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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • A king in the making: Elvis Presley impersonator Ken Roberts shares his story

  • The year is 1975. A little boy dances and sings along with boundless energy to his mother’s records. Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Waylon Jennings and Mr. Johnny Cash come alive in front of the oversized living room mirror as a young boy’s dreams transpire.
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  • The year is 1975. A little boy dances and sings along with boundless energy to his mother’s records. Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Waylon Jennings and Mr. Johnny Cash come alive in front of the oversized living room mirror as a young boy’s dreams transpire.
    With the inspiration of both his mother and father and a strong desire to entertain people, Ken Roberts transforms himself into the star performers he so looks up to.
    Originally from Sacramento, Calif., Ken idolized bands like the Oak Ridge Boys, the Statler Brothers and gospel groups as he fantasized about performing in a group of his own.
    Ken satisfies his thirst for music by playing in bands throughout elementary and high school, his first band being the Ramblers who took first place at the county fair in Orange Vale, Calif., during the summer of 1981.
    His interest in singing bass with a quartet comes to pass at the age of 9 with Ken leading his a cappella church congregation. Ken’s instrumental father Gordon also sang with the church and was a talented accordionist and guitarist.
    By age 12 Ken realizes his true passion for entertaining and touching people’s lives with music and he is performing at church parties.
    His first performance opens with “Blue Suede Shoes” which fuels the fire within him to perform for people. However, Ken will not emerge in full impersonation of “The King” until 1988 at a Christmas breakfast in Livermore, Calif.
    An inspirational turning point takes place for Ken in Germany during his 1999 performance to an audience of nearly 150 Elvis Presley fans. The adoring crowd gives a standing ovation and demands an encore of the song “My Way.”
    Exhilarated and moved, Ken aspires to sing more and to delve deeper into music and performing as more than a hobby. It is to become his life’s calling. Although the largest audience gathers for Ken in Camp Red Cloud, Korea, and includes 2,500 soldiers, it is the smaller more intimate venues that hold a very personal and very special place in his heart.
    You can find Ken entertaining in various independent and assisted living facilities and church gatherings, at fairs, fundraisers, class reunions, birthday parties, anniversary parties and wedding receptions.
    Presently living in Rolla, Ken also sings bass for the non-profit a cappella group Master’s Praise at Rolla based church gatherings on Sundays.
    Ken Roberts’ love for music has evolved into much more than his drive for performance and entertainment into a love for people and a devotion to making them smile.
    His energy is abundant and a glimmer touches his eyes when he talks about entertaining those who are fighting illness or missing their families.
    Page 2 of 2 - Ken shares this about his audiences, “I am not afraid to reach out and interact with the audience. It’s a great feeling to make them feel special and cared for.”
    Once told that his visits not only brighten up those fortunate enough to be in his audience, but his caring way of including and making them feel important has a great positive as well as lasting effect on their moods.
    During a YMCA fundraiser in 2003 for the NCO Club in Fort Leonard Wood, Ken won the first place prize with his performance. In 2005 Ken took second place in Camp Casey, Korea, following a competition formerly named Military Idol now Operation Rising Star.
    He also placed in the Branson Elvis Tribute Artist Competition during 2011. Accordingly, his heartfelt performances do not go unnoticed.
    Ken is now retired from 20 years of service with the U.S. Army. Upon his retirement in 2009 he began pursuing music part time while working as a private contractor in Fort Leonard Wood.
    The spring of 2012 brought Ken to where he is now and where he loves to be and that is pursuing music full time.
    With a heart for serving others in such a warm, selfless and energetic way Ken has surely come full circle to that young man who had a simple passion for music and for bringing joy to others.
    Ken Roberts can be contacted by phone at 573-528-2045, email at goarmyken@yahoo.com or on his website at www.GoArmyKen.com.    
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