My name is Gordon Epstein and my stage name is Elvis Epstein. The first time I performed on the stage I was 5 years old. I was part of a singing group in Cape Town called Jolly Good Company. I was the only one in the group who did a solo performance as part of the show. We did shows at The Sea Point Civic Center and at Cavendish Square. Then at the age of 6 I took the lead role in a musical play that my primary school was doing. At the age of 7, my aunt gave me an Elvis Presley record for my birthday, and I started singing rock ‘n roll songs at school, and would sing with the record at home. In high school I had my own rock ‘n roll band, the only one in the school, and we would get standing ovations when we performed. During my high school days I also worked on writing songs, with my music teacher at the time, Charles Segal, who now lives in Los Angeles.
At the age of 20 I became friends with comedian Johnny Noble. He invited me to one of his shows in Sea Point, where he had everyone rolling with laughter, and invited me on the stage to do a song. I was very shy, and not that well prepared to perform, but the audience liked it, and his wife got me my first professional gig to perform at a hotel in Knysna. After that gig I performed at The Kalahari Sands Hotel in Namibia, which is a 5 star hotel. I then started one of the first cd shops in Cape Town, and did music gigs part time at various venues, including The Constantia Neck Restaurant, The Josephine Mill, The Italian Club. When cd’s started going out of fashion, I decided to, and had always wanted to perform full time. The very next day, after deciding to become a full time musician, I went on the radio Station Smile 90.4FM for an interview and did a rock ‘n roll song live in the studio. A few days after that I started doing gigs at various places, including Joe’s Easy Diner in Blue Route Mall, Franky’s Diner in Sea Point, Kaleidoscope Cafe in Claremont, and Obviouzly Armchair Theater in Observatory.
The new radio station, Smile, also helped me by promoting my gigs. I perform solo with acoustic guitar and vocals. I do mainly rock ‘n roll from the 1950’s, 60’s, and early 70’s. I usually also include a few light jazz songs in my set, and a few of my own original songs. I have realized that I am able to make people happy with my music, and I also do shows at various homes and frail care centers, where I am able to help people with my music. I also did a show recently at The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital for the volunteers and the staff of the hospital. At present I perform every Friday night at Franky’s Diner in Sea Point, and every Tuesday night at The Red Herring Restaurant in Noordhoek. I have been at Franky’s diner for a year, and at The Red Herring Restaurant for about 6 months, as well as various once off gigs in Cape Town.