Mailbag
Elvis Aaron Presley remains one of the world’s most iconic personalities, even though he has been dead — at least, that’s the rumor — since 1977. The man who only needed one name in his lifetime, Elvis, touched millions of people with his voice, his style and his charisma.

Dave Thomas, of Frankfort, has been performing as Elvis for more than 30 years. And, while Thomas may not have quite yet reached as many folks as The King did, he also has the same soothing voice, stylish flair as the man he emulates for audiences. That much was apparent during a special birthday celebration for Elvis at Mokena Community Public Library District Saturday, Jan. 4. Elvis would have turned 85 on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

The show began similarly to how Elvis started many of his own shows in Las Vegas; there was the playing of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” as the audience eagerly waited for The King to burst through the doors and begin crooning.

And make a grand entrance, he did.

Now, the Mokena library might not exactly be the Las Vegas Hilton, but the library venue was packed, and Thomas appeared no less enthusiastic in his grand entrance, circling the crowd in a sequined blue jumpsuit and the unmistakable coiffure fit for The King. He gave the gleeful audience members high-fives as he made his way through the rows, belting out “C.C. Rider.”

Part of what makes Thomas’ performances so entertaining — of which he has done plenty in his 30 years as The King, including performing on “Good Morning America” and about 14 years worth of them at Great America — is how he interacts with the audience during and in between songs.

Thomas told tales of some of his experiences portraying Elvis through the years, including one time in Portage, Indiana, where he to this day is not unconvinced he actually met the legend in person, though Elvis would have been long past by that point.

At one point, Thomas produced a bag full of teddy bears and handed them out to audience members while he sang — you guessed it — “Teddy Bear.”

At another point, Thomas invited several women onstage to be his backup singers and dancers for a stirring rendition of “Viva Las Vegas.” Each of the women was then given a silk scarf, which Thomas dabbed a little of his own sweat on for a real personal touch.

And then there was what might have been the highlight of the show: 7-year-old Nick Hertzog, from Orland Park, himself dressed as Elvis in an all-white sequined jumpsuit with cape and sunglasses, and Steven Warning, from Mokena, were invited onstage, given inflatable toy guitars and accompanied Thomas in performing “Johnny B. Goode.”

Warning was so enthused by the invitation that he actually slid down onto his knees several times while playing air guitar, a la Michael J. Fox’s character, Marty McFly, in “Back to the Future.”

Some people have their doubts about whether The King is actually dead or not. But, for at least one day in January in Mokena, the legend lived on through Thomas’ passion, good nature and a flair for the dramatic.





We had a fun afternoon watching our favorite "Elvis" perform at the Mokena Library.
I
Jilene Dixon Hey Dave, lookin’ good!!!!??????????

Trista Kozbiel Miller Sheila Dumney she says she always does

Michael Kelly Another great show.

Joan Frederick Looking good Dave!
 Go Dave Thomas!!! ??????




Hi Cathy! YES! Everyone had a GREAT time!! Thanks again for the great performance!!

Talk Soon,

Sue








Hi!

Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful program you gave at Mokena Library this past Saturday.

Heard we had standing room only! How great is that??!

I have heard nothing but raves. In fact most are saying it was the best show ever!

You up for coming again next year??! That would be Jan. 5, 2019!!

Let me know!

Thanks again!!


Wendy

Director Young Adults/Adult Programming

 Elvis shakes up Mokena library
 
Elvis impersonator Dave Thomas performs a tribute show Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Mokena Community Public Library District.  Elvis may have left the building, but Dave Thomas certainly hasn’t. The 55-year-old Elvis Presley impersonator filled the upstairs of the Mokena Community Public Library District Saturday, Jan. 10, with sounds from his musical set “Memories of the King.” Thomas performed the concert for about 50 audience members in celebration of the rock ’n’ roll legend’s 80th birthday.



We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for coming out and supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Alex's Family and Max Williams at the Lexington House on February 26, 2011.  It was a pleasure to perform for all of you..

A special thanks to Tom, Vince, Kavan, Nick, Hannah & Clara.  Thank you for helping  support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  Thank you to Kavan. You are unbelievable! We met at a very young age. You have grown to such a handsome & remarkable man. Thank you Nick your energy on stage is unbelievable. Not only as 'Elvis' but also  as Richie Valanez. Thank you to Clara for your beautiful voice. We  met you when you were 16. Now you are a beautriful woman and a mom.  Thank you Hannah for your beautiful voice.  It is a honor to share the stage with such great talent. Tom, the laughter you bring to the audience is beyond words. And a special thanks to "LITTLE ELVIS".  "We love you all.


