2016 Rampart Casino at The Resort at Summerlin. It's almost like being in your zen, your spot.". This time, the surgeries werent quite as invasive as theyd been with Wise. [52], During the early 1990s, Sam Leilani from Reseda, L.A. made the news briefly. [23], The largest gathering of Elvis impersonators occurred on 12 July 2014 when 895 impersonators gathered in the Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina.[24]. In later levels of Theme Hospital, patients arrive at the hospital suffering from "King Complex". You know that saying about a lightbulb going off over your head? And here, at Florida Hospital, on Jan. 31, 1978, Dennis Wise underwent six hours of plastic. Eventually, ODay was able to smuggle Wise into that clinic on that day in January 1978. New York-native Erin Feinberg is a master observer of musical subcultures, and has snapped diehard tribes of metal-heads, prog-rockers, and punks. Update information for Dennis Wise More at IMDbPro Contact Info: View agent, publicist, legal on IMDbPro Known For The Alaska Experiment Self 2008 The Mike Douglas Show Self - Elvis Presley Impersonator 1978 Hide all | | Edit Filmography Hide Self (3 credits) 2008 The Alaska Experiment (TV Series) Self - Take the Long Way Home (2008) . Rock and Roll Heaven, the touring extravaganza he conceived and promoted, didnt just pay homage to one deceased icon, but four of them: Elvis, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jim Croce. Eric Lott, "All the King's Men: Elvis Impersonators and White Working-Class Masculinity." Jim called Dennis, who was then selling Toyotas at a Honolulu dealership, and asked if hed want to come to Arkansas and try out for their band. The King is as popular today as he was when he died suddenly at the age of 42 in the Memphis mansion on Aug. 16, 1977. He appeared in episode 3 of the BBC Two Wales documentary, Cardigan Bay Coastal Lives. Dennis Wise - King for a Night - A Tribute to Elvis Presley Las Vegas Entertainment. Marriott and the JW Marriott system are not associated with any part of The Resort at Summerlin (the Resort) other than the JW Marriott Las Vegas hotel (the Hotel) at the Resort. ODay also landed them an appearance on Tom Snyders late-night network talk show. "[25] In her paper, "Women Who 'Do Elvis'", Case Western Reserve University researcher Francesca Brittan deals with female Elvis Presley impersonators and finds them to be "campy, cheeky, and often disturbingly convincing. We started playing in clubs in Joplin and in Oklahoma and Id do a little Elvis skit in the act, Wise says. Access the best of Getty Images with our simple subscription plan. But for Wise, the jailhouse only rocked for so long. Drive. By the mid-Eighties, ODay was running out of schemes. ODay scrambled and found a replacement after several tries. A lot of guys stick to your basic Elvis songs, like Jailhouse Rock, but what I try to do is to expand it to let people know this is what Elvis did gospel, rock n roll, R&B. In this country, we always want what we cant have, ODay once said. In Many Shapes and Colors: King's Spirit Infuses Multicultural 'Elvi' - Trin Yarborough, Page 1 Elvis devotee ready to perform - Stephen Forbes, Samoan Elvis sings his last, Alphonso Keil dies, Talking with an Angel, Page 1 - 4, By Ruth Jackson, 20,000 for one day Elvis Festival in New Zealand by Gail Bartley, Thousands 'all shook up' at Auckland's Elvis in the Gardens - TARANNUM SHAIKH, Pasifika programme Sunday 13 March, Sunday programme, > Samoa, 2.10pm Elvis of Samoa, "Hong Kong legend 'Melvis' dead at 68, local branch of International Elvis Presley Fan Club says", Warren makes time for grandson by Stuart Michael, LIFESTYLE, Tony Warren still rocking by Sonja Mustaffa, From Memphis to Vegas / From Vegas to Memphis, Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, Amazing Grace: His Greatest Sacred Performances, Command Performances: The Essential 60s Masters II, Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology, The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters, From Nashville to Memphis: The Essential '60s Masters, Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential '70s Masters, Peace in the Valley: The Complete Gospel Recordings, The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elvis_impersonator&oldid=1139034895, Articles lacking reliable references from June 2020, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 3.0, This page was last edited on 13 February 2023, at 00:58. The plus sides, he still has some good moves, accomplishes an acceptable Elvis appearance and performance, but his voice doesn't sound much like Elvis. We did a couple of state fairs where there were, like, four people in the audience., Overall, the short-lived careers of Danny ODays Rock and Roll Heaven tribute band made a pretty minute dent in music history. To this day, you can easily see tributes to ABBA, Rush, or Eighties and Nineties hip-hop. Dragging along the white suits theyd been forced to wear onstage, the musicians piled them atop one another and set the clothes afire, resulting in what Caywood recalls as an unholy muck of cow patties, dirt, and melted polyester.. Different Elvis artists have been in the main role with very detailed outfits, wigs and props. An Elvis impersonator is an entertainer who impersonates or copies the look and sound of American musician and singer Elvis Presley. