There have been many exceptional Elvis Presley impersonators over the years, but perhaps the best isn’t an imitator at all but a singer purely inspired by The King’s talents. Austrian singer Ron Glaser loved Elvis and before his tragically untimely death at just 37-years-old last month had been a friend of the icon’s former girlfriend, Linda Thompson. Normally, the 71-year-old pays tribute to her old flame on his birthday January 8, but this year it was particularly hard with the news of Ron’s death on the same day.
Posting footage of Ron singing Are You Lonesome Tonight with uncanny vocals and intimate photos together, Linda wrote a touching tribute to the talented young musician.
She wrote: “My first inclination was to say ‘there are no words’… That the grief and heartache from such a profound loss is ineffable. But I’m going to try to find the words to express my feelings to share with those of you who knew and loved Ron Glaser. And for those of you who never had the pleasure of meeting him or hearing him sing… Here’s the Ron that I knew….
“From the first moment that Ron Glaser and I met, we felt we had known each other all our lives. We had an immediate connection…a comfortable and familiar bond… not only forged by our mutual love and respect for Elvis and his legacy, but a mutual love and respect for each other as individuals.
“The past six weeks have been hell…while praying to heaven that Ron would recover from his terminal illness. For more than a week I have quietly, tearfully grieved Ron’s passing. As many of you know- Ron, like Elvis, had a twin brother. It was only appropriate that his twin, Sascha, be the one to announce his passing. That announcement has come on what would have been Elvis’s 87th birthday.”
Speaking of his character and their time together, Linda said: “Ron was humble, sweet, gentle, funny, warm, loving, generous, pure, compassionate, kind, and extraordinarily talented. He has been a special someone in my life for 2 1/2 years… I will miss him… His beautiful voice, his laughter, his sweetness, our long conversations, his friendship and his love. He really was an exceptional human being. I am finding some comfort in knowing that we shared some true highlights of his life…& mine…On his three visits with me all the way from Austria, he repeatedly would say it was the time of his life and the best memories of his life. My heart is with his brother Sascha, wife Tina, his mother Helena and stepfather Werner. Yes Ron, we’re Lonesome tonight… And we miss you tonight… If there is indeed a heaven where we will all meet again one day…I hope you are now singing a duet with your idol Elvis.”
The 72-year-old then went on to share a little of Ron’s story and how The King “was a father figure” to him.
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In another post, Ron was recorded singing Milky-White Way, with Linda captioning it: “Before turning the page, I want to let you know a little bit about Ron Glaser. He grew up in Austria, has a twin brother and a sister, was raised by a very hard-working single mother – as his father tragically passed away when Ron was only 8 years old. His older sister played Elvis records, and from the time Ron was only 5 years old, he was fascinated/obsessed by his idol Elvis.
“As Ron explained to me, Elvis was his voice coach and music teacher. In some ways Elvis was a father figure to Ron as well. It only makes sense that Ron would sing like Elvis… But I never heard anyone sound more like Elvis than Ron Glaser. He never tried to look like Elvis or imitate him…He simply honored him by singing his songs. Ron also had an incredibly beautiful voice of his own… I’m sorry the world no longer gets to hear his extraordinary talent, and experience his warmth, gentility, humor, & human kindness. I’m sure I will miss him forever, and I pray for his eternal peace… enfolded in the loving arms of God…”
Back in 2016, Ron came first in the European Elvis Contest at Bad Nauheim, Germany where The King had been stationed during his army service from 1958-1960. After selling out shows in Europe, in 2019 he was invited to perform at the Elvis Festival in The King’s birthplace of Tupelo, Mississippi where he was the first European to be presented with the golden key to the city.