Kjell told me more about the second album he has released and the Golden Voice ALOHA backing tracks he used. “It is entitled, "I'll Remember You." On this album, there are tracks from the ALOHA FROM HAWAII via SATELLITE CD. The ALOHA CD is the biggest project that I have ever produced. Cvan Avian and I worked with experts, Doc, Sly, and John Sturdivant, Jr., to produce the music at Omega Recording Studio in Budapest, Hungary. Then all the backing vocals were recorded at the Junction Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. For the backing vocals we used two singers who had actually sung with Elvis. One was Greg Gordon (who sang with the Imperials in 1971 in Las Vegas, while they backed Elvis..he also wrote "Bringing It Back" which Elvis recorded in March 1975). The other was Yvonne Morris ( who, starting in l974 at the Houston Astrodome show, often filled in for any one of the Sweet Inspirations in backing Elvis). The ALOHA FROM HAWAII via SATELLITE CD is the closest you can get to the original recording!”

Click here to hear Kjell singing American Trilogy..and listen to his Golden Voice backing tracks!

I asked Kjell how long the ALOHA tracks took to produce and what the reaction to them has been. He says: “ It took us two years to record the ALOHA CD. The reason for this was that we that we were not going to release something shy of sheer perfection. It had to be just as good as the original....nothing less.”

“We have had nothing but positive reactions to the ALOHA CD, to be honest. People have said that they have FINALLY found the production they have been looking for. Some ETA's who have bought our ALOHA CD and or won it through a contest are: Mark Leen, Jesse Aron, Neil Duncan, Matt King, Mark Durer, Brandon Bennett, Chuck Lowe, Carleton Hurdle, Jim Santana, Nigel Notley, Rick Huntress, Stephan Eglin, Mike Morrissette, and that’s just to name a few.”

Kjell’s next project is to create the tracks for Elvis’ 1969 Las Vegas Hilton show. He says, “
We are going to re-produce the ENTIRE 1969 show. It's not going to be a remake of the ELVIS IN PERSON AT THE INTERNATIONAL HOTEL LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (although it will have all of the songs from that album). We are going to do the complete show and we are going to add in as a bonus, POLK SALAD ANNIE. We know Elvis did not do this song during this time, but we have had so many requests for a professionally produced version of this song, that we couldn't wait.

I also asked Kjell about his future plans for Golden Voice. He said, “
We plan to be the BEST, the MOST AUTHENTIC, and the MOST DEPENDABLE leader of Elvis backing tracks WORLD WIDE!”

And finally, I asked Kjell if he had anything else he’d like to add: He replied:
“GOLDEN VOICE sincerely cares about the quality of product sold to all ETA's. We want them to have the very best because they want it and we want to give it to them. This is FUN for us! You can't imagine the thrill we get from watching an ETA perform to one of our tracks, or the entire ALOHA CD on stage, and watching the crowd reaction to the ETA, in part due to the music. And it’s a thrill knowing that we contributed to that because of our desire to care about the music and produce it the way it should be produced. We hope that the rest of the ETA world will "get it" and realize that we are a force to be reckoned with.


Kjell Bjornestad, ETA:
(samples are available to download..and check out the testimonials too)






Kjell Bjornestad first caught my attention when I saw a photo of him...I can’t remember where or when I saw the photo, but I was impressed with his look. He stood out and had a “star-like” quality that made me remember his name. Recently, I saw another photo of Kjell as “himself” at Omega Recording Studio in Budapest, Hungary....with Nashville producer, Cvan Avian, during the production of their new Golden Voice Aloha From Hawaii backing tracks. Again, I was impressed -- not only with Kjell’s “look” but also with his “intelligence” and the scope of the new project he was involved with as President and Founder of Golden Voice Music Professional Performance Tracks of the King. I decided to learn a little more about Kjell Bjornestad – his role as Norway’s top ETA and his vision for his successful new company.

Kjell (pronounced “Kell”) was born in l968. He started his ETA career when he was l9 years old and in the Norwegian Army. He was with his buddies in a little pub when he noticed a guitar on the wall..he took it down, tuned it up and started singing “Jailhouse Rock.” The response from the crowd and from his buddies was overwhelming, and as Kjell says,
“On that very night, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

Kjell was 6 years old when he first became aware of Elvis Presley. In his words, “It happened one night when my mother and her friends were watching "Love Me Tender" on TV. I remember the thrilled look on their faces as they watched Elvis. A fire started in me that night watching their reaction. This was the kind of reaction I wanted from people! From that evening on, I have never lost my interest in Elvis and his music. When I was just a little kid, I was always singing, and a few years later my whole family started singing together on stage in church and at other various events. Doing this made me realize instantly how much I loved being on stage. I also like other types of music like blues, country, pop. I especially love to sing songs made famous by Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash. Their voices were REAL and warm. Just like Elvis, they would tell a story from their heart every time they sang.”

