Travis Ledoyt is a singer, songwriter and performer who gained notoriety with his tribute to Elvis Presley starting in 2001. He’s since garnered high praise from those who knew Elvis personally and was dubbed “The World’s Best Young Elvis”. He’s opened shows for Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley’s Comets and Johnny Rivers. Though based in the US, he’s performed around the globe from Hong Kong to the UK. Also, for over a decade he has headlined for Royal Caribbean.
Travis was born in Greenfield, MA in 1977 – the year Elvis died. The third of five children, it was evident at an early age that Travis seemed destined to entertain. His impish behavior and clever wit were responsible for providing a good deal of levity and laughter within the Ledoyt household. He was a fan of the irreverence and chaos of the Marx Brothers and Monty Python and loved Mel Brooks movies. He and his siblings were always acting out skits in the living room or filming silly movies with the family VHS camcorder.
Growing up Travis was exposed to a broad variety of musical styles from the 1940s swing up through modern pop. His fascination with music led to formal piano lessons at the age of 9. Though he enjoyed the piano, he struggled with the structured nature of learning to read music. After a few years, and inspired by the movie Great Balls of Fire, he decided to drop the lessons and learn to play by ear. His focus had shifted to that boogie-woogie and Rock and Roll style of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Though exposed to Elvis’ music while growing up, it wasn’t until his high school years that he became a diehard fan. A documentary on Elvis’ early life captivated and fascinated Travis and for the first time he really stopped to listen to Elvis, discovering the magic that millions before him had discovered. He soon found himself standing in front of his bedroom mirror trying to comb a pompadour and singing Elvis’s music. In fact, it was a cassette tape of Ronnie McDowell’s imitations of The King that inspired Travis to try to do the same. Though he had no expectations of this leading anywhere.
High school classmates were aware of Travis’ obsession with Elvis as he’d grown the sideburns and dyed his hair black. In fact, some would playfully call him “Trelvis”. He was known for his humorous disruptions and antics in class and was aptly dubbed “Class Clown”. Perhaps it was “Middle Child Syndrome” that caused him to desire attention or his love for Saturday Night Live but either way, it was no surprise to anyone that he would wind up on a stage somewhere
His music career really started in 1999. Though he’d already graduated, he came back to his high school to “close out” a talent show hosted by the music department. While the judges were making their decisions, Travis entertained the folks with three Elvis songs. He was such a hit that after the show people asked him for his business card and wondered if he had shows lined up.
Fast forward to today, Travis currently tours with his Nashville-based band where they offer two different shows – both of which focus on the 1960s: “Tribute to the King”, which is his Elvis Tribute show, and “Sun and the Stars”, a new show which features music from the legends of Sun Records: Presley, Orbison, Cash, Lewis, Perkins and others.
Ledoyt has performed successfully in more than 100 casinos including Harrah’s, Hard Rock, Cherokee, Isle Of Capri, Horseshoe, Caesars, Diamond Jacks, Diamond Jo’s and many others. At Riverwind Casino in Norman, OK he has sold more than 1,000 seats annually eight years in a row.
Performing Arts Centers and Arts Councils have become big fans of Ledoyt’s show. He has played more than 50 of them, selling out nearly every show and drawing new fans to those venues.
In the corporate world, Ledoyt was the headline entertainment for the Fed Ex corporate party in Memphis, TN for two consecutive years. He was also the headliner for the International Hot Rod Association’s (IHRA) convention in Louisville, KY for two years. He has performed other numerous corporate events and private parties where his interaction with the audience members make him a tremendous hit.
The biggest compliment Ledoyt has received came from D. J. Fontana who was Elvis Presley’s drummer, “This is as close as you’ll get to seeing a concert by Elvis Presley in the early years.” Other accolades come from the New York Times (who chose Ledoyt to represent Elvis in a photo shoot) and from entertainment reporter Ken Fuson of the Des Moines Register who wrote: “I heard people all day talking about Travis Ledoyt so I went to see for myself. I thought Elvis was dead but I tell you he’s alive – I just saw him perform. He’s the surprise hit at the fair.” The accolades and glowing fan responses keep coming.