Joe was born in Paterson, NJ, living most of his childhood in Hackensack, NJ. His interest in music started
at a very early age. By the age of 9, he was singing in his school glee club and in the junior choir at his
Church. “I've always dreamed of being on the radio like other singers, but it took me until I was 30 before
that happened,” he said. Performing his first solo, in Church, he was so nervous that, even though he was
on key, he sang the song an octave higher. Realizing that he had that range, he exploited it in later years,
singing Roy Orbison songs, incorporating them into his repertoire of music. Throughout his school years, he
continued singing in the school glee clubs.
After school, Joe joined the US Navy, where he continued singing in Church Choirs while learning an
Electrical trade and working for Armed Forces Radio & Television, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Joe left the
Navy after 4 years of honorable service. He then went to work for Columbia Records in NYC, getting
useful tips about interpreting songs, by such artists as Bobby Vinton, Tony Orlando and George Maharis,
that has helped him mold the way he sings his music today, with sensitivity and passion.
Joe eventually left Columbia records to start a new career, taking a course in Television servicing and while
moving around, he took positions, first as a technician, then moved up as a technical service manager,
finally working as a field service engineer, for a company that invented the Projection Television, before
finally settling down in Virginia Beach, VA.
Joe went to Nashville and Hendersonville, TN, after signing a recording contract, to record for a recording
label from Virginia Beach, VA. During those recording sessions, he recorded original songs entitled,
"Big Teardrops", "Red Headed Ruby", "Come Live With Me" and a Christmas song,
"Ten Christmas Candles", also doing a Country cover of Don McLeans' “American Pie”. "American Pie"
(A side) and “Big Teardrops” (B side), were recorded at Woodland Studios in Nashville and released but
never made the top 40's list. Ten Christmas Candles, Red Headed Ruby and Come Live With Me, were
recorded at the House of Cash, in Hendersonville. Ten Christmas Candles was released but only to radio
stations for air play. Joe performed with his band, "The Western Union Express" during these years, playing
to sold out, standing room only audiences and they drew crowds, from far and near, where ever they
played. The venues he played were, Military clubs in Virginia, Moose Lodges, Knights of Pythias Lodges,
Eagles Lodges and Night Clubs including after hour Night Clubs, in Virginia. The Western Union Express
was a middle of the road Country and Rock & Roll band playing mostly in Virginia, but did do shows in New
York State, on the strength of Joe’s recordings. Joe's roots evolved from Gospel, Rhythm & Blues and
Rock & Roll, being influenced by the greatest singers of our time.
Giving up singing for a few years, after being punched in the throat by a jealous patron at a night club, he
dedicated more time and energy to a growing family that required more of his attention, with less traveling.
He eventually started his own business, "Joe Searles TV Repair". After his business was on solid ground,
he wanted to get back into his first passion, singing. This led Joe to becoming an Elvis Tribute Artist, a Roy
Orbison Tribute Artist as well as doing his incomparable performances with Vintage Rhythm & Blues and
Rock & Roll, in which, he has been doing for the past 16 years and loving every minute of it.
In 1993, Joe put together a recording studio in his home and recorded his first Elvis album on cassette tape.
In subsequent years, he recorded his Roy Orbison album and a Christmas album, then remade his studio
into a digital studio, digitizing his previous tape recordings and continued making more CD’s. In total, Joe
has made 13 CD’s with 20 to 28 songs per CD. You can see and hear some of Joe’s songs by visiting his
other pages, entitled Elvis Jukebox, Rock & Roll Jukebox, Roy Orbison Jukebox and Christmas Album.
To see what songs are available on those CD’s click on the CD covers.
Although Joe won, in an Elvis look-alike and sound-alike contest in Virginia Beach, in June of 2000, he did
not want to get into that area. Joe was persuaded by Jerry Presley, who was a headliner that year, for the
Virginia Beach Elvis Festival, but not one of the judges, to participate in it, as Joe was to perform as Roy
Orbison on Jerry's shows that weekend. Joe wants only his fans to be his judge, in which, he has many of.
Joe also had the opportunity to sing an Elvis song with Jerry Presley’s band, the Jordanaires doing backup
vocals and DJ Fontana on drums. Since DJ Fontana was the drummer who spontaneously came up with
those great hot chops and drum licks for Jailhouse Rock, that's the song Joe picked to sing and it brought
back fond memories from the movie, to all.
The Elvis Festival at Virginia Beach, made its debut in 1994. Since 1995 through 2008, Joe has performed
many Elvis, Roy Orbison and Golden Oldies shows that he calls, the Elvis Years, as well as performing for
several years with Jerry Presley, as Roy Orbison. In 2010, Joe performed as Roy Orbison, during the
Sandstock (think Woodstock) Festival (replacement for the Elvis Festival) with Jim Smith and the
In the years 2002 through 2009, Joe was the headliner for the Virginia Bazaar’s, Blue Christmas in July
with Elvis, in Northern Virginia, where Joe performed 3 shows daily for 2 days, each year. He drew crowds
every year, but the economy or lack of it, finally caught up with the Virginia Bazaar, that they were forced to
cut out their activities through the summer. Check out the Virginia Bazaar on the link "Virginia Bazaar".
In, 2010, Joe has done many shows for Nursing homes, performing either his Elvis or Rock 'n' Roll with a
little bit of Soul shows. On August 7, 2010, he performed 2 Elvis shows at the NESDA Convention in
Nashville, TN. Information on the NESDA convention can be seen on his Testimonial page.
In 2011, Joe is continuing with voluntary community services, entertaining in Nursing homes, as well as
performing at conventions and other occasions. On May 28th and October 23rd, Joe opened shows at the
American Theatre in Hampton, VA and the Henrico Theatre in Highland Springs, VA, as Roy Orbison for
world renowned, "The Voice Of Elvis" DOUG CHURCH Concert.
In 2012, Joe is continuing his volutary community service, entertaining in Nursing homes, as well as private
Elvis party's and will be performing as Roy Orbison as an opening act for ETA (Elvis Tribute Artist), Jim Smith
and the Memories Band as well as working with ETA Bob Glass and T.R.I.B.U.T.E.S. @ (757) 617-6860.
To appreciate Joe's accomplishments, visit all of his web pages, where you can hear him sing Elvis, Roy Orbison,
Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, and see many photos from shows he has performed.
. Joe Searles
|the legend lives
THE LEGEND LIVES