Thank you. Thank you very much.
Elvis tribute artist David Allen’s making a return engagement to the Chautauqua Auditorium in Waxahachie on Saturday.
An award-winning Elvis sound-alike, Allen, 29, has honed his act with a production called The Elvis Chronicles.
He used to do just Las Vegas-era Elvis, but he has expanded his range to include ’50s Elvis and black-leather Elvis – a move made easier with a large weight loss. “Now I do all the eras, with costumes and moves accurate to the era. I’m era-correct,” he said.
Being Elvis in three different decades means careful attention to hair – and Allen’s Vegas Elvis wig is a $2,000 crown for the King. It has allowed him to go back to his natural hair for his earlier roles.
“It’s not so much every day, all day Elvis Presley any more. Besides, I’m so much of a fan that I don’t want to go around looking like him all the time. I’m not Elvis, and I don’t want to be him,” Allen said.
Sometimes he’s accompanied by his band, and sometimes by a professional performance track, which the Waxahachie audience will get Saturday.
The most charming thing about Allen as Elvis, even more than the era-correct moves and clothes, is his trademark: Fans can’t help falling in love with his eerily accurate Elvis singing voice, pitch-perfect, with just the Kingly vibrato and timbre.
“That’s me singing – there’s nothing fake about it. Except the 1970s hair. And the diamonds,” he said.
And while the economy has had its effect on the entertainment industry, for Allen as tribute artist, he’s seeing a little less conversation, a little more action; businesses making the effort to woo back customers has been a boon.
“I’ve increased my business 300 percent since the economy (turned down),” The Colony resident said. “People aren’t going out to eat as much – so businesses are thinking about what they can do to bring in extra people, to survive. A lot of restaurants and clubs have jumped on entertainment.”
In fact, Allen, who has a large fan base, is about to start a monthly gig at College Street Pub in Waxahachie, where he has a local connection: He’s a member of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce and his wife Stacy’s mother is artist Karen White.
Allen’s production company still produces scarves for Elvis tribute artists and aficionados for the astonishing price of $1.50 apiece – his mom makes them.
“It’s keeping his memory alive and if I can give something back, it’s a way of saying ‘thank you’ for doing the same job I do, which is to keep Elvis alive. Elvis wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all for him,” Allen said.
He also promotes a friend’s Elvis jumpsuit company, but Allen himself no longer produces Elvis jumpsuits.
Until recently, his company made about 12 different designs of Elvis jumpsuits, keeping to the most popular designs recalled by fans and documented on album covers.
But Elvis has left THAT building.
Taking those 12 designs and customizing them to the whole spectrum of Elvis tribute artists and their body types was exhausting, he said.
“Imagine the different-sized Elvises,” Allen said. “And just think about what it would be like to deal with all those Elvises if their garment doesn’t fit just right … we’re a bunch of divas, we are,” he said.
Allen was born after Elvis was already gone. He’s not one of the conspiracy lovers who thinks the King is still alive, but he’s still determined to keep the eternal flame out for Elvis.
“He definitely passed away a long time ago. It would be nice if he were still here, though – I’m sure he’d be happy to see what he left as a legacy,” Allen said.
Allen will perform at the Chautauqua Auditorium at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 30, highlighting Elvis Presley’s early years.
Pre-sale seats, advance only, for reserved seats are $12. Tickets at the door will be $10 and $8 for kids 12 and younger. The doors open at 6 p.m.
For more information, contact Allen at 972-533-5847 or visit online at www.yourelvis.com.
E-mail J. Louise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org.