Inquires for Booking 2020/2021
Call 250-479-0677
Click here to email about the Man Of Many Voices Show (

Interested in information on public shows? Please consider joining our new members only facebook page.
Share Us on Facebook!

If you don't use facebook, feel free to email. Always good to hear from you.

Man Of Many Voices

He grew up dreaming of being Elvis, but Johnny Vallis made a name for himself in showbiz by impersonating another rock legend - Buddy Holly.Vallis, spent many years paying homage to Holly, as part of the three-person (Holly, Elvis and Roy Orbison) Legends of Rock and Roll show."It was 'the show they never gave,'" said Vallis.
Vallis, admits that fate played at least a bit part in his career path, although even as a preschooler, he knew he wanted to be a professional entertainer and musician. "In my Grade 1 annual, it said, 'I want to be Elvis when I grow up,'" Vallis said "Not I wanted to be 'like' Elvis. I actually wanted to be Elvis. There was never any hesitation that I didn't have the chops."Despite his early interest in music and goal of becoming a performer, Vallis says he isn't entirely sure what sparked that interest.Vallis said he wasn't especially good at sports, and simply gravitated to music from early on."I just wanted a guitar and wanted to play," he said. "I liked the attention. Anybody who gets into this business, it's because they like the attention."At age 11, in his native Toronto, he earned his first paid gig, a three-song set at a Mexican restaurant. Two years later, as a gangly 13-year-old, he won his first long performance run - a six-month gig impersonating Elvis at Expo 86, in Vancouver.It was there he met another Elvis impersonator - Randy Friskie - who told Vallis he was more suited to Buddy Holly than 'the King,' because of his tall, slender stature. Indeed, Vallis does bear a striking resemblance to Holly, even before he puts on glasses similar to Holly's trademark horn-rimmed specs.Vallis played out his six-month run on False Creek, then moved to Victoria in 1987. He worked on his Holly impersonation, and earned a job playing at a downtown restaurant.It was there that he was "discovered" in January, 1989, and signed to play Buddy Holly with the Legends of Rock and Roll. Ironically, the show's Elvis was none other than Friskie, who had advised Vallis to think about impersonating Holly two years earlier.Just 16 when he joined the show, Vallis spent the next nine years touring throughout North America and all over the world.He cites a 1996 tour of Australia, which involved 66 shows in just over two months, as well as an impromptu performance for the king and queen of Malaysia, as his favorite."If you want to stay in a career, you've got to be willing to try something new," Vallis said.His own Man of Many Voices musical comedy show, however, wasn't entirely new.The show involves impressions of Mick Jagger, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Garth Brooks, John Lennon, the Bee Gees and Gordon Lightfoot, among others - voices that were perfected during sound checks for Legends shows.Vallis's performances also involve a healthy dose of G-rated comedy, but Vallis says his main focus remains on the music."It's musically based, because my life has been music," he said, going on to describe his act as 'Vegasy type' impersonations."I'm a singer first and a comedian second - unless you don't like my singing, then I'm a comedian first and a singer second," Vallis quipped.While he plays everything from summer festivals to office parties and conventions, Vallis has also played some big venues such as the Grey Cup. Getting to meet and occasionally perform with big name celebrities has been a perk of his career choice, says Vallis. He's had opportunities to meet an array of entertainers, from Mel Torme to Ronnie Hawkins, Tommy Sands, Frankie Laine to Randy Bachman.It's not just the celebrities he meets, however, that impress Vallis."That's the fun part, the people you meet," he said. "Whether they're stars or ordinary people."

Johnny Vallis as John Lennon
'You've got to stand behind your name'
Brad Bird, Oceanside Star
A young John Vallis imitated his teacher one day and was sent to the principal's office.
"Why are you here?" the principal asked.
Little Johnny showed him, doing his teacher shtick. "That's really good!" the administrator said, and sent him home early, as the day was almost done.

Johnny Vallis, The Man of Many Voices, has been imitating people ever since -- Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Mick Jagger among them.
His Jagger tribute was a hit Saturday at the Sixth Annual Whiskey Creek Music Festival at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds, where the crowd was sparse but enthusiastic.
It loved his Rolling Stones impersonation, one of his stock-in-trade acts. But there was also John Lennon ("Give Peace a Chance"), Gordon Lightfoot, Neil Diamond.
"I have fun with the character," he said. "I don't make fun of them."
You've likely seen Vallis perform, as he's been at the Parksville Beach Fest a few times, the Grey Cup game, around the world in fact with the Legends of Rock and Roll, when he sang for the king and queen of Malaysia.
That last gig was years ago.
For the 35-year-old Victoria musician, this is a mellow part of his career. He's a dad now, with a two-year-old son named Layne, named after his friend the great Frankie Laine, who died a year ago. They'd been friends for two decades.
The same boy who was sent to the principal's office had the pluck to write to Frankie Laine, who at the time was in his 70s, still going strong in the revival circuit. Young Vallis sent him a tape of his early efforts.
"Frank phoned me to say, 'Keep at it, and call me any time'," Vallis said. He took him up on that. Breath control is vital to a performer, and Vallis credits his fine control to the help he received from Laine, known for "Rawhide" and other hits.
Vallis, which is his real name, writes liner notes for CDs put out by a German company, Bear Family Records. Buddy Knox ("Party Doll") and Ray Peterson ("Tell Laura I Love Her") are two of his subjects so far.
"Things could be better," he says, relaxing Saturday after his first of two shows. "Things could also be worse. You've got to be content. I've had a 20-plus year career as a musician. I think everybody wants stuff. But I've always had what I need."
"In the long run you've got to stand behind your name. Going from being a tribute artist to using your own name is quite a jump."
He typically walks three hours a day, both because he likes it and because it keeps him fit for his act.
At one point he saw a doctor, worried that he was slimming down too much.
Walking 12 or more hours a week will do that, his physician said.
Vallis smiles. He's got what he needs.
© Oceanside Star 2008

Johnny Vallis as Mick Jagger

Johnny Vallis as Mick Jagger