The Velvet Elvis Jonny Barber Jonny Barber and Larry Geller Jonny Barber The Velvet Elvis Santa

Jonny Barber's first guitar

Jonny Barber had been performing in bands since his early teens, singing or playing lead guitar, until one night after a gig, a female fan said, "You's not so much that you look like Elvis as you do a painting of Elvis. Can you sing like him too?" He crooned, she swooned, and it got him to thinking...

On January 8th, 2004 (Elvis' 69th birthday), Jonny thought he'd test the waters. Dressed up in his finest King Bling, he staged random sightings all over his home town of Denver, Colorado. One of his early stops was Rockmount Ranchwear, where he crooned for Jack Weil (inventor of the western snap shirt, then the oldest living CEO in the U.S.A.), and was later invited to perform at his son's mansion.

Soon people began calling him The Velvet Elvis and were booking him for all kinds of parties and club dates. The first time he ever entered an Elvis contest he took 3rd place. In short time, he was the headliner. In 2005, Denver's Westword magazine voted him "Best Elvis", and then retired the category.

Best of Westword 2005

In 2013, Denver's Best of Westword Magazine voted Jonny Barber "Best Homage to Elvis".

Las Vegas Sign

Along with Jonny's hero, Elvis, Barber's Las Vegas roots run deep. His great, great, great grandfather, Charles Wesley Hubbard, was one of the first white settlers of Southern Nevada. His great grandma, Hortense Evans Nelson, sang for FDR at the dedication of the Hoover Dam. His great uncle Tommy played horn for Liberace. His mom, Phyllis Barber, was a Las Vegas Rhythmette, was recently inducted into the Nevada Writer's Hall of Fame for a Las Vegas memoir, "How I Got Cultured" and a collection of short stories with Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe and others. She also saw Elvis' first show ever in Las Vegas, in 1956 at the New Frontier Hotel, which prompted further rumors about Jonny's lineage.

In 2009, The Velvet Elvis experienced the crowning achievement for a boy from Denver, Colorado: a gig at Red Rocks Amphitheater in front of a capacity crowd, singing Heartbreak Hotel with Mayor John Hickenlooper and a cast of local music legends for Swallow Hill's "World's Largest Music Lesson".

On August 16th, 2011, The Velvet Elvis was pronounced dead of a heart attack en route to Rose Medical Center. Funeral services were held, and his fans were in a state of mourning and shock.

December 3, 2013, was the 45th Anniversary of the Elvis Comeback Special broadcast on NBC. The Velvet Elvis was sighted at a Burger King in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Three days later his resurrection was confirmed by a live appearance at Ron Pietrafeso's party, a personal friend of Elvis himselvis.

Today, The Velvet Elvis is still shakin' his hips and curling his lip and has performed all over the world. He has played gigs for homeless people on the street all the way up to royalty, and everyone in between. Elvis' music is universal! His show appeals to men, women, and children of all ages, races, creeds, and colors.

  © 2004-2015 Jonny Barber Enterprises

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