August 16, 2017 7:42 pm
Updated: August 17, 2017 7:34 am

Elvis Presley inspired former Saskatoon city councillor, Sask. MLA

WATCH ABOVE: There are many Elvis Presley fans in Saskatoon, and some loved his music so much they’ve been doing impersonations for years. One fan reflects back on 40 years since Elvis died. Ryan Kessler reports.

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Bob Pringle was an Elvis Presley fan long before he became a Saskatoon city councillor, a member of the provincial legislature, and the Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth.

The 67-year-old has been an Elvis impersonator for more than two decades.

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“I’m an average singer at best,” Pringle said.

“But when I put the suit on, it’s the entertainment value as much as anything.”

The retired politician and social worker plays benefit concerts in Saskatchewan communities in support of local children.

His annual Milk for Children fundraiser at Market Mall in Saskatoon brings in money for the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

Pringle’s mother was a country singer, capable of playing a guitar, organ and just about any instrument with no formal training.

He recalls a lot of singing in his family’s home and discovering a musician who could play blues, gospel and country.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s children’s advocate, Bob Pringle, resigns from post

For Pringle, Elvis was groundbreaking.

“He pushed the envelope of music. Some of the music he introduced was very controversial,” Pringle said, referring to censorship of Elvis’s swinging hips on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Presley died at age 42 on Aug. 16, 1977, leaving a legacy including more one billion records sold.

Like most people his age, Pringle remembers the day the King of Rock n’ Roll died.

“I was just in my living room, and I was just about to start working on my homework because I was a student and I can remember that really clearly because I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Thousands gathered in Memphis, Tenn., for a candlelight vigil and memorial to mark the 40th anniversary of Presley’s death.

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