IMPERSONATORS: Phillip Bauer as Johnny Cash, Marion Deaton as Willie Nelson and Marty Edward as Kenny Rogers have been recreating the sound and the look the three music stars.
IMPERSONATORS: Phillip Bauer as Johnny Cash, Marion Deaton as Willie Nelson and Marty Edward as Kenny Rogers have been recreating the sound and the look the three music stars. Contributed

US born performer ready to rock the Moncrieff

FOR most of his adult life, singer Marty Edwards has led a double life.

The American-born performer started his musical career in the '70s as a lead vocalist and guitarist for a country band.

But even before then he was being groomed for a life in show business.

"My mum was a big fan of Gordon MacRae who was a big star way, way back," he said.

"And one of the films he starred in was Desert Song and the title song was my mum's favourite and she made me learn it.

"When people came over she would call me out and I had to sing that song while she played the piano."

Decades later, while recording an album his producer James Bowers observed that not only did he bear a striking resemblance to country legend Kenny Rogers but he sounded like him too.

He didn't do anything about the comment until 1998 when he produced the first annual Put A Little Love In Your Heart benefit concert that helped abused children.

His first show was a short one act and so he put the Kenny Rogers tribute together and the rest as they say was history.

Edwards said he has met Rogers twice and received his seal of approval.

"For a lot of impersonators that is the holy grail," he said.

"He was very gracious.

"The last time I met him he said to me 'now Marty don't go out and get me into any trouble'."

Edwards said the key to a successful tribute act were the looks, the vocals and the mannerisms.

"You have to study your character," he said.

"I've seen Kenny perform live a number of times and watched his videos.

"But to tie it all together you have to respect your character."

Edwards will take the stage in Bundaberg alongside Phillip Bauer as Johnny Cash, Marion Deaton as the outlaw Willie Nelson for the tribute show Kings of Country.

The Gig

Where: Moncrieff Theatre

When: Friday, May 23

Cost: Adult $55, Pensioner/ Fulltime students $40 Children under 13 $25

Contact Moncrieff Theatre on 4130 4100 for more information