We would also like to thank The Miimix Showband for their wonderful performance. I still can't believe how good you guys were with such a short time to get it all together.  Thanks to Marty & the rest of Performance Sound for your  remarkable sound  that evening.  

Thank you to Martha from  Walker Media  Source for recording the show and Debbie for doing the photography.

Thank you to our security John, Josh, Kevin,  Chris & Joe. Thank you to Ashley, on the spot light. Thank you to Jennifer, Heather, Sally, Tina & the Fagin kids for running the raffles.

Thank you to our entire staff for all your hard work. We love you all. We could not have done it without you all! Thank you all so very much!

Hope to see you all next year.

Looking to get married by "Elvis"? Dave Thomas can now perform your non-denomination wedding. Contact us for details.

Dave, My mom is a resident at the Lemont Nursing home. A few weeks ago you preformed there. All the ladies just loved the show. They told me about the scarves and how much they enjoyed the teddy bears. You gave my mom a little red bear. She just adores it! She just turned 92 years old. Thank you so much for making the residents happy. Mary Lou Daly

HI KATHY, IT WAS A GREAT EVENT-EVERYONE WE BROUGHT HAD A WONDERFUL FUN NITE. YOU & DAVE SHOULD BE VERY PROUD AND HAPPY-YOU DID A GREAT JOB!! CLARA WAS HOPING TO GET A DVD OF THE SHOW-PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THAT'S POSSIBLE. AGAIN, THANKS FOR THE NITE-WE ALREADY HAVE COMMITMENTS FOR NEXT YEAR!. LAURIE

Cathy, No... Thank You. You have persevered once again. I think after the initial food/line problems, everyone seemed to have a good time. In fact, the one young lady who initially was disgruntled with the food came up to me later and said she was having a great time. Ah, what a little liquor will do! Did my friend Gwen write to you yet? She called me earlier and said next year her and a friend who attended also wanted to contribute something in the interior decorating arena. It sounded like a pretty nice gesture. Also, in all the action, I forgot to get one of the DVDs from last year. I saw it running on your pc at the ticket table and it looked pretty cool. Are there any left? If so, let me know and I'll send you a check. Now, take a rest...

Cathy,
I told my parents how you thanked everyone for their support and passing on the message to the folks without e-mail. My dad thought that was very nice.
Sandy


Hi,
Thank you for the wonderful performance you gave at my 60th birthday party last weekend at Fox's in Oak Lawn. We all had a great time from my little grandchildren to my 85 year young mom. My grandson Jack said that was the best party he was ever at and wants you for his next birthday. What a great surprise my sister gave me when you walked through the doors. You lived up to Elvis and his memory and I will recommend you any chance I get.
Thanks, again,
Linda Karl


Dear Dave and Cathy,
Thank you so much for making my sister’s 60th birthday party such a success! You were both wonderful, and I can’t thank you enough!
Dave, what a talent you are. Not only are you an awesome performer and artist, you truly are a great guy! Not only did you bring back many fantastic memories for those of us old enough to remember Elvis, you made it truly memorable for the kids as well.
Again, all my thanks! We loved you! Warm regards, Sharon




Hi Cathy and Dave too!
I am watching a preview of the dvd from the Cotillion. You are both fabulous.
The look on the faces of the women in the audience is amazing. They adore you Elvis.
It's wonderful to see all the things I missed. But the best of all is seeing you interacting with the women and hearing you sing.
You made the event!
can't wait for the next one. Hopefully February 7, 2009
I'm trying to get some ladies to come with April 12 too.
Hope you're both doing well. Cathy & Dave
What a surprise, the picture of Dave singing the GI Blues and how special I felt being up there with him, trying to remember how to march, ( its been awhile ), Bev and I had a wonderful time, and will be looking forward to seeing Dave and the EAS band again. We will keep an eye on your Web site to the shows we would be able to make the trip to the Chicago again. Thanks again for the wonderful show that was put on for us, and the thoughtfulness to send us the picture, that was above and beyond what we expected from you. Can't wait to see the DVD. Bev also said thanks again, and She put the picture by the computer to show it off.
Thanks for keeping the memories of ELVIS Alive.
Bev & Rick Hoard


