Elvis Presley’s first backup band, The Jordanaires, will make a rare appearance at the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday night — and no one is more excited about it than Al Hull. Hull, of Galesburg, has been performing Elvis tributes for about 30 years.
Elvis Presley’s first backup band, The Jordanaires, will make a rare appearance at the Orpheum Theatre on Wednesday night — and no one is more excited about it than Al Hull.
Hull, of Galesburg, has been performing Elvis tributes for about 30 years. He has done his show thousands of times all over the country and with many high-profile musicians, but this will be just the fifth time he’s ever performed with The Jordanaires, who played with Elvis from 1956 to 1971.
For Hull, it’s an honor to share the stage with the musical legends, who also have backed up dozens of other artists from Patsy Cline to Willie Nelson — but it’s a thrill to be bringing the group to Galesburg.
“I guarantee you’ll never get The Jordanaires to come to little old Galesburg again,” Hull said.
In fact, the Galesburg performance may be one of the last anywhere for the group, which was on its way to stardom well before Elvis made a name for himself.
“Elvis said it best — he couldn’t have done it without The Jordanaires backing him up,” Hull said. “They were his buddies. They did everything with him.”
The group, which still has three of its original members, also played with Galesburg native Carl Sandburg on The Milton Berle Show in the late 1950s.
The Elvis Odyssey Tribute Show starring Hull and The Jordanaires is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Orpheum Theatre. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Knox County Child Advocacy Center, which has brought country singer Collin Raye to perform in Galesburg in recent years for its main fundraiser.
The organization’s goal is to lessen the trauma to child abuse victims by coordinating a child-friendly investigation of incidents. It services children in Knox, Warren and Henderson counties — and has helped nearly 700 victims.
Director Sharon Kampmeier decided to go in a different direction for this year’s concert due to scheduling conflicts. She called on local performer Hull, who then asked The Jordanaires if they’d consider coming to Galesburg. To his surprise, they said yes. Hull and Kampmeier then enlisted local promoter Dave Beversdorf to make it happen.
“It all just fell into place,” Kampmeier said.
Organizers are predicting the show will sell out. As of Friday, more than 600 tickets had been sold. The Orpheum seats around 900.
The two-hour show will include Hull performing with The Jordanaires, as well as the group playing on its own.
“They are going to show where they were at before Elvis,” Hull said.
This is the second time in less than a year that Hull — who consistently sells out his shows at Legends Cafe in Galesburg — has performed a benefit concert in town. In October, Hull and Beversdorf put on the Elvis Gospel Experience in the Galesburg High School auditorium, selling more than 2,200 tickets to benefit two area churches.
Hull plans to retire in 2012, but already puts performing with The Jordanaires in his hometown on his list of career highlights.
“I am a very blessed individual to ever get this opportunity,” Hull said.
If You Go...
- The Elvis Odyssey Tribute Show starring Al Hull and The Jordanaires
7 p.m. Wednesday at the Orpheum Theatre, 57 S. Kellogg St.
- Tickets $29 to $49, available by calling 342-2299