ABOUT ELVIS ’56
In 2016, Elvis fans around the globe will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Elvis’ rise from a regional sensation to an international phenomenon. His 1956 tour through the southern United States cemented his ability to draw larger audiences than any other touring performer in the music industry.
To celebrate this anniversary, Elvis entertainer Cody Ray Slaughter will perform at venues throughout North America in the touring production “Elvis ’56.” This “biographical concert” presents a look back at Elvis’ career before he was the King of Rock and Roll. Slaughter will be backed by a 1956 authentic rockabilly band called the Hillbilly Katz, featuring David Fontana on drums. Fontana, son of Elvis’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer DJ Fontana, leads the four-piece band which also features an upright bass player and rockabilly guitarist.
At the age of 24, Slaughter is one of the world’s most accomplished Elvis entertainers. He has performed as Elvis in the Tony Award-winning production of the Million Dollar Quartet, and was the youngest person to be named the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist by Graceland, the industry’s highest honor. Slaughter is also one of only a handful of tribute acts ever to appear on Late Night with David Letterman, performing on the same stage that Elvis performed on during his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
This show, however, takes Slaughter out of his normal comfort zone. While the show is designed to pay tribute to Elvis and take the audience back in time, it will be Slaughter that is evident on stage. “It’s not a first person portrayal of Elvis,” said Slaughter, “I don’t try to make it look like I’m putting on Elvis; I’ve been an Elvis fan for so long that it just comes naturally. It’s something that just kind of happens.”
“We call it a biographical concert for just that reason,” says Jason Sherry, the show’s Executive Producer. “It’s a concert about Elvis, and will appeal to Elvis fans, but the star of the show is Cody and we want his talent to show through. We hope the combination will help introduce an entire new audience to Elvis’ musical legacy and help make Cody a star in his own right.” When asked why Slaughter was chosen for this show, Sherry explains, “The entire show was built around Cody and what he does on stage. I’ve never seen any entertainer that captures Elvis’ musical style better, while allowing his own personality and personal charisma to show through.”
“Elvis ’56” premiered on August 14 at the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street in Memphis to an enthusiastic audience.