Jimmy Ellis was an obscure rockabilly singer who was blessed and cursed with a singing voice eerily similar to that of Elvis Presley. After Presley's death he assumed the identity of Orion, mysterious masked country singer, who bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain supposedly dead singer, wink wink nudge nudge. As gimmicks go, it a weird one - for one thing, Ellis really does sound almost indistinguishable from Presley, and the production closely matches the slick proficiency of Elvis's seventies output. But on the other side, Ellis received a slice of the wildness that was Presley's later years - not to mention legions of crazed fans' misplaced obsession. He soon abandoned the persona altogether and took to touring and recording under his own name, unsuccessfully, before retiring to open a convenience store in Alabama, where he was tragically gunned down in a botched robbery. It's a weird music business story for the ages, sad and ludicrous and, not surprisingly, the source of some good goddamn country music.
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