Elvis lives

September 09, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

Three "Kings" will help celebrate patriotism and the silver anniversary of Elvis Presley's first musical release during the third annual Elvis Lives in Hagerstown street festival Saturday, Sept. 11.

Elvis Lives in Hagerstown on Patriot Day: A Celebration of America will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the city's central parking lot off Potomac Street. Ticket sale proceeds from the Presley tribute concert, minus event operating costs, will help cover the estimated $4 million needed to renovate the downtown Hagerstown building that has been designated to house the Barbara Ingram School for the Performing Arts, said Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Modeled after the Baltimore School for the Arts, the idea of the local school was conceived to serve as a regional charter school for the visual and performing arts, Riford said.

Miss Western Maryland Tiffany Hawbaker will sing the national anthem before Presley tribute artists Jamie Aaron Kelley, Quentin Flagg and David Lee Roseberry take the stage.

Elvis, the legend

Sun Records released Presley's first single in July 1954, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Web site at Presley went on to set numerous rock 'n' roll records during the next 23 years of his musical career. He still holds records for the most top 40 hits (107), the most top 10 hits (38), the most consecutive No. 1 hits (10) and the most weeks at No. 1 (80), according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Presley also starred in movies, recorded soundtracks and performed live and for television.

He died of a heart attack at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tenn., in 1977.

Kelley, Flagg and Roseberry will perform two sets each and a finale, entertaining fans with songs from Presley's lengthy repertoire. They also will pay tribute to the late rock 'n' roll legend with trademark Presley moves and attire. Fans can meet the performers from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at Elks Lodge No. 378 in Hagerstown.

On Saturday, Kelley, Flagg and Roseberry will showcase various periods of the Elvis era, honoring the singer named the Entertainer of the Century by TV Guide, event co-chairwoman Linda Irvin-Craig said.

The tribute artists said Presley's music seems to bridge the generation gap and appeals to music fans from all over the world.

"It just doesn't seem to matter with Elvis," said Roseberry, 31, of Birmingham, Ala. "He just seems to appeal to everyone."

David Lee Roseberry salutes an 'American Dream'

"I'm just really intrigued with Elvis," Roseberry said. "He was the American Dream. He came from nothing and ended up having everything."

Roseberry said he became fascinated with the entertainer in 1995 after getting hooked on Presley's music while listening to it with his Elvis-buff best friend. His hobby of singing Elvis tunes in karaoke joints soon bloomed into a career. Roseberry, who now boasts about 25 different stage outfits, said he continually reads about Presley, and watches his concert and movie appearances, to craft as authentic a show as possible.

Roseberry in July was named 2004 Canadian Grand Champion at the 10th annual Collingwood Elvis Fest in Ontario, Canada. His Presley impersonation also topped performances by tribute artists from around the globe in August - earning him the title of World Champion at the 2004 International Images of the King contest in Memphis.

"The competition's always good," Roseberry said. "There's always a lot of good '50s Elvises and '70s Elvises and movie Elvises."

He specializes in songs and apparel from the end of Presley's career.

"Most of the critics had written Elvis off by that time, but he really did some good stuff," Roseberry said.

He knows the lyrics of between 300 and 400 Presley tunes and said he's constantly amazed at the range of songs that audience members request.

"It's not just 'Hound Dog' and 'Jailhouse Rock.' People love to hear 'Kentucky Rain' and 'Hurt' and his version of 'Unchained Melody' and 'Can't Help Falling in Love,'" Roseberry said. "I get requests for everything."

For more information about Roseberry, go to on the Web.

Quentin Flagg shakes the stage

Tribute artist Quentin Flagg, 21, of near South Bend, Ind., will portray Presley from 1956 through the 1960s. He "has wowed audiences all over the Midwest with his powerful voice," Irvin-Craig said.

"I put on a very high-energy show. I love to dance," Flagg said. "I just keep shakin' and having a lot of fun."

Flagg has performed with the Jordanaires - Presley's backup singers from the 1950s, appeared on the Ricki Lake Show in New York, and he has entertained audiences in the Midwest, along the East Coast and in Ireland and England. He's also taken his act to sea for Carnival Cruise Lines' Elvis FANtasy Fest Cruise to the Bahamas and Mexico since launching his Elvis tribute act seven years ago.

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