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Carroll resident is an 'Elvis for All Occasions'

Carroll resident is an 'Elvis for All Occasions'
Elvis impersonator Joe Forrester sings to Dot Wheeler at Legends Cafe in Westminster Nov. 7. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO , Carroll County Times)

By all outward appearances, Joe Forrester is an average guy. The long-time Carroll County resident works in food sales. He married his high school sweetheart, settled down on a farm and had two children.
But just turn on a spotlight and watch his sequins sparkle in the glow while he gyrates across the stage belting out "Jailhouse Rock," "All Shook Up" and "Teddy Bear."
Forrester's alter ego is none other than The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley.
Forrester will be performing Saturday at a Toys for Tots fundraiser at Little's Restaurant in Hanover, Pa. A $25 ticket pays for dinner and the show. Seating begins at 5 p.m. and The King goes on at 7 p.m.
Forrester said his specialty is interacting with the fans in a very Elvis-like way. He said he takes every opportunity to interact with the audience by taking hands and pulling some on stage. Entertaining like The King - that's what gives him a rush, he said.
"There might be other guys out there that look more like Elvis or sound more like him," Forrester said. "But, I am out there with the fans the way he was. The fans expect to be entertained."
Forrester performs at Legend's Cafe at TownMall in Westminster once a month. Owner Amy Fields said he is an excellent performer.
"He's a great guy. He has a big heart," she said. "And he is a lot of fun."
Forrester said he was always good at impersonations as a kid. He did John Wayne and Walter Brennan, in addition to Elvis. Later, he said he learned to do a great Bill Clinton. He said he always liked Elvis, but it wasn't until he entered a talent contest while he was in college that he realized he could pull off The King. He said he did more contests and always did well, but he put the limelight off after getting married and starting a family.
"I decided I better get a real job," he said.
He was drawn back into the "Heartbreak Hotel" of show business - albeit just on the weekends - about 14 years ago when he got involved with a show to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and other military causes.
"My dad was one of 12 brothers, all in the military - and they all came back," said Forrester.
Because of his family's military tradition, and the thanks he gives that his family members fared so well during wartime, he said he rarely turns down a chance to perform for the military. He's done shows at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and at bases across the country.
Forrester said his family has been supportive, considering he is away many weekends and some holidays. He said one of his best moments as Elvis was when he was able to get his daughter backstage at a concert featuring several big names where he had been an opening act.
"I said 'Honey, Elvis can get you anywhere,'" he said. "That was pretty cool, being able to pull that off."

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