“Three casinos in Black Hawk were hosting a contest with a grand prize of $1,000. I was fresh on the scene from New Jersey and eager to get a following. I also badly needed the money for a root canal! When I went to register, they told me it was for men only, so I wouldn’t be allowed to compete. That made my New Jersey girl come out, and I pushed them until they agreed to allow me in the contest.
“There were 42 other Elvises in the contest, all men. I made it through the preliminaries and then to the finals. I was tied for first place with another Elvis, so we had a sing-off. My rendition of ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ was the winner, and I won enough money for my root canal. The queen of the contest won the show and was crowned! The contest also hooked me up with a nice following with local Elvis enthusiasts.”
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Shelvis and the Roustabouts just released their first original, “2:00 a.m. at Breakfast King,” along with a cover of “Never Been to Spain.” They’ll play Nick’s Garden Center in Aurora on October 7, Rockabillies in Arvada on October 20, and the Speakeasy in Longmont on October 28.
The Denver Bootleg is a series chronicling the history of local music venues by longtime Denver cartoonist Karl Christian Krumpholz. Visit Krumpholz's website to see more of his work.