Interview: Elvis Presley Performed By Bill Cherry, Elvis Lives Tour
Southern Family Fun: How has music changed your life?
Bill Cherry: I’ve always had a great love for music. Growing up most kids were into sports, but for me it was always music. I worked as a welder in a steel foundry until 2008 at which time the steel industry took a dive and unfortunately I was laid off. I took advantage of my free time and started practicing and rehearsing the music of Elvis Presley. I have been a fan as far back as I can remember. A friend of mine had told me about an Elvis competition that was put on by the estate of Elvis Presley. In 2009 I won the Ultimate Elvis competition and every since that day I’ve been entertaining Elvis fans all around the world so music and Elvis Presley as changed my life forever.
Southern Family Fun: What do you love most about your job as “Elvis?”
Bill Cherry: What I love most about my job as Elvis is entertaining the fans, meeting different people who share the same interest, traveling the world, and working with talented musicians.
Southern Family Fun: Can you believe where you’re at today?
Bill Cherry: It’s like a dream come true. If someone would of told me 10 years ago that I would be traveling the world portraying Elvis Presley I would of never believed it.
Southern Family Fun: Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Bill Cherry: I hope to be still entertaining and carrying on the legacy and music of Elvis Presley in one aspect or another.
Southern Family Fun: Why do you love doing what you do?
Bill Cherry: Again it’s traveling the world, meeting fans, seeing and experiencing beautiful places, working with talented people, meeting other tribute artists who shares the same interest, and the pay isn’t bad either lol.
Southern Family Fun: How do you channel your inner Elvis?
Bill Cherry: It seems to come naturally especially right before a show once I put on my jumpsuit.
Southern Family Fun: How do you prepare for your shows?
Bill Cherry: When possible I try and find alone time to listen and watch videos of Elvis music before the show. It helps me get into character and into the “mood”.
Southern Family Fun: What do you do for fun?
Bill Cherry: I like to go see other shows, see movies, and when home I ride motorcycles and pretty much same thing I’ve always like to do.
Southern Family Fun: What does it feel like to get up and sing in front of people?
Bill Cherry: I’m always a little nervous and very excited before I walk out on stage. Once I hit the stage the adrenaline kicks in and from that point on I’m feeding off the audience’s energy and the excitement of the fans. The feeling is like no other it’s hard to describe.
6th Annual Elvis Lives Theatrical Tour comes to Atlanta on March 9th!
ELVIS LIVES is a journey across Elvis’ life featuring winners and finalists from Elvis Presley Enterprise’s (EPE) annual worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest™, each representing Elvis during different stages of his career. The tour marks the third time in the production’s six-year history that all three Elvis tribute artists are top winners of the contest. Bill Cherry, Dean Z and Jay Dupuis from 2009, 2013 and 2014 have reunited as the featured touring cast of ELVIS LIVES during the initial leg of the 2017 tour. They will be joined by a live band, back-up singers and dancers, along with an Ann-Margret tribute artist. The upcoming tour will see more songs added to the set list, including “Return to Sender,” “Bossa Nova,” and more. As a co-producer of the tour, Graceland is providing rarely seen restored video and photo assets from its Graceland Archives to enhance the production. The 2017 tour will feature new media direct from Graceland, never before seen on an ELVIS LIVES tour. Fans can expect to see new material and Elvis memorabilia provided by Graceland in the ELVIS LIVES lobby display at each performance.
Tickets are priced at $100, $75, $55, $45 and $35, plus applicable fees, and are available online at FoxTheatre.org, by calling the (855) 285-8499, or by visiting the Fox Theatre Ticket Office.
Special thanks to Bill Cherry and Allied Integrated Marketing for facilitating this interview.