Abington Detective Sgt. Greg Urban stood outside of the entrance to the board room prior to Thursday’s board of commissioners meeting. He’s not usually there to greet residents and commissioners. On that night, he was soliciting for The King.
Well, it wasn’t exactly for The King, but it was close.
Urban was handing out pamphlets for a Doug Church performance. Church, who, according to his website likes to be called an “Elvis tribute artist,” will perform at the Keswick Theatre Saturday March 3. Church started his tribute to Elvis in the early ‘80s while in the U.S. Air Force.
Is Urban just that much an Elvis fan? Is he just that interested in sharing his love for The King with the community? Yes, probably … but proceeds of the concert go to the Abington Police Athletic League.
“[Church] is an artist that me and my coworker had seen many times and we thought if we could bring him to Abington, it would be a good draw,” Urban said. “We decided to get the Keswick to help us — and they graciously did — and we thought, ‘What better way to make some money for PAL than trying to bring [Church] to the area?’”
On PAL, Urban said, “It’s a place for kids to go — it gives them structure. Instead of roaming the streets on Friday and Saturday nights, they’ve got a place to go.”
That “place to go” is the former site of the Glenside-Weldon Elementary School on Easton Road. Urban said the proceeds from the benefit concerts will help with the funding for a new building (a building “more worthy of a first-class township,” he said), as well as a scholarship fund.
Urban, who has been with Abington Police for 29 years, said he has seen Church perform several times over the years; he spoke Church’s manager and helped bring him to the area.
“He’s happy to come up here,” Urban said. “It’s a market that he hasn’t been to yet.”
Church is better than your run-of-the-mill Elvis impersonator because concert-goers can actually speak to him after the performance, Urban said. That, and the fact that the guy really sounds like Elvis, adds up to an entertaining show.
“If you close your eyes, you think it’s Elvis,” Urban said. “It’s as close as you’re going to get. He does tribute songs to Elvis — he honors the memory and voice of Elvis.”
What’s Urban’s favorite Elvis song? Well, there’s really only one answer for him.
“That question is kind of a trap — my wedding song was ‘The Wonder of You.’”
Abington Lt. Steve Hochwind happened to walk by during the Elvis conversation. As it turns out, Hochwind had plans to visit Florida, but he’s altering them so he can hit up the Keswick.
“I’m absolutely going! This is Greg’s baby, man. Are you kidding me? I would never hear the end of it if I didn’t go,” Hochwind said.
Doug Church’s Elvis tribute will happen Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. at the Keswick Theatre. Tickets range from $38 to $50. For more information on tickets, call the box office at 215-572-7650; Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000; or visit the Keswick Theatre’s website here.