“We’ve got an hour and we need someone who can sing,” Tyrone said. “The band’s there, it’s ready, and we’ll pay you what we were gonna pay Hedge. But it’s gotta be something other than Elvis.”

Tatum sat down heavily, pompadour and sequins glistening under the harsh lights. “I don’t know if I can do it.”

“Our makeup guy can…undo this whole Elvis thing you’ve got going,” Tyrone said as if he thought that could help.

That awful night onstage thirty years ago was vivid before Tatum’s eyes. “I said I don’t know if I can do it!” he cried. Elvis had been safe, a warm blanket that he could rely on to deflect criticism and those horrible rowdy boos. To do anything else…

“Look, I need an answer right now,” said Tyrone. “I wouldn’t even ask somebody like you if it wasn’t an emergency. Now either man up and sing something that this crowd will like or slink on back to your bachelor party and bar mitzvah scene.”