Will Reeb's Tribute to Elvis
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.
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.
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!