In East Texas, Elvis is still "King"

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Tribute artists often try to imitate him, but none can really duplicate him.

"There are about 70,000 of us roaming around, and we just keep his legacy going," said Sunny Montana, an Elvis impersonator.

"I was in middle school, and a man at the hamburger place said, 'you need to hear this song,'" recalled Julia Landis.  The Longview Elvis fan said the song was "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog."  From then on, she was hooked.

Memphis native, George Roberts now lives in Tyler.  He gave us a, 'Thank you.  Thank you, very much.'  Roberts said Elvis was a part of his childhood.

"I think we didn't totally appreciate how big he was," he said.

Roberts said his parents even considered buying Graceland just a few years before Elvis bought the now, iconic home.

Thousands of fans flock there, each year to pay tribute to the "King of Rock-and-Roll."

Tom Perryman, 83, first met Elvis working as a self-proclaimed hillbilly disc jockey in Gladewater.  The hallway wall of his Tyler home is littered with photos of him, and a young, 19-year-old Elvis Presley.

Perryman later become Presley's East Texas concert promoter.

"He did something for the music and entertainment world that no one had ever done or will ever do again," he said.

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