“One Night of Elvis by Lee Memphis King” at the Queen’s Hall tonight was simply what it promised on the posters, flyers and title of the show. Lee is an “Elvis impersonator” on stage by his own self admission to the audience early on in the show, but he is much more than just that. There is a genuine love for Elvis and his music in everything that Lee performs on stage and the show is a real tribute to the memory of Elvis as Lee is committed to giving his audience as close as possible the sound, visuals and mannerisms of Elvis on stage.
Tonight’s show is split into two halves. The first half covers the iconic 1968 television comeback show that reminded a whole world that Elvis was “still in the building”. The second half of the show covers the Vegas live show years.
Like Lee, I have an admission to make here. I have collected vinyl records for a long time and at one time or another have had many of the original recordings of Elvis, so I was pleasantly surprised tonight at just how well Lee has reproduced those sounds.
Lee spent nearly all of the first half of the concert dressed in the iconic black leather outfit for the NBC TV special and gave us some great renditions of classics such as “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” and “Hound Dog”. A quick change for the last song of the first half into the iconic white suit gave us an amazing cover of “If I can Dream”. I am sitting here with the original vinyl album for the 1968 NBC TV soundtrack as I write this review and for a little while tonight Lee brought that show back to life on stage.
The second half was a big surprise to me, as for me much of the best recording work of Elvis was done before he went into the army. There are some classics from this period and I had forgotten just how many there were, so I need to rethink my views on the “Elvis Vegas years”. Lee did a great version of one of my favourites from this period “In The Ghetto”, but there are just so many more that he sang tonight... “Suspicious Minds” and “The Wonder of You” just to name a few. We were also given an obviously emotional cover by Lee of one of the last songs that Elvis recorded (and posthumous UK No 1) “Way Down”. It was also nice to hear songs such as “Memories” giving an outing tonight too. The second half was of course done in a blue rhinestone studded outfit and complete with many of the karate style movements and stretches that Elvis was putting into the shows at that time.
To be a good Elvis impersonator you have to be able to sing pretty much everything, as Elvis recorded such a huge range of music in his career. Elvis was a singer who grew up with Bluegrass, country and gospel sounds infused into him. What he did that no one else had done before was blend all those sounds into a new musical form. Lee, fortunately for an audience, has the vocal range to cover all of these styles.
This is a “Show” though on stage, and Lee had a lot of people on stage with him tonight. There were ten people with Lee recreating that “authentic” Elvis sound, and he has put together a great team of talented singers and musicians to do this.
The really nice thing about Lee on stage was his warmth and humour with the audience. We even got a little snippet of “Billy Connolly does Elvis”. Yes, Lee is an Elvis tribute act, but he is clever enough not to think that he is Elvis. This is a tribute from the heart to Elvis and his songs while at the same time leaving more than enough of Lee Memphis King as a performer himself on stage.
Lee is back in Edinburgh in January 2016 at the Playhouse Theatre, and I would be happy to go and see his show again...not just to see and hear him doing some great Elvis songs, but to see him as the performer he is in his own right.
If you want more information on Lee and his shows, more information is available from his website at
Review by Tom King