King of Pop's stardom is still burning bright these days
Elvis Presley tribute artist Bob Lougheed, a beloved performer in the First State, said the original King of Pop’s stardom is still burning bright these days.
And Lougheed is right on the money.
Graceland, Presley’s home in Memphis, is the second most visited house museum in the U.S., second to the White House, and draws over 600,000 visitors a year, according to Forbes.com.
Lougheed, 58, of Millsboro, is a cancer-survivor-turned Elvis tribute artist whose been wearing muttonchops full-time since 2010, gigging everywhere from retirement homes to casinos across the country.
The tribute artist will pay homage to the King of Pop in a free solo show on Jan. 8 at Kent County Public Library. That concert honors Elvis’ 84th birthday, which is on that same day.
You’ve been a pro for nearly a decade. Have you thought about that?
It’s gone by so quick. I was looking back at how many shows I’ve done and it blows my mind.
Roughly how many do you perform a year?
Between my solo show and my band show, it’s somewhere between 200 and 225. Early on, during the first three years I was over like 320 shows a year. I’ve cut back and tried to add more band shows.
Are you going to start working in some Elvis songs that you don’t perform often?
In my solo show, I do a lot of ‘50s and early Elvis stuff; and a lot of movie tunes, because if I’m doing my solo show I’m performing anywhere from an hour to four hours. You have to throw in as much as you can in there.
Which Elvis song doesn’t get the attention it deserves?
The “Aloha from Hawaii” concert had “I’ll Remember You,” and that’s not one you hear much on the radio. It’s a beautiful song. Elvis didn’t write it, of course. It was actually performed by somebody else originally. But Elvis made it his. “Aloha from Hawaii” was a cancer benefit.
The person who wrote the song died from cancer. So the benefit was for them. That’s why that song was in that concert. And it’s a song that really reminds me of my mom, because she never really got to see me do this, other than high school. So when I sing that song, I always dedicate it to my mom.
Elvis died decades ago, but people are really interested in him today. Why?
Actually, his popularity is growing. Graceland is the second most visited home, other than the White House, in the United States. It’s just a mecca. I was lucky enough to be down there, I think, on the 30th or 35th anniversary and literally there’s 70,000 people on the lawn, all holding candles, and there’s not one person speaking. People come from all over the world and there’s fan clubs in every country. Then you see these younger kids coming up doing Elvis and it’s just growing.
That’s the power of Elvis. Elvis had it all. There’s a lot of great entertainers and musicians. Prince and Michael Jackson and a lot of those guys are right up there. But it’s like John Lennon said, “Before Elvis, there was nothing.”