HI KATHY, IT WAS A GREAT EVENT-EVERYONE WE BROUGHT HAD A WONDERFUL FUN NITE. YOU & DAVE SHOULD BE VERY PROUD AND HAPPY-YOU DID A GREAT JOB!! CLARA WAS HOPING TO GET A DVD OF THE SHOW-PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THAT'S POSSIBLE. AGAIN, THANKS FOR THE NITE-WE ALREADY HAVE COMMITMENTS FOR NEXT YEAR!. LAURIE


Just wanted to let you all know that Dave was in a competition in Springfield this past weekend January 11 & 12, And he made the FINALS. He did not win but it is a goal for upcoming competitions. Thank you all for your support in the past years. He will knock them dead for the upcoming competitions. He has worked very hard this past year and everyshow I see that!! I am so very proud of him!!  He also has just been asked to join the EEN, Elvis Entertainment Network.
Love Cathy

Hi Cathy and Dave
My heavens! I have never heard so many compliments EVER about two people as I have heard about the two of you.
"HE'S THE BEST ELVIS I'VE EVER SEEN!" that was the best compliment.
"PLEASE ALWAYS HAVE THE TWO OF THEM ENTERTAIN!" is another
You made so many women happy Dave, you just don't know. you looked into their eyes and their hearts skipped a beat.
the photographer said many of them looked at you as though they were really looking at Elvis himself, it was just so wonderful to see the way you interact with the women. You're a charmer all right. You touched so many hearts.
and they thought it was so funny that I kept running after you
I know you probably hear this all the time but you really are wonderful and I can't wait for the next cotillion--which I'm starting to plan already, for next year about the same time and probably the same place. I hope you're both available.
Why would I ever want anyone else? You're the best!!!!!
there were three women attending who are at end stage cancer and they really didn't think they would be able to handle the whole event. one time I looked and two of them were up dancing with you. They were so happy they came out. One of their husband's came to me after in tears and thanked me for making his wife come, he said he hasn't seen her look that good in months. just getting out did her a world of good. and you helped, both of you. Hearing the music and then seeing you and hearing your beautiful voice. You both made a big difference that day!
Thanks so much for helping to make our event the most special ever.
Even the men thought you were nice.
and the owner of the hall thought you were wonderful. he said he's going to tell his brother about you, he's a big Elvis fan.
Looking forward to March 1!
Hope you've heard from others!
Take care of yourself
With love and great admiration!
Kathleen

Hi Cathy
We had a great time. I plan on coming next year ( Feb 28th) again with some of my friends. I believe it will be held again at the Lexington House.
God Bless
Tom Granoski
PS:
Please tell Dave and all involved thanks for sharing their talents and time for such a great cause.


Hi Kathy,
The benefit last night was GREAT!
Looking forward to seeing you and Dave at the St. Patricia SPRED Wrap-up party on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. Our special needs "Friends' really enjoyed the entertainment last year and are looking forward to seeing you again this year.
And....THANKS again for doing this for our Friends...it means so much to them and always brings a smile to their faces! (Don't forget we are catering the food, so you 2 come with an appetite!)
THANK YOU!
Cheryl Torres
Thanks again for everything
Love you!!!
Kathleen


