Newton County, it's time to roll out those vintage hot rods and dust off those blue suede shoes. The King of Rock and Roll himself, or at least his local incarnations, will be in town Saturday night for a benefit concert along with a Classic Car Cruise-in to raise funds for a kidney-transplant hopeful.
Elvis, a.k.a. Doug Jones, regularly performs for benefits and charity events since first suiting up in a white, custom-made rhinestone encrusted getup about five years ago.
"I've always been an Elvis fan," said Jones, a construction company owner in his day job. "I did it as a joke at a Halloween party, and then it started with people calling me for this and that (event)."
As the requests came in, he began traveling and even competed in a couple of competitions, but nothing serious. "I do it mainly for fun and helping people," he said. "If it becomes a job, I don't want to do it."
For now, he still seems to be enjoying the role, passing out scarves while performing his favorite and most requested song, "Love Me Tender."
The patient, John Shaw Jr., 48, has known Jones' family for years. After chemicals degraded his kidneys nearly a decade ago, Shaw has been on dialysis, going in three times a week almost four hours at a time, as machines do the work his kidneys can no longer do, cleaning, filtering and balancing the pH in his blood.
Shaw was finally placed on the transplant waiting list last November and in the meantime, he's working on raising $10,000 to cover the costs of post-transplant not covered by insurance. So far, he said, he's been able to raise $1,000.
Shaw, a father of two boys, one in elementary school and one in middle school, hopes to be able to return to work one day as a fork lift operator.
GG's restaurant will host the Cruise-in and Tribute to Elvis concert Saturday night, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with a rain-date of Aug. 23.