A standing room only crowd welcomed the King as portrayed by tribute artist Johnny M. for his birthday concert at the Summit Hill Heritage Center on Sunday afternoon during a free concert to thank members and patrons of the center for their support.
"We are extremely pleased with the turnout for the afternoon activities and everyone seemed to enjoy the concert," said President Debra Ranck. She said earlier in the afternoon the festivities began with a ribbon cutting prior to the free concert which was underwritten by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. Almost one hundred people attended "Club St. Paul" which was a lounge setting in the multipurpose rooms of the center.
Johnny M. is an award winning tribute artist who has successfully portrayed Elvis Presley for over 30 years and has appeared at the Center twice before to full houses. He won the Ultimate Elvis Award for Best Voice in 1989 from a panel of judges that included Presley's widow Priscilla. He has portrayed him throughout the United States on screen and on stage and appears with "The Mainstreet Cruisers" and the Las Vegas group "Top Legends".
He performed two sets on Sunday, one based on the 1968 comeback special and the second based on the final 1977 concert. The concert included familiar favorites including "Heartbreak Hotel", "All Shook Up", "Suspicious Minds" and "Love Me, Tender" during the two hours plus of music. O special number was the Irish ballad "Danny Boy" which was dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting last month in Connecticut. After the concert, Johnny M. greeted the fans and signed autographs as well as posed for pictures.
Johnny M. also helped to dedicate the ramp before the concert and was present at the access ramp's ribbon cutting. He said this was his first concert of the season and he was glad to return once again to the Heritage Center. "They are a good group of volunteers and I feel privileged to be able to work with them and lend a hand," he said.