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Elvis Week

Guests & Performers

Below you will find a list of special guests, hosts and entertainment for Elvis Week 2017. To learn more about purchasing tickets, schedule of events and more, please visit ElvisWeek.com.

SPECIAL APPEARANCES

Priscilla Presley

Conversations: Family & Friends; ELVIS: Live in Concert Event
Former wife to Elvis, Priscilla Presley, helped open Graceland to Elvis fans in 1982 and continues to venture into new business opportunities. Her career as an actress includes such titles as the hit television show "Dallas," a starring role in the "Naked Gun" series, and a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars." She continues her entrepreneurial spirit with "The Priscilla Presley Collection" which features decorative linens, furniture, art and more.


Hosts

DJ Argo

The year 2017 will mark Argos’ 12th anniversary on Elvis Radio, broadcasting live from Graceland on Sirius XM. He’s been an Elvis fan as long as he can remember and loves meeting people from all around the world who visit Graceland. In addition to his involvement in various Elvis related events, Argo produces special events with individuals and municipalities, like fireworks displays and concerts. When you’re at Graceland, stop by the studio and say “hi”. Argo will probably have you pick your favorite Elvis song and shout out to the world on Elvis Radio.

Tom Brown

Tom Brown is the former vice president of original productions for Turner Classic Movies. While at TCM, Brown was the executive in charge of production on special Elvis Presley projects featuring Priscilla Presley, Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, George Klein, Joe Esposito and the TCB Band. He has been the host of many Elvis Week events, interviewing Elvis' band members, personal friends and movie costars; and he can also be found hosting some of our recent Gates of Graceland videos. Prior to his tenure at TCM, Tom worked as a reporter/producer for TNT Network and at TV and radio stations in St. Louis and Shreveport. He began his television career in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi, at WTVA. Every June he returns home to host the Tupelo Elvis Festival. His production company, Mean Machine 22, is currently working on several TV projects and live events.

Joey Sulipeck

Joey Sulipeck is a lifelong Memphian and is currently the Chief Meteorologist with FOX13, the FOX News affiliate in Memphis, Tenn. He’s been active in working with Elvis Presley Enterprises for the past decade.  He was a returning host of Graceland’s annual Candlelight VigilCast and has hosted the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest since the beginning.  He’s a two-time Emmy Award winner, a member of the National Weather Association, a member of Mensa, and a true-blue Elvis fan.


ONLINE Hosts

Dean Z

ElvisWeek.com ETA Video Host
Dean Z has dedicated his entire life to honoring the legacy of Elvis. Dean got his start in the tribute artist world in Las Vegas at the age of 17. For the next 12 years, Dean performed in Vegas, and has paid tribute to "The Memphis Flash" in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States. Dean soon earned a spot with the World's Greatest Live Tribute Show, "Legends in Concert," then in 2007, moved to headlining the show in Branson, Missouri. After winning the Ultimate ETA Contest in 2013, Dean received the Heart Of The King Award in Las Vegas at the former Las Vegas Hilton, on the same stage the Elvis himself performed over 700 shows during the 1970’s. Dean also had the pleasure of being a part of the national touring production "Elvis Lives," a live musical highlighting Elvis’ career that features world champions from the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

Jon Waterhouse

Elvis Week Blogger
An award-winning entertainment journalist, Jon Waterhouse contributes to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, and his byline has appeared in a variety of publications including Esquire, BlackBook, and online at MTV.com, CNN.com and StarWars.com. He’s also lent his talents to iconic names in the music business, including Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act Van Halen. Jon currently works as media relations manager for Lenz, a marketing company in Decatur, Ga. Jon’s lifelong love for Elvis runs deep, and he counts his Presley-related projects as some of his all-time favorites. A veteran Elvis Week blogger, he also produces and hosts hour-long guest DJ specials for Elvis Radio on Sirius XM, including a backstage look at the “Million Dollar Quartet” musical, a Christmas show that airs annually and more. Make sure and stop Jon during your Elvis Week visit for some kingly conversation and an Elvis geek-out session.

