Sunday, April 03, 2005

Elvis lives at Lexington contest

Photo of Elvis Nelson by
mark cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader
Inside, 23 men are primping, shining and donning white jump suits and neon pink coats meant to resemble Elvis Presley's wardrobe.

For the seventh Elvis-Fest of the Bluegrass, they came from neighboring states, New York City and Las Vegas.
The top six performers of the two-night competition will move on to the national Images of the King competition in Memphis this summer. The first-place tribute artist (lingo meaning impersonator) will receive $1,250...

Michael Bryant, a mid-1970s Elvis from Mount Vernon, calls himself a "closet Elvis." His wife and kids love it. He spent $1,500 on a custom-made suit with lion-head details and gold chains. But nobody back home knows about his little hobby.

"If I saw anyone here, it would be like a church member running into their pastor at the liquor store," says Bryant, 37. "What would you say?"

You'd say nothing, actually. The only legitimate responses to an onstage Elvis are unintelligible screams.


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