Mike Black and Elvis Presley go way back. The lead singer of Mike Black and the Stingrays started doing Elvis tributes over 25 years ago, making him one of the most experienced regular contestants at the annual Elvis Extravaganza at the Oklahoma State Fair.
“I have won my share of contests over the years, but I still get in them once in a while just to make sure people still know I'm out there doing it — like an advertisement,” said Black, who competed in last year's contest and is likely returning for this year's show, Sept. 18-19 at the Chickasaw Entertainment Stage.
“Everybody knows Coca-Cola, but they still advertise,” he said, laughing.
The Elvis Extravaganza, a traditional blast of good rockin' at the fair for over a decade, is produced by the Elvis Extravaganza Fan Club, which organizer Jamie Coyne describes as the largest Presley fan club in the world. The Elvis Extravaganza was founded in 1989 to fill a vacuum for fans that never got a chance to see Presley when he was alive, and attracts hundreds of fans and participants. Contestants who receive 150 points or more during the competition will advance to the Elvis Extravaganza National Finals and Fan Convention, Feb. 14-16, 2014 in Tampa, Fla.
Black saw Presley perform on July 2, 1973 at the Myriad and was inspired by the King's powerful stage presence. When Black started his own performing career in the late 1970s, Presley was a key influence, but he did not start performing tribute shows until the late 1980s, when a club owner asked Black to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Presley's death. Black soon discovered that his impersonation was a hot ticket.
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