20 YEARS AND COUNTING...

It's hard to believe on May 24th it will be twenty years since I performed my first paid performance.  My how far we have come.  My then boss, Keith Hanson hired me to perform as Elvis at his class reunion for North Side High School.  It was held in the ball room at Don Hall's Guesthouse.  I had no sound system or lighting at the time, so I rented a sound system from a local guy.  Turns out it was the Allman Brothers former sound system.  It was way more than we needed.  The sound board was huge and looked like the cockpit of a jetliner.  I asked my brother-in-law Bob, if he would run my sound.  Hey he's an electrician, so how hard could it be right? We rented a spotlight, which again was way bigger than what we needed and put out a ton of heat.  My sister Melody was a big Elvis fan and knew the songs and Elvis' moves that I would be trying to emulate, so I thought she was the person for the job.  I think she sweated a few pounds off and got a suntan by the end of the night.  My backup music I sang with was on cassette tape then and that brought it's own problems.  Back then I only had two costumes that Melody and myself made.  I thought we did pretty good considering we had never tackled any thing like that.  My Mom made me some scarves to pass out.  My Dad helped organize the set up and my wife Dawn helped pass out scarves.  Considering how green we all were at this, it's a wonder my career whet anywhere.  But we must have done alright. My first public show came on November 9, 1997 again at Don Hall's Guesthouse.

Here we are twenty years later and still performing. My Dad has been by my side ever since.  Bob still runs sound when we do the occasional big shows, and Melody is still running the spotlight at those shows.  We don't make my costumes anymore. After several years of success I was then able to purchase custom made Elvis costumes. Of course we have grown and expanded over the past twenty years.  Adding more lighting, sound systems and a trailer to transport it all.  We added live drums to the show in 2000 after seeing an Elvis tribute in Branson, Missouri, sing to tracks but with live drums.  I thought it added so much, so Eric Stillabower joined the show for a few years, and then Dave Schnellbach came on board not only as a drummer he also sang harmony with me on several songs.  Dave helped me out of a jam and was going to do a few gigs until I found someone else.  Well he is still with me on my big concerts. 

Also in 2000, at the urging of fan Peggy Mathews, we started the "Memories of The King-Fan Club", Rose Gerardot was the President and what a great job she did helping out at the Fan Club table at shows, mailing out news letters, birthday cards, and keeping track of membership dues, and the list goes on.  At one time we had well over 100 members.  We took two Fan Club bus trips to Tupelo, MS and Memphis, TN and toured Elvis' birthplace and Graceland home, along with many other Elvis locals at both of Elvis' home towns. We also took groups on our two "Memories of The King Cruises" as I performed on two Carnival cruise ships in the Caribbean in 2011 and 2013.

From 2001 - 2013 we were part of the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre's summer concert series. Those were a lot of work, but boy how rewarding.  We had as many as 1,400 in attendance. I was able to perform shows I had always wanted including recreations of Elvis' Fort Wayne concerts as well as hi famous "Aloh From Hawaii" concert.

In 2014 I made a big leap and started my tribute to Neil Diamond.  It was met with some skepticism from some of my long time fans, but I have and continue to enjoy performing Neil's songs.  I also added Jamie Klein to sing with me in 2014.  Jamie and I had known each other along time and have sung together on the praise team at North Highlands Church of Christ since 2010. I wanted to perform some of Neil's duets, so I asked her to join my Neil Diamond shows, and she said yes.  She was such a hit and asset to the show, I started to include her in my Elvis shows too, singing backup, opening for the show and singing some duets that Elvis did. Jamie was so good, I thought there has to be a way to include her more so everyone can enjoy her beautiful voice.  So in 2015 we came up with "King & Country." This is as much her show as it is mine.  I can't express how much I have enjoyed this new show.  I don't have to be "ON" all the time by sharing the spotlight with Jamie.  These shows are more casual and less stress than my other two shows.

So hear it's 2017 and I'm still dressing up in crazy costumes and making a fool of myself and people pay me money to do it!  What a gig!  I still love performing all of my shows as much as I did back in 1997. There are so many people I have a debt of gratitude to.  So here is the short list: Dad, Mom, Dawn, Melody, Bob, Elaine, Eric, Dave, Lisa, Jamie, Keith, Rose, Marion, Peggy, Ruby, Tom, Sandy, Mitzi, Marilyn, Wanda, Evelyn, Shirley, Donna, Jo, Sharon, Diana, Ron, Dave W., Brandon, Kendra and the list of fans and supporters is too long to name them all.  So many of you have encouraged me, paid lots of money over the years to go to concerts, bus trips, cruises, got me gigs, written to venues thanking them for booking me and more. At times it may seem like a one man show, but even if you only see me up on stage it took a whole lotta people to get me there.  Of course if it wasn't for the one and only Elvis Presley, non of this would have happened.  God has surely blessed me over these last twenty years. My debt will always be to Him.  We have a lot of shows lined up for this milestone year and hope to have more.  Come join me and celebrate what we all have accomplished.

