Love of Elvis inspires singer follow dream
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