WEST PITTSTON — Shawn Klush isn’t the only Elvis tribute artist in the area, as he recenty learned there are others with the talent to potentially one day carry the mantle.
Klush, of Pittston, attended an end-of-the-year concert by third-grade students at the Wyoming Area Primary Center in which they performed songs of the 1950s, including three Elvis songs.
There were 147 students in the show, including three who did their own impressions of Elvis — Simon Pollard, Leo Nockley and Gabe Keezer.
Music teacher Narda Sperrazza selected the boys based on their looks, dancing and singing skills.
All the students spent weeks learning about music of the 1950s and Elvis Presley.
“The kids really enjoyed learning about Elvis,” Sperrazza said. “I showed them YouTube clips on him and they had fun trying to get the hip movements and knee movements in the dancing.”
Of course, no show including Elvis songs would be complete without the man who pays tribute to him for a living — Shawn Klush.
Simon Pollard’s mom Lisa said her son has been an Elvis fan since he was 5 years old. He is also a huge Klush fan and wanted him to be there.
“We have seen Shawn in concert three times and he really is a sensational performer,” Lisa said. In Simon’s 8-year-old mind, he says to me, ‘I like going to see Shawn Klush so maybe he will like to come and see me.’ I explained to him that Shawn is an international celebrity that sells out arenas. I laughed it off for a while and then, the night before the show, Simon was still asking. So I thought, Shawn started when he was a kid so what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. Through some friends, I narrowed down his (local) house and sent a very nervous Simon to the door. He handed Shawn a paper with the information on it and Shawn politely said, ‘Thank you. I’ll have to see what’s going on.’”
Sure enough, Klush accepted the invitation and was in attendance for the show.
Word spread quickly about his arrival, and Sperrazza wanted to create a moment that would last forever in the minds of her students.
“I spoke to him before hand if he could perform in the end,” she said. “He sang ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and I had a little live combo of the bass guitar, piano player and drummer. He went up and sang with the kids. I asked if he could sing ‘Jailhouse Rock’ because (the kids) knew that song, and the kids who were dressed up as Elvis sang with him.”
Klush sang with all the students and shared the microphone with Simon, Leo and Gabe as the three of them showed off their best Elvis vocals and dance impersonations.
Afterward, he stayed, talked, and took pictures with the kids and families,” Lisa said. “This was a moment that I know will sit in their hearts for all of their life.”
Klush was unavailable for comment on this story as he is currently performing out of the country.