TCB & TLC,
Brent

Always Expanding, Always Improving...

My shows have been expanding, adapting and hopefully improving since I started my Elvis (Memories of The King) tribute in 1997.  I have added sound and lighting equipment through the years. I added a drummer.  First Eric, and later Dave (who also sings backup).  I added a Neil Diamond tribute show (Diamond: A Solitary Tribute) in 2014.  Then added vocalist Jamie Klein to my Neil Diamond show, so I could sing those great duets that Neil is known for.  Jamie also sang backup on the other songs.  Jamie then started singing with my Elvis shows too.  Not only backup, but duets from Elvis' movies, songs Lisa Marie Presley has recorded and added her vocals to her fathers, and duet versions of Elvis songs form the Cirque du Soleil show "Viva Elvis".  Jamie also started opening for my Elvis & Neil shows with a song or two.  This has led to the next chapter in what I now call "Memories of The King Entertainment".  We added a third show in October of 2015 called "Brent Cooper & Jamie Klein: King & Country".  I really wanted to showcase Jamie's beautiful voice more that what she was doing for my tribute shows.  This new show is as much her show as it is mine.  We share the stage alternating between my Elvis & Neil songs, and her mostly contemporary country songs by such artists as Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and others.  She also performs some classic country songs by Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn and others.  I'm event branching outside my comfort zone and doing songs by other artists and learning new Elvis & Neil country songs.  Of course the Neil and Elvis duets are there as well as others.  We have been performing this new show regularly at Don Hall's Triangle Park and have been packing the house each time.  We also have never performed the same show twice.  Jamie and I are constantly adding new songs.  We usually do three hour shows, and we have a hard time limiting our song selection.  So much great music, so little time.

We thank you the fans for going on this journey with us and adapting right along.  I realize some of you are die hard Elvis fans and like only the King and his music.  Maybe some of you are Neil Diamond fans and prefer "Sweet Caroline" over "Suspicious Minds".  Some of you might not like this new variety show that we are doing.  The good news is I still perform all three of these shows, depending on what each venue wants to book.  I hope you give each of my shows a chance.  I think you will learn to love each one.  As a performer I have to keep things fresh, not only for you the audience, but for my own creativity and sanity.  I never want my shows to be stale or worn out.  Because of these changes, I'm enjoying performing as much now as the day I started. 

That's whys my shows are always expanding, Always improving...

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A NEW YEAR, A NEW WEBSITE

Since we have had this website since 2011 with very little changes, I thought it was time to upgrade and update with this totally new website.  Some things are the same but there are lots of improvements.  It will allow us to have more photo albums (more of which is to come), more videos,  and more information and maps to upcoming concerts.  We now have a "Media" page with videos and audio.  We will eventually have a place for you to comment again, but It will be a little different than before.  We also will have a "Merchandise" page so you can order CD's, Shirts, Photos and more.  Take some time to look around and let us know what you think.  I hope you are having a great 2015 so far and I hope to see you soon.

TCB & TLC,
Brent

A New Adventure!

I have been entertaining seventeen years (as of May 24, 2014) with my Elvis Presley tribute show “Memories of The King”.  I consider this venture a success, since I have venues booking me numerous times and I have wonderful fans that keep returning to see my shows. Now I'm adding another legend to my repertoire as I debut a brand new show in 2014.  “DIAMOND: A Solitary Tribute” will showcase the songs, charisma and those sequined shirts of legendary singer/songwriter Neil Diamond.  I will be performing songs from Diamond’s vast catalog of hits spanning from the 1960’s right up to today.  Neil Diamond is known for his huge sold out concerts and I will re-create that experience with the same high quality sound, lights, costumes and performance that I bring to my continuing Elvis tribute. My debute performace of “DIAMOND: A Solitary Tribute” will be at the 5th Annual “Pink Angels - Relay For Life” Benefit Concert in Van Wert, Ohio on March 29, 2014. I hope you come and check out my brand new show.  Even if you don't consider yourself a "Diamondhead" (what the millions of die hard Neil Diamond fans call themselves), I hope you come and see my show, and you may be surprised by all of the many hits Neil Diamond has recorded that you already know.

