Top Elvis impersonator set for March 28 show in Broaddus

Jesse Aron grew up a shy boy, always hiding from the spotlight, but in the safety of his own Chicago home he loved to practice with his parents' oldies rock and roll band. He soon fell in love with the music of rock and roll king Elvis Presley and began imitating him during practice.

But when others began noticing the eerie similarities in Aron's voice and Presley's and suggested he try competing in Elvis Presley competitions, Aron refused, too shy to ever get up in front of an audience and sing. For years, the young man with a voice nearly identical to the most famous rock and roll singer of all time, worked everyday jobs in factories and warehouses, trying to remain the average guy.

Jesse Aron, an award winning Elvis Presley impersonator, will perform at the East Texas Jamboree March 28 in Broaddus.

It wasn't until 1998 when Aron began performing and sharing his musical gift with others. During his off-season, Aron would perform and slowly began to overcome his shyness and grow to love performing. Then, one day in 2004, his boss called telling him he needed to be back at work right away.

"I told them I was going to quit and do it full-time and wouldn't be back," Aron said.

His respect and admiration for Elvis Presley led him to put all his heart into his impersonation, winning him several awards and making him well known as one of the best Elvis impersonators in the country. However, Aron remains humble and says he really doesn't have anything in common with Elvis, even though Elvis himself started out a very shy young man who often got made fun of in school.

"I just get to step in his shoes for an hour or two a night," Aron said. "I love what the music does to the fans and how it brings them joy and makes them happy. I never saw anyone come across as sincere and heartfelt as he did. He put a lot of emotion and personal feeling in to what he was doing, and you don't see that in a lot of people anymore."

Aron said one of the most touching moments in his career came during a competition in Ohio. Several friends of Elvis attended, including his road manager and a backup singer. Aron sang the gospel hymn "How Great Thou Art" and as he walked off stage he received a standing ovation from all of Elvis' inner circle in the audience.

If that wasn't enough to bring a smile to Aron's face, while waiting for the judges to announce the winner one of Elvis' friends came up to Aron and told him, "Don't worry Jesse. You've got this one in the bag."

"I came in second," Aron said. "They all stood up and they were booing and angry. I didn't even care that I didn't win. It made me feel like I'd won, no matter what place I came in. That was something I'll never forget as long as I live."

Aron will perform at the East Texas Jamboree at 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, in Broaddus. Tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets call Steve Fountain at 1-832-623-4812.