WHATSON Jul 31, 2017 12:00 Collingwood Connection
Gordon Hendricks of Stoke, England, was named the Collingwood Elvis Festival professional concert years champion in front of 4000 fans for a second time beating 100 other ETA competitors to the title, and will be the town's 2017 representative at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest in Memphis.
The British tribute artist has captured the top title at the Collingwood Elvis Festival, the World’s biggest and oldest ELVIS Festival, for a second time and is the only artiste to ever win it TWICE.
Professional concert year’s competitor Gordon Hendricks won the Grand Champion title and will be the festival’s representative at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Contest in Memphis during Elvis Week, Aug. 11 through 19.
“It’s an honour,” Hendricks said. “I came with an open mind, and to win twice, it’s very special to me.”
Collingwood Elvis Festival is the largest in the World and during its 23 year history it has always attracted 25000 plus visitors to the town.
Hendricks was also the professional concert years winner in 2014 on the competitions 20th Anniversary which was the first ever attended by Priscilla Presley. However, as he had already qualified for that year’s Ultimate Elvis competition, the professional early years winner Cliff Wright represented Collingwood at The Ultimate; that left it open for Hendricks to compete at Collingwood again.
Hendricks, a native of Staffordshire, England, has been performing his Elvis tribute act for the last 18 years.
“I grew up in a family of mad Elvis fans, and a lot of females, so they were crazy on Elvis,” said Hendricks. “Basically it was drummed into me from day one. When you’re a child it’s like you’re like a sponge, you just take it in, but then I started singing when I was four or five years old… it just kind of happened.
“It started off that I would go out to a bar, and they’d ask to go and sing — I never took it seriously but my friends would say to me, ‘Just go and do it for a bit of a joke’. It was my party piece.”
In 2005, he won a talent search show on British television, “Stars In Their Eyes”.
“I won in a national vote, and that kind of kicked off my career,” he said. “I’ve been working with a band ever since.
Gordon’s ELVIS shows fill theatres throughout the UK and following his appearance in Collingwood last weekend he performs on Sunday 6th August at Cromer Hall, Norfolk with the 45 piece British Symphony Orchestra and then on Tuesday he flies to Norway to star in Norway’s only annual Elvis Festival before then continuing to Memphis to appear in the Ultimate Competition in Norway.