Dear Mrs. Clark,
Catapulted back in time to experience the Wonder Years of our youth or to live in those halcyon days we've read about, I joined fans young and old at a TRIBUTE concert for Elvis the King last evening, August 7, 2015, in Tupelo, MS. Through efforts of the Elvis Fan Club: Tupelo members, founded in 1956 to support their favorite musician, the most popular Elvis Tribute Artist in the world (according to the New York Times) performed in a hall located very near the king's birthplace.
The venue, a converted church with ascending beams and stained glass windows, was especially appropriate considering the influence Christianity played on Rock and Roll's premier representative and the sterling success of his gospel songs albums. This wonderful, sound-enhancing hall helped lend verisimilitude to the performance of Travis LeDoyt, whose sound, movements, and appearance have honored his idol in jaw-dropping shows for 18-20 years. Although 37 years old, Ledoyt appears to be in his early 20's, and with his uncanny resemblance to the king, classically-trained musical talents, mimicry skills, and over-the-top energy level, he covers “Music from the Early Years” superbly.
I like for musical acts to wear costumes onstage, the flashier the better for me, but last evening I appreciated that Travis LeDoyt wore the pleated pants, large-collared shirt, and dark corduroy or velour jacket that I remember from a Memphis Russwood Park Concert, in the late 1950's, that made me a forever Elvis fan. Mr. Ledoyt's performance, as well, created the same exhilaration and excitement of a true Elvis presentation. His voice, with soft sentimentality and clear timbre, brought tears for “Love Me Tender,” and “I Can't Help (Falling in Love with You)”. Then, with a quick change of pace, we were bouncing in our seats to “Don't Be Cruel” or “Devil in Disguise”.
We all appreciate Michael Jackson's Moon Walk, but it is nothing compared to a well-executed “Hound Dog Shuffle; harking back to those early years, Travis's moves still brought screams from feminine throats! Since he delivered 27 songs in the program, it was easy for this young man to include many gospel favorites for which Elvis was famous, “Peace in the Valley,” “Swing Down Chariot,” and “How Great Thou Art” among others. Off the cuff, humorous quips demonstrated an intelligent and practiced wit. Overall, this was a stellar performance!
Thank you, Barb Harlow and the fan club members, for arranging such a superb evening of entertainment for diehard Elvis fans like me and for charitable causes (and for convincing me to meet you in the VIP room for food and fellowship). I have always loved the tribute artist Mike Walker, who performs at Branson, but I've now become enamored of a musician of equal ability and charisma! Be sure to announce it well when he is scheduled to appear anywhere nearby. I look forward to seeing him again.
Roxie Milam Wallace
1726 Carruthers Pl.