Father and daughter artists share their work and collectables at Carroll County Public Library
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 11:00 AM
Greg Damron has bonded over Elvis Presley music and culture with his daughter, Haley, since she was 5.
Greg Damron dressed the part for the opening night of his and his daughter Haley’s Elvis exhibit at the Carroll County Public Library. The exhibit will be on display through the end of the month. (Submitted photo)
Greg enjoys 1970s' Presley - white jumpsuit, "Aloha From Hawaii" - while Haley enjoys the younger rock n' roller - Sun Records, "Don't Be Cruel" Presley. Whichever side you fall on, the family has plenty of love for the King, and they are eager to share it with others.
The two are displaying their Presley-inspired artwork, photographs and memorabilia collection at the Carroll County Public Library until the end of the month. Friday's kickoff event included special music by the King. Greg is displaying many of his Elvis drawings, while Haley submitted her photography taken of tribute artists as well as Elvis digital composites.
Much of their work has come from traveling to Memphis every year to attend Elvis Week, an event held on the anniversary of Presley's death - Aug. 16, 1977.
Greg has a room in his house that has become inundated with Elvis memorabilia and artwork.
"It didn't start out that way, but that's how it has turned out," he joked.
Greg has created more than 30 Elvis pieces and has given away just four, one of which was a gift to Presley's first cousin. Greg said he was sketching during Elvis Week when a lady approached him and admired the work. He later framed the piece and gave it to her as a gift.
In addition to attending Elvis Week, the Damrons also regularly catch Elvis impersonator shows. Greg said there is an entire subculture of Elvis impersonators. They're typically broken into four categories: '50s rock; early '60s which also includes the movies; late '60s; and, of course, the iconic 1970s Elvis.
Greg and Haley have collected 41 signatures of various Elvis impersonators from the concerts. Some are dead-ringers for Presley, while others are better at capturing the sound and moves.
Elvis Week includes the ultimate Elvis Presley tribute competition. It's held at Graceland and features some of the best impersonators in the world.
"Everybody has their own tribute artist," Greg said. "The artists have the ability to channel the spirit. And (the crowd) really responds to it."
Greg's own love of Elvis started when he was just a kid. He remembers watching Elvis' movies with his uncle, who also had an extensive record collection.
Haley, who attends the University of Cumberland in Williamsburg, Ky., has carried the torch with an appreciation of Presley of her own. She photo catalogues each of the family's Elvis Week visits and designs multi-media composites of the singer.
For her Sweet 16, she even rode in a pink Cadillac - the car Elvis was famous for driving.
"She showed interest in it, and it just started steam rolling," Greg said.