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Elvis impersonators are a type of pedestrians commonly spawned in the Las Venturas (which is modelled after Las Vegas) area of the map. He would be in the traditional Elvis dress from the waist up, but from below the waist was in Bermuda shorts and bare feet. These days, O'Day (who died in 2003) is "the smallest of footnotes in pop history books," but he was also remarkably prescient, writes Browne: "Long before Las Vegas residencies, biopics, and massive publishing buyout deals, ODay imagined a world in which classic-rock nostalgia would be a lucrative business." Croce had perished in a plane crash in 1973, but Marc Hazebrouck, a former truck driver and psychology major from Rhode Island, was already playing songs by Croce and had a droopy mustache to match. I do two annual shows one for his passing and one for his birth (Jan. 8), the 54-year-old tribute artist says. But the fans gave their tender love to Shawn Klush of Pittston, PA, crowning him King in the finale. Jim wasnt sure what to make of it, but he did see one upside. Sounds right, says Patten, laughing. Elvis Has Left the Building a film in which a woman kills multiple Elvis impersonators. In a lengthy piece for Rolling Stone, David Browne digs into the "rogue '70s promoter," who decided to try to make a living by putting cover artists on stagewith faces surgically altered to look something like the late singer they were mimicking. $12.95 Cost of his first guitar, bought in 1946 at the Tupelo Hardware Store, $17.50 Tickets to dinner show at the Hilton, including lobster or steak, in the 1970s, 837 Consecutive sold-out shows at the International and Hilton, $43.7 million Worth of show tickets sold in Las Vegas (more than $150 million in 2008 dollars), 1956 Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You, Dont Be Cruel / Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, 1957 Too Much, All Shook Up, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock, 1960 Stuck on You, Its Now or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight?. "The King" of Rock and Roll has been gone for more than 30 years, but on any given night in Las Vegas the spirit of Elvis Presley lives on. Some of the performers had reservations about what they were doing. Dennis Wise shows off his reconstructed face to talk-show host Mike Douglas. But for ODay, it probably didnt matter: He already had a bigger, grander, and wilder scheme in mind. Condition: Pre-owned Pre-owned [33] A humorous example of mathematical extrapolation posits that if the growth of Elvis impersonators continued at the rate it did since 1977, by 2043, all humans on earth would be Elvis impersonators. ODays first choice bailed when his name leaked to the press. Shane will be drumming for with his dad on Saturday night. At the tours debut, at the Southeastern Music Fair in Atlanta in September 1978, fewer than 50 people showed up. We're dealing with a man who can never be replaced. While some impersonators perform a wide variety of Presley's discography, his songs from the 1950s and 1970s remain fan favourites. Each show is an electric, high-energy performance backed by a full Caywood was already a fireball, get-out-of-my-fucking-way person, as she says, with a bad-ass stare and freewheeling vibe to match. According to a popular myth, Presley himself entered an Elvis lookalike contest at a local restaurant shortly before his death, and came in third place. According to social historian Eric Lott, "the widespread embarrassment and innuendo surrounding Elvis impersonation points more directly to the homoerotic implications built into such acts. Impersonating a dead pop star, or reviving them virtually, is one thing. Admission is $10. I have no idea. Cruise kept asking James if he had any songs that would be right for Elvis. An advertisement for State Farm Insurance featured four Elvis impersonators, each of which performed the company's "magic jingle" in succession, causing representatives from the company to appear out of thin air. Thats up from $49 million in 2007. 