Elvis impersonator shares A Big Hunk O'Love at nursing homes in Saint John

The King is back — only this time he's traded the concert stage for nursing homes in Saint John. 

Alan England has been a volunteer Elvis Presley impersonator for seven years.

And he only performs for seniors. 

"Seniors are the best Elvis fans," said the Saint John singer whose day job is in the printer business.

The 53-year-old performs about a dozen shows a year, with some performances attracting up to 200 seniors.

"I have a soft spot for seniors," he said. "They're the real heroes in my books."

England grew up listening to Elvis Presley but didn't develop a passion for the king of rock 'n' roll until about 15 years ago, when he started watching Elvis tribute artists.

Don't be cruel 

And that, he decided, was something he wanted to try. So he bought an outfit and started practising his singing and dance moves at home. He also spent countless hours watching Elvis tribute artists on YouTube.

"You have to watch. You have to get a feeling for it if you want to do that for people," he said. "It makes it more believable."

England's 19-year-old daughter, Danielle, follows him to all of his shows. Although his wife, Lison, is supportive, she's not the biggest Elvis fan.

"You won't find an Elvis CD in her car," he said. 

A special performance

England landed his first gig about seven years ago. It was a small performance for a man living at a hospice in Saint John. 

"He was always an Elvis artist fanatic but had never seen one," he said. 


The man died about a week later and England gave the family his Elvis cape.

"Just to give them that little performance was quite something for them," England said. "And it was special for me to do something like that."

Bringing back memories

Many of the seniors England performs for saw seen Elvis in concert before he died in 1977.

England's shows bring a little bit of entertainment and allow seniors to share their stories from years ago.

And he's happy to listen.

"They say music stimulates the memory in seniors, and I can tell that it does because they're always singing along with me ... you know it's making them feel good."

England's performances also draw from Johnny Cash, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.

"I'm an old soul," he said.

England said Elvis appealed to a large group of people, and England is hoping he can too. 

"He's hard to forget."