar

filed in “Strong Elvis Pictures”

Almost every Elvis photo goes right into a file, but this one never did. I don’t think there were many other shots taken where Elvis had an electric guitar hanging down like this. He looks good. This is a natural for the “Strong Elvis Pictures” file.

 

What You Can't Do to Elvis

filed in “Misc”

This is so clever. I wish I had thought of it, but congrats to whoever did. Maybe I should start a “Clever Elvis Stuff” file and put this in it. It’s just too good to be in “Misc.”

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Evolution of Elvis Tribute — Part 4

If you’ve been an Elvis fan for a long time like me, you’ve noticed EPE’s change in attitude toward Elvis Tribute Artists.  For the first two decades after his death, Graceland distanced itself from the hordes of men who performed as Elvis impersonators.  Actually, they went farther than that.  Ever protective of his ‘image,’ EPE filed a lawsuit against the Legends In Concert in 1983 to prevent the show’s “Elvis” from looking like, dressing like, or moving like the real Elvis.

Legends in Concert

We can assume it became impossible to sue all the hundreds (thousands?) of tribute artists, causing Graceland to accept a begrudging coexistence with them.  Early in the 2000s, Todd Morgan, EPE’s director of media and creative development said, “We represent the real thing.  The impersonator thing for the public and the press… has often been a negative.  When you think impersonator, you think of parody.  We could never find a comfort level in embracing it.”

Then in 2006, Morgan said something much different.  “Over the past year we have had a lot of discussion about the Elvis tribute artist phenomenon and what to do about it.”  (Cynics would say “what to do about it” is code for “how to make money off it”)  “We realized it was never going to go away.  It has gotten bigger, the entertainment has gotten better. So, we thought maybe if we get involved in some way, maybe we can bring attention to the most talented tribute artists.”

And their answer was… The Ultimate Elvis Artist Tribute Contest.

Logo 2

If you’ve been to any of the past six Elvis Weeks, you know this is now a huge, big-ticket event.  Every competitor has previously won top prize at an Elvis tribute contest around the US and several foreign countries.  These guys are great entertainers and professional showmen.  There is certainly none of the parody or damage to the Elvis ‘image’ that EPE once worried about.

ETA winners

ETA winners 2

I have been to several competitions, and I love the good Elvis Tribute Artists.  From Shawn Klush in 2007 to Ben Portsmouth in 2012, these guys are great.

EPE has a new tie-in with the Ultimate Elvis winners. Now, they are presenting shows around the country with past winners headlining.  The Elvis Lives tour seems to be a great success.

Elvis Lives 3

 

The ultimate purpose of this article was not to give unpaid endorsements for EPE’s Ultimate Elvis contest or its Elvis Lives tour.  I really wanted to show just how far the evolution of Elvis tribute has come.  To do that, we have to go back and see what some of those guys that gave it a bad name looked like.  For years, I have kept a file titled “Elvis Impersonator Losers.”  After showing a few here, I’m going to delete the whole file.  Better gone and forgotten.

 

Big Belly

Fat Elvises are a recurring theme.  With all the iron bars here, it looks like this guy is in jail.  I think Elvis Week could use one, so we can keep these guys from walking the streets of Memphis and getting shown in the media around the country.

 

T

Todd Morgan certainly had a point about parody.

 

Elvi with Moustaches

Okay, we’ve got a group of Elvi’s with moustaches hovering around a copy of the Heisman Trophy.  Nothing strange about that.

 

Big Belly 2

Oh, no.  Not another fat Elvis.

 

ShElvis

Is that really an old female Elvis?  Some of the young ones are pretty hot, but this one… probably not so much.

 

midget

I saw this guy (or one of his peers) at the Collingwood Elvis Festival a decade ago.  I don’t think he actually performed, just added to the ambiance of the event.

 

Fat Red Elvis

Sad, just sad.  Another candidate for the bad impersonator jail at Elvis Week.

 

Too Old

Maybe this guy isn’t really an Elvis Impersonator Loser.  It would actually be pretty cool if an old dude could put on a good Elvis show.

 

Loser Drinking Beer

Give me a break.  Where do you even get a wig like that?

 

Fat Boy Sitting Down

Do we really have to look at another fat Elvis?  Hey, we’re not finished yet.

 

Hot Dogs

Well, at least they’ve got nice jumpsuits and sunglasses.

Just to end on a high note, here’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Shawn Klush, showing what a good ETA looks like.

Shawn Klush

Shawn klush 2

I’ve seen Shawn twice.  If you never saw Elvis in concert, Shawn’s show is as close as you’ll ever get.

 

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The First Elvis Impersonator?

Ninety-four Elvis collectible items will be up for sale on December 14 at the Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction presented by Heritage Auctioneers.  I love looking through the items on their website, because many provide the spark for an ElvisBlog article.

Like this Loving You four-song EP signed twice on the back by Elvis.

It’s difficult to see, but both autographs say, “To Buddy, Elvis Presley.”  There were other items in this auction lot, including this old photo:

The young man with Elvis is eighteen-year-old Buddy Ochoa.  The photo was taken in 1958 in Killeen, Texas, home of Ft Hood where Elvis took his Army basic training.  According to a post on the “For Elvis CD Collectors” website, he was a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he was on the cheerleading squad.

The thing that really caught my eye was in the Auction’s description of the items in the lot.  It said,

“Buddy Ochoa, the original Elvis tribute artist, became friends with the legend in 1958 after Elvis learned of Buddy’s inaugural performance as ‘Elvis’ in Dallas.”

Biography information on the internet indicates Buddy Ochoa first performed as Elvis at the SMU Cheer Camp.  Back in those days, you didn’t need a black leather suit or fancy jumpsuit to impersonate Elvis.  Just put on a sport coat, comb your hair the right way, and start to sing.

So, what happened to Buddy Ochoa, the original Elvis tribute artist?  There is no information that he continued to do Elvis tribute after graduating from college and moving to Los Angeles.  Apparently he found part-time work in commercials for products like Winston cigarettes and Harley motorcycles.  In 1963, he had a bit part as “The Bellboy” in an episode of the TV show Perry Mason.  Between 1973 and 1977, he had bit parts in twelve movies and TV shows.

 

Here is Buddy Ochoa in his role as “The Courier” in the Phony Express episode of the TV series Dusty’s Trail.  The show’s synopsis indicates it was a fairly meaty role:

“Dusty meets a wounded soldier who locks a courier pouch on his arm with instructions to guard it with his life, deliver it to Fort Hale, and keep it out of the hands of an outlaw named Bates.”

 

It seems Buddy Ochoa’s other significant role was as “A Television Assistant” in the 1974 TV movie The Missiles of October.

 

After his movie career, he worked in the advertising business in Los Angeles, rising to Media Coordinator at Admarketing.

Buddy Ochoa in Las Vegas in 2010

©  2012    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.