It seemed like a regular day at Parker Adult Day Center’s social program in Highland Park. The participants had an interesting morning of activities and just finished lunch when suddenly, the 2001, A Space Odyssey
theme began. The door opened and Elvis burst in, wearing his famous rhinestone decorated white Las Vegas costume and aviator sunglasses, brandishing his guitar and his trademark lopsided grin. The Space Odyssey theme ended and Elvis, grabbing the mike, began a fast-paced rendition of CC Rider.
Chris Bell, a recreation assistant in the center and a talented musician and singer, pulled off his impersonation of Elvis in great style. Chris sang eleven of Elvis’ most famous songs for the participants, followed by an “interview” session where he answered questions as Elvis. The show ended with a “meet and greet” session, where ‘Elvis’ autographed photos and gave them to participants in the program.
Afterward, ‘Elvis’ and his crew packed his gear and went next door to the center’s medical program to perform his second show of the day.
After enjoying the show, staff members were shocked to learn that Chris Bell had never impersonated Elvis in public. “It was a wonderful day,” Chris said. “Music can touch people deeply, especially when the music is familiar or from an iconic performer. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to make people happy for a living,” he remarked.
Parker Adult Day Center frequently incorporates musical activities for the benefit of participants. As an “in-house” musician, Chris assists in providing a music enrichment program for Parker Adult Day Center participants. Music enrichment has a proven beneficial effect for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Elvis’ Song List:
2001, A Space Odyssey Theme/Elvis Intro/C.C. Rider
All Shook Up
Don’t Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
Heart Break Hotel
A Little Less Conversation
Can’t Help Falling in Love