I was already very familiar with Elvis's music, having been an on-air DJ for parts of the last 40 years in the Washington area. I worked at XTRA-104, WASH-FM and Classic Rock 94.7, among others. Over the last 25 years, I was also doing IT work for three trade associations in the Washington area.
"Elvis E" was born when the association I was with at the time, held their convention two years in a row in New Orleans in the mid 90s. One night, myself and a group of co-workers happened into a karaoke club, the Cats Meow, in the French Quarter, where I proceeded to get up in street clothes and butcher Roy Orbison's "Oh Pretty Woman," with my co-workers singing backup. It was such a rush to sing in front of a crowd, though, I was hooked. I had a whole year to plan what I'd sing the next year, when we'd be back in New Orleans. I decided to try Elvis.
I obtained karaoke cassette tapes of his songs and spent the next year practicing them in the car on the way to and from work. When it came time for the trade show, I rented a jumpsuit and took it with me to New Orleans. I made my "Elvis E" debut the first night down there in 1996. I was walking down Bourbon Street toward the Cats Meow, and women were coming up to me, running their fingers through my chest hair, and asking me to pose for pictures with them. I could appreciate right there what it was like to be "Elvis." Then, I sauntered into the Cats Meow, at which point the emcee announced, "Elvis has entered the building!" That sold me right then and there.
I didn't do much singing after New Orleans. But, the whole thing was resurrected when I showed a video of my New Orleans performance at a staff meeting five years later. The boss came up to me and said, "I'd like you to be the entertainment at the Christmas party." "Elvis E" was back.
I had my own jumpsuit custom made (the Aloha). And in May 2004, I competed in the All Shook Up Elvis contest in Branson, Missouri. Since then I have increased my jumpsuit collection to six (a 2nd Aloha--I wore out the 1st one, a black Nail, the Fringe, the Blue Swirl, the Burning Love
and my newest suit, the Dragon). In addition, I have the 68 Comeback Special leather outfit.
Some of the events/venues I have appeared at include: The 9:30 Club in Washington, DC (July 2011); Elvistival in Dewey Beach, Delaware (September 2004-2011), including a 4th place finish in 2006; Reflections of the King contest in Buffalo, New York twice (6th place in October 2004 & also in 2005); Lou Vuto's Elvis contest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (Feb. 2007, 5th place); the Kentucky Bluegrass Elvis contest in Frankfort (March 2007); Night of 100 Elvises charity event in Baltimore (December 2004-2011); performed at Dr. Dremo's Tap House's annual Elvis Birthday Bash in Jan. 2005 and hosted/performed at the event in Jan. 2006, 2007 & 2008; City of Rockville (Md.) Hometown Holidays & Out to Lunch Wednesdays (2006); and Live! on the Wilson Plaza in downtown Washington (2006).
I have also been featured or appeared on local radio and TV and in the newspapers (including numerous times in the Washington Post). See the Media link for some of them.
Early in 2010, I began paying tribute to the great singer/songwriter, Neil Diamond. I now sing over 50 of Neil's classic songs and even play the guitar on some of them. And, in 2012, I added Roy Orbison to my repertoire.
Since 2004, I have made over 1,200 appearances all over the Baltimore/Washington metro area and points beyond, for wedding receptions, retirements, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, senior centers and other special events and occasions. Click the "Services/Reviews/Jumpsuits" to find out how you can have "Elvis E," "Richard as Neil" or "Richard as Roy" at your event.
I have been married to my very supportive "Priscilla," Inez since 1984 (who also serves as my business manager). And we have a son, Mike.
Elvis E, Richard as Neil & Richard as Roy