Will Reeb's Tribute to Elvis

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The Beginning:

I never thought I’d wind up performing Elvis Shows when I was younger. I enjoyed his music and sang along with his songs in my room as I built model kits. It used to drive me Dad nuts! Little did we realize I was laying the groundwork for a future career.

I belonged to a church group as a teenager that had an annual convention at the Jubilee Auditorium in Calgary where I live. Some member knew I could sing Elvis songs and they talked me into performing at the convention.

I’d never sang in front of any group bigger than a campfire singalong! I was scared to death! We rehearsed 2 songs, Blue Suede Shoes and All Shook Up if I remember correctly.We faked our way through Hound Dog as an encore. I repeated my stint at the convention the following 2 years, improving my costuming and gaining more confidence.

For years after that I played the occasional show and even got paid once in a while. I remember going to Hollywood in 1978 and auditioning for the ìGong Showî, I managed to get an audition but couldn’t hang around for 6 weeks to be on the show. Still, it was a fun experience.

Rebirth:

In the late 80’s, the first of the karaoke tracks arrived, on 8 track no less, up to this point I’d worked with a few bands now and then but nothing permanent or steady. Bought up every 8 track and cassette karaoke track I could find! With them I wound up performing more and got a good weekend thing going.

One day I was I was approached by a guy with a local travel agency who wanted to sponsor me to go to Memphis and enter the ìBad Bob’sVaporsî club annual Elvis contest during Elvis week in the summer of 89.

Memphis:

At the time it was ironic, I was working for Federal Express in Calgary, a Memphis based company. One weekend not long after I was hired , Fred Smith the CEO was flying entire stations of employees to Memphis for a weekend and I had to stay home and run the weekend operations. Graceland seemed such a mystical and faraway place to me at the time.

WellIgotMemphisandenteredthecontest!Ihadagreattime,andwound up taking 4th place and I was the first Canadian who’d entered up to that point. It was a springboard that helped me gain some confidence to pursue more chances to perform and up my game!

In the beginning of 1991 I decided to perform full time and toured much of western Canada, I’ve enjoyed my career ever since and I’ve had a chance to perform many wonderful audiences, as long as it’s still fun I plan on doing it for a while to come!

Thanks Elvis for a fun and wonderful experience!

Ian Buchanan