With Chris Presley There’s Always Good Rockin’!
Chris Presley has come a long way from his humble roots in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore. When he was 10 years old he bought a bunch of 45s and one with a Sun Records label really caught his eyes and ears—a disc where the artist shared the same last name: Presley. It was “Good Rockin’ Tonight” by Elvis.
“The sound was quite different because I grew up in the disco era,” said Chris who watched Elvis movies on TV with his Mom every Sunday. He loved that raw sound as well as the music of Elvis contemporaries like Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and Little Richard.
Even at an early age, Chris knew he would be on stage one day and began practicing his routine.
“I used to pull out an old oversized tuxedo and get a tennis racket (as a guitar) and stand in front of mirror,” said Chris. While his friends were playing ball or riding bikes, he was rehearsing.
Though he was a bright student, school bored him. Music, on the other hand, was calling so he would sneak out at night and peek into the local clubs where live music was being played.
“I tried to go out for music class and the teacher said I had no talent,” said Chris. “Elvis tried to go out for the Grand ‘Ole Opry and they told him to keep driving a truck.”
Chris recalls the words of renowned gospel singer J.D. Sumner -- whose vocal group The Stamps Quartet backed Elvis during the 1970s – who spoke at his school.
“J.D. Sumner said ‘whatever you do, don’t give up on your dream’ ’’
His big break came during his first gig in Charm City two and a half decades ago when agent/promotor Carol Carole realized Chris had something special. That led to his first performance of 25 straight years during the Night of the 100 Elvises.
Even in these turbulent times, music cuts across all socio-economic lines.
“People both rich and poor can appreciate the sound of music,” added Chris. “It’s good therapy. It makes you happy, can relieve the stress. Whoever figured that sounds would ever enlighten you?”