The new documentary called ?Orion: The Man Who Would Be King? reveals the tragic life of Jimmy ?Orion? Ellis who was a doppelg?nger of Elvis Presley.
After death of Elvis Aaron Presley in 1978, a doppelg?nger named Jimmy ?Orion? Ellis emerged onto the music scene with voice similar to the King and convinced the world that he was alive and well. He recorded nine studio albums and toured the world during height of his career but was never happy to be recognised as someone else.
According to The Daily Beast, Ellis was born in Mississippi, but raised in Orrville, Alabama after he was adopted. He struggled for years to launch a recording career under his own name and failed.
After death of Elvis Presley in 1977, novelist Gail Brewer-Giorgio published her novel titled Orion,which described how a popular singer faked his own death to escape the pressures of fame.
Meanwhile, Ellis sent recordings of himself singing Elvis covers ?Blue Moon of Kentucky? and ?That?s Alright, Mama? to Shelby Singleton, the owner of Sun Records.
Singleton who had made Elvis star before smelled the opportunity and sought to exploit the myth surrounding Elvis? death with ideas from Giorgio?s book. He offered Ellis to sign a contract to sing in the style of Elvis under the condition he wear a mask that he would never take off. Ellis finally achieved his dream of singing with fame and glory he desired but was haunted by the fact he would never be recognised for himself. He hated to be labelled as an Elvis impersonator and even released a song in 1978 called ?I?m Not Trying To Be Like Elvis.? His career ended when he unveiled himself during a performance on New Year? Eve in 1983 after which Singleton ripped up his contract.
Jeanie Finely, the Director behind the documentary suggests Ellis as long lost half-brother of Elvis, a long held theory among Orion fans. The similarities between Elvis and Ellis extend beyond their vocal chords, both had mothers named Gladys according to Daily Mail. Ellis? mother had given him up at age of 2 and his father was identified as ?Vernon? on his birth certificate, who might have been Vernon Presley. Finely said ?The tragedy of Ellis is that he didn?t want to be Elvis – he wanted to be himself, but he never could be – not when you sound just like the most famous singer in the world at the time.? The tale of Jimmy Ellis came to a tragic end when he was murdered in his Alabama pawnshop during a robbery in 1998.