If interested in booking, I now offer three types of shows:
“Memories of The King” -  1 Hour or 2 Hour Elvis tribute
“DIAMOND: A Solitary Tribute” -  1 Hour Neil Diamond tribute
“The King of Diamonds” -  1st Hour Neil Diamond tribute, 2nd Hour Elvis tribute

 

Farewell to a Legend

On November 15th, we lost a legend in the Elvis world, the fashion world, in Memphis history and in my world. Bernard Lansky ("Mr. B" to many), passed away at his Memphis, TN home. He was 85. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease for the last few years. For those unfamiliar with him, he along with his brother Guy, opened Lansky Bros. on Beale St. in Memphis, in 1946 with $125 borrowed from their father. What started as an Army surplus store, soon found its niche catering to the local blues musicians who fancied loud flashy stylish clothes. This store grabbed the attention of a teenage Elvis Presley. Bernard would talk to young Elvis who would gaze through the store windows. Elvis told him "Mr. Lansky, someday I'm gonna buy your store." Bernard replied "Don't buy me out, just buy from me." That he did. As soon as Elvis started getting success, he started shopping at Lansky's. Bernard dressed Elvis for his Grand Ole Opry appearance. Also all his early TV appearances like "The Dorsey Brothers Show", "The Milton Berle Show", "The Steve Allen Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show". Elvis would continue to shop at Lansky's the rest of his life. Bernard even provided the suit Elvis was buried in. "I put him in his first suit and his last", he would say. Lanky's would later move to its current location at the Peabody Hotel, just a short walk from it's original location.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. B on many occasions, and would love talking to him and he would of course sell me clothes. He had the talent of selling you something when you only intended on looking. One visit to Memphis I called ahead and talked to his son Hal and had him hold their only pair of white leather shoes they had left, along with a belt. I showed up at the store the next morning as Bernard was just opening up. We couldn't find where Hal had left the shoes. Bernard said "Come with me!" He locked the store back up and away we went down the hall into their other store and into the back room to look for the allusive shoes. I remember along the way chatting with him, asking how he was and how he'd been feeling. He shot back "Fine! Don't I look good?!" He had a way with words. He had so many one liners he could make the most experienced comic jealous. The ones I remember are "just like a broken drum, it can't be beat!" and "it is what it is". I sometimes catch myself using them. We didn't find the shoes until he called Hal to see where he had put them.

One other time when we were at Lansky's on our Fan Club trip, the rest of our group went to close by Rendezvous for dinner. I was finish up my shopping spree, and someone from our group came to encourage me to hurry up because we had reservations. Mr. B quickly picked up the phone and called the restaurant manager and told him to hold on and that I was with him and said "I don't give a sh*t, he'll be there when he'll be there!" He was a very colorful character and everyone loved him for it.

I am so grateful of getting to meet him and know him a little. I sure will miss him. It was so cool to have the same man who helped Elvis pick out his clothes, do the same for me. We even named our Sheltie "Lansky" in honor of him. My prayers go out to his wife Joyce, son Hal, granddaughter Julie and the rest of the family. I have always worn my Lansky clothes with pride. Even more so now. Especially my white leather shoes.
- Brent Cooper

Looking Ahead

Hi Ya'll,

Lots of stuff coming up. I'm excited to return to Bearcreek Farms Nov. 3rd, with "The Forget You Never Elvis Fan Club" for another benefit concert. Last year I was part of the Elvis Tribute show that raised money for the Jay County flood victoms. This years concert will raise money for the American Cancer Society. This one is near and dear to my heart since I lost my Mother to cancer two years ago, and my dear MOTK Fan Club President Rose, is now battleing this desease. I know many of you have been affected by cancer in one way or another. I urge you to attend this concert for a great evening of entertainment, by three top Elvis Tribute Artists. Andrew Kern will perform the 50's era of Elvis, Curt Lechner will perform a tribute to Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special, and I will represent the 1970's Las Vegas era of Elvis' career. Please spread the word to your friends and family about this worthy event. Tickets are only $15.00 at door or you can get a deal by purchasing five or more tickets in advance for only $10.00 each by calling 765-348-0789.

Bearcreek Farms is offering $12.00 Buffet Meal Deal at the Bearcreek Farms Homestead Restaurant prior to the show, just for this event, but only if you make reservations through "The Forget You Never Elvis Fan Club". Call Rose 765-348-0789 or Donna 260-731-3765 for reservations.

