“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine” -Elvis Presley
There is perhaps no better word to describe Tyler James than ambitious. Not only does he have ambition; he has it by the multitude. He started as a 5 year old boy with a passion. That passion quickly turned into a dream. With his sights set on the stage (where he is at his best), 15 year old Tyler James set his dreams on the brightly lit big city, the mecca for any entertainer, Las Vegas.
Originally from Fort Smith, Arkansas, Tyler started performing professionally as an Elvis Tribute Artist at the age of 15. At the age of 16, his talents were quickly recognized and he landed a show in Branson, Missouri, called the Hillbilly Kat and Beyond; an Elvis Showcase. After taking a break from high school and making a temporary move to Branson, he returned to Fort Smith after the show had ended where he then graduated from high school.
Tyler continued perusing his career as a tribute artist while attending college for computer technology. Although he was trying to further his education, he still directed his focus at being on stage. With more drive than ever, he performed at many venues and cities throughout the United States.
In 2012, while living with his wife in Hawaii, Tyler entered a preliminary contest to the Ultimate Elvis Contest that took place on Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada. He took the chance and flew in for the contest. Tyler’s hope was to be seen by someone in the industry, never realizing that his life was about to change. He was approached after stepping off stage by the Entertainment Director of Fremont Street Experience and given the opportunity of a lifetime. 6 months later, Tyler would be living in Las Vegas and fulfilling his lifetime dream at only the age of 25.
In 2013, he had the opportunity to open for several national acts including Sister Hazel, Tonic, Eve 6 and Presidents of The United States of America. He was featured in Sister Hazels music video Karaoke Song that was released on DVD.
In 2015, Tyler entered the Elvis Rocks Mesquite contest in Mesquite, Nevada. He won 1st place in the 60’s era, 1st place in the 70’s era and took home the title for the overall Grand Champion.
Tyler was recently voted “Best of Las Vegas” Best Impersonator 2017 by the Las Vegas Review Journal for his performances in his long running show on Fremont Street Experience. A prestigious award for any entertainer to receive in Las Vegas. Backed by the Memphis Experience Band, which is comprised of some of the very best musicians in Las Vegas, they have performed before tens of thousands of people, drawing new fans weekly . While maintaining complete authenticity to Elvis Presley’s concerts, they add a bit of their own flair with emphasis on the rock and blues. It’s like Elvis, with a bite.
Tyler was recently asked what he hopes people take away from his show. His answer was simple. “I want people to experience what it might have been like to see Elvis in concert.”
The King may have passed away 40 years ago, but Tyler and The Memphis Experience are preserving his legacy – and helping to introduce his music to a whole new generation.