Special GUESTS


John Beifuss

Elvis 101
A newspaper reporter since 1981, John Beifuss has been the movie reviewer at The Commercial Appeal, the daily newspaper in Memphis, since 1996. He was born in Chicago, grew up in Memphis, and earned his journalism degree at Northwestern University. He has written for such publications as the New York Times, TV Guide and American Film. He reviews movies weekly on AM-730 Fox Sports in Memphis and on "Appeal TV," the video news portion of The Commercial Appeal's website; and he discusses movies on WREG-TV's "Life at 9" and on WKNO-TV. He is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association and the Memphis Newspaper Guild.

James Burton

Elvis Fan Reunion
Guitarist James Burton organized Elvis' TCB Band and performed and recorded with Elvis from 1969-1977. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Burton has recorded and performed with artists such as Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison, Elvis Costello and many more. He has also been inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Mac Davis

Elvis Songwriters Showcase
Mac Davis has established himself as an all-around entertainer: songwriter, singer, film and stage actor, TV and radio personality, performer and legend. In the late 60s, Mac wrote several hits for Elvis Presley, including "In the Ghetto," "Memories," "Don't Cry Daddy," and "A Little Less Conversation," which was re-released in 2002 and became a #1 hit in 26 countries around the world. Nominated three times for Grammy Awards, he has written hits for Kenny Rogers, Bobby Goldsboro, Gallery, O.C. Smith, Freddie Hart, Ray Price, Lou Rawls, Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts, Weezer, Avicii, Bruno Mars and many others. He had his own successful television show, "The Mac Davis Show," on NBC. He's starred in films such as "North Dallas Forty," "The Sting II" and "Cheaper to Keep Her." He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville's Songwriters Hall of Fame, Texas Heritage Songwriters' Association, and the National Songwriter's Hall of Fame in New York. 

Dixie Locke Emmons

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Dixie Locke Emmons knew Elvis Presley before he was the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Dixie met Elvis in Memphis at church, and the pair dated as Elvis' career took off.

Larry Geller

Fan Club Presidents' Event
Larry Geller’s career as a hairdresser began when he teamed with famed hairdresser Jay Sebring, and the pair opened the first men’s hair styling salon in the United States in 1959. Their salon, Sebring International, attracted celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Marlon Brando and many more. Geller left the salon in 1964 to accompany Elvis to style his hair for concerts, movies, parties and more. Geller styled Elvis’ hair for nearly a dozen movies, including “Girl Happy,” “Double Trouble,” “Roustabout,” “Spinout” and more. 

Laurel Goodwin

Conversations: Elvis in the Movies; Hollywood Night at The Guest House at Graceland
A child model, Laurel Goodwin made her film debut as Elvis’ co-star and leading lady in "Girls! Girls! Girls!" released in 1962. Playing the role of Laurel Dodge, a young lady who hides the fact that she’s wealthy in order to be accepted for who she really is, Laurel received very positive reviews from critics and fans. Her film and TV work also included “Papa’s Delicate Condition” starring Jackie Gleason and guest appearances legendary TV series including "Mannix," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Get Smart" and "The Virginian."  Beyond her role in "Girls! Girls! Girls!," she is best known for her role in the original Star Trek TV series pilot, "The Cage."  Laurel and her late husband Walter Wood also co-produced the Burt Reynolds movie, "Stroker Ace."

Dick Grob

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Dick Grob served a member of Elvis’ security team during the late 1960s and 1970s. A former police officer, Grob accompanied Elvis on tour and during his residency in Las Vegas, and also worked at Graceland.

Peter Guralnick

Elvis 101
Peter Guralnick is the author of "Last Train to Memphis" and "Careless Love," the prize-winning, two-volume biography of Elvis Presley. His most recent book is a Sam Phillips biography called "The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll." Guralnick won a Grammy for his liner notes for "Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club" and he wrote the scripts for the Grammy-winning documentary "Sam Cooke/Legend" and Martin Scorsese's blues documentary "Feel Like Going Home." He is a recent inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Betty Harper

Meet 'n' Greet and Shows
Known by many as the "Elvis Artist," Betty Harper has spent a majority of her career creating artwork for the Tennessee music scene. As the artist of Elvis Presley Enterprises, she is responsible for much of the art seen on Elvis mugs, postcards and other memorabilia. At the one-year anniversary of Elvis' death, Betty created the art for a billboard, called "The American Trilogy," near Graceland which acted as a memorial to Elvis. She has attended nearly every Elvis Week since its inception, and she has created more than 20,000 images of Elvis.

