Chattanooga Now Etowah brings award-winning Elvis back to town

Chattanooga Now Etowah brings award-winning Elvis back to town

January 6th, 2012 by Randall Higgins in Chattnow Music

Matt Cordell

Matt Cordell

IF YOU GO

What: Elvis Birthday Celebration by Matt Cordell.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Gem Theater, 700 S. Tennessee Ave., Etowah, Tenn.

Admission: $15 reserved; $12 general admission (buy online or when box office opens at 2 p.m. Saturday).

Phone: 423-618-0375.

Website: www.etowahtn.org.

ETOWAH, Tenn. -- Merchants here are turning to a well-known favorite to attract visitors from neighboring counties to shop, dine and be entertained Saturday.

Elvis.

Or more precisely, Matt Cordell, a national and world award-winning Elvis tribute artist.

Cordell has sold out the historic Gem Theater before, said Maxine Jones, secretary and event coordinator for the Merchants and Friends of Etowah Association.

Elvis Presley would have turned 77 on Sunday. So merchants here are sponsoring an Elvis Birthday Celebration.

"Everyone who has seen and heard Elvis tells me Matt is more like him in voice and performance than anyone," Jones said of the Chattanooga-based Cordell.

Cordell grew up watching one of the earliest Elvis artists performing and vowed he would do the same. The new year marks 21 years in his career.

He doesn't choose between the young Elvis or the later one.

"I'm such a big fan of the songs, I really don't get involved very much in the era,'' Cordell said. "A lot of the songs Elvis recorded in the '50s he recorded again in the '70s. But I am a big Vegas Elvis fan."

Elvis remains a favorite, Cordell said, because the music is timeless.

Cordell was named "World's Greatest Elvis'' in 2004 during a contest by Elvis Presley Entertainment. He finished in fourth place this year.

Some Elvis performers try to become Elvis, Cordell said."When I'm not onstage, I'm just Matt," he said.

The portion of money the merchants make from the concert goes to various community projects, Jones said. In the past Gem Theater concerts have raised money for restoring the historic theater; provided savings bonds to participants in local school events; and helped merchant families when they have suffered loss from fires and other tragedies.