Updated: Sep 8, 2022
The King of Rock and Roll has a HUGE fan in Montana, and he doesn’t even know it.
Jerome has been reciting Elvis Presley songs for as long as he can remember. His lyrical memory has stored away the words to hundreds of Elvis’ songs, and he can bring them to life at a moment’s notice.
For many, Elvis Presley is one of the most recognized names in music history. Through songs like Jailhouse Rock, The Impossible Dream and Treat Me Nice, Elvis made an impression on millions with his unique sound and energetic dance moves. He was unlike any other musician during his time, which is why Jerome has come to love everything about the King.
He even calls his new home Graceland after the King’s own estate and has lined the walls with musical-themed décor.
“Ain’t nothin' but a hound dog,” is one of Jerome’s favorites, though he claims he really can’t pick just a few because he likes them all. He especially likes to dance to that one though along with Achy Breaky Heart.
Jerome has been known to travel to see some of the top-performing Elvis impersonators and has even donned the infamous white suit himself.
Persistence Pays Off
Many people probably don’t realize that Elvis Presley’s path to fame wasn’t all easy. Elvis grew up in a working-class family that often times struggled to get by. Music helped him cope with a lonely childhood, but he had a hard time getting through his music classes because of his “hillbilly” tunes and extreme shyness. He also couldn’t actually read music, which led him to study and play by ear.
Once he became an adult, he attempted numerous recordings with nothing ever coming of them. He was still fighting off some stage fright and trying to find his “sound.” He didn’t quite fit into any current genre.
He persisted though, and late one night, recorded a tune that was finally picked up by a popular DJ and things began to take off.
The Right Support Makes a Big Difference
Jerome isn’t all too different from the King himself. He’s had to overcome numerous challenges to get to where he is today.
He spent years transitioning from living with his family to various types of institutional and group home settings before moving into his new townhome in Great Falls. And boy does he love it!
He was given the right support and opportunities to grow toward independence and that’s just what he did. His hard work paid off!
Other Facts about Jerome
Jerome credits his mom, brothers and sisters for getting him into music. He grew up in a large family, the fourth of nine children, and was about 10 years old when he was introduced to Elvis’ music.
Though Elvis is by far his favorite, Jerome does like listening to other musicians. He enjoys meeting musicians and has traveled as far as Alabama to meet John Denver.
Aside from his love for music, Jerome is also an accomplished athlete with a long list of sports that he’s participated in including boxing, football, basketball, swimming, golf and bowling.
He’s won several boxing trophies over the years and regularly golfs. His favorite football team is the Chicago Bears.
Special Note: In June, AWARE opened four new townhomes in Great Falls. These townhomes are a welcome addition to our residential services and have already been filled from our waitlists. Building and opening these townhomes were identified as a priority in AWARE’s strategic plan, and we are thrilled for the people living in them to now call them home.