The King of Rock ’n’ Roll’s spirit was very much alive at the Wiesbaden Entertainment Center on July 18. Six talented singers competed in the Forever Elvis Tribute Contest for the chance to represent U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden at the European Elvis Festival in Bad Nauheim Aug. 17-19.
Wiesbaden played an important role in the life of Elvis Presley while he was stationed in Germany as a U.S. Soldier from 1959-60. It’s where the music icon met his future wife, Priscilla. That’s why organizers of the 17th European Elvis Festival sought out a representative of the U.S. military community to participate in their music contest.
Competitors at the WEC shared a range of Elvis’ songs including country, blues, gospel, and of course, rock ’n’ roll.
“I tried to find songs that people don’t normally associate with Elvis,” said contestant Shawna Gobble. “It was challenging but fun to learn all the lyrics in a short amount of time.”
Other contestants who took the stage were Sterling Munro, Ted King, Alicia Weisenberger, Shane Chenault and Miguel “Miggs” Rangel.
Their renditions of songs such as “Love Me Tender,” “Little Less Conversation,” “Suspicious Minds” and more hit all the right notes with an appreciative crowd that came out to enjoy free finger foods and door prize drawings and to serve as judges. Once the ballots were tallied, Rangel, an airman with the 485th Intelligence Squadron, emerged as the winner. King, a Soldier with the 24th Military Intelligence Battalion, came in a close second.
Rangel is now preparing to compete in the 17th European Elvis Festival Aug. 18.
“I have always enjoyed Elvis’ music and his contribution to the music world. To get to play in a contest in a country that loves him just as much as the USA, makes me excited to give the people a great show,” Rangel said. “Elvis is the king, and for this Austinite to play his hits is a true honor.”
Rangel will be among 22 acts in the European singing contest. The top eight will compete in a final round Aug. 19. The overall winner will be given an award and a paid gig at the 2019 festival.
Wiesbaden Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has been giving away festival passes through a variety of contests.
“We had 150 tickets to give away, so ideally we’ll have a strong showing of community members cheering on our garrison representative at the Elvis festival,” said Johnny Herring, Family and MWR Marketing manager.
For more information about the festival, visit www.european-elvis-festival.com.
The community can also catch performances by Rangel and King at the Back-to-School Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 24 at The Exchange.