Life was pretty simple, growing up in a small, German community of about 200 people.
My life was filled with music as a little boy. It simply makes me laugh to listen to tapes that my parents recorded when I was only 4 years old. It is so amazing how serious I was back then. I would sing with conviction, even when I really didn’t know how to pronounce some of the words.
I have been influenced by many great artists such as Roy Orbison, Karen Carpenter, Charlie Rich, Jackson 5, the Beatles, and of course… Elvis Presley.
“Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley was the first song that I heard and it has made a huge impact on my life, and left the greatest impression on my musical career.
We didn’t have much growing up in Schoenchen, Kansas, but my fondest memories of my childhood, were the times we would spend evenings and holidays with our family, listening to my Dad’s albums, singing into the night.
John Lennon once said, “Before Elvis, there was nothing”.
Elvis has impacted my life in so many ways. What stuck with me the most is what Elvis stood for…. Giving everything he had to the people that were less fortunate. Elvis never forgot where he came from and that is one thing I promise that I will never forget.
Elvis had charisma, and a God given voice that never failed.
This truly was Elvis’s legacy; he just never knew the magnitude of it.
My purpose of being an ETA, (Elvis Tribute Artist) is simply because it has been a way for me to thank Elvis for everything he has done for me. I never met the man in person and neither do I have to. In my heart, our souls have connected through the power of God and the purity of his music.
Having said all that, I would like to tell you a little more about myself.
My first time walking on stage scared me to death. There were many times when I would get physically ill. I guess it was just because I cared so much. I don’t take what I do very lightly. I constantly remind myself, as well as the people around me, that this is Elvis’s tribute, and that I will always perform with the utmost respect in honor of the King.
After all, I am a huge Elvis fan, (thanks to my grandma Marlys (Dodger), who always encouraged me and never stopped believing that one day I would perform on stage in front of a live audience). Today my job as an ETA is to never let the people forget about this Legend, and King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley.
Thank you all for sharing this time and remembering the greatest entertainer ever.