Hi there my dear heart
we had such a great time last night and it was great to see you and get a little chance to visit.
I'm making reservations for the 20th and we're thinking about coming for new years too. checking in to that.
maybe you could let me know the name of the closest motel. we're thinking it might be better if we stayed somewhere rather than trying to drive back and maybe that would work out better for us in the long run.
Hope you were able to have some fun too. I sure enjoyed meeting your family and we had a little fun together. the girls from indiana said i was the loudest person they'd ever heard, isn't that funny. and they meant it as a compliment.
i guess i got that way from yelling at my husband. i could scare a bat out of hell when i yell when i'm angry. but screaming for Mr. Wonderful just comes naturally. He's adorable. but i bet he's a reallstinker when he wants to be, He sure is handsome and that outfit he had on last night, heavens it was fabulous. that was the outfit he had on when i first saw him way back when.
I wish I could more of my group to come but if it's just the two of us I hope that will be okay. I'd love to fill the room, and you know i could. but with the holidays people are just so busy.
I got a light pink scarf last night and i think i'll be able to wear that to work. it's really pretty.
barb was so shocked that he gave her a bear. she was singing to him on the way home, it was so cute.
You are both such wonderful entertainers but what makes you even more special is that you're both so nice. we were saying how we've gone to see other Elvis impersonators but they have such horrible attitudes and are very snotty and have no personality. but that certainly isn't the case with the two of you.
Wondering if you offer t-shirts or cds for sale? we'd like to suuport you in other ways financially. You don't even have a tip jar or charge a cover fee. Both of us feel that we should do more to support you financially besides coming to the shows and having you ast our events.
I am redoing my site and plan to do a more dedicated page to you both and maybe we can talk about what you'd like on it.
did you ever think of selling shirts? or cds? I don't seem to see anything for sale.
is there a fan club? If not I'd love to start one. I know there has to be a lot of groupies out there who following you around.
Seeing Dave is one thing but we really think you're special and loove to hang around you. You're such a sweet person and I'm so blessed and thankful to have found both of you. You have been a tremendous support system for me and I appreciate all that you do and all your kind thoughts and prayers. God brought us together for a reason I just know it.
Well I hope yesterday wasn'ttoo much for you and you managed to get some rest. You looked great last night. well you always do, such a pretty lady.
Take care of yourself and hope that Dave is feeling better. bet he has no voice at all today.
Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th and hopefully for new years too
Take care dear heart and be well
Love you
Kathleen


Dave and Cathy,
I can not thank you enough for everything you have done! Our wedding was perfect, and I could not have asked for a better day. Everything ran so smoothly thanks to the both of you. We appreciate everything you have done for us, and sincerely thank you so much for taking the time to help us out and make our special day so special. I would like to send you a thank you gift so if you could respond with your address that would be great.
P.S. I am terribly sorry it has taken me so long to write this, things have just settled down and I finally got my name changed yesterday :)
Really, we can't thank you enough!!
Lucas and Victoria Lohmiller ~9/20/2008~



C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dave!!!!!!!!! and Cathy!!! Your HARD WORK, PAID-OFF!!!!!! Now you can set the next GOAL?? First place/ WINNER!!  HUR-RAY, HUR-RAY, HUR-RAY!!! AWESOME!! I'm SO sorry I missed it! I had such a GOOD time that first year you were there. I was thinking about you the WHOLE time. I was watching a DVD; Tupelo-Memphis,; It is all about Elvis', haunts. Complete tour of 1st church, school, etcin placeCityTupelo. Then, churches, school,Amusement pk., roller rink, theaters, All haunts in placeCityMemphis, eateries,shops,places he lived/owned. Great info! But NOT as GREAT as yours!!   
 YAHOOOOOOOOO!!! See ya Sat. I'll have the $$$$ for our tix, too! loveyamuch, Deb

Congratulations!!! See you on the 27th!


That's great.
We are going to try and come for the benefit,
we want to surprise Dave, will let you know soon.
Congratulations are in order for both Dave and you

Cathy
Thanks for sharing this information. Please extend our congratulations to Dave. We will see you & Dave on 2/27/10.
Tom,Jan & Maria

Cathy,

Congratulations on Dave's latest achievement!

-Bish


Great news and congratulations to the both of you!
See you soon.

HI CATHY,
CONGRATULATIONS TO DAVE & TO YOU. HE COULDN'T DO WHAT HE
DOES IF HE DIDN'T HAVE YOU. HOPE YOU'RE FEELING WELL.
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU BOTH ON THE 27TH.
CLARA IS LOOKING FORWARD TO HER DUET WITH DAVE!
LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HELP.  
LAURIE GENTILE
Congratulations. You deserve it.

Dear Dave,
Way to go!!! We know you and love you and we have always thought you were the best!! Cant wait to see you at the end of February!!
The Madsen's

Thats Fantastic Cathy!!!  Wow....when will the award banquet be????


WOW
I sure wish we would have been there to see that. All of my buttons are busting. He doesn't even have to win a prize for me to be proud of him though,
love you both very much and miss you way too much. sorry I haven't been around

CONGRATULATIONS DAVE!! WAY TO GO WHOO HOO!

CONGRATULATIONS, DAVE!!!