2023 Getty Images. by Rick Marino, a well-known tribute artist, released in 2000 by Sourcebooks and the more recent, The Elvis Impersonation Kit by Laura Lee, released in 2006 by Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers. Wise is King for a Night on Saturday at Boulder Station. In an episode of Married with Children, the character Peggy Bundy claims to have seen Elvis at a mall, prompting a large number of Elvis impersonators to come to her home so she can share her "experience.". "We're not here to try to take his place. Later that year, Don Cruise, Moman's partner, told James that Elvis had booked their studio to record what would become the From Elvis in Memphis album. (Photo by Getty Images) Save PURCHASE A LICENSE Get personalized pricing by telling us when, where, and how you want to use this asset. The small western New South Wales town of Parkes in Australia has been hosting the Parkes Elvis Festival since 1993, which includes a special "Elvis Express" train from Sydney to Parkes. some memories. Elvis cant die. O'Day made sure there was fanfare around itWise recalls exiting the plastic surgeon's clinic in a wheelchair to find "100 people from the press all over the world taking pictures. would play the song much too loudly and much too often. Dennis began his professional tribute to Elvis in 1978, a year after the One of the most popular modern plays dealing with Elvis impersonation is Lee Hall's Cooking with Elvis (1999). ODays experience with Wise may have ended badly, but it gave ODay a taste of big-time showbiz, and he wanted more. Im sure he didnt have the money. On the 15th of May, 2011, he entered the Elvis Down Under competition in Upper Hutt. Dennis F. December 14, 2015 We enjoyed Elvis John Verified Review Tyler E. May 20, 2014 A great experience with Elvis John Hired as: Elvis Impersonator Verified Review Terri K. April 27, 2014 Great Job! Caywood wound up taking the gross heap home with her, with the thought of encasing it in glass and turning it into a coffee table. The Philippines has its own Elvis Presley impersonator, Filipino singer, and actor Eddie Mesa, dubbed as the Elvis Presley of The Philippines. Now, he travels the world with his Elvis Tribute Show. in Roxy's at the Fiesta Rancho located at 2400 N. Rancho He had previously wanted to manage a Barbra Streisand impersonator but soon realized the audience wouldnt buy his first choice: At five feet two and 160 pounds, she didnt conjure Streisand physically. He has been performing as Elvis since around 2000. Often, the shows would start with OConnell as Morrison, vamping through the Doors Light My Fire, Love Me Two Times, and Touch Me, before Hazebrouck came out with Croce hits like Time in a Bottle and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. After a brief intermission, the band launched into a stomping groove, and Caywood stuck her hand through a curtain holding a bottle of Southern Comfort before emerging feathers flying, she says and starting her Joplin set, which included Ball and Chain and Piece of My Heart. Then, Gamble would re-enter, karate-chopping his way through a medley of Elvis hits, before everyone reconvened onstage for a grand finale. [36], Steve Fitter is an Elvis impersonator from Waikato. It contains interviews with many famous Elvis impersonators, and also gives you five free Sunfly Karaoke backing tracks, allowing you to download your favorite Elvis tracks to perform to. As she later told the Orlando Sentinel, the whole show gave her the creeps due to real weird girls who started hanging out during my shows, biker types. She complained to ODay about her female-Elvis role, but he wasnt listening: Nothing I said seemed to sink in, Rhyne said. The four singers he found also got surgery (it was said to have cost O'Day $500,000, though Browne also notes the surgeries were less invasive than what Wise experienced) and press, but the audience didn't materialize and a planned Vegas run allegedly fell apart over O'Day's unwillingness to let "the Vegas casino establishment" take the reins of the show. Many other Elvis impersonators appeared while Elvis was still alive, evolving mainly out of small town talent competitions which took their influences from major music artists of that time. "[15] There are even some performers who satirize other Elvis impersonators. In the aftermath of the collapse of Rock and Roll Heaven, Danny ODay went in search of an encore. Dad hated Elvis. $10 million Approximate worth of his estate when he died in 1977, More than 1 billion Best guess of his record sales, according to Elvis Presley Enterprises (the company that owns his likeness