By Faye Gaston
Faye Gaston of Union Springs attended an Elvis concert at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery in the Fellowship Hall on Thursday, July 11, 2019 for the monthly "Spirit" program. "Spirit" is part of the ministry of the church for senior citizens, directed by Martha John Allison. Elvis impersonator, Billy Joe Brooks, performed live-on-stage for an audience of several hundred senior citizens.
Martha John and her husband, Bill, were M.C.'s for the program of the supper blessing, the singing of Happy Birthday to all with birthdays in July, the singing of Happy Anniversary to all with wedding anniversaries in July. Lots of senior citizens wore patriotic colors for remembering July 4th. Several fun songs were sung. Supper was served.
Martha John asked if Elvis was in the building. He was, and as he made his way to the elaborate stage set he stopped all along the way to greet senior citizens.
Then "Elvis" performed. There was no screaming or fainting but the senior citizens applauded, laughed, smiled and sang some of the songs with him.
Elvis/Billy Joe Brooks wore a copy of the "Aloha Suit" worn by the King of Rock & Roll in Honolulu on January 14, 1973 in a solo performance seen by 1.5 billion viewers in 40 countries of the world, making television and entertainment history. The rhinestone-studded white jumpsuit and cape would forever define his image. This remains the most popular costume choice for Elvis impersonators.
Elvis/Billy Joe Brooks sang, discarded a scarf and then his cape. His final song was a patriotic song and his encore song was a hymn.
Former Frazer church pastor, Dr. John Ed Mathison, prayed the benediction. Elvis stood at the door and posed for photos with the most ardent Elvis fans. Faye Gaston was one of these. She told him, "You sounded the most like Elvis when you sang "Peace in the Valley"
The audience of senior citizens, some as teenagers in the 1950's, '60s and '70's could well remember Elvis Presley, the global superstar of records, concerts and movies. He died at age 42 in 1977. He started his career about 54 years ago and his records sold for an estimated more than one billion world-wide.
With his Southern charm, he gave the world a favorite new music with a unique vocal styling. Along with senior citizens, Elvis has a whole new generation of fans of young folks in 2019 with his love songs and gospel songs in Rock & Roll and country music. And Elvis impersonators promote his legend as one of the biggest entertainers in the world.