I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.
The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.
So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the posts on odd numbered days each month and John handles the even numbered days.
In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.
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My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.
John’s twitter handle is @JohnRancke if you want to reach out to him.
February 18, 2018 Keith Henderson-Elvis Illusionist
Post by John Rancke
Keith Henderson grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He moved to Chapel Hill when his mother and father (Mary and Shelton Henderson) opened The Shrunken Head Boutique on Franklin Street.
The year was 1969 and there were no Tar Heel buttons or jerseys or any of the countless Carolina novelties and clothing that are present today. There were clothes. Lots of bell bottoms and those shiny shirts that made you feel like John Travolta (didn’t include the dancing ability he displayed in Saturday Night Fever).
The Shrunken Head started out as a Head shop. All the hippies around Chapel Hill needed somewhere to shop. It wasn’t until around 1982 after Carolina won the NCAA Championship that Shelton decided to change the merchandise and the focus to Everything Carolina.
But in the meantime, Keith Henderson finally saw Elvis in Greensboro in 1977 before Elvis died. Keith had been exposed to Elvis since the age of 3, listening to Elvis records at his grandmother’s house. After seeing Elvis in concert, Keith was encouraged by his high school sweetheart (later to be his wife) to enter the 1978 Junior Follies show at Chapel Hill High School. He walked away with the award and it was the first step towards becoming the Elvis Illusionist as he always referred to himself.
He just blew everybody away with how incredibly much he sounded like Elvis,” recalled Kimberly Eastman Zirkle. “That was his debut. His father had encouraged him to sing, and he knew he had a gift. He started to grow his sideburns long, so he could look even more like Elvis, and his grandmother sewed all of his costumes.” His mother sewed on all the studs and ornaments. Some costumes weighed in at 15 lbs.
Hours upon hours of singing Elvis songs around the house, he developed his natural style of singing and the Elvis voice became his natural sound. Keith’s father. Shelton, recognized the talent his son possessed and encouraged him to take the next step. Live performances around the State of North Carolina and into southern Virginia. Local fundraisers, charity events, Chamber of Commerce dinners, Keith performed. He came to Lumberton years ago for a Chamber dinner.
Keith made it clear he was not an impersonator, mimicking Elvis’ moves and voice, but an illusionist, who developed his own singing style and moves after years of watching the King. He won many national and international awards for his performances.
In 2002 Keith won the Grand Prize in the $50,000 Tribute to the King contest in Biloxi, Mississippi, beating out countless competitors from across the World. He also won the 1998, 1999, and 2000 “Images of Elvis” competitions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Along the way, he’s had the privilege of performing with Elvis’ original back up singers the legendary Jordanaires and members of the Stamps Quartet.
Noted for his superior vocal talent, Keith takes pride that his performance is completely natural and the delivery of each song is filled with emotion, so that the audience not only hears the music, but “experiences” the song. “What I try to do is give the illusion of Elvis still on stage and bring back bits and pieces of memories that people have already had or seen on television and regenerate those,” Henderson said on his website. “It’s a true tribute to Elvis.”
Keith worked for the PSNC for many years and then moved to Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham to continue his everyday job.
Keith passed away on November 22, 2016 at the age of 57. His father Shelton passed away on December 7, 2013 after an extended illness.
The Shrunken Head is still open.