Steve Davis as Elvis Presley.
When you mention seeing an Elvis impersonator, most people in the area think of one man — Steve Davis.
Davis has been recreating the musical performances of Elvis Presley for the past 33 years. His performances take him all over the country (and even as far as England). Although he is not the original King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Davis has performed as Elvis for audiences as large as 48,000.
On July 30, his Memories of Elvis show will be performed at the East Alton Keasler Complex. Davis says his recreation of Elvis is so memorable due in part to his band, the Mid-South Revival Band.
“We have a good band, and we are proud of them,” he says.
Playing music is nothing new to Davis. He has been developing his musical talent since high school, but he never thought it would lead to performing as Elvis.
Davis began his Elvis transformation when he was a theater student at Northeast Missouri State University. He recalls it was a professor’s character-themed costume party that prompted his first appearance as the King.
“When you got the invitation, you had to call the secretary and declare who you were going to be,” he says. “I called the secretary and asked if Elvis had been taken and she said no; people were waiting for me to choose Elvis.”
So Davis grabbed his guitar, bedazzled a jacket and never broke character the entire night. After that first party, the requests began to pour in.
He originally thought he would try a comedic approach with his Presley and tried it out at the Funny Bone in St. Louis, where the manager told him he was too good to be a “funny Elvis.”
“I was doing what I thought was funny Elvis, but it was too close to being Elvis, and people were getting offended,” he says.
When on stage, the transformation is truly alarming.
“I’m an actor and I’ve been a method actor since college,” he says. “The methodology of doing this doesn’t change, although the approach does.”
Whether performing for 50 or 50,000, Davis gives each performance his “all.”
That includes attention to detail, including the iconic jumpsuits and unique pompadour hairstyle. His custom-made jumpsuits are recreated stone for stone from the originals worn by the legend. To achieve the perfect hairdo, Davis has his hair trimmed by the man who used to cut the hair of the man himself.
“I was going to get a weave done, and they said you don’t need a weave, you need the guy who did Elvis’ hair (and he is here in town),” he said. “So they gave me his number and he has been doing it for the last 30 years.”
Davis’ experience, dedication and commitment to his art are what set him apart from other Elvis impersonators, and his performance is truly not something to miss.
The July 30 performance has tickets available ($18 for adults, $14 for seniors), begins at 5 p.m. and includes dinner and dessert. Deadline to register is July 23; for information, call (618) 259-7411. For information about Davis and the Mid-South Revival Band, visit www.MemoriesofElvis.com.