If you need a little "Blue Hawaii" or "Viva Las Vegas" heat in your polar Milwaukee icecap of a week, Potawatomi Bingo Casino hosts its annual Tribute to the King Elvis Presley impersonator contest beginning today at noon.
I was a judge at this event a few years ago and had no idea what I was in for. I expected the usual parade of sometimes delusional, often awful and occasionally brilliant Presley purveyors, but what I witnessed was something altogether different.
Thanks to its top prize of just over $25,000, A Tribute to the King draws the best Elvisonians the country has to offer.
Some focus on rockabilly Elvis, others on tubby Vegas Presley, but all of them are top-notch tributes.
Admission to the preliminary events are $5 and $7. Tickets for the four headlining performances, three of which will feature a live orchestra and video show spotlighting Presley’s career, are $27, $35 and $43.
Showtimes and further details can be had here.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.