LEWISTON – The best bet for a Twin Cities Elvis sighting is the Ramada Conference Center on Saturday, April 19.

That’s when one of the nation’s top-rated Elvis impersonators will be seen in two concert appearances. It’s a three-hour show, the first beginning at 1 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.

This Elvis Presley Tribute Show features Roy LeBlanc, who hails from Ontario, Canada. LeBlanc has been doing his take on “The King” for 11 years, and he says it all began at an evening of karaoke entertainment in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I took a microphone and sang an Elvis song,” he said. “A couple who were getting married heard it and asked me to sing at their wedding. Three weeks later, I was asked to do another wedding.”

From that point, it was one performance after another, and he began entering and winning competitions. That includes a 2003 Las Vegas World Championship and a grand champion title at the 2001 two-day Elvis Festival in Collingwood, Ontario.

The Las Vegas competitions can draw as many as 600 performers. LeBlanc said his success there “opened a lot of doors internationally.”

Through the years, LeBlanc has had opportunities to sing with some of the original back-up vocalists and instrumentalists who worked with Elvis. Those include the Jordanaires, the Sweet Inspirations and D.J. Fontana, who played drums for Elvis in the early years.

LeBlanc said some dyed-in-the-wool fans of Presley have seen his tribute show 10 times. He has sung for Elvis fans in England, Switzerland and Poland.

“My show is a respectful tribute to Elvis,” LeBlanc said. “It’s not a re-creation of a single concert. I try to cover his entire life.”

He said Elvis was always unpredictable on stage, and he tries to keep his shows spontaneous and fan-oriented.

“Of course, no one is going to do it better than the real guy,” he said.

LeBlanc said he is always delighted to see that Elvis Presley’s music continues to gain audiences of younger people. He noted that he was only 6 years old when Elvis died. Many of the people at his tribute shows are in their twenties, he said.

Besides the music of Elvis Presley, LeBlanc also will step into the shoes, the clothing and voices of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash at his Lewiston appearances.

A live band provides back-up for LeBlanc’s performances.

At other engagements, LeBlanc has also done tribute performances in the person of Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly. Recently, he added a gospel music show to his tribute repertoire.

The show at the Ramada will be presented by L-A Music Productions under the direction of Jeff St. Amand.

St. Amand said he handled the lighting and sound for a LeBlanc concert in Augusta a few months ago and was impressed enough to undertake promotion of a Twin Cities show on his own. He has been doing sound and lighting for area events for about 20 years, and he will be involved in staging this production, too.

“This guy is tremendous,” St. Amand said. “His show is just so unbelievable I decided I just had to bring him to Lewiston.”

Tickets are $20 per person. St. Amand said tickets are already selling steadily and that only a few tickets remain for the evening show. For more information, call L-A Music Productions at 783-0058.

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