As I mentioned above, our own Fan Club President Rose Gerardot if fighting cancer. She is very strong and determined to beat this. I'm asking you to join me in praying for Rose and her family daily. Because of what she is dealing with, we have suspended accepting new members to the fan club. Only current members in good standing, can renew their membership at this time. We also are putting our annual Fan Club Party on hold. If you are a current member, you will receive a private invitation, once we decied when to have it.

Christmas will be here before you know it. So, we are excited to return to Fort Wayne Turners for our annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 9th. This year's concert titled "Christmas Time In The City" is taken from the lyrics of the song "Silver Bells". We are preparing a concert to remember, so be sure to get your tickets for this event. Showtime is 3:00pm - 5:30pm, and tickets are only $10.00 each. Turners has great food and lunch will be available to purchase prior to the show. For tickets and more info call: 260-471-8876

I am really looking forward to our 2nd "Memories of The King-Cruise" May 12-19, 2013 on Carnival Valor. This may be our last "official" cruise, so don't miss this chance of a lifetime for a vacation of a lifetime. Ask anyone who went on our 2011 Cruise about their expierience. This time we are going to the Southern Caribbean. I will perform at a private reception just for you as well as a public performance for the entire ship. You will also receive an exclusive "Memories of The King-Cruise" T-shirt. But, you MUST book this thru Arlene Waters at Travel Leaders to get this deal. Visit our MOTK 2013 Cruise page for more info and call Arlene at 260-434-6615. She would be happy to answer any questions.

I encourge you to leave comments here on our website on the Fan Guestbook page. I would love to hear from you.

Take care and God bless,

Brent

SPRING IS HERE!!!

Hi Ya'll,
 
I hope this finds you well and enjoying this beautiful Spring!  I want to remind everyone of our big show in Van Wert, OH with Tim Hair on March 31st.  Tickets are still available.  Call 419-513-0334 to get your tickets!

 
Tickets for another big show are on sale now, and that is Foellinger Theatre on Aug. 25th.  Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased at the Fort Wayne Parks Dept. or by phone at 260-427-6000 or online at : www.fortwayneparks.org.
Speaking of Foellinger, Paster Russ Dual with Trinity Lutheran Church, who presents "Worship In The Park" on Summer Sunday mornings at the Foellinger Theatre has asked me to be part of their Worship Service at Foellinger on June 15th.  I would love to see you there.  Of course you are always welcome to Worship with me on any other Sunday morning at North Highlands Church of Christ.

 
We are now on TWITTER! You can follow us by going to: https://twitter.com/#!/BrentCooperMOTK or by searching for "BrentCooperMOTK".  But the easiest way is to  go to our home page of this website and click on the link to both FACEBOOK and TWITTER there.  Yes, we are also on FACEBOOK, if you didn't already know.  Some of you are my friends on Facebook, but did you know there is also a "Memories of The King" page on Facebook.  Go to this link to like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Memories-of-The-King/171509269683

 
That's it for now.  I hope to see you all in Van Wert, and be sure to check back here, Facebook and Twitter!
 
Thanks & God bless,

Brent

Happy 2012

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  My family and I enjoyed the season celebrating the birth of Christ.  I'm looking forward to a new year in which we will celebrate our 15th year paying tribute to Elvis Presley and his music.  It's really hard to believe it's been that long.  Thanks to so many of you that have been here for most of the last fifteen years, making it all possible.  Below is our new 15th Anniversary logo, that you will be seeing a lot this next year.  Have a safe and Happy New Year and I hope to see you many times in the next year.

God Bless & Happy New Year,

Brent

Brent's Blog - Steve Jobs

As you have no doubt heard by now, the world has lost Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs.  Why am I blogging about him and what does he have to do with my Elvis trlibute show.  Well, plenty actually.  I use many Apple products that Steve Jobs helped create in many aspects of my shows.  I design all my advertising (flyers, show schedules, business cards, set lists, etc.) on an Apple iMac.  The digital music I sing to is stored and shows planned out in iTunes on an iMac.  We often use an Apple iPod to play the music I sing to through my sound system.  I do most of my business (calls, emails, texting, etc.) on my Apple iPhone.  This very website was designed on an iMac.  My previous website was designed on an iMac using Apple iWeb software and published online by Apple.

So you see without Steve Jobs and his incredible technological breakthroughs and products, my shows would not be what they are today.  My job would be a whole lot more difficult and time consuming.

Thank you Mr. Jobs.  You will be missed.  May God bless and compfort your family and friends.