and everything else), 147 Number of albums and singles that had been certified gold/platinum/multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, 31 Number of feature films that Elvis appeared in from 1956 to 1969. He has performed more than 10,000 shows as an Elvis impersonator. He is considered to be one of the first notable Elvis impersonators and even Presley himself supposedly said that Kaufman was his favorite impersonator. Finding the right plastic surgeon to tweak Wises lips and cheeks and straighten his nose was tougher. I just thought, Well, I dont know what does that mean? says Gamble. Dennis Wise, 54, has been an Elvis impersonator for more than 30 years, beginning with a garage band he started with his brother. Gary James' Interview With Elvis Impersonator Dennis Wise Dennis Wise made Page One news in papers across the country back in 1978 when he under went 6 hours of cosmetic surgery to re-construct his face to resemble Elvis Presley. Wise trekked to ODays home in Ocala, just in time to see his boss roll up, living large. The atmosphere and show itself proved to be too much for Rhyne. I wanted to give him some stability, so we decided to find a home in the Entertainment Capital.. Im impersonating her, but I was the same age she was when she died. But some of that melted away when ODay landed them a residency at Harrahs in Lake Tahoe, followed by a similar stint at that same casino in Reno in the early months of 1979. The final Elvis impersonator made a splash by parachuting in on top of a car. But a drinking problem that had developed on the road soon overtook him. When I take these people in, they already have a basic resemblance to the person I want them to look like, he said. . We want to hear it. He heard ODay was now working with a country band something about tributes to country singers and tracked them down in a bar. The pub and everything in it, including Hamilton Beach mixers, towels, and soap dispensers was sold in 1988. dead celebs list, except for the year the Kurt Cobain catalog was sold. The large growth in Elvis impersonators seems tightly linked with his ever-growing iconic status. The group (not to be confused with the Upsetters who gigged with Little Richard) released a full LP as well as a tribute album to the late Otis Redding, whom they backed up on tour for a short period. Other Samoan Elvis's include Elvis of Samoa,[64] and Nifae Fepuleai. His mother introduced Joplin, Missouri native Dennis Wise to the music When he woke up, his swollen face wrapped in bandages, Wise had implants in his cheeks and a curled-up lip, and he was on his way to resembling the King more than his 23-year-old self. To make himself feel better about the idea, ODay ran it by his mother: What if his younger brother, whod passed away at 21, had been an entertainer and died and had been resurrected by way of plastic surgery? Somebody hit him in the face and knocked him out. "[17], However, the Elvis industry includes "professional Elvis impersonator registries." [53], Alphonso Keil was an Elvis impersonator and professional musician. Elvis Presley performs in Providence, R.I., on May 23, 1977. . For the first and not last time, his boss, Danny ODay, could boast, with one of his robust laughs, that he was the monster maker.. Dennis Wise has the honor of performing over 10,000 shows. Jeff Yagher played an Elvis impersonator (as well as Elvis himself) in an episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Once and Future King". From left: Hazebrouck, Caywood, Rhyne, Gamble, and OConnell at their post-surgery press conference, 1978. ), For Caywood, Gamble, and Wise, the scars have healed or are now barely detectable; Gambles mustache covers up his lip cut. It also featured Clearance Giddens, a black Elvis. 3000 Miles to Graceland is a 2001 thriller film, starring Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Bokeem Woodbine, Christian Slater, and Kevin Pollak. It is cured by visiting a psychologist, who tells the patient how ridiculous he/she look[31]. The Martin twins dressed-up as twin-Elvises in an episode of The Suite Life where they were appearing on a gameshow called "Risk It All! People loved it.. My whole life has been dedicated to Elvis.. So O'Day moved on: to "Rock and Roll Heaven," a tour he dreamed up that would feature not just an Elvis, but Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jim Croce, too. American Sound Studio was gaining a reputation in the industry as the Box Tops had just recorded \"The Letter\" there so James relocated to Memphis. His performance may be considered the first significant Elvis impersonation. Dennis Wise sang Trying to Get to You for ODay and the band, and ODay told him that