Three Kings wow audience

September 12, 2004|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - With every hip thrust, gyration and curl of the lip - and there were many - the women swooning over "Elvis" on Saturday ate it up.

Some female fans crowded the front of the stage in downtown Hagerstown's central parking lot to dance, sing and throw kisses to Elvis Presley tribute artists, while others just clapped along and moved to tunes from their seats.

An event organizer estimated about 200 people attended Elvis Lives in Hagerstown on Patriot Day, an event that raised money to benefit the Barbara Ingram School for the Performing Arts.


"I've been an Elvis fan for a very long time, and I am having a great time. Yes, I am," said Peggy Marie Huff of Hagerstown.

Huff, 51, wearing a "Blue Hawaii" Elvis T-shirt, danced through most of the show.

"Can you tell I'll be 52 years old in November?" Huff asked.

Quentin Flagg of South Bend, Ind., David Lee of Birmingham, Ala., and Jamie Aaron Kelley of Boone, Iowa, took to the stage in costume and performed as Elvis.

Huff said she attended the two other Elvis Lives in Hagerstown events in the last two years and has been a fan of "The King" since she was 18.

"He's handsome," Huff said. "I've never met him before, but I would have liked to. He seemed like he was a great person, and I love him."

Huff, who said her favorite Elvis movie was "Blue Hawaii," said she also was crazy for the three impersonators performing on Saturday.

"Oh, I love them," Huff said. "They're absolutely marvelous. I love them all."

The men in the audience didn't seek scarves, leis, hugs or kisses handed out by the tribute artists as the women did. Instead, they were more low-key about their approval of the show and clapped and tapped their feet to the music.

Nancy Wingate of Mount Airy, Md., said it was her husband, George, who turned her on to Elvis 38 years ago.

"I never (was a fan) until I met my husband in 1966 ... and he sort of converted me," Nancy Wingate said.

She said she and her husband heard about the show on the radio and decided to make the trip to Hagerstown.

"I'm glad we did," said Nancy Wingate, shortly after she tied a scarf that was given to her by tribute artist David Lee around her straw hat. "They're fabulous. The young guys are absolutely wonderful."

After one of his performances, Flagg, 21, said he doesn't feel like he is Elvis when he is on stage, but that he just tries to do his moves, sound like him and have a good time.

"I go up there and I just give it everything I have," said Flagg, who's been impersonating Elvis since he was 14.

He said he got hooked on Elvis after seeing an Elvis impersonator.

"I just absolutely fell in love with it," Flagg said.

When he started performing as Elvis, he worked about five hours every day getting his act together, but now he practices about two hours a day.

Flagg also does Blues Brothers, Frank Sinatra and John Mellencamp impersonations and has gigs every weekend, he said.

Donna Long, of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said the three tribute artists planned to finish the show by performing together.

"How fitting and positive on Sept. 11 ... as having Elvis in a celebration of America," said Tom Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Chamber, Visitors Bureau and the City of Hagerstown sponsored the event.

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