Bruce Borders

Bruce Borders

Doing an impression of Elvis Presley since his teenage years, Indiana State Representative Bruce Borders (R) long ago mastered the craft of shaking his legs, swiveling his hips and curling his lip while faithfully belting out the King's songs.

Borders has recorded albums and toured internationally, sporting rhinestone jumpsuits created by the same people who made the bedazzled stage clothes for Elvis himself. He'll be in the Region tonight "representing" the legacy of Presley with a 7 p.m. concert at The Art Theatre (230 Main St.) in Hobart. The event is a rockin' fundraiser for the Hobart Republican Party.

"I have my own band for most shows, but for this one, I'll be singing live to pre-recorded tracks," he said. Tickets: $25. More: 219-942-0376 or bruceborders.com.

Borders has appeared on a variety of television shows and has been a guest on top talk shows and news programs. He frequently performs in tropical vacation spots like The Virgin Islands, where many years ago he met and befriended legendary rock 'n' roll DJ Wolfman Jack. "Wolf and I got to be very close friends over the years and worked together often," he said. "I sometimes share a story or two about working with him in my show."

Just as the real Elvis came to be hailed "The King of Rock 'N' Roll," the media christened Borders as "The Mayor of Rock 'N' Roll," because he was the only known ETA (Elvis Tribute Artist) to balance a professional performance life with a political one. Borders was the Mayor for the Hoosier hamlet of Jasonville, located about 30 miles from Terre Haute, where he served from 1987 to 1995, later becoming a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from the 45th District in 2004, where he still serves.

Borders was encouraged to sing by his mother early in life and together his family would sing in church. His early love of Gospel songs and having a neighbor who looked a lot like Elvis, were early influences on the future entertainer. "I'd sing Elvis songs, make my own Elvis T-shirts at home and even made a bust of Elvis' head for an art project," he recalled of his school years.

"Elvis had (recorded) over 400 songs," laughed Borders when asked how much of Presley's catalogue will be featured in tonight's performance at The Art Theatre. "I'll be doing a few of his songs that are rarely heard, along with all the big hits that people come expecting to hear." Borders said singing "My Way" is a personal highlight for him.

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Opinions are solely those of the writer. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.