Two giants in Elvis entertainment merge to become one of the largest tribute entertainment providers in the country
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – In 1987 Elvis’ veterinarian Edward “Doc” Franklin made the modern Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) community a reality when he established the event known as “Images of the King.” The event, which includes an internationally recognized ETA contest and showcases, has crowned twenty-six world champions who have gone on to be recognized as the preeminent ETAs performing today.
After Doc’s death in 2006, Bobbie Hoover and her husband Michael (the 1988 Images of the King Champion) took over the event and have run it successfully until today. “We were so excited that the Franklin’s choose us to carry on Doc’s legacy and we’re very proud of everything we’ve done with it,” commented Hoover. “And we’re excited to see where the event goes over the next twenty-six years,” she added.
With more and more Elvis events being held each year, the Hoovers have been looking for a way to continue the Images of the King event and secure it’s legacy into the future. To that end, they are excited to announce that the event is now part of the ElvisFestival.com series of events. “When we first talked to Jason Sherry, the producer of the ElvisFestival.com events, we knew that he and his company could continue to invest in Images and continue to build on the twenty-six year old foundation,” commented Hoover.
Sherry Management, the producers of the ElvisFestival.com series of events currently produce seven Elvis Festivals annually including events in Las Vegas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Indiana. Their largest event, the LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival, attracts over 4,000 visitors annually to the picturesque vacation community of Lake George, NY. “We’ve been producing Elvis events now for ten years, and the recognition we’ve received from Elvis fans and the Elvis Tribute Artists has been incredible,” stated Sherry. “It’s both an honor and a privilege to carry on the storied legacy of Images of the King.”
Planning is currently underway for the 2013 Images of the King, Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and Showcase, which will take place from August 11 through August 16. For the first time ever, the event will take place on Beale Street, the heart of Memphis. The historic New Daisy Theater has been transformed into classic Las Vegas-style showroom. The New Daisy will host the contest and showcases, and other parts of the event will be held in locations around Memphis’ downtown.
Renowned Elvis tribute band Change of Habit has been hired to back both the contest and the showcases. Irv Cass, the 1999 Images of the King Champion will be sharing the responsibilities of Master of Ceremonies with Michael Hoover. The showcase of champions on Monday night will include performances by Cass and Hoover, plus 2012 Champion Gordon Elvis and the winner of the first ever Sao Paulo, Brazil Elvis Festival. The Monday show will star 1991 Champion Doug Church. Tuesday’s showcase will feature 2008 Champion Gino Monopoli and will star the 2010 Champion and Graceland’s current reigning Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Ben Portsmouth.
The cornerstone of the event, the Elvis Tribute Artist Contest will be expanded to include five divisions. Competitors will choose to compete against other ETAs portraying Elvis in the 50s/60s or 70s, in both professional and non-professional classes. Plus, a youth division is being included for competitors under the age of 12. “It’s important for our future and the future of Elvis’ legacy to encourage young people to admire and impersonate Elvis,” commented the event’s new talent director Terry Collins. Guaranteed prize money of over $13,000 will be awarded to the twenty-three finalists with the Images Grand Champion receiving $5,000.
For more information on the 2013 Images of the King, or any of the ElvisFestival.com series of events, visit www.ElvisFestival.com or call the Elvis Festival information hotline at 1-888-406-5885.
Tel: (646) 285-2325