Congrats again on Springfield, you did a great job! I must tell you, I was brought to tears when you told me about My Boy...I feel so grateful that we all have met you

I just wanted to pass on my Congrats to Dave! Well done!..


Cathy - Thanks again for getting everything put together for this morning. You were so easy to talk to and have been so much help! Feel free to post my comment on your website ;)
Dave- Thank You so much for the small surprise show you did at our house for my fathers 60th birthday. He was definitely shocked! It was extremely nice of you to come by so early and do such a small job. It was not small to us because it meant so much! You have such a big heart and we can't wait to see your future shows. We may even bring you a coffee.
Annemarie & Billy


King of kings
Elvis impersonator has soft spot for Mokena crowd

by Will O'Brien, Editor

January 22, 2014

Local Elvis tribute artist Dave Thomas has sung on “Good Morning America,” at shows in front of 5,000 people, and for 14 years while traveling the Midwest and promoting Six Flags Great America with his act. Being The King has been good for the 54-year-old Frankfort Square resident.
The decades of travel and accolades haven't gotten to Thomas' head, though. He's all about the performance, no matter the audience or venue.
So on Saturday, Jan. 11, when Thomas stormed into the Mokena Community Public Library District's reading room with his “Memories of the King” show, he didn't hold back or keep his voice at a
library-level lull. Instead, the charismatic crooner swung into a
crowd-pleasing, hour-long performance full of energy and, of course, Elvis favorites.


“We get such a great crowd when he comes,” said Dawn Ellingham, the library's assistant director. “He's a lot of fun.”
Thomas first performed at the Mokena library about five years ago and has always drawn an enthusiastic crowd, Ellingham said.
“He really gets the crowd involved,” she said. “He always has people who are dancing. A few of them are even singing along.”
The audience was indeed shouting out lyrics during the show, which fell a few days after Elvis' Jan. 8 birthday.

The library set up extra chairs and passed out 1950s era sweets, including Necco wafers and MoonPies. Peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches - a personal favorite of Elvis - would have been too sloppy to distribute, Ellingham joked.

Helen Sluis (left to right), EMs tribute artist Dave Thomas and Cheryl Martin perform together Saturday, Jan. 11, during Thomas' show at the Mokena Community Public Library.photo:Photos by Tristan Zeier/22nd Century Media.


Ellingham and audience members appeared pleased with Thomas' show, he was even happier. The library crowd was a blast, Thomas said when interviewed a few days later.

“The people are just so happy because you're there,” he said. “They love Elvis. I'd rather play in front of 40 people who are energetic and really' want you to be there than 5,000 who are just being polite. I would do anything because of the passion. I love doing it.”


The Chicago native grew up in a musical family, and around age 14, purchased a greatest hits album that had “Hound Dog” among its tracks. He sang for friends and had fun mimicking The King's voice but continued pursuing music as his own artist. In 1988, however, the Elvis act reached new heights.


Commonwealth Edison, Thomas' longtime employer, was hosting a banquet to benefit the United Way. He grew out sideburns, played the show and never looked back.

“I've been Elvis ever since then,” he said.

At his peak, Thomas was doing 150 shows a year while still working full-time at ComEd. He was away from home a lot but doesn't regret a thing.


“For what I did and who I am, it was an experience that I loved every single second of it,” he said. “I was maybe not the greatest [impersonator], but I got to do things that a lot of people wish they could do and got to impersonate a man who for stage presence, was amazing.”

Thomas' Mokena show followed a pattern he's found great success with through the years.


He kicked things off with “Johnny B. Goode” before saluting veterans in the crowd with “G.l. Blues.” After that, he launched into “Viva Las Vegas.”“People love that song,” he said.


Later on, Thomas' 8-year-old grandson, Drake, who's been performing for nearly six years and is a showman in his own right
joined the act.


For Thomas, few things top performing as Elvis.


“There's no drug in the world that can ever replace that feeling when everything goes right,” he said. “I'll do this until the calls don't come anymore.”


For more information, visit daveelvisthomas.com.





It was wonderful! Such great feedback! I posted some photos on The Big Read's Facebook page here: library_1.htm library_2.htm library_3.htm
Thank you!
melissa



She Loved it. You guys were wonderful, really made a wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing the special day with us. I will highly recommend you guys for future parties. According to the girls YOU ROCK! Thank you for everything.