Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Been A Long Time Since Elvis Came To Malaysia
(1) "I fell ill and lost my voice last night, but I don't want to disappoint you, because you have travelled from as far as Puchong and Cheras in Malaysia to my concert," apologized Long profusely to a crowd of about 120 people at Soon Heong Teow Chew Seafood Restaurant.
As he stood up on a stool, he started singing away and just as the audience was warming up, his singing came to an abrupt stop. His his lips were still moving but without a sound. The audience applauded as he apologised: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, see I told you I have lost my voice, but what you just heard is my own recording. You can buy my CDs and take me home tonight!" His sense of humour sent the audience in stiches. And what a plug!
(2) Although he has 14 albums to his credit singing Presley hits, Long said he was inspired to compose one of his favourite gospel songs, He Is My Everything to the tune of Elvis' rock n roll style. Thousands of people have since heard his composition. In Hong Kong, people pay $1,800 just to watch him perform. "But, here in Aman Puri (Malaysia), you only pay RM20 (Malaysian Dollars) for good food and good performance, " he enthused.
(3) Wilfred Pilo, (Eastern Times - October 7, 2007), from Kuching, Sarawak reported that if the King were alive today, he would probably give HT Long a pat on the back and say, "Well done buddy!" in his strong Memphis accent. Long and many other Elvis impersonators had never crossed his mind as he was neither an Elvis fan nor appreciated impersonators because he grew in a different era. However, after listening to Long's performance, he was, "completely blown away." He said although Long did not resemble the King physically he was impressed with his voice.
(4) Long staged a three-hour "Elvis Forever in Asia" concert and attracted 1,500 people. The event, sponsored by Japan's 5,000-member Elvis Presley Fan Club, was the first of its kind. "No one can replicate him. I just try to do justice to his songs," said HT Long who wore gold-rimmed sunglasses during a rendition of All Shook Up that was punctuated with pelvic thrusts.
(5) Remembering his youth, Long reminisces, "My mom bought me Elvis' records when I was younger. It costs her RM2.50 for a single and RM4.00 for an EP. When I was about 12 years old, I persuaded my mom to buy me a portable record play so I could bring it out every day." But today his own albums have been getting reviews worldwide.
(6) "I did one show in Perth. I looked like a typical Chinese fellow on the posters and the Australians thought it was just another William Hung. When they heard me sing Love Me Tender, they were shocked. Some of the ladies even broke down and cried." (Edited for space constraints by Andy Lim)Information/Image: http://htlongelvis.weebly.com/index.html