Lowell Hays

Meet 'n' Greet and Shows
Lowell Hays first met Elvis in 1969 at Graceland. By Christmas of 1970, he had become the jeweler to the king. During their years together, Lowell made over 200 pieces of jewelry for Elvis. A few examples include Elvis’ TCB ring, his lion pendant and chain, the "Aloha from Hawaii" horseshoe ring, his American flag pin, Elvis’ ID bracelet and the big Maltese cross. Hayes continues to make Elvis-inspired pieces including both his fine and fashion lines featuring items made from the original molds of the kings’ jewelry.

Ginger Holladay and Mary Holladay Pederson 

Conversations: In the Studio
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.

Wanda Jackson

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Wanda Lavonne Jackson is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the “Queen of Rockabilly” or the “First Lady of Rockabilly." Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record. As rockabilly declined in popularity in the mid-1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1966 and 1973, including “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine," “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows." She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. In 2009 she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence.

Mark James

Elvis Songwriters Showcase
Songwriter Mark James penned hits for singers such as Brenda Lee, B.J. Thomas and Elvis Presley – most notably, Elvis’ hit “Suspicious Minds.” Elvis also sang several more of James’ tunes, including “Moody Blue” and “Always On My Mind.” James worked closely with Memphis producer Chips Moman as Elvis recorded at Moman’s studio, and James was a staff songwriter for Moman’s publishing company. James was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Ernst Jorgensen

Elvis 101
Ernst Mikael Jorgensen joined BMG in 1988 and became a member of the committee founded to restore the entire Elvis Presley catalog. With the 1992 5-CD box set "The King of Rock 'n' Roll - The Complete Masters," the project earned Grammy nominations, worldwide sales of close to a million copies and a glowing Rolling Stone review calling the package "monumental." Produced by Ernst and his partner Roger Semon, the box set spurred two decades of restoration of the Elvis Presley catalog, with Jorgensen as a central figure as both producer from researcher/historian. Ernst has been a part of many Elvis books and releases, including: "A Life in Music," his groundbreaking and definitive study of Elvis' recording sessions; "Day by Day," a lavishly produced account of Elvis' life and music with Peter Guralnick; and "A Boy from Tupelo," his 500-page study on the earliest part of Elvis' career. Ernst and Roger Semon also run the collectors label, "Follow That Dream," releasing rare and historical Elvis performances.

Gary Lockwood

Conversations: Elvis in the Movies; Hollywood Night at The Guest House at Graceland
Gary is a self-described cowboy-surfer dude, actor, rule-breaker, risk-taker, woodworker, and chef.  Able to move easily between television and film, with a brief stint on Broadway, Gary first appeared in "Tall Story" with Jane Fonda, then "Splendor in the Grass" with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. Many fans remember the two films he made with his friend Elvis Presley in the early 60s, “It Happened at the World’s Fair” and “Wild in the Country."  In 1963, Gene Roddenberry cast Gary to star in his own television series "The Lieutenant."  Roddenberry later cast him again in the Star Trek pilot “Where No Man Has Gone Before." Soon after, he was chosen by Stanley Kubrick to play Frank Poole in "2001: A Space Odyssey," today considered to be one of the finest science fiction films every made.  Gary continued to work in film and television, gathering hundreds of fascinating anecdotes along the way, many of which will be included in his upcoming autobiography

Marlyn Mason

Conversations: Elvis in the Movies 
Actress Marlyn Mason starred alongside Elvis in “The Trouble with Girls,” just one of her many acting credits. Mason began acting as a teenager and appeared on several TV shows, such as “My Three Sons,” “Father Knows Best” and “Gomer Pyle.” She performed in TV musicals and Broadway productions such as “Carousel” and “Brigadoon,” and in movies such as “Making It” and “Christina.” She has continued her career with appearances in film and TV, and she has worked behind the scenes as both a writer and producer.

