Meet the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Judges

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Meet the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Judges

EPE is excited to announce the judge’s line-up for the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

The judges will select the winner of the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest based who they feel best represents the legacy of Elvis Presley. They'll evaluate the semifinalists in the areas of vocals, appearance, stage presence and overall performance quality.

Tickets for the Semifinal and Final Round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest on August 17 and 19 are still available and are available as part of an Elvis Week ETA package or individually through Graceland Reservations by calling 800-238-2000 or 901-332-3322 or online at

Ginger Holladay and Mary Holladay Pederson 

Mary Holladay Pederson and Ginger Holladay, along with Susan Pilkington, Jeanne Green and Donna Thatcher, sang back up for many of the top artist in the late '60's and 70's. These five vocalists (in various combinations) sang on the Memphis recordings for B.J. Thomas's "Hooked on a Feeling," Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy," The Box Top's "Cry like a Baby" and such artists as Percy Sledge, Joe Tex, Joe Simon, Sonny and Cher, Merrilee Rush and Joan Baez. However,  it was Elvis Presley's 1969 American Sound Studio's recordings of "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto" that was the zenith of their careers. “Long Black Limousine,” “Kentucky Rain,” and “Any Day Now” are among the numerous songs they did with Elvis at American Sound. They also recorded backup vocals in Memphis for Elvis on both of the 1973 Stax Studio sessions. Mary and Ginger later toured with Ronnie Milsap, Linda Ronstadt and others. The two sisters also sang on Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger In Paradise," Willie Nelson's "Always on My Mind," Jerry Reed's "When You're Hot You're Hot," Dave Loggin's "Please come to Boston,"  Billy Swan's "I Can Help" and “Steve Young’s "Seven Bridges Road," and backed up Emmy Lou Harris, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and many others.

Amy LaVere

Formally a tour guide at the legendary Sun Studio, Amy LeVere is a singer, songwriter, upright bass player and actress. She appeared as Wanda Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic "Walk The Line." She has five critically acclaimed solo records and tours all over the world with her band. 

John Paul Keith

A 12-year veteran of the Memphis music scene, singer, songwriter and guitarist John Paul Keith has three critically-acclaimed solo albums, including his most recent, "Memphis Circa 3AM." When not playing guitar on recording sessions at places like Sun Studio, John Paul can be seen performing in one of the Bluff City’s many busy nightspots, or on one of his frequent tours of Europe. John  is an avid student of Memphis music history, appearing as a frequent contributor on NPR Worldwide’s Beale Street Caravan radio program. He’s also the founder and editor of, a blog covering the Memphis recording industry. In 2016, John Paul produced a tribute concert at Lafayette’s Music Room celebrating the life and legacy of Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore. The show featured guest appearances from legends like Jerry Phillips and Sun drummer J.M. Van Eaton, as well as cast members from CMT’s recent "Sun Records" television series.

Posted by Elvis Presley's Graceland at 11:43 AM
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