Felix brings the heat as Elvis
Wwest News Service
William A. West
Shirl Blancho contributed to this story
ANDOVER_Just when you think it could not get any hotter singer Jim Felix brought the heat to Andover Square Park Saturday night with his rendition of The King’s (Elvis Presley) classic hits. Fans of all ages gave little mind to the heat as Felix kept the evening cookin’ singing Elvis rockers “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Hound Dog”.
Felix, of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a long time fan of Elvis and was kiddingly called Elvis by friends back in his school days. Felix got his start in 2004 singing Elvis songs during a night of karaoke near the Conneaut Lake Park office in Pennsylvania.
“I sang a four-song set finishing with “Don’t Cry Daddy”, Felix said. “A lady came out of the office crying her her eyes out.” I said, “Was it that bad or what?” “She said, no, it was beautiful.”
Felix’s mother caught Jim’s first show and that would be the only one she would see because she was admitted to a hospital for what she thought was gall bladder trouble Felix said. It turned out to be a a group of blood clots and a brain tumor. She made a request of her son before she passed away Felix said.
“She made me promise that I wouldn’t dye my hair, wear a wig or do the sideburns,” Felix said. “She gave me some advice. There’s only one Elvis and there’s only going to be one Elvis. You sound like Elvis, but just be yourself.”
“I kept my promise to her,” Felix said. “People want to hear Elvis. There are alot of people that dress-up like Elvis, but don’t sound like Elvis.”
Kathy Zappia and Nancy Hubert, both of Cranberry Township, Pa., and Holiday Campgrounds, made the scene Saturday because they are fans of Jim Felix.
“We both have several CDs of Jim’s music,” Zappia said. “We listen to them all the time.”
Andy Hutchinson, his wife Lisa, and friends Wayne Leytrick and wife Marsha, came up from Pittsburgh, Pa., for the day to hear Felix sing.
“We have been going to Jim Felix shows for five years,” Lisa Hutchinson said.
Janet Yarosh, of Saegertown, Pa., and Felix attended Lions College together in Cambridge Springs, Pa. She brought her mother Mary Yarosh,
and cousin Denise Malecki, of Maryland, to the square to see Felix perform.
Debi Felix, Jim’s wife, helps Felix keep his act together by making his costumes and scarves.
“I wipe sweat off his forehead and make sure he drinks enough fluids to avoid dehydration,” Debi Felix said.
Felix’s biggest fan may be his smallest and she goes by the name of Kaylee Bobhm. Bobhm, 7, of Pittsburgh, Pa., sits in the front row as she waits impatiently for Felix to start the show.
Parents Ken and Tammy Bobhm have followed Felix’s performance ever since they saw him about five years ago at Conneaut Lake Park, Pa.
“We do this especially for Kaylee because she is such a enthusiastic fan.”
Felix will be back in the area for a show in Chardon Saturday. July 28 and back in Andover Saturday, August 4 for Pymatuning Lake Festival.
Felix said all his shows are different. The most requested song is “Suspicious Minds”
“I bring it to the people”, he said.
Felix doesn’t make what he labels “cold” calls or go out and hustle for gigs.
“Everything I do is all by word of mouth,” Felix said. “People see the show and recommend me to somebody.”
The People in the Park event is sponsored by the Andover Chamber of Commerce.