Bill Medley

Conversations: Friends & Family
Singer-songwriter Bill Medley is one-half of The Righteous Brothers, who rose to fame with hits such as “Unchained Melody,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” and “Soul and Inspiration.” Medley has also enjoyed a successful solo career, and his million-selling duet with Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” won a number of awards. Elvis was a fan of The Righteous Brothers and the two became friends after Medley traveled to Memphis to record with producer Chips Moman. Medley has continued to tour and record, and in 2016, he revived The Righteous Brothers with singer Bucky Heard.

Armond Morales

Conversations: The Elvis Connection
Armond Morales has made a name for himself as a member of The Imperials' original quartet. The group recorded and performed with Elvis from 1966-1971. The Imperials backed Elvis on his two Grammy Award-winning gospel albums, "How Great Thou Art" and "He Touched Me," and appeared alongside Elvis in the documentary "Elvis: That's The Way It Is." The Imperials have won many Grammy and Dove Awards and are members of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. 

Bill Morris

Conversations: Family & Friends
Former Memphis Mayor and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Morris was a personal friend of Elvis'. During his tenure as sheriff, from 1964 to 1970, Bill deputized Elvis and took him to the National Sheriff's Association meeting in Washington. He sponsored Elvis for the Ten Outstanding Young Men award given by the Jaycees. Bill served as Memphis mayor from 1978-1994. Tennessee State Route 385 in Shelby County has been renamed to the Bill Morris Parkway in his honor.

Norm Nite

Elvis Fan Club Presidents' Event
Known to listeners as “Mr. Music” for his extensive knowledge of the history of popular music, Norm N. Nite is a radio personality, author and critic. Though many listeners may be familiar with Norm as an air personality at such stations as WCBS-FM/New York, WHK-AM/Cleveland, and WGAR-AM/Cleveland – where listeners first dubbed him “Mr. Music” – Nite has also served as writer, producer, and narrator of the “Rock and Roll – Evolution or Revolution” album, and he produced the first Rock and Roll revival concert in Cleveland. He produced the nationally syndicated radio series “Honor Roll of Hits” in 1971, and in 1975, served as music critic for the NBC Radio Network. His “Elvis, An American Music Legend” radio special has become an annual event on numerous worldwide radio stations. He has penned four books: ROCK ON; The Solid Gold Years, ROCK ON; The Years of Change, ROCK ON; The Video Revolution, and the ROCK ON Almanac; The First Four Decades of Rock and Roll. Nite also serves as a trustee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Joe Petruccio

Meet 'n' Greet and Shows
Bringing the art of portraits to an entirely new level, Joe Petruccio has combined his drawing and painting skills to create a most fascinating and compelling style of his own. Petruccio's ever-growing series of paintings and drawings of Elvis have always been a driving force in his life. Joe is highly respected and collected among many people in the music and entertainment industry. His works hang in the collections of notables such as Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers), Roger Daltrey (The Who), Sylvester Stallone, among many others.

David Porter

Conversations: The Elvis Connection
David Porter, internationally renowned songwriter and producer, is a Memphis native. He is a cornerstone of the legendary Stax Records of Memphis. He began his tenure at Stax Records before it was called Stax, and became the first African-American staff songwriter fort the company. Within two years, Isaac Hayes joined him as his co-writing partner and they became one of the top songwriting and producing teams in the country. Porter's songs have sold more than 300 million units worldwide. His most successful songs are "Soul Man," "Hold On I'm Coming," "When Something is Wrong With My Baby" and "I Thank You," to name a few. He also wrote Mariah Carey's hit "Dream Lover" and "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith. In June 2005, David was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He continues to write and produce, and he's a successful entrepreneur. 

Pat Priest

Conversations: Elvis in the Movies
Actress Pat Priest is best known for her portrayal as Marilyn Munster in the popular television show, "The Munsters." She has appeared in more than 100 television commercials, as well as television shows and movies. She appeared on shows such as "My Favorite Martian," "Bewitched," "The Lucy Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Perry Mason" and many more.  Her film credits include Elvis' "Easy Come, Easy Go," as well as "Incredible 2-Headed Transplant" starring Bruce Dern and Casey Kasem. She makes appearances all over the country at autograph, memorabilia and horror film shows. She will retire at the end of 2017.

