The Duke of South Walton: Documentary screening puts local musician back in national spotlight

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 05:32 PM.

"What do we do with our talents when fame eludes us?"

This is the question Kris Wheeler asked as he introduced his documentary film "Duke & the King" at its screening Sunday night at Seaside Repertory Theatre. Wheeler produced the film about local celebrity Duke Bardwell, and was shown during the 30A Songwriters Festival.

Bardwell has played the music scene all the way from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles and was the opening act for some big names in the music industry. The biggest name he was associated with was Elvis.

Bardwell played bass guitar in The King's TCB Band and did 181 shows with him in 1974 and 1975. Elvis died two years later.

Wheeler's film focuses on these two years and beyond.

On the film, Bardwell talks of Elvis being Bardwell's hero ever since he heard him sing "Old Shep."

"When I heard that, I was hooked and I knew I would play and that Elvis would somehow be a part of my life," he said.

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