Almost Almost Famous

On tour through an alternate universe where Elvis never dies, Almost Almost Famous explores the lives of tribute artists and the cost of borrowed fame.
Available on CBC Gem

Almost Almost Famous

documentary Channel

On a road trip through an alternate universe, where Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison never died, Almost Almost Famous explores the lives of three of the world’s top tribute artists, the cost of borrowed fame and the risk of getting ‘lost in the act’.

Fifty years after trailblazers like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jackie Wilson defined music as we know it today, three world-class tribute artists carry on their legacy — but what happens when borrowed fame begins to lose its charm? Can they ever find stardom on their own terms?   

The newest offering from award-winning production company Merit Motion Pictures and veteran director Barry Lank, Almost Almost Famous takes us on a musical ride, following the “Class of ‘59” tour across Canada. Led by intrepid road manager Marty Kramer, the group features Texas rockabilly musician Lance Lipinsky as Jerry Lee Lewis, Las Vegas-based R & B singer Bobby Brooks as Jackie Wilson and the “Elvis from Orlando”, Ted Torres.

From the beer joints of Texas to the karaoke bars of Honolulu, the film explores how three incredibly talented singers wound up paying the bills as tribute artists. Born into a musical family, Ted was introduced to Elvis Presley by his father. His career as the King got its kickstart at the age of 22 when he entered an Elvis singing competition. Those days have long passed, however, and while Ted would be happy to play the young Elvis forever, time is not on his side.

The wild card of the crew, Lance has always had musical aspirations that far exceeded his current situation. Since dropping out of high school at 17 to take up a gig performing as his hero, Jerry Lee, he hasn’t looked back. Now, touring alongside other elite tribute artists, he continues to dream that his own rockabilly band, The Lovers, will make it big one day.

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Following a childhood raised by a foster family in New York, and a ten-year stint in the Navy, Bobby stumbled into music by performing in bars, singing the music of the 50s. Finding himself inexplicably drawn to that era, he has made his name as an inimitable Jackie Wilson tribute artist. Mid-way through his career, however, he finds this stability turned on its head by a shocking revelation.

Who will break out and who will be forced to settle for less? As each artist struggles to define their own identity, tensions within the group run high. The fearless Marty has his work cut out for him as he struggles to keep the artists’ feet on the ground, the music centre stage, and the crowds clamouring for more.

Visit the official website
Go behind the curtain with the world’s best tribute artists in the Class of ‘59 tour

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