MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

June 19, 2014

One-man tribute act returns to launch pad

Impersonator of musical legends back at OMHOF

One thing promised about the Johnny Rogers concert at the Frisco Depot is that anyone could make an appearance.

“You never know what you are going to see at my show,” Rogers said.

From Buddy Holly to Prince, the impersonator will bring his show, “Buddy and Beyond,” to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame stage at 8 p.m. Friday.

Rogers, 44, grew up in Tennessee. He moved to Chicago at the age of 17, after his father got a job as a disc jockey.

Rogers said he grew up on country and classic rock. But one song had such an impact, it changed his life forever.

“I heard ‘Rave On’ by Buddy Holly,” Rogers said. “It’s like a switch turned on and I haven’t been able to turn it off.”

Muskogee holds a special place in Rogers’ heart, he said:

“That’s actually where the show was born.”

During an induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame in 2005 honoring Tommy Allsup, one of Buddy Holly’s guitar players, Rogers took the stage as Holly in a surprise performance.

“I love entertaining at the Hall of Fame because it’s so personal,” Rogers said.

OMHOF director Jim Blair said Rogers’ shows are full of energy.

“He’s incredibly talented,” Blair said.

Rogers said he has lived a blessed life. He has performed all over the country and is even making a cameo appearance in a movie, “Cowgirls Dream.”

“I’ve played in Vegas and performed in front of Prince,” Rogers said.

Rogers performed “Purple Rain” for Prince. The rock star was so impressed that he presented Rogers with a guitar from the film “Purple Rain.”

The list of Rogers’ musical portrayals varies, starting with Holly, and including Prince, George Jones, Elvis Presley, Paul McCartney, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Conway Twitty.

A tribute to Twitty is planned for tonight’s show. “I always get a lot of requests for Conway,” Rogers said.

Although he is mostly known for his impersonations, Rogers is also a singer/songwriter.

He said he prefers impersonating other artists.

“I’m OK,” Rogers said. “I’m not as great as the guys I impersonate.”

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: “Buddy and Beyond.”

WHEN: Doors open at 7 tonight. Show starts at 8 p.m.

WHERE: The Frisco Depot at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. Third St.

INFORMATION: (918) 687-0800.

TICKETS: Admission is $10 in advance. Tickets can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com/e/johnny-rogers-presents-buddy-and-beyond-tickets-11861202175 or the night of the show for $15 at the door.

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