Anthony Shore has been performing as Elvis for 20 years but he's been a fan of the King for nearly his whole life.
Shore remembers hearing Elvis for the first time at age 3. Shore's dad was no longer in the picture, but he left behind a cassette tape with the song "My Boy" on the tracklist. The music took on special significance for him then and the music of Elvis continues to inspire him today.
Shore's Elvis act has earned him acclaim from Minneapolis to North Carolina and everywhere in between. Currently, a documentary film titled "My Boy" is in the works to help tell the story of how this young lad from London found himself as Elvis, sang all over the world, and ended up living in the Twin Cities.
"I used to start the shows with a few songs, then I'd talk (with a British accent), and the audience would be looking around wondering what was going on," he said. "The gimmick is kind of done now that I'm more well known."
Elvis is such a quintessentially American figure, it may surprise some how well-loved he still is around the world. In fact, Shore contends that in the UK Elvis remains more popular than the Beatles.
"The Wonder of You," a posthumous album featuring archival audio from the King with new backing music from the London Philharmonic, debuted No. 1 on the UK Album Chart when it was released in October 2016. The song remained at the top of the charts and was the ranked the No. 5 best selling album in the UK for 2016.
"Christmas with the King" is Shore's seasonal tribute to the music of Elvis, which includes favorite hits as well as Christmas standards "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Blue Christmas." It will take place at the Zumbrota State Theatre 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Shore will be backed by his All Star band featuring eight musicians that include backup singers and a brass band. This will be Shore's second time playing in Zumbrota and his first time playing in Zumbrota with a horn section.
"I could just get up there and sing but I do new stuff because I like doing it," Shore said. "I've added a string section (not available for the Zumbrota performance) and more musicians because I like the way it sounds."
Shore is known for his musicality, warm storytelling and high-energy performances that get people out of their seats. His sequined jumpsuits are made by Gene Doucette, the designer who originally created looks for Elvis and are sometimes direct copies of clothing worn by Elvis such as the famous Aloha Eagle Jumpsuit.
Tickets to "Christmas with the King" are $28 ahead or $32 at the door. For more information or reservations, go online to www.elvismn.com.