You will not be able to stop watching Franklin resident and our favorite “Little Elvis” fan who attended the Nashville Elvis Festival at the Franklin Theatre.
At just three years old, Kenneth Buettner was brought to the stage by the host for the Friday night show. We spoke to Kenneth’s mother, Anne Marie who shared with us how Kenneth made it to the stage that night.
“We were fortunate enough to buy the last seats available for the Friday night show of the 1st Annual Nashville Elvis Festival. Because we were in the back row, Kenneth was allowed to stand in his seat. Several organizers of the event would take turns standing in the back during the show, so they had an opportunity to see Kenneth in his Elvis jumpsuit mouthing the words to every song performed. Tom Brown was the host and one of the organizers of the event. When Dean Z, the former Ultimate Elvis Tribute Champion, began taking requests, Tom Brown asked my husband’s permission to put Kenneth on stage. I was in the restroom and could hear Dean Z over the speaker say, ‘You’re three. I feel like I’m looking into the past.’ I rushed back into the theater. I knew it had to be Kenneth! Dean Z was absolutely wonderful with him, and it is not lost on me what a disaster it could have been having a toddler he had never met on stage with him! Fortunately, Kenneth did pretty well, but I credit Dean Z and a fabulous band for improvising to make an awe-struck three-year-old charm the audience. I’ve never seen Kenneth so still while he was singing Elvis. He was quite serious about the event.”
“Kenneth’s passion for Elvis began at three months old”, said Anne Marie Buettner, Kenneth’s mother. “His uncle Russell would sing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” to soothe him. When he was about six months old, we discovered that when he heard Elvis, he would immediately quit crying. Grandparents and babysitters would pull it up on Youtube when he was upset, and from there he pushed his little finger on other videos of Elvis performing in his famed white pantsuits. Kenneth was never the same after that! He was fixated on copying Elvis’s every move once he could walk. Our friends LeAnne and Jo-el Ulmer of 2Country4Nashville would bring him on stage with them so he could lip-sync and do a dramatic guitar handoff to a ‘stagehand’.”
As you hear in the video some of Kenneth’s favorite Elvis songs are “All Shook Up,” “Suspicious Minds” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight”.
For Christmas, he even had an Elvis-themed tree. Watch the video that was posted on Facebook that has received over 30,000 views. Maybe next year, they will add a young Elvis Tribute Artist category, and we hope to see Kenneth on stage again.