Everything is bigger and Texas so cowgirls and cowboys from the Lone Star State will have to hold on to their hats as the legendary Dallas South Fork Ranch opens its gates for the biggest Elvis Presley festival in Texas history. March 4-6, 2016 promises to be a superior music and entertainment spectacular with the event being officially approved by Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE).
This inaugural Texas Tribute to Elvis Championship and Festival is hosted by Tees Events USA LLC who had received accolades for their successful and very popular Europe’s Tribute to Elvis events. Fans will be entertained throughout the three day experience with special guests and the competition worthy of being one of global official heats for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.
Sam Thompson, a close friend who worked security for Presley in the 1970s will be attending as a special guest. Thompson is enthusiastic about this Texas Tees Event because after participating in the European event he “was amazed at the performers! They showed so much talent and worked so hard, I am sure Elvis would be proud! I know the enormous amount of work that’s required to put on an event like this, and Steve and Sue (Horn) can be proud that it was so successful. Everyone is still talking about the wonderful time they had, and we’re looking forward to next year’s Tees Event.”
“Texans are particularly excited with some of the highest quality and professional Elvis tribute artists in the world performing,” revealed Jay Hearne, a Texas Elvis aficionado since the 1960s. “This is a big deal for Texas because Bill Cherry, the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist, and Cody Ray Slaughter, the 2011 winner, will be there.”
“Fans from around the U.S. will be crossing state lines to see Cherry, Slaughter, Kraig Parker, and Ben Thompson,” Hearne added. “This is historical since any one of these acts would draw a crowd, but to have these phenomenal artists at the same venue is big—even for Texas.”
“We are in for even more spectacular treats as now we have learned that Rick Aron from the UK and Ciarán Houlihan (Eireann Elvis), the famous Ireland Elvis tribute artist will be there,” Hearne revealed.
Other special guests confirmed include:
Elvis Presley’s caring girlfriend from the 1970s, has been called a classic “pop culture beauty” – a status she has achieved, not just because of the remarkable associations she has made – but because of her memorable contributions in the world of music, film and television.
“Thompson has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and has won an Emmy Award for writing some of the most recognized songs of our generation. Yet, Thompson’s talents stretch beyond her ability to capture the essence of every emotion in lasting lyrics—she’s also entertained audiences by acting in countless hours of classic television,” the festival website states.
Linda Thompson introduced her brother Sam Thompson to Elvis Presley in November 1972, when he worked as an officer with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. Elvis and Sam fast became friends. While still a deputy sheriff, Sam provided security for Elvis and traveled with Elvis on the road tours from 1973 until 1976 as Elvis’ friend and companion. In July 1976, Sam went to work full time for Elvis, as his personal bodyguard and tour advance man, providing security for Elvis on all the road tours, including hotel and airport security.
The Blackwood Quartet
The Blackwood Family is the first family in their field of music. Winning over 8 Grammy Awards, 27 Dove Awards and having sold over 60 million albums. They have performed in over 47 countries, and have been inducted into the Nashville Music Hall of Fame. Millions were fortunate to hear The Blackwood Brothers sing in the Johnny Cash movie, “I Walk The Line”.
The Holladay Sisters
Mary and Ginger Holladay, accompanied Elvis Presley on the legendary 1969 album “From Elvis in Memphis”. These sessions included the hits “In the Ghetto”, “Suspicious Minds”, “Cold Kentucky Rain”, and more. They have also sang on Elvis hits like “Burning Love” and “The Wonder of You”. The Holladay Sisters continued to sing on many Elvis recordings until his death in 1977.
As the tour producer for Elvis Presley throughout the 1970’s, Charles Stone had the rare opportunity to be closely associated with both Presley and his manager Colonel Tom Parker. Charles flew with Elvis and his companions on Elvis’ personal plane, The Lisa Marie, from city to city each time Elvis went on tour. This exceptional role of travelling with Elvis and managing the personal details of each tour, Charles experienced daily life in Elvis’ world and also developed a close working relationship and close friendship with Colonel Parker and the entire TCB gang.
Greg McDonald is a highly experienced television, ﬁlm, music executive, personal manager and marketing strategist. His early career featured a long stint with Elvis Presley’s personal manager, Col. Tom Parker.
Mike Nova Texas Elvis Festival Host
Mike Nova, from Berkshire in England, will be traveling to the United States for the first time for his role as the official Texas Elvis Festival Host. He has been a professional Elvis tribute artist for 10 years and has been presented several awards for his shows during this time. Nova is most notable for his producing and performances in his Movie Years show, an award-winning show that Mike delivers with such passion and dedication to his favorite era of Elvis Presley’s musical career.
“Mike’s knowledge of the tribute business and his rapport with all Elvis tribute artists has secured Mike the profession of MC and has become widely sought after for many Elvis events,” the festival website notes. Nova has been the host and large Elvis events across Europe, “focusing on a true and professional approach to ensure respect for all Elvis tributes, the audience and the memory of Elvis Presley.”
DJ Argo Texas’ Tribute To Elvis
Argo recently marked his 10th anniversary on Elvis Radio, broadcasting live from Graceland on Sirius XM. He will be hosting the Aftershow Party as disc jockey. An Elvis fan as long as he can remember, Argo enjoys meeting people from all around the world who visit Graceland. “When you’re at Graceland, stop by the studio and say ‘hi’. Argo will probably have you pick your favorite Elvis song and shout out to the world on Elvis Radio.”
“In 2007, when EPE launched the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, we were in search of the Elvis tribute artist who ‘best represents the legacy of Elvis Presley,’” a spokesperson from Graceland confirmed. “As the contest continues, we will continue to search for the Elvis tribute artist who best represents Elvis in the area of Vocals, Style, Stage Presence and Overall Performance.”
The 2016 Texas’ Tribute to Elvis Festival is a preliminary for the 2016 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis, August 2016. The contest in Memphis includes a Semifinal Round and a Final Round during Elvis Week 2016. All preliminary winners will compete in the Semifinal Round, with the top 10 Elvis tribute artists moving onto the Final Round.
The Texas winners will receive:
- Overall Winner: $4,500 cash, Entry into the semi final of The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis August 2016, Title of Texas’ Tribute To Elvis Champion 2016, Texas’ Tribute to Elvis Festival Trophy, Our Featured Showcase Performer at the 2017 Texas’ Tribute to Elvis Festival and $2,000 Gift certificate from B&K Enterprises Costume Company.
- 1st Runner-up: $2,500 cash, Texas’ Tribute to Elvis Festival Trophy, and $1,200 Gift certificate from B&K Enterprises Costume Company.
- 2nd Runner-up: $800 cash, Texas’ Tribute to Elvis Festival Trophy, and$800 Gift certificate from B&K Enterprises Costume Company
The top three winners of the Final Round of the competition in Memphis will receive a great cash prize along with a selection of other valuable prizes. First place winner receives the title of “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2016,” recognition by Elvis Presley Enterprises, a cash prize of $20,000, a contract to perform with Legends in Concert and other valuable prizes.
The second place winner receives $3,000 and other prizes. Third place receives $2,000 and other prizes. All Elvis tribute artists in Memphis finishing 4th through 10th place will receive a $500 cash prize.