Sonny Boline’s love for Elvis comes through with every note he sings — and after nine years of refining his tribute act, he still feels the special magic that is reserved for the King of Rock and Roll. Like all of the A-list Elvis tribute stars, Sonny Boline’s talent stems from a deeply rooted musical background, and a love for The King. Like Elvis, he first found his powerful singing voice in church, and discovered rock and roll at a very young age. And like legions of lifelong Elvis fans, his life was changed once he discovered the incomparable power of Elvis Presley.
“I stayed to myself quite a bit in high school and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’d come home after school and listen to his albums, one right after another, for hours. I definitely felt a connection, and I feel it as strongly as ever today while I perform.”
It’s a mutual reaction with the crowd. Boline has a strong fan base following, many of which see him perform as regularly as they can. While he’s extremely capable in covering the entire range of Elvis hits, it is Boline’s dead-on treatment of Elvis’ slow ballads which evoke the most fan reaction. It has become not uncommon for audience members to wonder out loud if Boline lip synchs his performances, a question that makes him laugh out loud.
“It’s truly a compliment, but if anyone knew how much I really love performing, and how honored I feel to help bring the audience a little closer to his music, they would know how ridiculous the question really is.”
Still, close your eyes during Sonny’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” and it’s easy to drift back in time, and envision Elvis performing at close range. Boline had never heard of Karaoke when a friend invited him along on a Minneapolis club visit. On a lark, Boline — who had been singing Elvis literally daily for his entire life — took the stage as one of the contestants, and did an Elvis number. The house came down, and Boline unexpectedly won the contest. More importantly, he felt instantly as though he had discovered his future direction.
“I feel like I know the man through his music. I moved to Las Vegas from Minneapolis after achieving local renown with his tribute act.”
He has paid his dues with appearances at small clubs, weddings, conventions, and private shows. Word of his soulful voice followed, as did appearances at the Sands, Stardust, Westward Ho, Harrahs, and MGM.
Since the closing of the Elvis-A-Rama museum several years ago, Sonny has been at the Quad (formerly known as the Imperial Palace) in the “Dealertainer” section of the casino. In this exclusive position of dealing Blackjack and 3-card Poker, he is able to entertain hundreds of people every day paying tribute to two of his favorite singers, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Whether in bejeweled jumpsuit or a black suit, his god-given vocal talent is enjoyed by all. He can be seen Monday through Friday afternoons at the Quad in Las Vegas, NV.
“The audience connection is fantastic. I think it comes across that I perform more out of a love for the man himself and an appreciation for his music, than just doing it for a living.”