Kjell also plays guitar and bass. He started young,
“when the bass was taller than me,” and has played in many choirs and bands.

Like countless other ETA’s, Kjell spent a number of years honing his craft..working in small clubs and venues in Norway and across Europe. He eventually developed a large fan following and the media became interested in the young, dynamic and talented ETA. Norway’s largest TV station made an hour long documentary about Kjell and he became “an overnight sensation” (after 8 long years of struggle).

I asked Kjell about some of his struggles and his early days as an ETA. He says, There were so many mountains that I had to climb to get to where I am today. If I had known then, when I first started out, what I know now....well, I don't know if I would have continued. But, I made my dream come true because I believed in myself. I wanted to make my living singing, looking and entertaining like Elvis. I knew that if I continued to believe in myself, I would attain my goals. Many people laughed at me when I first dyed my hair black and started my career as an ETA. Getting around the mockery from people can be very hard to overcome when you're an ETA starting out. You see, here in Norway, we are not used to "different" people doing "crazy" stuff. I had to keep believing in my dreams to help get me through all of that. My mother and father, sisters and brothers, helped by believing in me as well and they saw my talent for entertaining as an ETA. What I had to say to myself every day was, ‘I know what I can do, and I know what I want.’ and, ‘Always turn your scars into STARS.’ This is very true. People say that I have a strong power within me to accomplish what I set out to do. “

Kjell is now very popular in Norway and throughout Europe. These days he performs close to 200 shows a year., and his fans say he has a charisma and excitement that is hard to match...holding the audience in the palm of his hand in every performance and creating the illusion that they are seeing Elvis in his prime once again.

I asked Kjell what types of venues he performs in and whether he uses a band or backing tracks. He replied, “I have been performing for 16 years as an ETA and I have played all kinds of gigs from small birthday parties in the beginning to eventually big TV shows. I also perform for charities if it is a serious matter, but performing as an ETA is how I make my living. My band consists of 12 people... they are high quality, professional musicians who have played for many other stars here in Scandinavia, and, now, of course, I am also well known as an ETA and for how I project myself on stage. We come about as close as it is possible to the same sound and feel as Elvis had from l969 through the l970's. I also use backing tracks from time to time, if it is a small job where the client cannot pay very much, but I try to focus on pursuing mainly the serious gigs (TV, festivals, theatres) where I can use my band.

And speaking of 2001, Kjell organized and produced an extremely successful Elvis festival in Kristianland, Norway. He hired and performed with James Burton, the TCB Band, and The Stamps. As he says, “It was the experience of a lifetime” with both Norwegian and foreign TV making a documentary of the proceedings. The event has been successfully repeated, and Kjell is currently working on a major festival to celebrate Elvis’ 70th birthday.

He explains the success of the festivals by saying: You may not be aware of this, but Norway is a country that is strongly influenced by American culture. Many people from Norway traveled to the States in the 1930's through the 1950's. The most popular song in Norway EVER, believe it or not, is "In The Ghetto." Elvis is BIG here! We do not have very many ETA's here in Norway, 5-10 at the most, and I am the only one who is making a true living out of it.”

In September 2003, Kjell set a world record for singing Elvis Presley songs for 40 hours, l minute and l second and this will be noted in the Guiness Book of World Records in 2005.

Kjell has also produced two very well-received albums to date. The first one was released in l997 and titled “In My Way. “ Kjell has just released another CD called “I’ll Remember You,” using his own Golden Voice ALOHA backing tracks (see below). He also plans to work with Elvis’ gospel groups and to release a gospel album in the fall of 2004.


At this point in his career, Kjell can say that he has appeared on Norwegian and European TV and radio many times, he has had documentaries made about his life that have been broadcast throughout Europe and he has appeared on magazine covers in Norway and in other European countries. He’s won several ETA contests in Scandinavia and he’s performed in Iceland, Denmark, Germany, England, Sweden, Poland, and the USA. He’s scheduled to be back in the USA later this year (in North Dakota) and will also be performing in Austria.

He was able to quit his “day job” eleven years ago and to earn a living as a professional ETA....becoming famous as he says, “because of my voice, look, and my crazy dreams..I was just different.” His future plans include coming to the United States and becoming more successful on a bigger scale. He says, “As an ETA, I plan to be a part of the big league in the United States. I would love to perform many stints in Las Vegas and all throughout the rest of the U.S. and Canada.”

When I asked Kjell about compliments he has received, he says he’s been told he has a natural tone to his voice that is very much like Elvis' own voice. He’s also been told he looks very much like Elvis and has a natural "Elvis feel" on stage. He says he always sings from his heart, and because of this he has received compliments such as, “Great!” “Unbelievable,” “Fantastic,” “We didn't know you were that good!". On the downside, he says he still receives those “foolish comments” from time to time such as, “Get yourself a life,” and “You’re crazy.”

