Jim Forshey began his tribute to Elvis Presley in December of 2004 in Parkersburg, WV. He is a second generation tribute artist, with his father (whose name is also Jim) performing in WV in the late 70s and early 80s. Jim has always been an Elvis fan, but never dreamed of becoming an Elvis Tribute Artist until being persuaded by one of his patients where he practiced as a licensed physical therapist assistant. As he began to perform, the fans began to appear at the various venues and his crowds continue to grow.
" With my dad doing Elvis when I was growing up, I heard a lot of Elvis' music." Jim said. "So I got to appreciate how talented Elvis was at an early age. "
Though Jim enjoys all eras of Elvis' career, his show is patterned after the way Elvis performed in the 70s, known by some as the "jumpsuit years" or "the Vegas years." He enjoys performing fan favorites such as, "CC Rider," "Polk Salad Annie," and "Suspicious Minds." Jim's show varies because, "Elvis did so many songs, it's impossible to do them all at each show." he said. "So, each show is a little bit different." Jim tries to emulate Elvis as much as possible, in order to bring memories of Elvis back to the many fans that still love the king. "I try not to put my own little spin on it. " he said. "It really isn't a true tribute to Elvis if you're doing your own thing. I try to emulate what Elvis would've done if he were still on stage performing. I know that's what I want to see when I go to watch an Elvis tribute artist and you won't find a bigger Elvis fan than me."
Jim has performed throughout Ohio and West Virginia at such venues as the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio, the Southern Ohio Opry in Lucasville, Ohio, the Alpine Theater in Ripley, WV, the Meigs County Fair in Pomeroy, Ohio, Jefferson school in Parkersburg, WV, and the Parkersburg City Park. Jim was the second entertainer to ever perform at the Mayor's Music Series at Southwood Park in South Parkersburg. He also has performed in Ravenswood, WV at the high school and at Point Pleasant's beautiful Riverfront Park. Besides the public appearances, Jim also entertains residents in several area skilled nursing facilities, such as Parkersburg Care and Rehabilitation, the Willows, Pineview of Harrisville, Ohio Valley Healthcare, and Care Haven of Pleasants County. "I work in a skilled nursing facility so I am aware that those residents can't get out to the shows very often, " he said. "So, we try to bring the show to them. Their generation really relates to Elvis and they love the shows. It truly gives them something to look forward to. To see the smiles it brings to their faces is well worth it to me."
Jim recently participated in an invitation only Ultimate Elvis Tribute contest in the Poconos, in which he finished in the top 20. "I was honored to be apart of that. " he said. "I was just tickled to death to be there singing with some of the best tribute artists in the world. The band was absolutely phenomenal to sing with. What an honor!"
Jim has been married for six years and has three children: Madison,Devon, and Preston. His wife, Stacie, is from Meigs County, Ohio, and is also a full time physical therapist assistant. She played basketball at Ohio Valley University. She has been very supportive of the Elvis shows. She has assisted with sound mixing, ticket taking, and handing out scarves during the show. His daughter, Madison, has performed on stage with Jim. She sang Elvis' 1969 hit, "Don't Cry Daddy," on two separate occasions. His son, Devon, is also a huge Elvis fan. His favorite Elvis song is Hound Dog or Jailhouse Rock.
Jim's late mother and grandparents, Sharon Davis-Forshey and Homer and Kathleen Davis, respectively, would have been very supportive if they had lived. "I know they would've been in the front row at every show," Jim said. "My mom loved Elvis and would've enjoyed seeing me perform. I miss them all so very much!" Jim's mother passed away in 2000 and his grandparents both passed away in 2002. "I know who I can count on to be there supporting me and they are the ones that are there at every show. Wild horses wouldn't have kept my mother or grandparents from coming to see me in concert. Hopefully I am making them proud."
Jim also had to say goodbye to a very dear friend in 2012, Bill Gillespie. He passed away in April of 2012. Bill attended the majority of Jim's shows and was a huge supporter of his tribute shows. He will be missed and never forgotten. "Sometimes it seems like he's still there in the front row." Bill Gillespie served this country in the US Navy.