I taught Elvis in high school.
Mark Pitt was one of my most promising artists. He drew, painted and sculpted with immense talent. Mark was this shy young man in the ninth grade at Duluth when I started teaching. He would often be humming or singing under his breath. Back then, everyone was into the Beatles and Elvis was touring around the county to sell out crowds.
A quiet young man who listened intently and had a very observant eye. Mark had a dry sense of humor. He was one those students that I claim as my oldest children. Granted, these favorite young’uns were only a few years younger than I, but I lied about my age then, too. I added ten years when the kids asked me how old I was. I couldn’t tell them that I was only a few months older than the oldest student in my classes.
Recently through the “You know you are from Duluth” Facebook, Mark and I reconnected. My family and I attended his performance in Norcross recently. Elvis is one of our son’s James favorite artists; mine, too. James would be critical if Mark hadn’t done a good job. James said “Mark was the best Elvis.” High praise indeed.
Mark Pitt’s performance of Elvis is amazingly accurate. He looks the part with his costumes, which have been created by the same craftsmen who did all of the original designs for the Elvis. He has studied Elvis’ performance moves and mannerisms. Most importantly, he sounds the part as his voice sweeps from bass to tenor with clearness and that same soft, lyrical, southern drawl of Elvis. It gave me chills. With James we hear a lot of Elvis. I felt like I'm hearing The King himself.
As Elvis, Mark serenades the audience while giving scarves to the ladies and teddy bears to all the kids. He collects more than a few kisses along the way, too. People were just drawn to him. Women threw themselves at him. There was a 96-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair up front. I thought she was going to have a heart attack over Mark/Elvis. I also thought that Lisa, Mark’s wife, might have to protect him from her!
Mark Pitt’s Tribute to Elvis is a fun evening and suitable for all ages. There were several young children in the audience. Each child received a Teddy Bear and a personal serenade. Mark joked with the audience, had several join him in song and made the evening fly by. You left knowing you had seen a professional entertainer taking you back in time. This was no amateur hour performance.
He frequently performs for charity events, private parties as well as open venues like the upcoming one at New Dawn Theater in Duluth. On several occasions, Mark has set up a special performance for events for someone proposing marriage, a birthday celebration or an anniversary party. An ordained minister, Mark as himself or as Elvis can perform weddings and marriage vow renewals.
Mark is nationally recognized for his Elvis Tribute Show. He is an exciting and excellent entertainer who captivates the heart and soul of Elvis Presley on stage. Mark Pitt performs a first-class Vegas Style Concert singing your favorite Elvis Hits from the 50’s to the 70’s along with you favorite Gospel Songs.
Elvis was famous for his Taking Care of Business or “TCB” references. Mark Pitt has certainly studied Elvis. He has the moves, the voice and the expressions well integrated into his comfortable, easy manner. Mark has certainly taken of business to learn his craft.
Although it has been 40 years since Elvis phenomenal Aloha from Hawaii performance and 35 years since Elvis’ death, it is time for us to celebrate his great accomplishments and remember when his music touched our soul. Come to Aloha from Hawaii and return to a time of youthful exuberance and light heartedness. Join us in the audience and let yourself float back in time.
The New Dawn Theater on Aug. 11, 2012, 8 p.m.
Reservations suggested: 678-622-0460