Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Guess what? Vikki Wacek met an old friend on a cruise around Lake Minnetonka. The friend just seemed to resemble Elvis Presley (Chris Olson). Elvis joined the Bev's Tours cruise. Four couples from Blooming Prairie enjoyed the cruise: Vikki and Joe Wacek, Dawn and Dwayne Gross, Linda and Nolan Christianson and Judy and Howard Lestrud. Staff photo by Howard Lestrud


Music will never die

Music will never die and if your favorite music artist did die, it is likely he or she will be kept alive by many tribute artists who follow in the wings.

The music industry was stunned when Elvis Presley died at an early age. His songs and legend status grew as tribute artists/impersonators hit the state.

Four Blooming Prairie couples recently took a cruise around Lake Minnetonka as part of a tour arranged by Bev's Tours of Owatonna. Guess who was on board with them? It was none other than THE KING himself, Elvis Presley. He entertained the Blooming-ites for two hours.

Elvis is actually Chris Olson of the Twin Cities. He supposedly is ranked as the sixth top Elvis impersonator in the country. He can belt out the tunes, while letting the wives hips gyrate.

Vikki Wacek and Linda Christianson especially liked the work of Elvis. Both posed with Elvis for some memorable moments.

Olson has been impersonating Elvis for 22 years. His season has now ended, and he and his wife Mary Anne have ventured south to Florida for the winter. Much of his work is focused on the summer season as he performs at high school and college graduations and also at wedding receptions and at community festivals.

I have seen many Elvis impersonators, either in Las Vegas, at Breezy Point, at a St. Paul bar or at a county fair. Olson is one of the best.

I also have been fortunate to see many tribute bands of the Beatles. Some of my favorite Beatles tribute bands are: 1964, The Fab Four and A Hard Day's Night. Judy and I have seen the group 1964 several times at Orchestra Hall and at the Ames Center.

Most of those Beatles tribute bands divide their performances into two stage appearances. Many of their early songs center around their arrival in the United States in 1964. The last half of the performance usually focus on Sgt. Pepper's Lonelyi Hearts Club Band.

Tribute bands give us a chance to see the original artist in person (almost).

Real stars I have seen in person include: Elvis Presley (1974), Rick Nelson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Sonny and Cher, Neil Diamond, John Denver, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin,  Shania Twain, Robert Plante and Jimmy Page of Led Zeplin.

Groups I have seen include: the Eagles, Statler Brothers and the Rolling Stones.

Tribute artists I have seen include: Elvis, Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Blues Brothers, Reba McIntyre, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, Bobby Vee and Patsy Cline.

Just last Friday, Judy and I and friends motored to Albert Lea to hear a concert in the park performed by the White Sidewalls, a group that has done music of the 1950s and 1960s for many years.

The music of the White Sidewalls featured music from the 1950s to 1964. That was the dividing point of music provided by the Beatles and Mo-town.

The Rockin' Hollywoods represent another group that brings rock 'n roll music back to life.

Just sit back and enjoy your favorite artists, even if they are no longer with us. Enjoy them on record or as tribute artists.




Steele County Times

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

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