Norbert Putnam

Conversations: In the Studio
Norbert Putnam, known as "Putt" by Elvis, played bass on the first hit records that established “Muscle Shoals” as a recording destination. In 1964 the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section opened the first American Beatles concert in Washington, D.C. Later that year Putnam moved to Nashville and quickly became Nashville’s busiest pop-rock bassist playing on thousands of recordings by such diverse artists such as Elvis and Roy Orbison. In 1970, Norbert and David Briggs opened Quadrafonic Studio and formed Danor Music Publishing. Putnam was to become Nashville’s top pop/rock producer and Quad became Nashville’s number one independent studio.

Jerry Schilling

Conversations: Family & Friends
Jerry Schilling is veteran music industry professional and childhood friend to Elvis Presley. He was with Elvis the day he met President Nixon and he also worked with Elvis throughout his career. As his lifelong friend, he traveled around the country on Elvis' tours. Schilling co-edited the now famous "Elvis On Tour" with Martin Scorsese. He has spent forty years in the entertainment industry working as an actor, film editor, producer, and manager for acts such as the Beach Boys and Jerry Lee Lewis. He still currently resides in the West Hollywood Hills home that Elvis gave him.

Nancy Black Shockley

Conversations: The Elvis Connection
 Memphis native Nancy Black Shockley is the daughter of bass player Bill Black, who, along with guitarist Scotty Moore, backed Elvis in his earliest days of his career. Nancy and her brother, Louis, have shared their memories of their father and Elvis at past Elvis Week events. Nancy is a musician as well and continues her father's musical legacy.

Randy Starr

Conversations: Elvis in the Movies
Randy Starr is a singer-songwriter who wrote twelve songs for Elvis Presley movies.  In 1957 Randy's record of "After School" became a top 40 hit.  In 1959, as a member  of The Islanders, his instrumental song "The Enchanted Sea," reached the top 10 on Billboard's Honor Roll of Hits.  His TV credits include five appearances on Dick Clark's  American Bandstand.  Randy wrote songs that were recorded by Jackie Wilson, The Kingston Trio, Teresa Brewer, Nelson Riddle, Chet Atkins, Kay Starr, and Connie Francis. Randy's Elvis movie songs are: "Kissin' Cousins," title song of the film "Kissin' Cousins," which was a million-seller gold single record release; "The Yellow Rose of Texas" in the film "Viva Las Vegas;" "Carny Town" in the film Roustabout; "Look Out, Broadway" in the film "Frankie and Johnny;" "Datin'" in the film "Paradise, Hawaiian Style;" "Adam and Evil" in the film "Spinout;" "Could I Fall in Love" and "Old MacDonald" in the film "Double Trouble;" "Who Needs Money" and The Girl I Never Loved" in the film "Clambake;" "Almost in Love" in the film "Live a Little, Love a Little," which was a single record release; and "I've Got News for You" in the film "Girl Happy."

Mike Stoller

Elvis Songwriters Showcase
Mike Stoller and his song-writing partner of more than 60 year, Jerry Leiber, wrote countless hit songs, including more than 20 performed by Elvis. A few of the Leiber & Stoller numbers Elvis sang included “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Loving You,” “Trouble,” “Don’t,” “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care” and “Love Me.” The pair also wrote hits such as The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby,” Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” and “I (Who Have Nothing)” and “Searchin’” by The Coasters. Stoller and Leiber have been the recipients of countless awards and honors, including induction into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Charles Stone

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
As the tour producer for Elvis Presley throughout the 1970s, Charles Stone had the rare opportunity to be closely associated with both Elvis and his manager Col. Tom Parker. Charles flew with Elvis and his associates on Elvis' personal plane, the Lisa Marie, from city to city each time Elvis went on tour. Being in the unique position of traveling with Elvis and also managing the personal details of each tour, Charles experienced daily life in Elvis' world and developed a close working relationship and close friendship with Col. Parker and the entire TCB gang. He began his career in entertainment in the mid-1960s as a booking agent and worked with popular acts such as Little Richard, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong and the Coasters. In the late 1960s Concerts West recruited Charles to promote artists such as Led Zeppelin, Chicago, Grand Funk, Three Dog Night, Frank Sinatra and eventually Elvis. 

