Who would have thought that 40 years after Elvis Presley died in his Memphis, Tenn., mansion that there would be literally hundreds of performers carrying on his memory with tribute shows?
One of the best is Cody Ray Slaughter of Harrison, Ark., who returns to Augusta with his Elvis ’56 show at 7:30 pm. Saturday, Sept. 9, at the Imperial Theatre.
Tickets are $19, $29 and $39 available at the box office or at imperialtheatre.com.
Slaughter won the coveted 2011 “Ultimate Elvis” contest in Memphis, Tenn., sponsored by Elvis Presley Enterprises.
He re-creates Presley’s pivotal year of 1956 when the Tupelo, Miss., native went from being a new artist signed to RCA Records to becoming an international sensation.
Presley actually performed on the Bell Auditorium stage twice that year on March 20 and June 27.
Slaughter’s 2016 show at the Imperial had his version of “The Blue Moon Boys” band opening the evening with an hour of ’50s and ’60s songs and with Slaughter taking the stage for an hour after an intermission.
It was while in the second grade at Eagle Heights Elementary School in Harrison that Slaughter first took the stage performing a Presley song (You Ain’t Nothing But A) Hound Dog during a talent show.
There was no turning back especially after he saw some really talented Presley tribute artists in Branson, Mo.
And there are more Elvis memories to come.
Next month, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans, Ga., you can catch the touring Elvis show of Travis Ledoyt being presented by Augusta Amusements Inc.
And next May you can see popular Presley tribute artist Rick Alviti back at the Newberry (S.C.) Opera House.
Really die hard Presley fans might not want to miss the Georgia Elvis Festival being held March 8-11, 2018, at the Ritz Theater in Brunswick, Ga.
Among the top-rated Presley artists there will be Travis Powell of Shelby, N.C., who just did his Elvis show in the Hardin Center in July and 15-year-old Clarksville, Tenn., sensation Riley Jenkins who also in July tore up the crowd at the American Legion Post 71 in North Augusta.
For more information about the March celebration visit: georgiaelvisfestival.com.
BLUEGRASS PERFORMER DOUG FLOWERS: My long-time bluegrass music buddy Doug Flowers of Hephzibah, Ga., has another CD out with this one simply called Favorites.
It features some of his favorite songwriters, singers and instrumentalists as guest artists including Sam Bush, Scott Vestal (co-producer of the album), Lisa Shaffer, Tony Arata (he wrote Garth Brooks’ The Dance), Jim Iler, Randy Hayes, Dustin Benson, Jason Roller, Rickey Rakestraw, Tabor Flowers Henson and Torey Flowers.
He explained the project on his website dougflowersmusic.com saying, “I bought The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album Will the Circle Be Unbroken for my dad for Christmas in 1972. I loved the concept of getting great pickers and singers together to record great songs.
“This project started as a similar idea; to get a group of my favorite singers, songwriters and pickers together, almost like a jam session, and record and just have fun making music.”
You can buy a copy of new CD by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org, through his website or by writing: Doug Flowers, P.O. Box 896, Hephzibah, GA 30815.
LEARNING ABOUT THE OTHER JACKSON: Since the city of North Augusta was started in the late 19th century, co-developer James U. Jackson has been given all the glory with named in his honor the 13th Street/James U. Jackson Bridge, the office building Jackson Square, the Project Jackson baseball complex (now officially SRP Park) and a street and statue at Georgia and Carolina avenues in front Lookaway Hall.
But what you probably don’t know is that his brother, Walter M. Jackson, did all the behind-the-scenes work including developing the streets and waterworks, taking trips to New York City to bring about the Hampton Terrace Hotel, creating an upscale swimming recreation center and bringing about the electric railway line between North Augusta and Aiken.
Time has pretty much forgotten Walter who is buried in the Jackson family plot in Augusta’s Magnolia Cemetery with only a simple, flat headstone that reads: Walter M. Jackson, 1851-1922.
But if you want to know more about him, yours truly will be talking about “The Other Jackson” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the North Augusta Community Center across from the public safety building on East Buena Vista. It’s free.
OTHER SHOWS OF NOTE:
l Ricky Skaggs &Kentucky Thunder, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Imperial Theatre, $15, $23, $28; first concert of the season for the Morris Museum of Art, Budweiser True Music Southern Soul &Song series.
l Clint Black, Sept. 14, Evans Towne Center Park, $25-$55, freshtix.com or at Security Federal Bank locations