Almost like the real thing

Johnny Vallis brings the legends to Sooke

What could be better than a dinner and a show? The Royal Canadian Legion in Sooke will be priming everyone with stuffed pork loin and mashed potatoes before making a little room for dessert and the Man of Many Faces — Johnny Vallis.

On Sunday, April 10, Johnny Vallis will bring his characters to the Legion for an evening of Elvis, Mick Jagger, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Garth Brooks, John Lennon, the Bee Gees and Gordon Lightfoot.

“I’m a singer first and a comedian second – unless you don’t like my singing, then I’m a comedian first and a singer second,” Vallis quipped.

Vallis is no stranger to Sooke, he has been here before and everyone loved his act. Once again he will take folks on a musical journey along Memory Lane.

Vallis grew up dreaming of being Elvis, but Johnny Vallis made a name for himself in showbiz by impersonating another rock legend – Buddy Holly. Vallis, spent many years paying homage to Holly, as part of the three-person (Holly, Elvis and Roy Orbison) Legends of Rock and Roll show.

”It was ‘the show they never gave,’” said Vallis.

Vallis, admits that fate played at least a bit part in his career path, although even as a preschooler, he knew he wanted to be a professional entertainer and musician.

“In my Grade 1 annual, it said, ‘I want to be Elvis when I grow up,’” Vallis said “Not I wanted to be ‘like’ Elvis. I actually wanted to be Elvis. There was never any hesitation that I didn’t have the chops.”

Despite his early interest in music and goal of becoming a performer, Vallis says he isn’t entirely sure what sparked that interest.Vallis said he wasn’t especially good at sports, and simply gravitated to music from early on’

“I just wanted a guitar and wanted to play,” he said. “I liked the attention. Anybody who gets into this business, it’s because they like the attention.”

At age 11, in his native Toronto, he earned his first paid gig, a three-song set at a Mexican restaurant. Two years later, as a gangly 13-year-old, he won his first long performance run – a six-month gig impersonating Elvis at Expo 86 in Vancouver. Vallis spent the next nine years touring throughout North America and all over the world. Now he’s at the Sooke Legion.