"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)






Elvis winner is all shook up

LEIGH Casling's blue suede shoes haven't touched the ground since he was named as the UK's top Elvis impersonator. The competition in Blackpool was timed to coincide with what would have been The King's 70th birthday on Saturday and Leigh, aged 37, is all shook up after beating off rivals from around the country to win the title.

Although he only became a professional Elvis impersonator nine months ago he won through the regional heats of the competition and faced 22 other would-be Kings to win the title. He said: "I still can't believe it. I haven't come down to earth yet and I have no idea what it all means to me."

Currently Leigh's day job is looking after the parks and open spaces in St Albans as contract manager for ground maintenance specialists John O'Conner. He lives in Clarence Road, St Albans, with his wife, Deborah and children Geoff aged 15, Reece, 13 and Natasha, nine.

Thanks to his mother, Leigh is a lifelong Elvis fan. He said: "When I was a kid we got Elvis every Sunday and I guess I knew all his songs by the time I was nine." But the very first time he performed as Elvis was at a retirement party for a director of the company for which he works.

He said: "I was a bit surprised because I had never done it before and then the person who was organising the party hired an Elvis suit for me as well as a wig." Immediately after the party in September 2003, he was asked if he would perform at a children's event in Stevenage but it was March last year before he did his first paid job at a pub in Royston.

He said: "So far the most I have been paid for an engagement has been 250 and I spent all that on equipment."

His prize in Blackpool was a cheque for 1,200 and an Elvis suit which will be produced by the King's tailor, BK Suits. As well as appearing in his GI uniform in Blackpool, Leigh also featured in a line-up of 70 Elvis impersonators in a national newspaper on Saturday.

Also in the line-up was Elvis Shmelvis - Martyn Dias from Ragged Hall Lane, Chiswell Green. Martyn, aged 42, gave up his job as a computer manager a couple of years ago to become a full-time impersonator. He said: "It's a lot of fun and beats real work."

Martyn has made several TV appearances as Elvis and this weekend is due to take part in a charity event for deprived children with stars from Coronation Street. On Saturday he sang in Asda in Watford and raised 675 for the Asian tsunami appeal.

(News/Almost Elvis, Source: Yahoo News)











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Elvis Odd Spot (updated 16 Dec 2004)