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The King is coming to Newton — nearly

Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 11:03 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 11:18 a.m. CDT
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Ron Semler has been performing as an Elvis Tribute artist for 15 years and on Saturday he is bringing his show “Nearly Elvis” to the Newton YMCA.

The King is back — but for one night only.

Starting at 7 p.m. Saturday, the Newton YMCA will present “Nearly Elvis,” an Elvis Presley tribute show featuring Ron Semler as Elvis. It is an all-ages show and will have free admission. The first 50 guests will also receive a free pair of “The King’s Sunglasses.”

Ron, who has been performing as Elvis since 1998, gave some background about he how became an Elvis tribute artist.

“I became interested in doing shows after being more or less ‘forced’ into it by people that told me it was my ‘calling,’ he said.  “They would not leave me alone and the concept just grew out of other people’s belief in me that I was meant to do this.”

In addition to performing as The King, Ron is a fan.

“I became an Elvis fan after people told me I sounded like him when I sang in church,” Ron said.  I started listening to his records and found out we sounded alike.”

Anyone can claim to be an Elvis fan, but Ron passed one of the most important tests of Elvis fandom.

“I do have a pair of Blue Suede Shoes, but I never wear them,” Ron said.

Ron’s show this weekend will be his first visit to Newton. He said Marshalltown was previously the closest he had come to visiting, but promised to give Newtonians something to look forward to this Saturday.

“Newton people can expect a lot of fun, a great show,  a lot of Elvis’ ‘moves’ and great entertainment,” Ron said.

Ron, a native Iowan, is one of the most accomplished Elvis Tribute artists around. In 2011, KV and Associates voted him the number one Elvis entertainer. Ron talked about some of his most unforgettable moments while performing in this line of work.

“My most memorable event was at Mt. Rushmore,” Ron said. “I have traveled quite a lot across the continental United States, typically performing at large world-class restaurants, country clubs and theatres in Branson, Chicago, Memphis and Las Vegas.”

Ron said his favorite Elvis song is “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” and the ’70s/Vegas era is his favorite period of Elvis’ career.

So, “Don’t be Cruel,” and check out this free show Saturday at the Newton YMCA located at 1701 S. 8th Ave E.

Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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