Friday, October 22, 2010

Born to be Wilvis!

Ever since I could remember, I've loved listening to music and singing.  I particularly loved two people - Buddy Holly and, of course, Elvis Presley.  I would stand in front of the mirror with my hair slicked back, in my leather jacket, singing into my comb. I was in my element.  This was what felt right.  I would sing at family events and my mum's friend's houses,  anywhere I could get an audience.

When I was six, I went on a holiday cruise with my parents and volunteered for the talent show.  They asked me what I'd like to sing and I said, "Well I can do any Elvis, any Buddy Holley, or 'The Ugly Bug Ball'."  The band decided that the latter was most suited.   They must have been right because I won first place!

Throughout my childhood, I tried my hand at a few instruments and particularly enjoyed the trumpet, playing in a jazz band for three years. But nothing compared to being at the front of a stage with a live band behind me. I sang in the school choir, a school band, performed in talent shows with my friends, and organized a Blues Brother's tribute when I was fifteen.

After secondary school, I attended Bridgend College for their music course, but after a few months, I knew that I didn't connect with the music focus of the school and left to focus on rugby. 

I graduated from Pencoed College with a sports degree but I continued to sing - karaoke contests at the local pub and writing and performing comedy songs with my friend Keryn, who I had met during my year at Bridgend College. Keryn and I also performed covers at weddings and an Elvis tribute at the Royal Hotel in Pontycymer, Wales.   

When I was 19, I joined a band called B# (awful name I know) out of Hereford, England. With this band, I had the opportunity to tour Sweden on 2004, which was one of the most fun trips of my life. We played three shows in three different cities and when we weren't on stage, we were out in a boat on the beautiful lakes of Sweden. I made some excellent friends who I can not wait to see again. 

When I did go back to visit, in the summer of 2007, my friends had arranged a surprise for me. We were supposedly going to a bar for a drink but when I arrived in Gavle, I found a poster saying, "Elvis Presley's Cousin playing here tonight!"  The show was very fun and went very well

I continued to play with B# through the summer and couldn't get enough of performing. I couldn't believe that I was getting paid for it, too! Then I met a lovely girl from California and blah blah married had kids yada yada yada.

After moving to California, I joined a band in the bay area called The Sound Effect. I had a lot of fun with these guys, performing at weddings and private parties. I eventually left The Sound Effect when I moved to Texas, I spent a few more years focusing on rugby and spending time with my family. Recently, I realized just how much I missed performing for large crowds, particularly singing Elvis songs, which were still my favorites to sing. 

Before my wife and I were married, we went to Las Vegas on vacation and enjoyed performances by several Elvis tribute artists. When I decided to start singing again, I remembered the fun we had at those shows and I knew I wanted to create that experience for others, which is why I decided to become an Elvis tribute artist, myself. I bought backing tracks used by the best tribute artists everywhere, bought a black studded jumpsuit, and a few weeks later was performing my first show at A Taste Of Asia, a great Asian restaurant in Abilene, Texas.

I look forward to singing Elvis's music to Elvis fans at every opportunity and will continue to enjoy the smiles on people's faces when I tell them I am an Elvis impersonator.


  1. No... it's 1000000000000% AWESOME!!! I want to be a screaming Wilvis fan!!!

  2. OMG! Marisa this is getting too weird, my husband has been told he looks like Elvis so many times (he was elvis for halloween a few years ago)...and he's british...and we were both married the same year...the similarities are uncanny. Will, you look fierce in that elvis costume.

  3. Thanks for following me Dena and April!

  4. Are you still doing shows around Abilene?