Indian Lake Pub to host Elvis impersonator for New Year’s Eve show

DOWAGIAC — The ghost of Elvis Presley will not be visiting Dowagiac next week.

However, a man, donning Presley’s trademark slicked-back hair and leather jumpsuit, will take the stage at a local business to pay tribute to the king of rock and roll himself.

Indian Lake Pub, 55986 Indian Lake Road, Dowagiac, will host a performance by Tim Dudley, a professional Elvis Presley impersonator, for its New Year’s Eve party. Dudley will take the stage from 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Dudley, 34, of South Bend, has been an Elvis Presley impersonator for 15 years, but his love for “the King” started long before then. Dudley grew up listening to his mother and grandparents playing Presley’s music over the radio and watching Presley’s movies.

“His music just helps you through the good and the bad times,” Dudley said. “There is just something about him that touches everyone.”

Though he never expected himself to make a living off of dying his hair, squeezing into jumpsuits and mimicking Presley’s voice, all it took was one karaoke performance of “All Shook Up” to get Dudley hooked on performing. Now, he said he considers it an honor to be an Elvis impersonator.

“When I’m on stage, and when I get to meet other people who love his music, I kind of get to know what he was like,” Dudley said. “It’s big shoes to fill … but I have the opportunity to show Elvis to some younger people who might not know about him. If I can get one young person to like [Presley’s] music, I have done my job.”

After 15 years in the business, Dudley has sung every line to hits like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” more times than he can count. However, for his performance on Dec. 31, he said he wanted to challenge himself. For the first time, Dudley will be recreating Presley’s 1976 New Year’s Eve Show, from the songs to the dancing to even a near-exact replica of the jumpsuit Presley wore during that performance.

Followers of Presley regard the 1976 performance as iconic, Dudley said, adding that he is excited to perform it for the first time in Dowagiac.

“I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will be really neat to recreate that concert,” he said. “I’m just hoping and praying that I will hit the notes perfectly.”

Dudley said he hopes people will turn out for the concert, saying it will be a family-friendly way to ring in the new year.

“It will be a wholesome, fun night,” he said. “I would love for people to come and to meet them and fellowship with them.”

To reserve a table or seat for the event, call (269) 782-3151.

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