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‘Big Elvis’ is in the building at Fiesta Rancho

Feb 19, 2002 4:18 AM

Since his 1977 death, Elvis is everywhere. Between 7 and 10 p.m., each Thursday, he’ll be at Fiesta Rancho’s Cabo Lounge. Local Elvis tribute artist, Pete Vallee brings his special interpretation to the Fiesta for an extended schedule of appearances. The show is free. For more information, contact Fiesta Rancho at (702) 631-7000.

“Big Elvis” Vallee, 36, began to sing in church in Seattle. He was told, repeatedly, that he sounded like the “young” Elvis. By 13, he put together an act; he received impressive reviews for his rendition of Jailhouse Rock at a school talent contest. Vallee’s interest in Presley and his own unique style blossomed after that performance. The teen received much encouragement and recognition for his tribute to Elvis, and at 14, he was sitting in with local bands in Seattle. Vallee had a regular “gig” with Ricky and the Starfires and performed, Elvis style, with the band every weekend; later he moved to Las Vegas to perform with the Starfires. Vallee returned to Seattle in 1990 to pursue his education. In 1997, he brought his “Big Elvis” act back to Las Vegas. An avid collector of Elvis-abilia, Vallee uses Presley’s eyeglasses and plays a guitar signed by The King. His shows include many Presley favorites as well as Louis Armstrong, gospel and country songs.

Vallee has traveled the country as the lead singer with those hunks o’ burnin’ love, the “Elvis Choir,” a Las Vegas-based choir of tribute artists. His Cabo Lounge shows are not for the squeamish ”” there will be plenty of hip wigglin’ and old-fashioned rock ”˜n’ roll.