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Friday, July 07, 2006 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Who was the first Elvis impersonator?

Ever since Elvis died in 1977, tribute artists have been filling the void. These men, women, and children walk the walk, talk the talk, and swivel their hips just like the King. But with so many performers, is there any way to track down the original imitator?

I broke in our blue suede shoes with a walk to Elvis' official site. Here I learned Elvis' estate is generally supportive of tribute artists, but mum when it comes to naming the first hound dog to impersonate the late, great king of rock and roll.

Moving on to less "authorised" sources, Cybercloud claims a Canadian teen by the name of Jim Smith might have been the first pretender to the throne. Like all good Elvis impersonators, Mr. Smith bore a striking resemblance to the King. According to the site, young Jim was "discovered" in 1956, and made his debut on a local DJ's television show soon thereafter. This 1957 article from the Victoria Daily Times notes Jim didn't sing or play the guitar. Apparently, his looks and attitude were enough.

These days, there are thousands of Elvis tribute artists. Some are serious. Some are Swedish. And some are just plain weird (pictured).

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