was all he needed to hear. Nelson even performed alongside Presley when they first met, also in 1954. The music will be all Elvis, from the Vegas years. The two still performed in what tiny clubs they could, but one day a waitress told ODay, who was singing Kenny Rogers songs with another act, that he bore some resemblance to the Gambler growler. Elvis Presley An Interview With Elvis' Stepbrother, David Stanley David Stanley was just 4 years old when he moved into Graceland after his mother Dee married Elvis' father, Vernon. I was there in 1977 when Elvis died.. He said this guy is putting together a show and they need a Janis Joplin, Caywood recalls. He wanted all the glory. In Reno, Gamble saw ODay handing out five-dollar bills to people at the door to lure them inside. 1970's Dennis Wise Enterprize ELVIS Impersonator jacket Men's Large satin look . By 1978, Elvis wasnt the only rock star in the grave; the body count was rising. A husband hired them to perform at his wifes 40th birthday party, since she was a Rogers fan. [58], Another Elvis of Samoan descent is Johnny Angel. The Casino is not part of the Hotel and is not part of the JW Marriott system. Some people thought it was very bizarre, but people were interested in it from the standpoint of business.. ODay heard about a local Florida band whose lead singer, Jesse Gamble (then Jesse Bolt), was a good Presley mimic, and even already owned a blue jumpsuit. "He was way ahead of the curve," says Jeff Pezzuti, founder of Eyellusion, responsible for recent. [6], The second known impersonator was a 16-year-old boy named Jim Smith. Elvis has spanned over forty years. Marcia is a schoolteacher, teaching the history of music. It was a Method-acting thing, says Caywood. 'The World's Greatest Elvis impersonator..EVER!' Rick Bonner 335 subscribers Subscribe 132 121K views 9 years ago A both serious and humerous collection of the world's greatest Elvis. The Getty Images design is a trademark of Getty Images. Get ready, music lovers, because Record Store Day 2023 is right around the corner! choose a career that pays tribute to the King of Rock and Roll. Ramona Caywood then Mona Caywood Moore was playing bar gigs in Ohio, in a band called Stage Fright, when she received a call from a friend in the business. From a standpoint of being original and doing something that wasnt being done, I give him credit for putting his neck on the line. He could have made a killing in Atlantic City., Some involved in Rock and Roll Heaven wanted to forget it ever existed. He plays original music with Enjoy the Zoo, a group whose members grew up in Las Vegas. It was such an odd thing. Besides performing throughout New Zealand, he has performed in Australia, Hawaii, Fiji and the United States.[42]. He did say, Well, what can we do? They mainly fall under three main levels of impersonation, which are: Enacting a typical 70s Elvis concert is a preferred choice of most ETAs; however, some ETAs may portray various phases of Presley's career in a single show. We just want to bring back Wise says he never saw a dime, nor ever saw ODay again. I was 30 or 32 and wild and crazy anyway. I dont see a morbid aspect, he said. There we go. We've recently seen amateurs at the Elvis Tribute Contest in Vegas that blew Dennis away. 19 verified bookings. Leilani, who had referred to himself as a "rock 'n' roll-singing Polynesian guy", had formed a rockabilly band in the early 90s and had performed in Hawaii. Eric Lott, "All the King's Men: Elvis Impersonators and White Working-Class Masculinity," in Harry Stecopoulos and Michael Uebel, eds.. See Gael Sweeney, "The King of White Trash Culture: Elvis Presley and the Aesthetics of Excess." James felt it was a confusing time for him and that all three were caught in this trap that they could not walk out of. Read more in our, Elvis Presley performs in Providence, R.I., on May 23, 1977. I got up one night and did Heartbreak Hotel and the fans liked it, Wise says. They dont know what theyre getting into. But nothing would stop them, or ODay. Session guitarist Reggie Young played on both the James and Presley versions.The song is about a mistrusting and dysfunctional relationship, and the need of the characters to overcome their issues in order to maintain it. That was a very strange day, Wise says. He was there in 2016 for the event,[62] and in there in 2018.