20090518

Rememberin' Elvis





I seem to be listening to a lot of early rock these days including some really good Elvis imitators. Of course Elvis is the king of the early days and I've collected the complete 50s, 60s and 70s masters.

Funnily enough I think he hit his peak, certainly from a rock point of view, in the early to mid sixties with tracks like Little Egypt, His Latest Flame and Viva Las Vegas etc. The 50s of course were the classic years for his rockin' songs although the religious songs and sappy ballads don't do it for me.

The 70s were, well the era of fat Elvis and warbly over done ballads and lugubrious rock songs although there were some gems amongst the dross.

Anyway another Elvis comp is not much fun so here's some obscure Elvis imitators, artists from the same era who did the same songs as Elvis and even some more modern attempts at the Presley ouvre.

My choice for best Elvis imitator is Vince Everitt. there's only one album of 15 songs available but its smashingly good, its the great Elvis album he didn't do. Ral Donner is pretty good also although he didn't do many Elvis songs so his albums are like new Elvis albums. He enjoyed some success in the early 60s but not a good career choice for longivity.

The best 70s fat Elvis imitator is masked singer Orion, he of the favourite strange record cover for Orion Reborn where he actually looks more like Roy Orbison in disguise than Elvis. He did some records for Sun Records in the late 70s and they are pretty good if some songs are marred by cheesy synth effects.



His manager also produced some records with Orion doing duets with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis by overdubbing their old records. It does sound remarkably like Elvis and I think his name was left off the record labels to create the impression that it was really Elvis.

Worth seeking the masked one out as his records are worth a listen and his bizarre life ended when he was shot by a robber in his pawn shop in the late 90s.

Best Elvis song not done by Elvis is Terry Stafford's Suspicion which at one stage in the early 60s was the only record in the top 5 not done by the Beatles. He also did not have a long career and ended up dying early.

Best more recent Elvis imitator is a Belfast postal worker called "The King" and he's surprisingly good performing more recent songs which may be how they would have sounded if Elvis had survived and sung them.

Oh and not to forget the ladies, best rock n roll female artist Wanda Jackson, who else?

Anyhow here it is and well worth a listen, would I steer you wrong?

link

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

why do you use different bitrates in the collection. You have 320, 160, 224 etc. This is very disappointing to stay the least. The low bitrates don't stand up on decent stereos so I must remove them before adding to my collection. Too bad. This is a rare offering but is flawed

sandy said...

the bitrates are vbr 160 and the songs have all been normalised so if you appreciate good sounds you should be happy but if not well you might have to buy the individual songs

justme said...

I stumbled across a 4cd set of Orion's tunes called "Who Was That Masked Man" and found it a nice listen. His real name was Jimmy Ellis.