Finally, I asked Kjell why he thinks he’s been so successful as an ETA and his answer was: “Because I wanted it. I am a humble individual and I can somehow take criticism and turn it into something positive. Doing this, I can only get better. Believe in your dreams. Don't let anybody tell you that you can't reach your dreams. YOU CAN! I have learned a lot in my career and this life is very interesting. Many doors have been opened for me because I made it happen. Each new day is a day with new possibilities.”

And now on to Kjell’s role as President and Founder of Golden Voice Professional Performance Tracks of the King.....

Recently, Kjell has gained considerable recognition as the President and Founder of Golden Voice Music. He says, “I decided to form GOLDEN VOICE in 2001. I was tired of buying bad quality Elvis backing tracks. I wanted to start a company that would produce Elvis' music like it had never been done before. QUALITY and AUTHENTICITY to the very extreme! "


I asked Kjell what he felt were the shortcomings of other tracks that he’d used in the past. He replied: “I felt that some companies were producing quantity over quality. Making the quick buck. They may sell their product at a cheaper price, but rest assured that you're gonna get what you paid for and you’ll be lucky if there are even two songs on that CD that are worth using on stage or in the studio. I think these companies operate in a manner of , ‘Well, they'll (ETA's) never know that part is missing.’ or, ‘’ or, ‘No-one is going to pay attention to the fact that there is no POWER behind our productions.’ But the truth is, the difference in quality and power of the production makes the difference in the performance of the ETA..which in turn makes a difference in how the ETA affects the audience.”

He continues, ”My goal was to be the VERY BEST in Elvis backing tracks. NO ONE will ever beat us when it comes to quality and authenticity to the King! We record in real time (playing along with the original while laying down tracks to attain the same feel and power as the original). We use only real instruments played by professional musicians. Our productions cost money....A LOT OF IT! In order to present this caliber of backing tracks, you have to invest in some serious money if you want it done right. We will give the ETA's of the world the very best Elvis backing tracks that they have ever heard. We plan to produce Elvis' entire catalog. “

Next, I asked Kjell how he felt his tracks were different: He says: Our tracks are different because of the painstaking effort we put into listening to every song, measure by measure, over and over again. We listen for the little things that any ETA with an "ear" will listen for. Our tracks are on the same level as the original in terms of authenticity and production quality. The closest you could come to beating GOLDEN VOICE, is if you whipped out about $1 million (maybe more) and hired engineers and producers to go into the studio and remove Elvis' vocals AND remove all the audience noise (remember, you would have to edit every single microphone throughout the entire concert and that would take FOREVER! Then you would have to pay royalty points to the producer, and maybe a few royalty points to the musicians who played on the album and pay royalties to the songwriters of each song.....this is a lot of work, time and money, folks!). The point here is the ETA’s are "getting it" when it comes to our production. We have been criticized by a few people who think our price is too high, but these individuals simply have no idea how much goes into even one song much less an entire album. Either you'll settle for the cubic zirconia or you'll invest in the diamond. Yes, there is a wide variety out there in terms of quality, and it’s up to the consumer to decide what's really important. If you are going to present yourself as an amateur ETA, and you're doing it for fun, then it doesn't really matter, does it? But if you are a professional and you choose to make a living out of being an ETA like I do, then you want the very best in everything concerning Elvis: the jumpsuit, the glasses, the jewelry, the guitar, the accessories and the MUSIC. The MUSIC is what makes it happen for the artist if you stop and really think about it. It's the difference between a mediocre performance and an ELECTRIC performance. Do you think Elvis would have hired just plain ole' "anybody's" to back him up when he went back to performing live? How stupid would that have been? He was the King. And when you are the King, you must have the very best. And that is where GOLDEN VOICE comes in. To give you (the customer) what Elvis had. To give you the chance to experience the true power that was behind him on stage. Elvis was no dummy when it came to choosing his band and back up singers. He already had a sound in his head and, fortunately, Felton Jarvis was tuned in to Elvis and was able to produce what Elvis was hearing.”


As a result of placing an ad for Golden Voice in an Elvis magazine, Kjell met Cvan Avian, a musician and music producer based in Nashville..who has worked with well- known artists, including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Janet Jackson...and many more. Kjell and Cvan, realizing they both had the common goal of producing, for the ETA world, something they had NEVER heard in the way of Elvis backing tracks, combined their expertise, collaborated with others, and produced what they consider to be the FIRST legitimate and authentic re-production of the ALOHA FROM HAWAII via SATELLITE album for ETA`s worldwide. You can hear more from Cvan Avian, Vice-President and International Distributor for Golden Voice in this month’s live ETARadio interview with Joanna Johnson.

Click here for full pic