KINGSTON — Want to avoid a Blue Christmas season this year? Then consider attending a fund raiser where you’ll hear that song and other Christmas favorites sung in the voice of the man who made them famous.
Elvis Presley tribute artist and Pittston native Shawn Klush will be the featured performer at Grace Episcopal Church’s “An Evening With Grace” gala at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the church.
“We remove all the pews and decorate with greenery and white lights. Guests can enjoy beer, wine, soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres while Shawn is singing gospel and Christmas songs. It’s really a beautiful event,” said Theresa Baseski, who is co-chairing the gala with Francine Gabriel.
Klush, who won Elvis Presley Enterprises’ first-ever Elvis Tribute Artist contest in 2007, said the performance will not really be a show in the traditional sense.
“I’ll be doing a lot of Christmas and gospel tunes. It’s kind of like one of those all-night things they used to do back in the day down South. There won’t be any pyrotechnics and no jumpsuit,” Klush said. “But it’s better this way, it’s more intimate.”
The performance will be similar to one he gave at the church gala in 2011, he said, and will be sure to include what he learned was one of Presley’s favorite ballads, Mama Liked The Roses, which he said Presley’s best friend, Joe Esposito, told him “always made (Presley) tear up.”
And, of course, there will be Christmas favorites that “The King” was best known for, such as “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Blue Christmas,” as well as “a few oddballs” like “If I Get Home on Christmas Day” and others with a “country/bluesy feel.”
Baseski said proceeds from the three-hour event will fund the church’s Community Outreach program, which assists causes such as Misericordia University’s Women With Children Program, Alcoholics Anonymous and Young’s Funny Farm animal therapy program.
She said Klush is donating his time free of charge to the church for the performance.
Klush, who just returned home after a cross-country tour with his tribute band, said he’s glad to do it because “it’s a lot of fun. And it’s good to be home for Christmas.”