Andy Stankovich is the Voice of Elvis
There are Elvis impersonators and then there is Andy Stankovich.
The man behind the microphone celebrating 80 years of Elvis as the king of rock n roll in the wildy popular One Night With You doesn't wear jumpsuits not does he gyrate. He doesn't need to. He is the voice of Elvis.
That accolade was bestowed upon Stankovich, who has been performing as Elvis for nearly 15 years, in July 2012 when he met "The King's" original backing vocalists The Jordanaires.
New Zealand promoter Gray Bartlett set up a show for Stankovich in Nashville that year.
"I had given Ray Walker, the bass singer for Elvis, one of my CDs," Stankovich says. "The night before the show he rang me and said, 'hey listen, Andy, that's the voice, that's the voice. I'll find out tomorrow whether you have enhanced the CD recording or not'. The next morning at rehearsal we went through the first three songs and then everyone stopped.
"I went up to Ray and said what's wrong. And he said, 'well these guys in the Ronnie McDowell Showband, who back the official Elvis's in the US, can't believe your voice. It's so, so close to Presley that these guys can't understand how it is like that'. In an interview after the show, which we recorded, he said 'you have got the spirit of Elvis in you. It must have gotten to New Zealand somehow'."
Since then, Stankovich has continued his tributes to Elvis but distances himself from the word "impersonator". At Walker's advice, he even got rid of the jumpsuits which he'd had made by Presley's tailor in Indiana.
"I don't need the jumpsuits or any of the other gimmicks anymore. I'm not an impersonator," Stankovich says. "This is a totally sincere tribute to Elvis."
Article originally appeared on Stuff.co.nz