07/11/18 — The King returns

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The King returns

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on July 11, 2018 5:50 AM

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Elvis tribute artist Stephen Freeman will be back in Goldsboro Aug. 24 for a United Way of Wayne County benefit concert.

Elvis is back.

Stephen Freeman, an Elvis tribute artist, will be in concert at the Paramount Theatre Aug. 24 to raise funds for United Way of Wayne County. With him will be his Echoes of a Legend show band.

"It's a great concert even if you're not an Elvis fan," said United Way community engagement director Patty Graham. "He puts on a great show. It's very entertaining and upbeat.

"And he's very interactive with the crowd. He throws out teddy bears and scarves, sweaty and all, and people love it."

This year marks the sixth time that Freeman has performed at the benefit concert in Goldsboro.

"The Goldsboro audience is terrific," he said at his 2016 performance at the Paramount. "I am so honored to see the same faces when we return each year and very blessed by the friendships we have created over the years since this event first started.

"The fans are very engaged in the shows and clearly have a good time. It's always a good feeling when the audience gives you really good, spontaneous feedback during your performance. That makes it fun for everyone."

Freeman said there is no better job in the world than what he does.

"I am incredibly blessed to have a job that I not only enjoy doing, but one that brings so much joy to others," he said. "When you combine that with raising money for a multitude of great causes, you have a recipe for happiness. I know that the Goldsboro community will turn out in force once again this year to support United Way, and we will do our very best to make sure they are entertained at the highest level."

Freeman changes up his show each time he comes, so it's not the same from year to year.

"Fortunately, Elvis recorded over 850 songs, so that gives us a wealth of material to work with," he said. "Additionally, I am very fortunate to have a band that is extremely talented. Many members of our band are fantastic tribute artists in their own right."

Graham said having Freeman do the benefit concert is a fun way to raise funds.

"It's just something that has worked for us in the past, and why change it if it works," she said. "The audience really anticipates it. They love the music. Some are just big fans and know the words to the songs. The audience members are there to have a good time, and they sure do. They're blowing kisses, dancing in the aisles."

Graham said the concert is for all ages, from the young to the old, whether they know Elvis' music or not.

Freeman is originally from Thomasville, and he and his wife still live in North Carolina. He was a police officer and private investigator for eight years before becoming an Elvis tribute artist, which he began doing professionally in 1998.

He has won numerous awards, including Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist in 2009 at Harrah's Cherokee Casino, a certificate of commendation by the secretary of state of West Virginia and Tribute Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 2011.

In 2012, Freeman was named one of the top 10 Elvis tribute artists in the world at the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest presented by Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc .in Memphis, Tenn.

Tickets to the concert are $20 general admission and $35 VIP, which includes a reception by Funky Fresh and a meet-and-greet and photo op with Freeman. They are available at the Paramount box office, by calling 919-583-8432 or online at www.goldsboroparamount.com.

The VIP reception starts at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. and lasts about two hours with a short intermission.

For more information about the benefit concert, call United Way at 919-735-3591.