of events centered
on life of a rock and roll icon
birthday to be celebrated
in big way in La Grange
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (January 2011) Brian King had
no intention of becoming an Elvis impersonator. In fact, it all really
started by accident.
King is one of four
Elvis Presley impersonators
with ties to Oldham County.
I was not a fanatical Elvis fan, said King,
43. A friend wanted to collect DJ equipment and have his own DJ
service. He asked me to help him and after he booked the first show,
he asked me if I would sing a few Elvis songs.
Two weeks later, the same friend called King and told him he needed
to buy an Elvis outfit. Puzzled at first, King learned that he had been
booked for a 11/2 hour show. Ive been doing it ever since.
King said he has always liked Elvis, But I never pictured myself
as an impersonator. Now I love it. I have a lot of respect for his music;
I enjoy that genre.
After 13 years of paying tribute to The King, King has slowed down just
a bit. His busiest time of the year is around Elvis birthday and
death date, and in the summer months. He tries to enter Elvis contests
whenever possible and has won contests in the past at Caesars
I feel like a tribute artist, not an impersonator, he said.
When doing a show, its more about having fun with it. A
lot of things Elvis did in his rehearsal shows were better than the
actual shows. I like showing the lighter side of Elvis.
Originally from Valley Station, Ky., King now lives in the Okolona area
of Jefferson County. His favorite Elvis clothing, an Aloha suit, is
based on his favorite Elvis concert.
A lot of what I do depends on the crowd its
their show. I like to interact a lot with the crowd. He performed
at a local Ladies Night Out event last year sponsored by Discover Downtown
La Grange. That performance stayed in the mind of organizers, and he
will be taking part in several events in January to honor Elvis Presley.
According to Discover Downtown La Grange Executive Director Linda Goin,
Theres more Memphis in La Grange than youd know.
Shes referring to the many ties Oldham County has to Elvis Presley,
who would have turned 76 on Jan. 8, 2011.
Theres usually nothing happening in January, said
Goin. In December, there is a lot of excitement and momentum going
on downtown, but after Christmas, theres not. We want to keep
everything going and keep the momentum up.
In honor of Elvis life, Discover Downtown La Grange has planned
a variety of events sure to puff your poodle skirt and knock your bobby
socks off. The weekend celebration will kick off from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 7, with a book signing by Alanna Nash at Karens Book
Barn & Java Stop.
The idea of an Elvis event came about after I met Alanna Nash
and invited her to read from her works, said Goin. Nash, a Louisville
resident, is a journalist and biographer.
Nash has authored several acclaimed books about Elvis Presley and was
one of the journalists to view Elvis remains after his death in
August 1977. She was voted one of the Heavy 100 of Country Music
by Esquire magazine and in 2004 earned the Country Music Awards Media
Achievement Award and the Belmont Book Award.
An Elvis Trivia Contest will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Jan.
7 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8. It will begin at a
retail shop on Friday and the Oldham County Public Library on Saturday.
Participating adults and children may tour downtown La Grange and view
never-before-seen photos of Elvis while answering trivia questions.
Prizes awarded for both adult and junior versions of the trivia tour
include Elvis memorabilia, gift certificates and an Elvis Insider PLUS
membership for one year. The cost of this contest is $10 for adults
and $5 for children age 7-12. Children under 7 are free.
An Elvis Lives! Private Party will beheld from 7 p.m. to midnight on
Friday at The Soiree, located next to Kroger in La Grange. This
will be a fun event and one of the largest fundraisers this year for
Discover Downtown La Grange, said Goin.
This event will include a DJ, catering and an Elvis performance by Brian
King. Tickets are $25 per person and seating is limited to 250. Contact
Discover Downtown La Grange to make reservations.
As a testament to Elvis favorite dish, many local restaurants
such as Irish Rover, Too, Acapulco and Serendipity will offer grilled
peanut butter and banana sandwiches throughout Friday and Saturday.
A special highlight of the weekend will be an Elvis Presley Day Ceremony
at 9:30 a.m. at the Community Center. Intended to celebrate Elvis
birthday, this event will feature new La Grange Mayor Bill Lammlein
cutting a cake, door prizes and a chance to win two tickets for the
Graceland Mansion Tour in Memphis, Tenn. Because door prizes are being
given away, tickets for this event are $10 for adults and $5 for children
age 7-12. Children 7 and under are free.
Nash will have a second reading and book signing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
on Jan. 8 at the Oldham County Public Library on Yager Avenue in La
Grange. The library will also show Elvis movies throughout the day.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the QUADS car club will have their 50s
and 60s cars on display in front of the courthouse on Main Street,
The Elvis events will wind down with a free Southern Gospel Celebration
from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at DeHaven Baptist Church. Classic gospel
songs will be performed by local individuals and groups. This event
promises to be a showcase for local gospel groups, said
For more information, visit: www.DiscoverLaGrange.org
or contact Linda Goin at (502) 269-0126.
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