Ron Strauss

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Ron Strauss began his career as a pilot in the Air Force as a mechanic on the B-47 and advanced crew chief. He later became a flight engineer on the C-141. He flew 130 support missions to Vietnam. After his enlistment was up, he went back to school and earned all of his pilot ratings. In 1975, Elvis hired Strauss to fly his Convair 880, the Lisa Marie. After Elvis' passing, he flew for airlines. When he retired in 2004, he had approximately 30,000 flying hours.

Sam Thompson

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Sam Thompson was a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy in 1972 when he met Elvis. The pair became fast friends, and Sam started accompanying Elvis on tour later that year. Sam went to work for Elvis as his body guard in 1976, providing security for Elvis both on the road and at home. 

Bill Wallace

Official Graceland Insiders Conference
Bill “Superfoot” Wallace retired as the undefeated Professional Karate Association Middleweight  Champion in 1980. The victory, his 23rd straight, signaled an end to an illustrious 15-year career in tournament and full contact fighting. In addition to his wins in the ring, Wallace was Elvis’ close friend and personal trainer. Elvis had him moved into Graceland for a short while in 1973 as he recuperated from an injury. Wallace has written three books and released series of videos considered staples for the serious martial artist, and he has worked on many martial arts films.

Joanne Cash Yates

Conversations: The Elvis Connection
 Joanne Cash Yates is a minister, author, recording artist and songwriter. Joanne and her husband, Dr. Harry Yates, have pioneered a ministry, Nashville Cowboy Church. She has recorded more than 30 albums, including a live album recorded with her brother Johnny, co-hosted the TV show "Crosscountry," and has written books. She has earned 10 #1 songs on the International Top 100 Country Gospel charts and has won many United States Association of Gospel Entertainers and Musicians Awards, including 2012 Entertainer of the Year, 2010 Crown Jewel Award/Soloist of the Year and 2007 Diamond Award. A Doctor of Ministry, Joanne has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, and has recently completed a documentary about her life, called "I Do Believe." She is also the consultant on the award-winning preservation of the Johnny Cash boyhood home in Dyess, Arkansas.

Entertainment

DJ Argo

Elvis Week Dance Party
Dance the night away with an Elvis Presley tribute as Elvis Radio's DJ Argo plays your favorite Elvis music. Argo, who spun tracks at previous Elvis Week dance parties, is celebrating his 11th anniversary at Elvis Radio and loves meeting people from all around the world who visit Graceland. In addition to his involvement in various Elvis-related events, Argo produces special events with individuals and municipalities, like fireworks displays and concerts.

Terry Blackwood and The Imperials

The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley
Terry Blackwood, who performed alongside Elvis with The Imperials, has joined forces with Darrell Toney and Lynn Royce Taylor, creating a contemporary gospel sound. Terry Blackwood is the son of Doyle Blackwood, original co-founder of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. Over the years, The Imperials, in its various membership incarnations, have released over 40 albums, racking up 12 Grammy Awards and 13 of the gospel field's Dove Awards. The Imperials have all been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. 

Bouke

A Celebration of Elvis Featuring Bouke
Dutch singer Bouke returns to Elvis Week after his last performance at Graceland in 2012. Bouke has been performing his own Elvis-inspired music since 2005. He won a TV song contest in 2009 and, at the end of 2014, he was No. 1 on the SBS6 TV show "The Winner Takes It All" with his performance of "In the Ghetto." He released a new album, “This is Me," in April 2017.

David Briggs

A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis
David Briggs' first session was for James Joiner, and it was while working for Joiner's Tune Records that he met Jerry Carrigan, Norbert Putman and Terry Thompson. The four combined to form the original rhythm section at Rick Hall's Fame Studio, cutting hits on Arthur Alexander, Jimmy Hughes, and others. His big break came in 1965 when Floyd Cramer was late to a session with Elvis and Briggs was asked to play. He continued to play on many of Elvis’ legendary recordings in the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Briggs went on the road with Elvis in 1975 and toured with his band through 1977.

