This holiday season, head to the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on Dec. 8 to hear everything from Blue Christmas to Blue Suede Shoes in a new Christmas With The King concert.
The show will feature performer Thane Dunn, an international world champion Elvis tribute artist, in an all-new performance that will recreate a little rock-n-roll history.
“We want the show to seem as if Elvis is doing his Vegas show around Christmas,” says Dunn.
The show will feature a little bit of something for everyone, he promises.
Queens County connection
Dunn is proud to say his shows are endorsed by several people who actually worked with Elvis, including Bill Baize, high tenor singer with JD Sumner and the Stamps Gospel Quartet, who performed with Elvis from 1971 until 1976. Closer to home, he's also gotten a thumb's up from the Hank Snow Museum in Liverpool, which even has a pair of Dunn’s sunglasses on display.
There's an interesting connection between the King of Rock n' Roll and Queens County that's not well known, Dunn adds.
“Most people don't know that Hank Snow introduced Elvis to his manager, the Colonel, and well, the rest is history,” says Dunn.
Snow, who was born in Brooklyn, Queens County, went on to seek his fortune and share his music at the Grand Ole Opry.
That's where Snow and Elvis first met. According to Hank Snow's history on the museum's website, in the early fifties, Snow discovered Elvis Presley - in his mind a country singer, who just emphasized the beat a little more - and took him on as an opening act, later inviting him to the Grand Ole Opry and introducing him to Colonel Parker, who eventually became Elvis' manager.
Back to the Astor
Dunn says he has performed at the Astor Theatre several times over the years, and he’s fallen in love with the great people who come out to see him.
“My favourite part is the love in the room,” says Dunn. “Elvis fans are the best and there's such an amazing energy and a happiness that you won't experience anywhere else.”
The last time he was in Liverpool, Dunn and his group, the eight-piece Cadillac Kings, headlined the 26th annual Hank Snow Tribute show, making it one of their biggest crowds to date, he says.
Dunn has been performing his tribute to Elvis since he won the World's Largest Elvis contest in 2009, although his love for Elvis started much earlier. Growing up thinking Elvis was cool was a bonus when people in high school people started to say he looked like Elvis. Then, when he started singing, people thought he sounded like Elvis, too, he says.
“Being a real die-hard Elvis fan,” says Dunn, “I never cared for impersonators, but I thought I could do a realistic Elvis show that wasn't cheesy and let people get a taste of what it was like to experience him live.”
Years later, Dunn is still doing this, so feels he must be doing something right. He says the show has grown bigger and better each year.
Chance to win
Elvis fans have a chance to win an actual Elvis autograph and a pair of glasses made from the same mould by the same man from Hollywood, California who made the originals for Elvis. It’s all mounted in a shadowbox and can be won by going to thanedunn.ca to fill out an online ballot. No purchase is necessary. The winner will be drawn on Jan. 8, 2018, on Elvis’ birthday.
If you go: Tickets for Christmas with the King are available at astortheatre.ns.ca and ticketpro.ca. There will be a limited number of VIP Backstage tickets sold. VIP's will get a pre-show meet and greet, and a limited edition 8 x 10 picture personally autographed by Dunn.
Go online: http://www.astortheatre.ns.ca/