In addition to being a talented singer and producer/director, Gary has acquired many additional skills from his years in the entertainment industry. He is an accomplished video/film operator and editor. He is an audio engineer (live audio and multi-track recording). He is a musician who plays piano, guitar, bass, drums and saxophone. He is an arranger....both background vocals and music. He is a writer of shows, movies, television scripts, songs and jingles. He is a graphic artist and designer and a costume designer.

And ~ beyond a doubt ~ he is
“The Voice of a King”

Below, you will see some great comments made about Gary by the late JD Sumner and by some of the performers who will also be in the Memphis concerts this August
(by the way...there will be a neat surprise at these in order not to spoil any surprises, we aren’t running an up-to-date photo of Gary at this time...but I can tell you he’s lookin’ great and you’ll be impressed! If you’re in Memphis for Elvis Week, be sure to catch these concerts.). And stay tuned for lots of photos and a review of the shows in the September edition of LadyLuck!

J.D. Sumner, in his l991 book, “Elvis - His Love of Gospel Music and J.D. Sumner,” wrote about Gary: I have never had much to do with Elvis impersonators, but I met a young man named Gary Wayne Bridges, who puts on a great Elvis show. You can close your eyes and listen to Gary and think Elvis has come back. I approve of Gary because he is not an impersonator or imitator, but an actor. When he goes on stage he doesn’t think he is Elvis. He sounds as much like Elvis as anyone I have ever heard. He is much more classy than any impersonator I’ve ever seen. Now that we have recaptured the sound we had when we sang with Elvis, The Stamps Quartet will probably do more shows with Gary than we have ever done in the past with anyone else. I think together we can recreate a part of the music and majesty that Elvis had on stage. I believe his fans everywhere would like that……knowing that we’’re not trying to impersonate or steal anything that Elvis had, but simply trying to do a show that would be nostalgic and acceptable to his legion of fans.”

Charlie Hodge says "You absolutely are not going to believe your ears!"

Ed Enoch (of the Stamps Quartet) says " I have personally known Gary Wayne Bridges for many years. Gary Wayne is a great guy and he has one of the finest voices I have ever heard. He sings with a lot of class and style and brings much dignity to Elvis Presley's music."

Jimmy Velvet (long time friend of Elvis and Elvis collector) adds, "I met Gary when he was 18. He was incredible then and he is even better now."


THE VOICE OF A KING....August l3 and l4, Peabody Hotel Grand Ballroom, Memphis, Tennessee. Starring Gary Wayne Bridges, Ed Enoch and Golden Covenant (former Stamps Quartet), John Wilkinson, Charlie Hodge, Ray Anthony on guitar as part of the great show band. Jimmy Velvet is MC. Show time 8 pm. Tickets: $37.50.

Like others who have such God-given talent, Gary started early -- when he was only 4 years old, he grabbed an old, chipped baseball bat and jumped up on a table to sing “I Need Your Love Tonight.“ He grew up listening to Elvis as his Mom was and is a big Elvis fan. By the time Gary was a teenager, he was performing in public. Jimmy Velvet (singer, long-time Elvis friend and Elvis collector) heard him, introduced him to Charlie Hodge and, as they say, the rest is history.

In 1982, Gary was chosen over 2,500 others to front the “For The Love Of Elvis” tour which traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada and which featured JD Sumner and The Stamps, and Charlie Hodge--along with guest performers such as DJ Fontana, and TCB Band members, James Burton and Glen D. Hardin, among others. This tour had a ten-year run until l992. During this time also, Gary was a production consultant for shows such as “Hollywood on Tour” and “American Superstars” in Las Vegas.

Although he now prefers to honour the music without taking on Elvis’ appearance, in those days Gary did dress the part, complete with wig and professional prosthetics (see photo top right). He looked so much like Elvis that JD Sumner just about fainted when he first saw Gary dressed in a jumpsuit....and Charlie Hodge used to poke Gary in the back of the head and ask, “Gary, are you in there?”

JD Sumner and Gary became fast friends the first time they ever met. They performed together as often as they could and there was even talk at one time of Gary joining the Stamps Quartet. After JD Sumner’s wife, Mary, passed away, whenever JD was on the road and feeling down, he would call Gary and have Gary sing “She Thinks I Still Care” for him over the telephone. And when JD passed away in l998, Gary was a pall bearer at his funeral.Click here to hear Gary sing “She Thinks I Still Care”

Gary has also made numerous TV appearances in both Canada and the US, and was involved in the movie “Honeymoon in Vegas.” He has been featured on TNN’s “This Week in Country Music” and has also had one gold and one platinum album...recorded in the ‘80's. These were direct response ads from TV and they were songs Gary recorded in his “Elvis voice” that Elvis might have done, had he lived. A number of singers have done this type of album/CD since then, but Gary was the first. The first album, “For The Love Of Elvis ‘85," sold over a million copies..and the second, “For The Love Of Elvis ‘88," sold 500,000 copies.

Gary, along with his bass player, also wrote a song in tribute to Elvis when he was just 21 years old, after Elvis died, called “He’s Gone”...which will be performed in Memphis at the concerts in August. (Note: this is a GREAT tribute song!!!)

After about l3 years on the road as the “Voice of Elvis,” Gary (who composes and sings great country songs also) caught the attention of record executives in Nashville. He moved to Nashville in l994 and well was on the way to a recording career with Warner Brothers, under the watchful eye of Snake Reynolds, famous for his long list of successful artists such as Shania Twain, George Jones, Sawyer Brown, John Michael Montgomery and Toby Keith, among others. However, after three years of hard work and perseverance, Gary suffered a severe knee injury that required l8 long months of surgeries and intensive rehabilitation...and much to the regret of both the record company and Gary, he was unable to pursue his recording career during this time.

In the mid-90's, Gary started producing tribute shows for his own theatre in Nashville, TN and for casinos throughout North America. From l996-l998 he was also the producer/director of “Superstars in Concert” and since l998 he has been the producer/director of “Viva Nash Vegas” and most recently the highly successful “Country Music USA,” which is currently in production for the Casino and Fair markets..this is a tribute show dedicated to Country acts such as Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, The Judds, Brooks and Dunn, and others.

Gary hasn’t forgotten his singing however....he has filled in spots in the Country Music USA shows when performers have been out, and this August he will be starring in the two big concerts at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis during Elvis Week. There is also talk of an upcoming US and Canadian tour!

I can’t think of a more appropriate title for this month’s column than “The Voice of a King.” I can’t claim credit for it, however, as it’s also the title of two great shows being held in Memphis this year during Elvis Week, starring the singer/entertainer/musician with the wonderful Elvis “Voice of a King” -- Gary Wayne Bridges. Gary is regarded by many of the giants in the industry as having one of the very best “Elvis” voices.

Gary is no newcomer to the Elvis world. He is a twenty-year veteran of the entertainment industry, who has just about seen and done it all, experiencing more than most artists do in their entire careers. He has performed in large stadiums to crowds of more than 55,000 and in showrooms all over the world. He is a singer, musician, producer, director, recording and television star also.

Long time friend of Elvis, Jimmy Velvet, age l6, with Elvis, age 20.

Charlie Hodge and Elvis having fun on stage.

Ed Enoch and Golden Covenant (former Stamps Quartet, who performed with JD Sumner)

The late, great J.D Sumner

Profiled in last month's column, musician Ray Anthony will also be in the show band at the "Voice of Elvis" concerts in Memphis during Elvis Week.

Buddies, John Wilkinson and Elvis, l974