Love of Elvis in­spires singer fol­low dream

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HAV­ING grown up in a ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment in a poor fam­ily, Mark Ever­ton iden­ti­fies with Elvis Pres­ley, and his love of the mu­sic has led to him tour­ing the coun­try to bring some lo­cal tal­ent to those who might not oth­er­wise get the op­por­tu­nity.

Singing is in his blood, Ever­ton says. His fa­ther played gui­tar at fam­ily gath­er­ings and would lis­ten to Elvis, Jim Reeves and Don Wil­liams records vir­tu­ally all the time.

Ever­ton was cho­sen as lead in many school plays. “But Elvis was the one that ap­pealed to me the most,” he said.

Af­ter na­tional ser­vice, Ever­ton went to work at Sun City, and that was when he re­alised he wanted to play and sing with big bands. His mother’s at­tempts to get him to play the pi­ano failed, but Ever­ton learned to play the gui­tar in­stead.

Start­ing off in the mu­sic in­dus­try, he was a DJ at a club in Gra­ham­stown in the late 1980s but the money wasn’t good enough to sup­port him and his fam­ily.

He be­came a and, years later, qual­i­fied as a pro­fes­sional golfer.

It was in a pub that he was first ap­proached to sign up for a lo­cal

com­pe­ti­tion. “Af­ter a few gru­elling weeks I man­aged to come first in the first Port Al­fred com­pe­ti­tion,” Ever­ton re­called.

Af­ter that he en­tered the lo­cal sev­eral times, win­ning twice and com­ing sec­ond on one oc­ca­sion.

With a few mates, Ever­ton formed a band that per­formed around the area, par­tic­u­larly at the old Snort­ing Grunter, the Hal­yards Ho­tel and Hout­stok along with a num­ber of pri­vate func­tions.

The band even­tu­ally broke up but, one day while he was sit­ting at work with lit­tle work to do, Ever­ton thought of 40 years since Elvis died. He wanted the lo­cal com­mu­nity to also ben­e­fit from his con­cert. With a spe­cially-made Elvis jump­suit he man­aged to put the show to­gether in four months and per­formed it at the Bel­mont Golf Club in Gra­ham­stown which was such a suc­cess that the club asked him to per­form again six-months later.

And the rest, as they say, is his­tory.

“My pas­sion re­mains to keep the legacy of the king of rock n roll alive,” Ever­ton said. “Go­ing for­ward, I will be trav­el­ling SA do­ing my shows in the dor­pies that never get the op­por­tu­nity to see or hear lo­cal tal­ent. I re­cently gave up my ca­reer to fol­low my dream. I will soon be writ­ing some of my own

TRIBUTE TO KING: Elvis tribute artist Mark Ever­ton will be per­form­ing his show at The Lit­tle The­atre on the Wharf on July 21

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