Jim Barone Performs ‘With Love From Elvis’ Feb. 9

Jim Barone, an award-winning Elvis tribute artist, performs “With Love from Elvis”on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. at the Wright Memorial Presbyterian Church in Barnegat Township.

Barone said the program features a mix of well-known and not so-well-known Elvis ballads and love songs. The big hits include “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “It’s Now or Never” and “The Wonder of You.”

“But he sang some beautiful songs from the movies, which you didn’t hear on the radio,” said Barone. “He did a movie, ‘Spinout,’ which featured ‘All That I Am’ and ‘Am I Ready.’ And from ‘Clambake,’ he did a great song, ‘You Don’t Know Me,’ which many artists have covered.”

Barone said he would also add a few gospel songs, noting that the only Grammy Elvis ever won was for a gospel album, How Great Thou Art. Refreshments will be served after the concert.

A Hunterdon County resident, Barone has been performing Elvis songs for more than 30 years.

“I got interested when I was in junior high school,” he said. “For a while, it was mostly a hobby. I once was a union electrician,but then I started getting so many gigs, it became a full-time job.”

His website says, “Jim’s tribute spans the Presley catalog keeping true to the sound, passion, and style that encompassed Elvis as an entertainer. The result is a natural performance, without cliché, that embodies the soulful sensuality, the playful swagger, the humor, and the complete command of the audience.”

Aside from performing, he has also won his share of Elvis Tribute Artist competitions. Barone was the “Best Elvis in New Jersey” winner for four straight years from 1993 to 1996. In 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 he became one of 25 semifinalists competing in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist in Memphis, whose entrants qualify by scoring big in preliminary rounds. In 2009, for example, he won prelim contests in both Atlantic City and New England.

Tickets are $15 each and are available by leaving a message at 609-698-3358 or by emailing Kathy Manka at mankwom@aol.com.

-E.E.

Reposted from The Sandpaper, Jan. 29, 2020