Not every Elvis impersonator spends his spare time in competitions, vying for a trip to Memphis., Tenn
Some, like Gainesville’s Mike Jones, drive a garbage truck.
Jones began his Elvis show 20 years ago, getting his start in what was The Lantern Inn, which he owned at the time.
He still performs at the inn’s current incarnation, The Harbor Lights Restaurant, often three times per month.
But Jones didn’t begin impersonating The King because he loved only Elvis music. He said it was just what everyone began requesting.
“My dad bought a karaoke machine. I had never sang in my life,” Jones said. “I always liked Elvis but I wasn’t an Elvis freak or anything.”
After many requests, Jones decided to make it an all-Elvis show, and began wearing costumes on stage.
“It just kind of caught on,” he said.
Jones said he thinks people still like listening to Elvis’ music “just to bring back memories.”
“He had so much charisma on stage,” he said. “Now you see little kids love him. It’s because their parents raised them listening to Elvis music.”
Jones said he doesn’t want to be a typical Elvis impersonator.
“My show is a little different,” Jones said. “I do a lot of comedy in my show.”
Throughout his 20-year stint as an Elvis impersonator, Jones has kept his job driving a garbage truck.
“I’m in the garbage business,” he said. But, “I don’t wear the Elvis suit while I’m in the truck.”