On August 16, 1977, the world was stunned by the news of Elvis Presley’s untimely passing. Some went so far as to believe that he had somehow faked his death. The executives at Sun Records turned that fantasy into opportunity with ORION, a mysterious masked performer with the voice of The King. First appearing in 1979, Jimmy “ORION” Ellis went onto record 11 albums and performed live to packed houses across America. But who was the man behind the mask?
Jeanie Finlay’s ORION: The Man Who Would Be King is the stranger-than-fiction story of an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight with the complicity of a manipulative music industry and a public fan base unwilling to let The King lose his crown.
ORION finally gives a name and a face to a gifted artist who had been unjustly deprived of both:
To celebrate ORION’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the filmmaking team put on a karaoke party at Sid Gold’s Request Room, a vintage piano bar in Midtown Manhattan set to officially open its doors in two weeks. ORION himself made an appearance and sang some of Elvis’ classics. Scroll through the gallery above to peep at our 21 captures of the night in question.