Elvis Impersonation: An Equal-Opportunity Job
Summary by Michael Schwartz
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- At first glance, these white jumpsuit-clad elvii may appear as any other sort of run-of-the-mill, scarf wearing, tune-crooning Elvis impersonators. But there is something special about the "GRACELINERS" that sets these seven Kings apart ... namely that their team is entriely FEMALE!
They have been "SHAKING IT UP" for charity since January 1996. There are 9 women in the group ranging in age from 26 to 50. The group was originally formed for a line dancing competition in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Placing third overall in the Show Stopper's category, the women returned home and have been swamped with requests to see the Girl Elvi. Irene, Barb, Bernice, Jackie, Joan, Tracey, Kathy, Dayle, and Peggy who prefer to be labeled as Tribute Artists, perform dance numbers while lip synching and singing renditions of many of Elvis' most popular songs. The ladies dress in white jumpsuits, wear Elvis wigs and sunglasses and do a SPECTACULAR job of moving and dancing very similar to The King Himself. Even Joan's 4-year old son BJ helps out at the shows wearing a gold lame suit and singing along with the rest of the troupe.
The Graceliners have been featured on many of Ontario's and Canada's most popular television shows and news programs. Their credits include winning the Canadian Elvis Tribute and Convention's Show Stopper's award in 1996. One of the women has also been competing against men in various Elvis contests and she has won -- twice. Their fan club president travels with them wherever we go as does their own road crew, made up of their husbands and family members. "Our chief Roadie is a lady named, Helen, who wants to be an Elvis but will not perform in front of crowds.,"
they say. The majority of their work involves charitable events and entertaining the public at community functions and parades.
They have been overwhelmed by the public's response and by a schedule that grows steadily each week. They think of themselves as Good Will Ambassadors, spreading smiles and laughter wherever they go while bringing Elvis and his musical message to a new generation of people. As the saying goes.. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".
"We're having more fun than people should be allowed to have."
-- The Graceliners
The Graceliners can be reached at (519) 752-1694.