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BANGKOK (AFP): The largest-ever gathering of Thai Elvis impersonators rocked a packed auditorium here last night in a sign of the growing popularity of “The King” in Bangkok, 23 years after his death. During a five-hour show, Thai Elvis impersonators, including one who has been performing since the late 1950s, sang tunes ranging from standards such as “Jailhouse Rock” to more obscure numbers like “What I Say” to a full concert hall. Many of the impersonators, some of whom speak little English beyond the words of Elvis songs, interspersed their performances with hip-wiggling, guitar-shaking and monologues in Thai about Elvis’ influence on them. Some 15 Thai Elvis impersonators perform in the capital on a regular basis, including one who has become a prime tourist attraction in one of Bangkok’s largest red-light districts. Although some members of the audience initially had suspicions about the quality of Thailand’s Elvises, audience reaction was generally positive. “I wasn’t expecting too much,” said one Elvis fan, “but as it turned out the show had all the elements – a totally kitschy setting and impersonators who didn’t care whether they embarrassed themselves.” The crowd was split on the best performer of the night. Some favored the older Elvises, while others chose “Baby Elvis,” a six-year-old Thai girl who has been learning Elvis songs and moves since she was old enough to talk. Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977.

Phuket News
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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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