The ETA Spotlight is a column written by ETA’s themselves (ranging from those just starting out to those who are fully established in their careers)........about something they’ve accomplished, an experience they’ve had, something that might be of value to other ETA’s, or -- if just starting out -- simply to introduce themselves. Suitable photos should also be provided. Some of the articles will be in response to invitations we issue to ETA’s whose stories we feel will be of interest -- while other articles will be initiated by ETA’s who feel they have an interesting topic to write about. LadyLuckMusic/ETARadio will make the final selection for this feature. We look forward to hearing from ETA’s around the world.

When I was 9 years old, my Mother took me to see my first Elvis Impersonator at “Vegas World” in Las Vegas. Even though I hardly remember this experience, for my mother it was a memorable one.

We had just moved to Las Vegas from Detroit, Michigan to procure work for my Mom and to be closer to my grandparents. Looking back to my early grade school years, I vividly remember being teased by the kids because I looked so much like Elvis. The older I became, the worse the teasing got. Kids, teachers and friends, they all joined in. By the time I got to my early teens, I Hated Elvis! Or so I thought. That night at the Stratosphere the Elvis impersonator brought my mother on stage and sang her a love song. He even sat us both on a knee after the show, so we could get our “Picture with the King.” Unfortunately, she still has the picture.

According to my mother, after that night I relentlessly bugged her to get every ““Elvis cassette she could get her hands on. She even insists that I would stay up half of the night playing and singing with them.

My Dad is a professional jazz piano player. I started playing piano when I was 10. After struggling through those early ““teased to death”” teen years, I found myself as an unemployed (16 year old) jazz, rock & blues piano player in Las Vegas, trying to start a rock & blues band.

The ghosts from the past came back, but this time they were mostly friends and family, suggesting, ““why not try impersonating Elvis, to make some money? About that time the ““Elvis A Rama was advertising in the newspaper for Elvis look and sound alikes. After my audition at the Elvis A Rama the owner told me that that was the best impersonation of Elvis that he had ever heard. Not only did he hire me, he gave me a big boost of confidence that I really needed at that time. During the 2 years at the A Rama, I worked 5-6 shows a day, 6 nights a week. Not only did I learn my trade, it led to some great exposure, with numerous magazines, newspaper, and radio and t.v. programs featuring my tribute to the king. (Travel Channel, Fox 49 N.B.C., C.B.S., U.S.A. Today) At 17 I even won my first and only Elvis contest at the ““Silverton Casino”” in Las Vegas.

Looking back over my life, if it wasn’t for that special night at the Stratosphere’ with my Mom so many years ago, I doubt very much that I would be doing a tribute to Elvis today.

ETA Spotlight on Justin Shandor


You may contact Justin through us at


For more on Justin Shandor and to hear him sing, click here to read a recent LLM column by Carol Hunter.