Andy Childs

A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis; Elvis Songwriters Showcase
Andy has opened for Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Charlie Daniels Band, and many other top country stars. The Memphis native has released two albums and has played in the house bands for "Nashville," "Nashville Star," "Next Superstar" and "Can You Duet." He's a managing partner and CEO of Veritable Music, an independent publishing and production company with a staff of six songwriters. He has had songs recorded by the likes of Blackhawk, Chris Cagle, George Canyon and more.

Terry Mike Jeffrey

The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Celebration Concert
Terry Mike Jeffrey is a singer, Emmy-nominated songwriter, entertainer, multi-instrumentalist, musical director, arranger and actor. He was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and was singing on stage by the age of 3. Throughout childhood he'd mastered the guitar, piano, sax, and drums. Terry Mike has received critical praise from the New York Times, Variety, LA Times, and Music Row Magazine. He has had Network TV appearances on NBC's Today Show, CBS This Morning, CNN's Showbiz Today and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.

John Paul Keith

A Salute to Sun Records
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 NewMemphisBeat.com, 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.

Memphis Boys' Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood

A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis
The Memphis Boys are a self-named rhythm section whose professional careers began in and around Memphis in the early sixties. The band played on more hit recordings during a six month period than any other studio rhythm section in history (Billboard Magazine). Among these hits are: Elvis' "Suspicious Minds," "In the Ghetto" and "Kentucky Rain." Decades later, The Memphis Boys are still entertaining several generations of fans. 

Kerry Marx

A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis
Kerry Marx is a guitarist and studio musician, best known for his work at the Grand Ole Opry, where he has been a staff guitarist since 2000. He has played with many artists, including Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, John Legends, James Taylor and Steven Tyler. He has also toured with artists such as Olivia Newton-John, Porter Wagoner, Shania Twain, Ray Price and Johnny Mathis. Marx was a member of the Johnny Cash Show Band, and he has performed and composed for major networks and specials.

Norbert Putnam

A Band of Legends Remembers Elvis 
Norbert Putnam, known as "Putt" by Elvis, played bass on the first hit records that established “Muscle Shoals” as a recording destination. In 1964 the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section opened the first American Beatles concert in Washington, D.C. Later that year Putnam moved to Nashville and quickly became Nashville’s busiest pop-rock bassist playing on thousands of recordings by such diverse artists such as Elvis and Roy Orbison. In 1970, Norbert and David Briggs opened Quadrafonic Studio and formed Danor Music Publishing. Putnam was to become Nashville’s top pop/rock producer and Quad became Nashville’s number one independent studio.

Former Members of J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet featuring Donnie Sumner, Bill Baize, Jeff Sumner and Larry Strickland

The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Celebration Concert
One of the great names in Southern gospel, J.D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet were Elvis' male back-up singers from 1971 to 1977. Members during the group's time spent with Elvis include: J.D. Sumner, Bill Baize, Tony Brown, Ed Enoch, Dave Rowland, Richard Sterban, Larry Strickland, Donnie Sumner, Ed Wiedman and others. J.D. Sumner & The Stamps were part of the early tours of the recent hit show Elvis Presley in Concert and continued as a group until J.D.'s death in 1998.

Elvis Tribute Artists


Shawn Klush

First-Ever Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner, 2007
Shawn Klush  of Pittston, Pennsylvania, has traveled the world paying tribute to his musical idol, Elvis. Since winning the Ultimate ETA Contest in Memphis, he has starred as Elvis in the TV miniseries “Shake, Rattle and Roll” and HBO’s TV show, “Vinyl.” Klush has been a featured performer on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” and won many awards for his performance as Elvis.

Brandon Bennett

2008 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner 
Louisiana native Brandon Bennett has spent more than 16 years in the music business, including time spent paying tribute to Elvis. After winning the Ultimate ETA crown in 2008, Bennett has starred in the musicals “Million Dollar Quartet” and “The Elvis Story,” and he appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “NBC Nightly News” and “American Hot Rod.” He has also performed at many sporting events for the Memphis Grizzlies, The Chicago Bulls, The San Francisco Giants and The Chicago White Sox. Bennett has also produced and starred in his own musical revue, “Brandon Bennett – Elvis My Way.”