[63]. Dennis Wise is the ultimate fan and the ultimate Elvis performer, with more than 10,000 shows honoring the king. [56] Also during the 1960s, he played rhythm guitar with The Zodiacs and then The Kavaliers, a group fronted by his brother Freddie. SELECT OPTIONS SAVE TO CART The band ended up in Hawaii. But all were doing is emulating the dead people with all due respect.. Especially interesting are those who do not perform, per se, that is, they don't do an Elvis act, they just 'live Elvis,' dressing as The King and spreading His Word by their example. [48] His single "Love's Not Made of Time" by "God Will Rule" was produced by John Centinaro,[49] who would work with another Elvis impersonator, Johnny Charro. Its no longer a wrap: the Rock and Roll Heaven band after the bandages came off. Cram him into brown leather pants and he might pass for the Lizard King. In Civilization II, the "Attitude" Advisor in the player's "High Council", who advises on the peoples' happiness, is an Elvis Presley caricature, depicted wearing sunglasses even in the Ancient period. During the 1970s, a star attraction at the Aloha Lounge in Florida's Hawaiian Inn was Mr. Fatu. He died at the end of 2020. James said that late one night, he was fooling around on his Fender guitar and using his Hammond organ pedals for a bass line and came up with what he thought was a catchy melody. Wise still feels he and ODay could have gone all the way with the act: He had Disney World, all these people calling us he had it in the palm of his hand and let it go, he says. "Michael Chapa, an Elvis impersonator who works in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, helped entertain more than 2500 of his relatives at what is believed to be the country's largest Hispanic family reunion "[14], There are also some Elvis impersonators who specialize in experimenting with gender, sexuality, race, taste and decency. This has seen some impact on what Elvis impersonators and contests have on the media and marketing industry. Wow your guests with a visit from the King of Rock and Roll! He envisioned a world in which celebrity worship would rule, everyday people could be elevated to stardom, and there would be no shame in any of it. '"[27], In the 2011 novel Donations to Clarity by Noah Baird, one of the main characters the town's sheriff is an Elvis impersonator.[28]. Dennis The main character of Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo is heavily influenced by Elvis along with James Dean and Michael Jackson. (Read the full story, which has plenty of photos.). first song, he got the job. Of course theyll come., Rhyne sang credible Ronstadt covers, while her new husband dug into his performing past to mimic Rogers husky delivery. king's untimely death at the age of 42. listening to the recordings of Elvis on the family phonograph. The novelty of the show, at a club in Melbourne, Florida, combined with all the press the surgery had received, commanded a rock-star-worthy fee $15,000 for the first week (about $60,000 today). The band shifted into Also Sprach Zarathustra (the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), the traditional orchestral opener for Presleys shows, and Gamble, in full Elvis sunglasses and jumpsuit, welcomed everyone to the performance. Danny pulls in with a brand-new Burt Reynolds Trans Am, he says. Original faux-Elvis Dennis Wise practices post-surgery with promoter Danny ODay, 1978. ODay already knew the limitations of tribute bands. Soon after he received a call from his brother in Little Rock, Ark. I would tell those people not to do it. Keeping his spirit alive are tens of thousands of professional Elvis impersonators around the world, and millions more who do it for kicks. So Jim said, Lets do a little Elvis thing in the show.. As incredible as it may sound, Elvis Presley would have celebrated his 74th birthday today probably quietly at Graceland lest he throw out a hip. The original unaired pilot even had Johnny Bravo as a literal Elvis Presley impersonator. Honeymoon in Vegas is a 1992 comedic movie which was directed by Andrew Bergman. Airlines have offered discount fares for look-alikes on Elvis holidays His omnipresence hauntingly hovers"[19], In August 1996, Elvis Herselvis, a female Elvis impersonator and drag king, who had been invited to take part in the Second International Elvis Presley Conference held at the University of Mississippi in order "to test the limits of race, class, sexuality and property," was banned from this event by the conservative sponsors of Elvis Presley Enterprises.[20]. Wise had come to Orlando at the request of a newly acquired personal manager, Danny O'Day of Ocala. Ive got this kid who does a great Otis Redding, but hes white, he said straight-faced. The first singer to go through the surgery was Elvis impersonator Dennis Wise; a former car salesman from Hawaii who traveled to the U.S. to try his luck as a tribute act. Only after Elvis' untimely death on August 16, 1977, did impersonating Elvis start to become popular in the mainstream.