Four decades after the death of Elvis Presley (16 August 2017 is the 40th anniversary), fans still meet regularly on Tyneside to celebrate his life and enjoy his music.
Jim Mann (President) and Ray Horsley (Treasurer) of Elvis in Newcastle
The dedicated group, called Elvis in Newcastle, brings together enthusiasts from across the region to dance, share news and enjoy a voice that has captivated generations.
Club President, Jim Mann from Wrekenton, Gateshead, has been running Elvis fan clubs since 1999 and this year decided to use the regular get-togethers to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Jim says: “When I was growing up, we always had good music playing at home. My mam liked Elvis and, even though I was only six at the time, I can remember my dad telling her when Elvis had died.
“He just has a voice you can’t ignore. My cousin played I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell when I was about 10-years-old and that was it for me. After hearing that one record, I loved rock and roll. My next birthday, all I wanted was Elvis records.
“Elvis crosses generations. People of all ages appreciate him and that’s one of the many reasons why he’s so special.”
Elvis in Newcastle is officially registered with Graceland as an independent Elvis fan club and works with the travel company, Strictly Elvis.
Given the significance of this week, the group are getting together on Thursday night (17th August) at the Springbank Social Club off the West Road in Newcastle and again on Saturday night (19th August) at the Gateshead Railway Club.
Jim adds: “We’d encourage anyone to come along and enjoy some wonderful music and to help us raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
“We wanted to do something special this year. My mam died from cancer and it’s something that affects too many people so it felt right to support a cancer charity. With our members coming from across the region, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation felt like the perfect choice.
“We’ve been raising money all year with raffles, domino cards and we also charge an entry fee of 50p, which also goes to the charity.
“Our club’s been going for a long time and we have people who come regularly from across the region. There’s a great, friendly atmosphere and anyone new will feel very welcome.
“It’s not about being an Elvis expert, we just enjoy his music and it’s great getting together with like-minded people.”
Liz Luff, from the Foundation, says: “We’re grateful to Jim and all the Elvis in Newcastle members for their wonderful support this year.
“I can completely understand their love for Elvis and this is a fantastic way to remember him and to mark such a significant date.”
The next Elvis in Newcastle get-togethers are:
• Thursday 17th August at the Springbank Club in Newcastle – 7pm start/50p entry
• Saturday 19th August at the Gateshead Railway Club – 7pm start/50p entry
For more information, please call Jim Mann on 0750 508 3899.