Bill Cherry

2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Elvis was Bill Cherry’s first inspiration as a young music fan. He has been paying homage to Elvis since 1989. He’s such a fan that he even drives a Stutz Blackhawk like Elvis. Cherry was the first ETA to win first at the preliminary round in Tupelo, Mississippi – where Elvis was born – followed by his win at the Ultimate contest in Memphis. He was honored by Time magazine as a top Elvis tribute artist.

Justin Shandor

2010 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Since taking home the crown of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist in 2010, Justin Shandor has starred in “Million Dollar Quartet” and has created a new band, World’s Ultimate Elvis Band, made up of horns, gospel singers and a rhythm section that recall Elvis’ 1970s shows. Shandor has appeared on television and in magazines, and he has performed in countries like Chile, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Malaysia and more.

Cody Slaughter

2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Arkansas native Cody Slaughter has performed around the world as Elvis. He starred in the musical “Million Dollar Quartet” and in many productions, such as Legends in Concert, 50s at The Hop and Liverpool Legends. Cody has appeared on MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16” and the “Late Show with David Letterman.” 

Ben Portsmouth

2012 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Ben Portsmouth, the first Ultimate ETA Winner from the UK, has been an Elvis fan since an early age. He started his Taking Care of Elvis band in 2005 and quickly rose to fame in the UK as a tribute artist. After winning the title at Elvis Week, he has continued to perform around the world and pay tribute to Elvis. 

Dean Z

2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Dean Z has dedicated his entire life to honoring the legacy of Elvis. Dean got his start in the tribute artist world in Las Vegas at the age of 17. For the next 12 years, Dean performed in Vegas, and has paid tribute to "The Memphis Flash" in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States. Dean soon earned a spot with the World's Greatest Live Tribute Show, "Legends in Concert," then in 2007, moved to headlining the show in Branson, Missouri. After winning the Ultimate ETA Contest in 2013, Dean received the Heart Of The King Award in Las Vegas at the former Las Vegas Hilton, on the same stage the Elvis himself performed over 700 shows during the 1970’s. Dean also had the pleasure of being a part of the national touring production "Elvis Lives," a live musical highlighting Elvis’ career that features world champions from the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

Jay Dupuis

2014 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Jay Dupuis of Louisiana grew up in a musical family, and he became a drummer – and an Elvis fan – at an early age. He studied Elvis’ life and performances so he could respectfully pay tribute to his idol. He has starred in the touring production “Elvis Lives” as well as the Legends in Concert productions.

David Lee

2015 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
David Lee is from Birmingham, Alabama. Almost 20 years ago, a co-worker turned him on to some of Elvis' more obscure music. He started listening more and more to Elvis' music and became a big fan, and he began paying tribute to Elvis. He has won many awards for his performances, and  David was the  model for the Elvis statue at Elvis Presley's Birthplace in Tupelo. He says it's an honor paying tribute to the one and only King of Rock 'n' Roll. 

Dwight Icenhower

2016 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Winner
Dwight Icenhower began his career 18 years ago as a junior in high school performing in a high school musical. Since then, Dwight has traveled around the world with his tribute to Elvis Presley. He has been a fan of Elvis since he was young, when his mother introduced him to Elvis' music. He says being a tribute artist is a dream come true and to be recognized for his tribute is a real honor. 

2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinalists

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest Semifinal Round
Elvis tribute artists from around the world will compete at Elvis Week 2017. In response to the excitement generated by previous contests, the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist contest features some of the most skilled Elvis tribute artists in the world. See our list of 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Semifinalists.

EAS Band

Ultimate ETA Contest Semifinal and Final Rounds
The EAS Band performs note-for-note duplication of Elvis' music and concerts of more than 600 songs. The band performs all over the world backing tribute artists, giving the feeling and excitement of being at an actual Elvis concert. The band also provides music for other tribute acts including the Blues Brothers, Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and more.