What do Elvis Presley, a mouse, and a Hillbilly band have in common? Answer, Kirk Wall, a very talented musician and singer who in every right has earned the titles Entertainer and Performer. Kirk can be seen almost daily at The Golden Horseshoe inside Disneyland in Anaheim, California as the frontman of Billy Hill and The Hillbillies. And every Wednesday night you can catch him in downtown Fullerton at the Continental Room performing his tribute to the King, Elvis Presley.
Kirk is one of those guys that as soon as you meet him you like him. He’s funny, on stage and off, personable, humble, and crazy talented.
I’ve has the privilege of jamming with him a couple times, and each time it’s an experience especially when others are around to watch. It’s not like playing with other musicians. When Kirk slides a guitar on, or raises the fiddle, it’s like he turns it up to eleven, automatically; that’s because, without the costumes or the instruments, he’s still “on”.
He’s been performing since he was a kid, music is in his family, it’s in his blood. So hanging out in his living room and jamming with a room full of people feels like you just became part of the show and the band. The jokes start flying, and the impromptu songs that Kirk makes up for his wife on the spot are moments that you wish you had your video camera ready to go.
For the past several years, I’ve gotten to know Kirk. Probably a little differently than most. For me, he was first a neighbor, then a crazy guy in an Elvis costume leaving his house in the dark of a Wednesday night, then a friend, and then finally as The Great Kirk, the entertainer and performer. He’s played to millions of people over the twenty plus years he’s been at Disneyland and doesn’t take a moment for granted. He feels blessed and fortunate to be able to do what he does for a living.
We got the chance to sit down with Kirk at the Continental Room and talk one-on-one about his background, his music, his passions, and his job. So sit down with us as we get to learn from one of the best.
The audio is a little rough on the interview, as they were trying to get things ready to open up for the day as we sat down and started shooting. We’ve since invested in some new audio gear and hope that future interview audio is better.
Elvis and beyond… Part 1
Elvis and beyond… Part 2
Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, photos courtesy of Richard Takenaga. See more of Richard’s work on YouTube. Thank you Richard.