Cullman crowd enjoys visit from The King

Andrew Cryer

CULLMAN – This weekend at the Cullman Civic Center, Stephen Freeman, a worldwide acknowledged and awarded Elvis Presley tribute artist, transported the packed center of more than 350 people back to the era of rock 'n' roll. The show was put on by The King Tribute Live.

The Civic Center was alive and well, as was Elvis, with great crowd participation that saw, at least from this reporter’s perspective, fans transported back in time to the height of Elvis mania.

Freeman played several classics and some lesser acclaimed Elvis songs alongside Cullman’s very own, The Horizon Band. Tunes ranged from Elvis’ Christmas hits to house shaking rock 'n' roll numbers with a few gospel songs sprinkled in to pay tribute to the famed musician.

The concert marked Freeman’s first appearance in Alabama, but one local resident remembers when the King himself brought down the house in Cullman in the 1950s.

According to James Laminack, he first saw Elvis when he was 9 years old in the mid-1950s before Elvis became very popular. Elvis wasn’t well-received in Cullman.

“I remember the people booing him; they really didn’t like him because he played rock 'n' roll,” stated Laminack, who says the venue is currently known as Victory Missionary Baptist Church, but was formerly known as the Farmers’ Club, and was quite the “honky-tonk.”

Laminack enjoyed Freeman, saying he is a good performer and puts on a good show.

The Cullman crowd certainly had a different reaction this time around!  

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