Joanna tells Shawn of his immense popularity with fans and with LadyLuck readers/listeners and asks if he can explain it -- he says it has to be “divine intervention” (and maybe a lot of hard work and talent too!).
Now in Branson, Missouri (since February), Shawn is wowing the crowds there. He reports that he likes Branson -- the laid back crowds, good people, being treated like “family,” interacting with the performers from other shows -- and he invites all his fans and friends to come to Branson to see the shows and have a good time.
Just after arriving in town, Shawn unfortunately broke a bone in his foot and was laid up for several weeks --unable to perform and nursing a very painful injury (much to my great disappointment as I had scheduled a holiday in Branson at that time, and, of course, had wanted to catch up with Shawn). But he’s back on the “Legends in Concert” stage now almost daily, enjoying every minute, giving 125% , delighting his audiences, and winning new fans with each performance.
And that’s not all! Last year, Shawn traveled to Switzerland for a hugely successful show -- playing to a wildly enthusiastic audience of 36,000 screaming fans! Shawn says he realized then how universal the power of music is, and how universally loved Elvis is. He reports that at times the Swiss audience sang the words back to him as he was on stage, and the young teenagers were enjoying the music as much as the older fans. He hadn’t been sure what to expect from a different culture, but was blown away by the hospitality, the friendly fans, the love for Elvis’ music, and the fantastic reception he received --and he hopes to be back!
This August, Shawn will be touring. He has a pretty full schedule lined up, which includes an appearance in his home town of Pittston, Pennsylvania (where it seems that the whole town turns out each year when he returns to perform), at the Westbury Theatre in Long Island, and at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut (his two shows at Foxwoods sold out in less than an hour). There are other big shows also planned for August, so be sure to check Shawn’s schedule, and much more, on his fascinating new website at www.shawnklush.net
Always a fan favourite in the annual January “Elvis Birthday Tribute Tour,” Shawn tells us he and his management and promotion team are adding additional cities to the 2005 EBT show. Details will be available soon on Shawn’s website and on the EBT website at www.elvisbirthdaytribute.com. As faithful EBT fans will tell you, if you haven’t seen one of these shows, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Discussing last January’s successful EBT shows, Shawn tells us how much he enjoyed working with the Sweet Inspirations and how much he appreciated their talent, personalities and professionalism. He says he can see why Elvis chose the people he did to perform on stage with him. He also speaks very highly of the Jordanaires, with whom he has performed many times, and Ray Walker – who is a great friend and mentor. Above all, it’s the sense of camraderie that comes through as he talks about all these shows and the people he works with -- from fellow on-stage performers to manager Dan Lentino, and the whole management and promotion team. He says they all get along and sometimes they just “laugh too much” they are having so much fun.
There are some other interesting projects in the works --details still being finalized -- so we can expect to see and hear a lot more of Shawn Klush in the next while.
Shawn is one of those fine and professional Elvis tribute artists who truly loves and respects Elvis and who has been a life-long Elvis fan. When talking about Elvis, he eloquently states that he feels there are some people God puts on this earth for a special reason, and that Elvis was one of those special people. He states that he tries to uphold what Elvis gave us and what he left us with -- and, as Joanna tells Shawn, “You are an inspiration to all those who seek to be ETA’s and pay tribute to Elvis.”
Performing two shows a day, almost daily, for months at a time, and being on the road during his “off time,” leaves Shawn very little time for a vacation, let alone recording, although he does have a recording project “in progress.” With the help of fellow musician, and friend, Ray Anthony, who is also currently in Branson, he is laying down tracks and recording...and fitting in studio time around their two busy schedules....so, hopefully, one day soon we’ll have another CD from Shawn!
The first of Shawn’s two previous CD’s was titled “From the Heart” and, indeed, Joanna, near the end of the interview tells Shawn that he “has the very heart and soul of E” -- noting that Ray Walker has also said the same thing. Shawn shows his heart every time he performs on stage as Elvis, bringing the same emotion to the songs as Elvis did, and offstage, too, with his kindness and thoughtfulness and that crazy sense of humour!
At the end of the interview, Shawn talks again about Elvis, about his good fortune to be doing what he’s doing, and about how he once had a dream in his head that he’s now holding in his hand. He also sincerely and eloquently thanks the fans who have supported him and who have helped him to make his dream come true.
This is a heartfelt and insightful interview with one of the best Elvis impressionists ever-- who has remained down-to-earth, humble, funny, and appreciative of all who have helped him along the way.
You can hear Shawn’s complete answers and comments in this month’s live interview. Thanks, Shawn! The staff at LLM and ETARadio wish you continued success in Branson and in upcoming months, as you take your show on the road and wow the fans yet once again. Good luck and break a leg (oops...no, don’t!).
Live Interview conducted by Joanna Johnson
Foreword written by Carol Hunter
EBT 2005 Details to come:
Legends in Concert..Branson