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Celebrating King's 70th b'day

Elvis look-alikes across the globe celebrate his birthday on Jan 8.
PTI | By Reuters, London
UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2005 07:45 PM IST

Elvis look-alikes across the globe will squeeze into their rhinestone-studded jumpsuits, fix their sideburns and slick back their quiffs for the King's 70th birthday bash on Saturday.

"Elvis is more popular than ever in Britain," said Elvis Presley impersonator Martin Fox from Blackpool in northern England. "He is at the height of his popularity since his death."

Fox, whose favourites are Suspicious Minds and The Wonder of You, expects a 300-strong crowd from across Europe at his three-day Elvis convention in Blackpool this weekend, aimed at finding the continent's "best Elvis impersonator".

King worship has a long tradition in Britain, the 20,000-strong Elvis Presley Fan Club was founded in 1957, a year after the soulful rebel burst on the music scene.

The 20,000-strong Elvis Presley Fan Club was founded in 1957

Elvis's 18 number one singles are to be re-released in limited edition at a rate of one a week in Britain, ranging from 1957's

All Shook Up

to 2002's

A Little Less Conversation

and complete with the original artwork and a collector's box.

Industry pundits say Jailhouse Rock is on course to reach the UK number one on Sunday, according to mid-week sales, which would make it the 999th single to hit the top.

"It would be a fantastic and truly fitting way to celebrate Elvis's landmark birthday," said Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for music retailer HMV.

Next week's release, One Night, could then be carried to 1000th place on a tide of birthday publicity, pundits say.

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