RISING SUN – Not unlike the lyrics to the Zac Brown Band’s song “She got whatever ‘it’ is,” there are performers, past and present, who just have that undefinable “it” quality. The “X” factor if you will.

Maybe “it” was that curled lip, the smile or those hips for Elvis.

Perhaps “it” was the wild hair, crazy piano antics and beguiling smile of Jerry Lee Lewis.

The beguiling confidence and slow saunter of Engelbert Humperdink could be his “it.”

For Hank Williams, Sr., “it” may have been those rhinestone suits and rebel stance.

The “come hither” look and knowing smirk of Tom Jones, must be his “it” factor.

Merle Haggard’s “it” is arguably his songs of the everyman and rough edges.

That “it” can’t be defined beyond the lackluster definition of “star quality.” But it is self-evident in some of the greatest stars who have graced stages and microphones and entertained generations.

So, it is even more challenging to define “it” when the star quality of all of these performers is somehow magically channeled into one tribute artist who seems to be able to seamlessly shift from the quiet, almost shy early years of Elvis into the raucous wild man of Jerry Lee Lewis and then right into the energetic but seductive smoothness of Tom Jones.

Somehow, Richard Blane of Rising Sun, a pretty shy fellow in his own right, has figured out how to take on the personas of each of these individuals and create show-stopping performances that have earned him fans and acclaim throughout the State. A native of Dundalk in Baltimore County, Blane performs throughout Maryland, and has even been called in to Las Vegas to give a sold out show as Elvis Presley, among other milestone performances.

His talent, years of hard work and dedication honing his craft, are now being recognized through the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame, or MEHOF. The MEHOF honors individuals and groups who make significant contributions to the history of entertainment in the State of Maryland including musicians, singers, radio and television personalities, promotional icons and all facets of entertainment.

On September 20, 2015, Richard Blane will be added to the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame. “I was floored, it really just blew me away,” Blane said.

The event will be held at Local #239 UAW Hall, 1010 S. Oldham Street, in Baltimore, and is the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony to be held. Blane has been nominated for induction by his many fans for the lion’s share of those years, with 2015 being his year for induction.

As an Elvis Tribute Artist Blane has performed in Newark, DE, Las Vegas, Lake George, NY, Columbus, Indiana, The Graceland Tent, The Hard Rock Café, The Memphis Marriot and Hilton Hotels, Dover Downs Casino and Dewey Beach’s Elvis Festival. He was also chosen by the Tennessee & Mississippi Political Societies to represent them in Washington DC.

A US Army veteran, Blane has a strong pull to give back to his community and has done benefit shows for St. Jude, Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Children’s Miracle Network, John Hopkins Children’s Hospital and Wounded Warriors.

“I tend to focus on the 1969 to 1977 era,” Blane explained of his Elvis Tribute Show. He acknowledges that he spends hours, sometimes even weeks, mastering various songs from the King’s extensive song library. “I can remember my Dad singing Elvis songs when I was growing up in Dundalk, and I guess, to some extent I channel a bit of that memory into performing.”

Over the years after shows, fans have told him he ought to try and perform as a variety of other performers, and in a variety of genres. So the man who makes his workaday living piloting massive cargo ships carved away some time to learn the nuances of a number of other celebrities enabling him to perform classic rock ‘n roll tribute shows to traditional country shows. “It’s been a challenge, but a good challenge,” he explained. “Then you add on the crooners like Humperdink and Tom Jones and that’s an entirely new format so you really have to spend a lot of time to get it right.”

What he doesn’t so readily state, is the incredible amount of money that must also be invested to hone the craft and create the full encompassing performance audiences expect. Just one Elvis-era jumpsuit can set him back thousands of dollars, not to mention the requisite jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, guitars, and, well – it’s not an inexpensive second career. “But I have a passion for it,” he admits. “To see people sing along and smile, get up and dance or clap along it’s really the best part,” Blane confides. “There’s nothing better than rekindling memories for people of when they first heard a song or going to a concert and seeing those great performances.”

Only six days after Blane is inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame, he has arranged to give local audiences a chance to see and hear exactly why he earned his nomination. A multiple tribute artist show is being held 5 to 9 p.m., at Singerly Fire Hall, 300 Newark Ave., Elkton, on Saturday, September 26. This is a dinner and a show event at $15 admission and $15 for the dinner, with doors open at 5 p.m.

“It’s a 100th birthday celebration and tribute to Frank Sinatra,” Blane explained. Among the tribute artists performing will be Blane with a 1970’s Elvis performance, favorite Cecil County local boys The Sensations who absolutely rocked Pell Gardens in Chesapeake City this summer with capacity crowds, and Patsy Cline. Never to be forgotten, Jerry Lee Lewis will also take over the stage as only Jerry Lee Lewis, in tribute artist or no, can do.

ELKTON — There’s more to being the King of Rock and Roll than being able to sing a few songs.

For Richard Blane, of Rising Sun, impersonating Elvis means spending hours watching video, studying vocal performances and reading up on all the biographies. His costumes – from leather looks to 1970s jumpsuits – are made based off the original patterns.

Blane, also a professional mariner, is a tribute artist and began portraying Elvis at local parties and concerts in 2007. His career in music started when he began playing the drums at age 8. But he said he was “always one of those guys who would never sign karaoke.”

“Now I’m up there in rhinestones and gold lamé, so never say never,” he said.

On Saturday, Blane will perform at Elkton Central Library from 7 to 8:30 p.m. as part of the Cecil County Library’s 1960s programming. Registration for Blane’s performance at the library is required. Call 410-996-5600 ext.481 for more information.

Earlier this week, Blane talked with the Whig and shared what it means to become Elvis.

“I’m not trying to be Elvis, I know I’m not, but if I can get up there and sing a song and fool their senses into thinking they’re seeing the King of Rock and Roll, I feel like I’m doing my job,” he said.

When did you first hear Elvis’ music?

Probably when I was a small child, just growing up around the house. I think it was my dad’s favorite and my mom’s favorite music.

What did you like about his music?

I just think it’s something a lot of people can relate to and I think that the music’s just got a great vibe, a lot of soul, a lot feeling.

What is your favorite Elvis song to sing or hear?

I do all three eras, so it’s really hard to nail it down. If I’m doing a ‘50s show, I might say “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care.” But if I’m doing a ‘70s show, I might really like doing “Suspicious Minds.”

You do impressions other than Elvis. What makes each tribute different?

It is a lot like taking on an acting role and it is serious. It is a serious thing because you are trying to do a respectable tribute.

What do your family and friends think of your tribute work?

I believe I get a lot of support from my family and, I believe, from my friends. It’s like anything in life that you do. If people see that it makes you happy and it’s doing something good for you, they’re going to support you. Even if they’re not really Elvis fans, they support you.

What makes Elvis an important part of the 1960s?

In 1960, when Elvis come out of the service, Buddy Holly was dead, the guy that did “Johnny B. Goode,” Chuck Berry, he was in jail. Little Richard became a preacher. There was a change in the music and a change in the times.

What is the most fun part of being Elvis?

I get to take people on a trip back to their youth or a time of great memories. And music is, of course, the great universal language.

What do you think makes Elvis’ music so popular?

He related to everyone. Not only did the teenagers love him for his music in the ‘50s, but the young and old loved him because of his gospel music, because of his love songs.